Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Determinism

A recent article in The Atlantic re how your behavior may be determined by organisms in cat poop(!):

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/03/how-your-cat-is-making-you-crazy/8873/

Aside from biology, was also just thinking about how childhood psychological experiences stamped people for life:

My first girlfriend, M: Arrested at age 19, while on drugs, for robbing a bank. In jail for 7 years. Ever since then, only interested in teenaged girls, however old she got. (Classic case of "arrested development." Ahem.)

J: Didn't get her sex-change 'til she was over 40. Because she lost all of the formative years in the wrong body, fixated on teenaged boys even after the operation at 40.

S: Sexually abused by a middle-aged man -- friend of the father's -- as a young girl. Passive Dad, who at the time did nothing about the abuse, and died soon after. She, even in middle age, still desires old "Daddy" men.

ME: Finally understood, around age 12, that both of my parents were sadists and didn't like me very much. Was stuck with my dad 'til age 13, when my mom kicked him out after he tried to shoot her. My mom and I maintain a respectful, but completely unconnected emotionally, relationship to this day. What this did to me growing up: I don't trust people. At all. Every decision in my adult life, I've had to make on my own, with no concept of "mercy" figured in. It's ground me down, made me paranoid.

Years ago when I was 20-something, at the University library that I worked at, I debated with a co-worker about "Determinism" versus "Free Will": At the time, I was young and full of verve and what I thought I could do... I voted for "Free Will." My older co-worker voted for "Determinism." Today, at age 46, I must say that I now agree with the latter. Hate to admit it, but it seems we're stuck in our traumas.

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