|Hi Cass, |
That was an interesting response. I like examples like the one at the end of your response.
I think I may not have made myself clear. You said, "Also, I do see that you are wrestling with the concept of whether homosexuality or indeed any character/ personality / sexuality traits are genetic or 100% volitional and therefor freely chosen."
Actually our, "traits," are 100% genetic, modified by our experience, learning, and choices. But "traits" are only raw material. Some people have very sanguine traits, for example, others might be easily angered or upset. The sanguine fellow might be tempted to let things slide when he knows something ought to be done about them, for his own selfish interest. His feelings, he thinks, say, "I'm happy, aw, it can wait, I don't feel like doing it now," and if he is a SOLOist, since that is the trait he is born with, he will say he will be going against what he is to "repress" that lazy feeling and make himself do what his own reason tells him will be better for him.
We are all born with a unique set of characteristics, talents, inclinations, and emotions, all of which we must learn about and how to use. None of them, in themselves tell us anything about how to use them or react to them. No feeling, desire, or passion ever made anyone do anything. If any did, we would not be volitional beings. Please excuse my laziness, but here is what I mean by volition. It's from one of the permanent articles on The Autonomist, and I've posted here on SOLO before:
Before we go any further, let's get something out of the way. As soon as you mention choice, someone will bring up the question of, "free will." Don't ever get caught in that trap. The meaning of that expression is hopelessly muddled and has nothing to do with this matter of choice.
"Do you really believe people have free will?" you will be asked. "You can't do just anything you want," it will be argued. "People's behavior is determined by many things, their heredity, their subconscious, their environment, their education, their economic status....blah, blah, blah."
All of that has nothing to do with the fact that to do anything, you must choose to do it. You do not have to study psychology and philosophy for a million years to know this is true. You can test it for yourself, once and for all, and never have to worry about this question again.
Sit down in a chair somewhere. (You'll have to choose to do it.)
Now make one more choice. Choose not to choose anything else. Just sit there and let your heredity, or your subconscious, or environmental influences, or your education, or your money determine your actions.
What happens when you do that? Nothing! If you never choose anything again, you will never do anything again; but notice, even to not choose you must choose.
The ability to choose, which we call volition, is not about what can be chosen, or how one chooses, or why one chooses, but the fact that a human being not only can choose, but must choose, and that this necessity of choice cannot be avoided or bypassed so long as one is fully conscious.
One choice everyone must make is whether they will be in rational conscious control of their life, or whether they will be ruled, partly or completely, by their whims, desires, and passions. Most individuals make the latter choice. It is not at all unexpected that those who make that choice will exhibit behavior similar to those they are related to, because, in those people, it will be inherited characteristics that dominate their behavior. It is so, because they have chosen to allow their irrational feelings to determine their choices.
I am sometimes asked, "well why do people choose not to be in rational control of their lives?" The fact is, if there were an answer to that question, if there was something that could be pointed as the reason (or cause) for a person's choice, it wouldn't be a choice, would it?