Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Great Gotcha?

File Under: Dangerous Thoughts

Here is a sociological experiment that shows what happens when a prepared person with an agenda asks deep philosophical questions to random, uninformed, and sometimes inarticulate people who willingly buy $8 dollar coffees, buy packs of cancer causing dirt weed rolled in paper, don't know what Ruby Ridge refers to, and do not remember who Ted Kaczynski or James Earl Ray were.  Let's watch:

Fascinating.  This obviously proves his point.  Right?  Wrong.

We are talking about two things here: attraction and preference.  I am sure the post-PC scientific community and most lifestyle advocates are going to disagree with this assessment.  However, here we go anyway.  Attraction is a biochemical process which can, to an extent, be influenced by culture and societal norms.  While there are near universal constants which describe how a male or female brain responds to certain external physical and biochemical stimuli, the details of attraction have change throughout time and in different regions due to factors such as evolutionary stress, scientific enlightenment, and social mores.  Attraction is innate, and again near universal, it predates exposure to the object of attraction.

This is where the discussion gets hairy.  Preference is almost exclusively a learned thought or behavior that is predicated upon exposure to an object, culture, or societal norms.  Unless the topic is biochemical aversion (i.e. food allergy), which is not truthfully a preference, humans are not born with preferences without the presence of a physiological abnormality whether it be biochemical or structural in nature.  Preferences require  exposure, experience association, and usually repeated indoctrination.  In other words you have to become aware of something, some event has to create a positive or negative memory in your brain, and usually that association needs to be reinforced some way in order for a person to form a preference.

What does all of that have to do with the above video?  It is very simple.  Is the questioner talking about attraction or preference?  If we are talking about attraction, we are talking about a biochemical process within the physiology of a human.  If my heart valves form differently, my spleen forms differently, or my spine develops differently science says I have a disorder, an illness or disease if you will.  In the same way that if a person's brain forms differently and that abnormality affects biochemical processes then that person is said to be suffering from a neuropsychiatric disorder.  Just like rage, depression, anxiety, paranoia, autism, pedophilia, and psychosis are biochemical processes often influenced by the structure of the brain, so also is attraction.  Validly so, a person cannot choose (in the traditional sense) to have a disease and are in fact often born with it.  As such, individuals with disabling conditions are already protected by laws such as The Americans with Disabilities Act.  However, that would require reversing the notion that homosexuality is in fact not a disease, which I do not think that is going to happen.

On the other hand, if the questioner is asking about preference, we are getting into a completely different animal.  I want everyone to think about exactly how they learned to: talk, read, use the toilet, and develop affection for people other than your mother.  Cannot do it, can you?  That is because all this indoctrination happened at a time which predates your greater consciousness and "random access memory."  But, do not be misled that information is in your brain somewhere.  Just like the demarcation between when you had no concept of differences and benefits of gender and when you began to be indoctrinated to prefer one over the other for certain societal roles.  For most people this is a relatively smooth, trauma-free experience that commences from the moment of birth.  For others this process is marked by dramatic tribulations creating revolutions in thinking, a post-indoctrination re-indoctrination or brainwashing.  However you come to a preference there is a point wherein A) your indoctrination begins, B) your preference solidifies and C) you make a choice.  For the vast majority of people, this entire process usually happens in their individual "prehistory," in the nebulous time before your "first memory."

This difference has two bearings on this video.  First the questioner asked the respondents to comment on a process they could not scientifically observe or remember without significant assistance if it can be remembered at all.  Secondly, and more interestingly, the respondents do not realize that between when as an infant or toddler they first formed preferences and when they encountered the cameraman, society had continually exposed them to other ideas.  Therefore, at some time after the point where all earlier memories are gray and fuzzy (when they first formed a preference) they reaffirmed their preferences.  In plain English: several times in their lives, every last one of them chose to be straight.

"Outside" by George Michael from Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael released 1998 on Epic

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