Dear Robin: An open letter to my granddaughter.

Robin, you’re going on 12-years old. And a failure of your mother to heed the wisdom of her elders has inspired me to pass some of the things I’ve learned on to you–hopefully before your mind has been warped with the delusion that causes you to think the elders of our country are little more than “old farts.”

You see honey, over the years I have come to realize children are products of their environment. This doesn’t mean that genes have nothing to do with children’s characteristics. It only means that children are humans and humans are close enough genetically so that the major difference between human thoughts and behavior is the result of varying and different environmental circumstances.

Also, I have come to realize children are merely adults in embryo. And the transition from one stage to another is more one of generalized social classification than an actual event. I mean, when you are considered a child one day and an adult the next–merely because of a birthday–then that is a social event, not a biological one. In other words, don’t expect some magic transition that will result in you feeling like a child one day and an adult the next. It doesn’t happen, especially considering the fact that some adults will still treat you like a child even past the age of 21.

Anyway, back to the point: children are products of physical processes, and nothing metaphysical is involved in their development. Also, children function according to phenomena generally referred to as physical laws, and nothing metaphysical is involved in their functioning. A brief way of saying this is that you and everything about you–including your thoughts and behavior–are products of your genes, which are traceable to the evolutionary history of the human species, and by the environmental circumstances to which you’ve been exposed as an individual.

What does this mean? Well honey, it means that when you get grown and have children of your own, you shouldn’t blame them for the way they think and act. But instead you should try to discover what causal forces have influenced your children to have them thinking and acting in ways you don’t like. Also, it means you should never hate yourself for your own mistakes and misbehavior. Instead you should try to determine what caused you to make the mistake or caused you to find the misbehavior an acceptable option at the time.

This also means that you don’t punish your children for misbehaving but instead correct them. I’m not going to go into the philosophy of behavior modification of children; rather I’m going to suggest that when the need arises, get an authoritative book on the subject–one based on the most recent clinical research. Just stay away from corporate sponsored pop-psychology, and make sure you stay away from any book that claims to gets its authority from some invisible metaphysical sky-daddy or sky-momma.

I’ve often heard religious folk proclaim that one must hate the “sin” but not the “sinner.” This statement agrees perfectly with findings concerning the recent studies of the human brain and brain functioning. But religion is so ambiguous and occasionally contradictory that believers are often hypocrites in the matter. Well, then again, the hypocrisy may have more to do with the basic nature of the human animal, because some non- religious and ex- religious scientists are hypocrites in the matter too.

Everything I’ve stated thus far can be basically condensed down to the fact that freewill is an illusion. But what you may not realize is the notion of freewill is also a ploy to keep you ignorant of the strings by which you are manipulated. Religion uses psychological ploys against you but tries to hide the fact by claiming your will is free from the laws of cause and effect. The State tries to protect the existing environmental circumstances, that is, The Status Quo by saying a thousand times over and a thousand different ways that you are free to choose whatever you want; and it further claims that you cannot be influenced by existing circumstances (The Status Quo). Of course, they don’t delve into the causal factors that could result in you wanting one thing or another. Naturally, major corporations also like to keep the public ignorant of the strings by which they are manipulated. They like to pretend the reason individuals feel a need to shop till they drop doesn’t have anything to do with their manipulative marketing stratagems but just the individual and faults of the individual.

And this leads us to the word fault.

Words can have more than one meaning. This sometimes leads to confusion. For example, determine means caused, but it also means ascertain. Therefore, something can be both determined but not determined; that is, caused but not ascertainable. The word fault is another that leads to confusion. Fault can mean something that impairs or detracts from physical perfection; a defect. But it can also mean responsibility for a mistake. Therefore, some bigoted people may consider your dwarfism a fault while considering it not your fault; that is, they would say, “Robin has a fault that is not her fault.” Or they may say, “Robin has a fault,” and leave it at that. But then more than a few people would automatically assume you were responsible for something bad. Therefore, be aware that when you discuss the freewill issue, most people are so tangled up in words that they misconstrue the meaning of freewill and assume it to be real; but it is not. Both humans and nonhuman animals (and some robots) have the ability to choose between different options. The ability to choose does not prove freewill. Freewill is an illusion.

Before I close I would like to do a quick thought experiment. This experiment involves you, Wayne, and Rosa. Imagine what it would have been like for you to have been raised in total isolation. Your caretakers wore mask and never spoke. Also imagine that Rosa was sent to India immediately after birth and raise by a family in India as their own child. Imagine that Wayne was kidnapped immediately after birth and placed in a cage by the kidnappers with a momma chimpanzee and raised by her. Now allow me to ask you four questions: 1) Would the isolated environment have made you different than you are today? 2) Would the environmental circumstances of being raised by a family in India have made Rosa different than she is today? 3) Would being raised by chimpanzees have made Wayne different than he is today? 4) What would freewill have to do with your hypothetical situation or Wayne’s hypothetical situation?

Okay, here are the answers. 1) The sensory deprivation of isolation would have resulted in you being severely retarded. 2) Rosa wouldn’t be an American but an Indian. She wouldn’t think and act as she does today but act and think like someone from India. 3) Wayne would basically be a human chimp. He would not feel the same wants and needs he now feels because the environmental circumstances of being raised by a chimpanzee mother would have made him into little more than a chimp. He wouldn’t have human language as he now has.

At this point someone would likely try to prove an exception to the rule by noting that two people raised in the same household sometimes turn out differently. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the brains of those two people would have developed differently because no two individuals have been exposed to precisely the same environmental circumstances. Thus individual differences in the way the brain is wired would have been the result of the difference in environmental circumstances. In fact, Abigail and Brittany Hensel (b. 7Mar90) are twins who share the same body (conjoined). They have the same gene for assertiveness/dominance. However, way back before the girls had mastered language, some environmental circumstance resulted in one becoming dominate over the other. One now leads and the other follows. They actually couldn’t function as they now do if this change had not happened. Also, their herd instinct has made them different. People act enthused when they find differences in the likes and dislikes of the girls; and this unconsciously encourages the twins to be different from one another.

Oh, and by the way, the answer to question 4 is freewill wouldn’t have anything to do with your or Wayne’s hypothetical situation or your present real situation, because freewill is an old illusion that has been made into a delusion. Freewill is nothing more than an oxymoron that is presently being used by religion, Big Business, and The State as a subtle manipulative ploy.

Now you know.

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