Reply
Thread Tools
Are some people just "Born Losers"? addiction, genetics
Old 04-03-2008, 12:57 AM   #1
HousesOfApollo
Member [02%]
Scum Of The Universe
MBTI: INTj
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 93
 
Every once and awhile there is a story on the news about the discovery a certain gene that is the root cause of an addiction. First there were the obesity genes, then the alcoholism genes, and now there are genes that are supposed to make some people more susceptible to nicotine addiction.

What really irritates me about these stories is that they just give people even more excuses not to better themselves. After all, what good is it trying to lose weight if you have the "fat gene"? Such an endeavor would most certainly be hopeless. You'll eventually just return to your obese ways, then die of a heart attack. So, you might as well just go on as you have been, then die of a heart attack. [And I'm supposed to be acerbic and mean-spirited for pointing out the flaws in this line of "reasoning."]

Nowadays, I'll often hear people talking about addictions, and I'll pick out phrases like this: "I just can't quit smoking, no matter how hard I try; I must have the 'smoking gene'." So on and so forth; ad infinitum.

Such terms in and of themselves tell of great ignorance of the science that these media-based ideas are (creatively) based off of. People who once were once considered weak-willed are now giving themselves genetic reasons to justify their every foible. If anyone in their family shares their addiction, they'll just assume it's genetics.

I have given this trend a label: Genetic Fatalism. Whenever a family weakness is discovered, any impetus that may have existed to strengthen the will just dissipates. At the moment, it's easy for me to envisage a future full of fat, lazy, chain-smoking alcoholic slobs with no incentive to improve the quality of their own lives. "It's not our fault, it's the genes!" could very well be the motto of a entire generation. [It may be argued that this is what we have already, but that's another thread.]

One of the more salient things I've discovered from my study of humanity, is its tendency to be attracted to deterministic ideas. Whenever there is a chance to disregard choice and freewill, your average human will defer to almighty fate; except when it comes to matters of imminent death. Even if you were to accept the idea of being unable to resist temptations, there are still options. For example, what if people who have these "bad genetics" decided to build Earthships, (
To view links or images in this forum your post count must be 2 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
) and live an ascetic life far from the temptations of society? (Just a thought.) If I were this deeply addicted to one vice or another, it would only be a matter of having to take more drastic measures to extricate myself. Upon learning of the "weakness," my determination to quit would only intensify.

Personally speaking, there may be genetic factors behind my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and incessant Depression (certain chemical tendencies of the brain); but I will never give any of this credence. Perhaps I'm being unscientific, even somewhat of a "Man of Faith" by saying this, but I believe that we have believe that we can be better than who we're born as. Even though I actually do believe in genetic predispositions, I am compelled to act otherwise; it's just my nature to crave independence, even from genetic fate. I get a lot of flak from really hard-nosed science types for this, but I don't care.

Even though many of our inherent tendencies are genetically-based, there's still plenty of choice as to what we can do about it. [Like how investigating the INTJ type helped me come to grips with some of the more disturbing trends within my own personality. Now I know that I'm not sick in my mind, which was only a viewpoint I had internalized. Learning all this has given me a crystal clear path to self-betterment. Learning about our inherent tendencies towards addiction should, at best, serve similar purposes, and nothing more.]

But enough about my own baggage: what do you think? How much of who we are is genetic, and do you think anyone can be a "Born Loser"? [Not the best term, I know; I'm trying to illustrate what I think the connotations of all this are.]

How much are you self-made, and how much is genetics?

[I do consider this a health issue, even if it does tend to cross over into Mental Health somewhat. And if you are overweight, a smoker, or an alcoholic, I mean no offense.]
HousesOfApollo is offline
Reply With Quote

Old 04-03-2008, 05:18 AM   #2
Homini Lupus
Member [30%]
Me ne frego.
MBTI: INTJ
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,228
 
Yours is the right attitude. Knowing the genes is useful for those who can manipulate them but you have to make your life what you want of it. This is yhe way to reach your objectives. Complaining about what you are is for losers. Knowing yourself is useful: that way you understand what you really want and how to obtain it; using it as an excuse is bad policy.
All this may not be much scientific. But science is a method to understand truth, not truth itself. In every occasion it becomes detrimental you are using science in an improper way. Like post-Marx marxism I would say, but that's another matter.
Homini Lupus is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2008, 08:40 AM   #3
notoppings
Veteran Member [53%]
Allways honest
MBTI: INTJ
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,128
 

  Originally Posted by Homini Lupus
To view links or images in this forum your post count must be 2 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Yours is the right attitude. Knowing the genes is useful for those who can manipulate them but you have to make your life what you want of it.

I was born with a birth defect, one that is most commonly fatal. Yet I do not accept the governments limitations of my condition and I do not accept the monies that the government is constantly trying to force upon me. I choose instead to be a productive member and thumb my nose at those that say you can't. So from my point of view I find anyone who uses previously undisclosed genetic information as a crutch a sign of weakness and a propensity to laziness. With desire most things can be attained.

notoppings is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2008, 10:02 PM   #4
HousesOfApollo
Member [02%]
Scum Of The Universe
MBTI: INTj
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 93
 

  Originally Posted by Homini Lupus
To view links or images in this forum your post count must be 2 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Yours is the right attitude. Knowing the genes is useful for those who can manipulate them but you have to make your life what you want of it. This is yhe way to reach your objectives. Complaining about what you are is for losers. Knowing yourself is useful: that way you understand what you really want and how to obtain it; using it as an excuse is bad policy.
All this may not be much scientific. But science is a method to understand truth, not truth itself. In every occasion it becomes detrimental you are using science in an improper way. Like post-Marx marxism I would say, but that's another matter.

What helps me to keep an open mind is to remind myself that Science is just a picture of how we've come to understand things right now. Throughout human history, our view of the workings of the world has changed many, many times. It is only through arrogance that we believe we have the answers now; when we obviously don't. All we really have are good models to predict certain things, and even those don't work all the time. If there ever comes a day that we can predict everything, and understand how everyone's life is going to turn out from birth to death; then, and only then, can we justify our arrogance. Think about what the world looked even just 50 years ago. It has changed before, and it will change again.

  Originally Posted by notoppings
To view links or images in this forum your post count must be 2 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
I was born with a birth defect, one that is most commonly fatal. Yet I do not accept the governments limitations of my condition and I do not accept the monies that the government is constantly trying to force upon me. I choose instead to be a productive member and thumb my nose at those that say you can't. So from my point of view I find anyone who uses previously undisclosed genetic information as a crutch a sign of weakness and a propensity to laziness. With desire most things can be attained.

Ever see the movie Gattaca? (
To view links or images in this forum your post count must be 2 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
) Your post made me think of the main character in that film. Stay strong, man.

What I don't appreciate is the culture of weakness. Nowadays everything has to be a disease or a disorder of some kind. One does not work through a disease; one can only wait for a cure. And if you're disordered, how could you possibly know the right way to re-order yourself? The only option then is to defer judgement on what is right to whatever authority is present at the moment.

The doctors tried to re-order me, and they ended up deadening who I was a person. Only in recent years, and after a lot of self-reflection, do I really have a clear idea of who I am as a person. So much for miracle cures, I say.

I say to those who are in trouble that it is their life (maybe not their fault, however) and try to philosophically place the problem in their court, so to speak. This isn't to say that I don't want to help people--I just don't want to help people who aren't helping themselves. I'm just like heaven; helping those that help themselves. [Damn that was corny.]

We can't just have other people repair us as if we were automobiles; we are all our own problems. It is unfortunate that some of us--myself included--had to learn this the hard way.

Better the hard way, than never at all, I suppose.

HousesOfApollo is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 01:32 AM   #5
notoppings
Veteran Member [53%]
Allways honest
MBTI: INTJ
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,128
 
Yes I have seen that movie and enjoyed it very much I've never associated myself with the main character but sure do appreciate the comparison. You make some strong points about reflection as SOCRATES says "An unexamined life is not worth living" . Strength.
notoppings is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 02:58 AM   #6
HousesOfApollo
Member [02%]
Scum Of The Universe
MBTI: INTj
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 93
 

  Originally Posted by notoppings
To view links or images in this forum your post count must be 2 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Yes I have seen that movie and enjoyed it very much I've never associated myself with the main character but sure do appreciate the comparison. You make some strong points about reflection as SOCRATES says "An unexamined life is not worth living" . Strength.

The characters I always identify with are the villains, mostly, as they're usually more intelligent than the heroes, but somehow they always lose, since fate seems to work against them. I've always considered myself a hero who thinks like the villain. (I've always liked thinking heroes; Batman being the only superhero I appreciated in my younger days.)

Lack of self-reflection is the only explanation I can come up with to explain the foibles of humanity:

"Why do people do the crazy things they do?"
My reply: "Because they don't even know what they do. Their awareness doesn't run deep enough for them to truly reckon the consequences of their actions."

I guess I see this because my thoughts tend to entail, and analyze all possible permutations. It's almost like a simultaneous INTP and INTJ process that happens; there are two divergent threads, Thought and Action. One has to be tied up within a certain time frame, and the another can continue onward. Seeing ahead like this is what probably makes it easier for me to quit addictions; I'm going to look up research on personality types and addiction now. This may be interesting.

But I digress, as I usually do when presented with an empty text field--which more often-than-not provides me with fertile soil for the growth and codification of my inherently erratic thought-processes.

HousesOfApollo is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 05:55 PM   #7
Haphazard
Member [28%]
I Am The Rain On Your Parade.
MBTI: ISTP
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 1,141
 
Do not go gently into that good night! Fight against the dying of the light!

I understand what these 'genes' things are trying to say, and people are taking them completely the wrong way. they're supposed to be warnings. If you're genetically predisposed to diabetes, you're supposed to fight that much harder against it, but fatalistic people take it in fatalistic ways. It's the culture's fault, don't blame the geneticist.
Haphazard is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 06:01 PM   #8
TheLastMohican
Core Member [189%]
MBTI: ENTJ
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 7,586
 
The trouble with the gene-touting is that there is a gene for every detail of every person's body. It is really impossible to define a "norm" that our genes should aspire to, so why should we blame our abnormalities on our genes? Everybody is in some way "abnormal," so we could diagnose any one person with hundreds of genetic "disorders," even if they are not bad to have.
TheLastMohican is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 06:14 PM   #9
Haphazard
Member [28%]
I Am The Rain On Your Parade.
MBTI: ISTP
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 1,141
 

  Originally Posted by TheLastMohican
To view links or images in this forum your post count must be 2 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
The trouble with the gene-touting is that there is a gene for every detail of every person's body. It is really impossible to define a "norm" that our genes should aspire to, so why should we blame our abnormalities on our genes? Everybody is in some way "abnormal," so we could diagnose any one person with hundreds of genetic "disorders," even if they are not bad to have.

Like, how, for example the gene for diabetic predisposition was supposed to help people in colder climates because excess sugar in the blood acts as a natural antifreeze?

It's true. Not everything can be a 'disorder.' Normalcy is subjective, but yes, obesity becomes a problem when you can no longer breathe.

Haphazard is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 06:24 PM   #10
TheLastMohican
Core Member [189%]
MBTI: ENTJ
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 7,586
 

  Originally Posted by Haphazard
To view links or images in this forum your post count must be 2 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Like, how, for example the gene for diabetic predisposition was supposed to help people in colder climates because excess sugar in the blood acts as a natural antifreeze?

It's true. Not everything can be a 'disorder.' Normalcy is subjective, but yes, obesity becomes a problem when you can no longer breathe.

When a person is so morbidly obese that he can't breath, that is no genetic cause. You must eat tens of thousands of calories per day to maintain that if you have a normal metabolism. I mean, even Patrick Duel could breath at 1,016 pounds.

TheLastMohican is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 06:28 PM   #11
Haphazard
Member [28%]
I Am The Rain On Your Parade.
MBTI: ISTP
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 1,141
 

  Originally Posted by TheLastMohican
To view links or images in this forum your post count must be 2 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
When a person is so morbidly obese that he can't breath, that is no genetic cause. You must eat tens of thousands of calories per day to maintain that if you have a normal metabolism. I mean, even Patrick Duel could breath at 1,016 pounds.

I meant as considering obesity a disorder. Yep, that'd be a pretty difficult thing to maintain, but there are ways to gain weight without eating extra calories that are very bad for you. Certain ways to eat that slow your metabolism.

I guess that wasn't really the right way to explain it.

Haphazard is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 06:42 PM   #12
TheLastMohican
Core Member [189%]
MBTI: ENTJ
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 7,586
 

  Originally Posted by Haphazard
To view links or images in this forum your post count must be 2 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
I meant as considering obesity a disorder. Yep, that'd be a pretty difficult thing to maintain, but there are ways to gain weight without eating extra calories that are very bad for you. Certain ways to eat that slow your metabolism.

I guess that wasn't really the right way to explain it.

But to gain weight, you still must consume some calories. Even if you ignore the calories necessary to keep your heart pumping, you still need 3,500 calories to convert into body weight. Otherwise, there is simply not enough matter entering your body to account for the increase in mass.

TheLastMohican is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 10:50 PM   #13
HousesOfApollo
Member [02%]
Scum Of The Universe
MBTI: INTj
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 93
 

  Originally Posted by TheLastMohican
To view links or images in this forum your post count must be 2 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
The trouble with the gene-touting is that there is a gene for every detail of every person's body. It is really impossible to define a "norm" that our genes should aspire to, so why should we blame our abnormalities on our genes? Everybody is in some way "abnormal," so we could diagnose any one person with hundreds of genetic "disorders," even if they are not bad to have.

Yes! For example, let's just say that there are genetic factors to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; a gene that is linked to it. (I think there is.) One could (wildly) speculate that OCD is more the kind of a problem that highly intelligent people have (because the inherent thought-processes are very, very complicated). Why should we have an absolutely negative association with that particular gene? My capacity for negative thoughts, obsessions, anxiety do not make my life a happy one; it does, however, gives me an ability to perceive things my fellow humans cannot. Perhaps these things would have helped my ancestors survive. The genes obviously wouldn't have been passed down this far if they weren't good for something at some point in history. [So, who's to say that taking away the OCD doesn't also take away the intelligence?]

So, even though the genetics may not make an individual's life pleasant, there may a reason for the genes if you look at it from a communal perspective. What may be "faulty" on an individual level could be better for the species at large. [Diversity is a strength in any system.]

  Originally Posted by Haphazard
To view links or images in this forum your post count must be 2 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Like, how, for example the gene for diabetic predisposition was supposed to help people in colder climates because excess sugar in the blood acts as a natural antifreeze?

Yes, I know you made a similar point. You post almost exactly what I think about 75% of the time, and it's weird. I just needed to expand on it. I compose most of my comments in my head hours beforehand. [Statistically speaking, you've come the closest. It's a silly thing I've done ever since I got here. Pay it no mind.]

  Originally Posted by TheLastMohican
To view links or images in this forum your post count must be 2 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
When a person is so morbidly obese that he can't breath, that is no genetic cause. You must eat tens of thousands of calories per day to maintain that if you have a normal metabolism. I mean, even Patrick Duel could breath at 1,016 pounds.

This brings out the primitivist in me. I mean, people could never get to be that morbid obese just subsisting off the land. Even in early civilized cultures, obtaining such a massive amount of food would be difficult--even for the elite. So, therefore, the genetic factors that cause us to pack on fat today simply would not have had the same consequences in that different environment.

One of the factors that is never explained (in these stories) is the societal factor; because these genes, if they're even that big of a deal, probably wouldn't be if we didn't live in a culture that enabled many of these disorders (but not all of them). Watching the moronic TV news, one might get the impression that cigarettes, Twinkies, and vodka have been with us since the dawn of mankind.

HousesOfApollo is offline
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
addiction, genetics

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Myers-Briggs, and MBTI are trademarks or registered trademarks of the
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries.