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Genetic Predispositions?


des
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Ok here's another one. I was just pondering this in regards to miracles that some of us tended to believe the Biblical miracles and some of us do not. And I was thinking of the differences between my sister and I, where she is quite fundamentalist and I am progressive.

 

I'm wondering if there is some genetic wiring for this. For example if you enjoyed a certain level of ambiguity or even chaos, you would be more likely to be progressive. OTOH, if you liked a certain amount of order and control, you would be more conservative. Also I think we are bound to have two different drives (I don't think that's the right technical term) but one would be reach across differences and the other is to keep things the same/conserve.

In society we need both elements, but that some of us are more likely to want to reach across differences (Progressives) and others would want these factors of sameness (Conservatives).

 

As a very young kid I was always questioning, doubting, etc. I know other people who have never questioned the faith they were brought up in. Since I don't believe it to have anything to do with intelligence, I'm am left thinking that some people really aren't "wired" to do so.

 

I also find it interesting that I am autistic and seem to be wired more progressive. However, I have met autistic people all over the map on this, I know a fundamentalist Jew to people who claim mystical experiences to someone who claims to have no spiritual or even aesthetic feelings at all. )

 

Also I know people have converted one way or the other (to more liberal or more conservative views), but a lot of time what happens is the person moves from what their parents practiced (not their own wiring necessarily) to what they themselves believe.

 

 

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

 

 

 

 

--des

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I agree des - I think that some people like to question, challenge, and debate while it makes other people very uncomfortable to question authority. For example, I find it very faith affirming to find consistent truths among religions; in attempting to share my joy in this with others, I have found that many people find it very threatening to their faith. (So I'm careful and quiet now ;) ).

 

I've always questioned too - cynicism is in my nature. I know a lot of people that share this with me who reject faith altogether because of the "loud" christians. When we joined a church, these friends/family, expressed disappointment that we hadn't chosen a different religion due to the four-letter word nature of christianity these days. Convincing them that progressive christianity is an option - at least for me- that I did not check my brain at the door and did not vote for Bush - has been quite the challenge!

 

I am hopeful that Jim Wallis' book will do as he intends - make progressive christianity a known option to people of faith - and people who would like to be of faith...

 

re: autism, I laughed in another thread when someone asked you about being literal and not taking the bible literally. :P ; it seemed to me that it would be impossible for you to take the bible literally when there are clear inconsistencies! I think it is neat and wonderful that you "get" metaphor and allegory - once gotten, it is clear, obvious, and hard to imagine anyone seeing something so clearly not literal as literal!!!

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re: autism, I laughed in another thread when someone asked you about being literal and not taking the bible literally.    ; it seemed to me that it would be impossible for you to take the bible literally when there are clear inconsistencies!  I think it is neat and wonderful that you "get" metaphor and allegory - once gotten, it is clear, obvious, and hard to imagine anyone seeing something so clearly not literal as literal!!!

 

Most autistics are drawn to science (you know that clear discipline that speaks of things like the various scenarios for the creation of the universe), but anyway, I got to that part a bit

after I was drawn to it. Things like the world being around for 10,000 years, well I can't buy those and the various arguments. OTOH, I would say that religous viewpoints in high functioning autistics hasn't been studied in any meaningful way (as religious viewpoints in the general population have really only been surveyed, for the most part). Still I think it would be part of my genetic makeup NOT to take the Bible literally because fo the various incongruities, scientific (by today's standards) inaccuracies, and inconsistencies.

That said, I know of a "guy", as I said, who is fundamentalist Jewish and autistic (as well as hermaphrodite !). He sees no problem with things like putting his lights on timers so he doesn't handle electricity on the Sabbath. So there is no doubt somethign else going on.

BTW, I think most high functioning autistics have trouble with ironic humor, vs other types of language. I haven't heard that metaphor is particularly difficult.

 

I am hopeful that Jim Wallis' book will do as he intends - make progressive christianity a known option to people of faith - and people who would like to be of faith...

 

Me too, I hope to read the book too. Anyway, I hope that people can get that there is a 3rd way. I'd also like to see the Democratic party talk to some of these 3rd way issues.

(BTW, anyone else hear Barak Obama's convention speech? The guy is very young, and a junior congressman-- Ill. I think-- who *is* talking about the third way. One of his statement's that I remember was something like "there are those of us who worship an awesome God in the blue states, and that care for our gay friends in the red states".

He also dealt with moral issues, problems. He had a landslide victory with an opponent who was a fundamentalist Christian and claimed that Jesus Christ would have voted for him. To which Obama commented "I wonder who his poller was". :-))

So perhaps there are some new voices out there?

 

 

--des

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I'm not sure about a genetic predisposition, but I do feel that family of origin and social life experience dynamics play are highly influential upon one's affinity (or lack thereof) to various forms of religion - and of various forms of Christianity.

 

visit http://www.amazon.com and read the description and reviews of James Folwer's famed work, Stages of Faith.

 

The point isn't to be elitist and say that "progressive" Christians are at a higher stage of faith then conservative ones, but rather, it points to how how people think theologically correlates to the various theories of physcological development.

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