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Re: ADD and religion

Re: ADD and religion2012-02-06T18:20:22+00:00

The Forums Forums Emotional Journey Is It Just Me? ADD and religion Re: ADD and religion


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It seems to me that the really interesting discussion about ADD and religion—whether it’s Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, whatever—is the issue of “free will.” I’m no theologian, but from what I can tell, most faiths are predicated at least in part on the notion of free will—the ability to choose right over wrong, humility over self-importance, and/or the ability to discipline the mind to achieve higher levels of “consciousness.” For example, just a few pages into Genesis, we encounter the tale of a pivotal choice made by two people: God told Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit of a certain tree. But Adam and Eve had other ideas. People of faith can argue whether the episode in the “Garden” is myth or history, but there is nonetheless a primordial assertion that choices are metaphysically consequential— an assertion that is reiterated throughout Scripture and routinely trumpeted from pulpits.

Now, according to the “experts”—and our collective experience—ADD affects our ability to exercise our wills. Whether it’s “willing” to focus on a particular subject, or “willing” to control our tempers, or “willing” to get and stay organized, or “willing” to behave in other ways, our ability to choose one behavior over another is compromised. We simply find it impossible—or nearly impossible—to do many of the things we set our minds to do. Instead, we seem to be at the mercy of various impulsions. Or so we say. If that’s NOT true, then we’re just making lame excuses for inexcusable behavior. But if indeed it is true, if neurology CAN trump willpower, then much theology would appear to be turned on its head. How can anybody be held morally responsible for actions he/she cannot control? What if, for example, Adam and Eve acted impulsively —not rebelliously—when they took that dolorous bite? It certainly would explain why many people refuse to acknowledge ADD. The implications of a neurologically impaired “free will” are… enormous.