Friday, May 29, 2009


I Hate It When That Happens

MMI links to a piece that asks, "Why Do We Keep Making The Same Mistakes?" It is an interesting piece, but on a philosophical level it misses the point entirely:
What I think the successful improvers realize is that human fallibility lies, not in a generalized tendency to mess up in every possible way, but in a small number of specific behaviors that recur in many situations. If you can identify these behaviors, you stand a chance of modifying them; or at least watching out for them and slowing down enough to take greater care in preventing their worst effects.

This certainly seems to fit with what you can observe in nature. Nature doesn’t invent each creature anew. It takes a fairly small ‘kit’ of parts and combines them in an endless variety of ways. Legs tend to be roughly similar in basic layout wherever they are found, from a spider to a chorus girl. The lungs in a flea extract oxygen from the air pretty much as ours do. So why should the fallible parts of our make-up and functioning be unique to each individual?
Look, I think that is good advice when it comes to changing some specific behavior, provided a pre-condition is met. That is that we are working consistently to deal with the one very general screw-up in our life - sin. In other words, this works int he context of changing a specific problem when we are Christians calling on Christ.

You will likely note that this is essentially an evolutionary argument for changing behavior. well, all but young earth creationist weirdos will acknowledge micro-evolution, and I am suggesting a micro-evolutionary approach, if you will, to changing behavior.

The bottom line is as long as sin is at play, we will continue to behave in sinful fashion, and after we meet Christ, it requires effort to rid ourselves of such behaviors, and the suggestions of this article can help with that - but it is no substitute for that first step.

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