Epigenetics, trauma, and why it is a crime against humanity.

So I am trying to do a shorter, more targeted topic today, we shall see how it goes. In particular I wanted to talk about Epigenetics, which are possibly inheritable traits not linked to the DNA itself, but found in the “daughter cells”.  More importantly, and specifically to this post is that trauma, fear, stress, anxiety, etc can cause epigenetic damage that has been shown to be inheritable by progeny. This has far reaching implications for us as a species, and when someone is bullied, demeaned, abused, forced to live under constant stress, or has issue with PTS, these changes to one’s epigenetics can be passed onto their children.   So, the moral argument here is actually a very simple one, as we continue to demean others for their race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, intellect, ethnicity, perceived disabilities, etc we are not just harming that person, we are harming their children and their grandchildren, we are harming true innocents, hijacking their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness before they are even conceived. The ramifications of this are truly horrific, and as more folks suffer from inherited trauma and stress, and then we layer more of that upon them when they fail to thrive for all those factors outside of their control, we are damaging the human species.

When I was an active duty USAF Ammo troop, we laughed about how one cannot drop rusty bombs on the enemy, it was cruel and unusual, if you are going to drop bombs then the ideal was to kill them outright and not risk them suffering from tetanus or other infections.  We laughed, because when you job is to inflict harm and trauma, it seemed ridiculous to worry about how rusty a high explosive casing was.  But, due to some level of conscience, it was banned, and I am not against this. But we still view it as okay to bully, demean, and traumatize folks for there difference, and were as one with tetanus aka lockjaw will certainly suffer, the intent was to kill them anyhow (which I do wish we would stop trying to do to each other, has not solved anything yet). In the case of epigenetics, we are traumatizing future generations, harming those who are defenseless in a way that is hard to wrap you head around, because a child who has not even been created yet is the one being harmed. And yes, many who are traumatized may not even make it to breeding, so many kids kill themselves each year as a result of trauma and bullying, of internalized fault, of stress.  But those that do, and who cannot find more peace and balance later, will themselves have children epigenetically pre-disposed to dealing with these issues as well.   That is a true crime against humanity, it infects our very fundamental road map for the construction of our minds and bodies with unnecessary anxiety, stress, and trauma, and that is horrific thing to inflict on a child when we now realize that it is a scientific fact that it does occur.

Therefore, it becomes a moral imperative that we more actively and aggressively tackle issues of mass trauma to populations (we see the results of epigenetics reinforced by cultural ideology and fear in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for example), trauma to individuals and this must include so called “character developing” forms of bullying.  If our actions against populations and individuals do harm over generations not just in the subjective realm of cultural memory, but in the very genetics of the population, then to continue to cause harm is criminal.  And sometimes, with the world in the state it is in, we may very well have to still inflict some trauma to stop future trauma, in the example of ISIS, the damage being done to themselves as well as those who they seek to purge, we must stop it, but we must offer a path for those who did not realize what they got themselves into to get themselves out, if we cannot forgive youthful exuberance coupled with rigid ideology from feeling demeaned, then we cannot effectively disarm them.  But ISIS itself is born out of trauma, born from ideology that views the western worldview has harmful to them, and in the case of those who are maladaptive to the western time obsessed consumerist paradigm, we need to make room for them to thrive as well.  To find harmony in the world, we must expand the dominant paradigm, forgive those who in their pain, trauma, and ignorance caused great pain as well.  For the future of unborn generations, it is time we looked at both science and spirituality, faith and reason, and take the correct knowledge found in all, discard the old and rigid ways, and create together not a utopian future, but a better one.

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