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Addiction - 'Addiction is a fine old English word meaning...

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'Addiction' is a fine old English word meaning commitment, dedication, devotion, inclination, bent, or attachment. "Particular addictions may be good or bad. Some folk are addicted to music, others to books, others to walks in the country. Some are addicted to a religious doctrine or community, be it the Roman Catholic, the Mormon, or the Zen Buddhist. Others are addicted to a political philosophy, like liberalism, socialism, or anarchism, or to a 'cause', like animal rights or free trade. "Some people are addicted to another person: perhaps their spouse, perhaps their latest flame. Others are addicted to a habit, like getting up early every morning. Michelangelo was addicted to painting and sculpting, Einstein was addicted to physics, Proust was addicted to writing, Gandhi was addicted to independence for India. Many others, of course, have been equally addicted to these pursuits, but have lacked exceptional talent. "Sometimes addictions fade gradually. The ardent lover becomes the jaded husband, or the heavy drinker of alcohol gradually moderates. Other times, one addiction is suddenly replaced by another: the ardent lover of x becomes the ardent lover of y, or the heavy drinker becomes instead a born-again Christian. Malcolm X relates how converts to the Nation of Islam quickly abandoned any of their former drug-taking habits. "An addiction is not exactly the same as habit, though one can be addicted to a habit. John Stuart Mill refers to 'A man who causes grief to his family by addiction to bad habits.' Addiction is a fondness for, or orientation toward, some thing or activity, because it has meaning, because it is considered valuable or even sacred. In some cases, people may be addicted to something because they find it enjoyable, and this, of course, also reflects their values: such a person believes that the right way to live is to seek enjoyment.
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