8 PSYCHOTHERAPY : SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS chap.
justification of the laissez-faire policy in economics and the imperialistic trend of the time.
To-day, with attempts at more thorough research and less generalization, no disproportionate claim is made for either heredity or environment to explain the development of personality.
In all primitive society there has existed knowledge of the possible influences of heredity. In pre-civilized days reproduction of the species was largely a result of gratifying an instinctive urge and there were only vague notions regarding the connection between sexual activities and reproduction. Though in many cases sexual intercourse was subject to complicated regulations of control, these were formulated for the stability of tribal organization rather than from any theory of eugenics. The unseen supernatural beings who were felt to be in control of the environment were responsible for all phenomena relating to both man and nature, and therefore were responsible for the conditions affecting birth as well as life and death. These forces could make human beings fertile or sterile, give them health or disease, make them strong or weak, visit them with characteristics familiar or strange, helpful or harmful. The parts played by the parents and the child alike were those in which, very literally, they had no control over circumstances.
It is of interest to contrast this naive laissez-faire in respect to sex in primitive society, where the social code and the religious code are practically one, with the prohibitions existing among the religiously minded Hebrews under the Mosaic law. The Hebrew God was still a supernatural being, but if not less whimsical was at least more definite in expressing his will toward men. The commandments relating to sex were brief and negative, but they were as explicit as those relating to blasphemy or theft. It was forbidden to commit