On aesthetic culture: the argument from politics and religion.

Children - it is often said - almost always inherit their religion from their parents, and this undermines the worth of  adherence to it.  If I had been born in Iran, I probably would be a Muslim: if in Italy, a Catholic, and so on. If one wants to know "why is X a methodist", then a large portion of the answer will be "because their parents were": and this can be extended to even larger scale patterns of Sufism, Catholicism etc.  The implication is that the adherence is mostly irrational in the sense that is not a considered decision.
People who make this sort of argument rarely refer to the other obvious case of this sort of vertical transmission, which is politics: children tend to follow the politics of their parents.  Indeed, the two are closely correlated: those who closely follow their parents' politics are likely also to follow their religion (http://skerzo.dyndns.org/particular/web/Libros/Biologia/EVOLUTIVA/Cavalli-Sforza%20Theory%20And%20Observation.pdf). 
What can we learn from this? Why do we have the urge to say that to inherit one's religious beliefs from one's parents means it is irrational, but yet quite often the people who might feel the urge to say say would passionately defend their political views without yielding them up to the irrational at all? Perhaps one might want to say that one's background shapes one's political views (for example, if one has to see one's own parents struggle against poverty in an unjust society, or note that progressive taxation might act against the interests of rich parents) and therefore the "inheritance" here is simply a continuation of exposure to the same life situation.  Some studies, however, suggest a true genetic component (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/21/science/21gene.html?pagewanted=print&_r=0) by studying differences in allegiance between fraternal and identical twins.  Perhaps Gilbert's characterisation (in the words of Private WIllis in Iolanthe) is thus correct -
I often think it's comical--Fal, lal, la!
How Nature always does contrive--Fal, lal, la!
That every boy and every gal
That's born into the world alive
Is either a little Liberal
Or else a little Conservative!
 We are creatures of our own world, and we grow into it festooned with the beliefs and attitudes of those who love us.    Is it, then, irrational to defend those beliefs and tastes when we did not reach them by some logical process ("having thought about it, I have come to the conclusion that Saint-Saens is the best composer, so I will listen only to him")? Whether it is rational or not, the fact is that we all do, for apart from a rather uninteresting set of beliefs, it might be argued, and later I hope to, that all our interesting beliefs fall into this category.  This does not make them less valuable.  How, then, if this is so, are there exceptions - why do people change their minds? Why do people stop believing in God, or start voting conservative? Why, in other words, do people break out of their culture? 
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