Is Why would we be? a rhetorical question? Then does would describe a hypothetical situation? I think so, but I am 100% confident.

Since the turn of the twentieth century we’ve believed in genetic causes of diagnoses — a theory called genetic determinism. Under this model, our genes (and subsequent health) are determined at birth. We are “destined” to inherit or exempt from certain diseases based on the blind luck or misfortune of our DNA. Genetic determinism doesn’t consider the role of family backgrounds, traumas, habits, or anything else within the environment. In this dynamic we are not active participants in our own health and wellness. Why would we be? If something is predetermined, it’s not necessary to look at anything beyond our DNA. But the more science has learned about the body and its interaction with the environment around it (in its myriad forms, from our nutrition to our relationships to our racially oppressive systems), the more complicated the story becomes. We are not merely expressions of coding but products of remarkable arrays of interactions that are both within and outside of our control. Once we see beyond the narrative that genetics are destiny, we can take ownership of our health. This allows us to see how “choiceless” we once were and empowers us with the ability to create real and lasting change.

How To Do The Work: The Sunday Times Bestseller

  • Is your question about whether "Why would we be?" is rhetorical or whether it describes a hypothetical situation? It will help people answering the question focus on what you're really after
    – gotube
    Nov 18, 2022 at 17:15

1 Answer 1


It's certainly a rhetorical question. Any question in an article or essay must be rhetorical - the writer doesn't expect you to write an answer.

The question refers to the previous sentence. Which states "We are not active participants". It rhetorically asks for reasons for the hypothetical "If we were active participants, why would we be active participants?"

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .