Re: What Is Behaviour?

From: Haseldine, Philip (
Date: Sat Mar 02 1996 - 14:01:01 GMT

In response to HOLMES Sharon' response to a line of thought originated
by Jennie Dock, I disagree with the behaviourist view that we do not
have free will- that are actions are (predetermined ?) selections from
a vast array of responses for different situations which we may
encounter. I believe that we ARE free- "free to do whatever [we] want,
and [we can] sing the blues if [we] want...". This is getting into
philosophy and theological determinism and all that stuff, but my
personal view is that a creator (whom I believe to be God) created us
not with are lives already mapped out on pages of the "Book of
Destiny", but with FREE WILL. We are human beings, not machines. There
is no way that you can write a program for a "machine" with an infinite
number of actions/behaviours to prepare for the infinite number of
permutations for what will happen to us, or what we will cause to
"happen" for us in the future,that is unless of course, you are God,
and thus you have some form of "deistic licence". I realise that I have
just contradicted my statement that we are humans and not machines-
maybe we are both?!! Maybe we were designed by a master machine
programmer, whose programs are so widely enveloping but also incredibly
specific, and who makes us as machines who believe that they have free
will, but this notion is an illusion, and God really did, in a way,
predetermine everything that occurs in our lives, including our thought
processes as to how we recognise Mr. Malone as our old maths teacher,
and how we know that 2+5=7, etc.,etc. and who is sitting there rubbing
his hands as we try and work out how we do these things.

Philip Haseldine,1st Year Honours Chemistry student.

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