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Why Do People Do What They Do?

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Posted 20 March 2014 by Chris FarmerChris Farmer

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Why do people do what they do?

Here is a question that has puzzled mankind since the dawn of time.

Why do people do what they do?

In answer to that question you are often given a false alternative.

Social scientists say that "people do what they do because of either their nature or their nurture; or a combination of the two."

Their nature or their nurture. Which is it???

"Their nature"

is defined as factors such as: their DNA; their genetic predisposition. Their physical typology; their gender.
You hear it said that men cannot multitask, but women can. You hear people say men are logical and women are emotional. This type of comment is deterministic.

Your behaviour is a function of your genes. That is the claim.

So you hear people claiming that nature; biological determinism; inheritance; is the cause of your behaviour. This idea was popularised by Francis Galton and is the basis of the pseudo-science called "eugenics." The theory of eugenics states that your talent, character, intellect, disposition, and other aspects of personality are determined by heredity.

Similarly, a tendency to crime, evil, vice, alcoholism, stupidity, rashness and criminality are inherited.
In other words, if Sid is a burglar, it is not Sid's fault.
Sid was programmed by nature to be a burglar.

Some people claim this to be true. And they mean it.

We call this view biological determinism.

There is a second form of determinism.

The second type we will call Social determinism.

Social determinists claim that you are determined by your upbringing.
Social determinism is the idea that states that your actions are programmed into you by, your parents, your school, your church, your friends, your TV, your newspaper, etc.
Who programmes your parents to programme you? Their parents, of course!
Social determinists claim that if you are a burglar, it is because of your upbringing. And if you are a shoplifter, it is the shops fault for raising your expectations.

If Bert is a thief, it is because "society" made him a thief.

This is social determinism.

In other words, if Sid is a burglar, it is not Sid's fault. He was programmed by Society to be dishonest.
Some people claim this to be true. And they mean it.

The third group

is the people who haggle over the balance of power between social determinism and biological determinism.
They haggle over details.
Nature or nurture? Nature or nurture?
I am sure you have heard people argue that point.
You have probably argued it out yourself.
All three arguments presuppose some form of determinism.
Either biological determinism or social determinism or both together?

But wait!

There is a fourth answer.

The fourth answer

is Free will.

You are not determined, you have Free Will.

Some people argue that both forms of determinism, (biological and social determinism) are false theories.
Determinism may be true for animals; spiders, alligators, rats. But they are not true for humans.

Why not?

Because Humans philosophise. Humans are unique: in that they have a brain capable of forming concepts and building a philosophy. Humans are the only philosophical animal on the planet. And because humans philosophise, humans have free will.

Humans are the only animal on the planet with free will.

It is based upon their ability to philosophise. Humans are the only philosophical animal on the planet.
Philosophy is the key distinguishing characteristic that separates you from every other animal on the planet, including the higher apes.

You are a philosopher.

Philosophy is what makes you human. Philosophy is what gives you your:
Art, your Music, Your literature, your Science, your Religion, your sense of Ethics, Politics, Economics, Morals and sense of history.
No other animal on the planet has philosophy and no other on the planet has free will.
You develop your philosophy by the creation of your own ideas. And nobody can force your mind to accept an idea as true or false.

Mind control is not possible.

You control your mind.
You control your philosophy.
You are in control of you.
Sid is in control of Sid.

In other words, if Sid is a burglar or a thief, it is Sid's fault.
He was NOT programmed by Society to be dishonest.
He can't blame the government. He cannot blame his parents. He cannot blame his Genes.
Sid is responsible.

We are all the cause of our own actions.

You are the cause of your actions.

If you are a champion, that is your achievement.
If you are not, it is your responsibility to make yourself a champion.

Don't blame your parents.
Don't blame society.

Refine your philosophy.
You are in charge.

Make yourself a champion.

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