B F Skinner's Theory Of Behaviorism

Powerful Essays
Register to read the introduction…His discipline argues for the idea that everything that humans are a part of is not based upon free will. Behaviorism states that the law of cause and effect inevitably restricts all humans: that everything we do is not an individual action, but rather that all the behaviors that make up our lives are only our reactions to previous actions (Wilkens). Therefore, seemingly spontaneous actions are not actually planned by our own minds in the moment, and they should be classified as what Skinner calls “predispositions” instead. Behaviorism centers heavily on scientific thought rather than religion, and it even rejects the idea of a soul because it is not something that can be tangibly proven with solid evidence. Instead of trying to connect all the aspects of life to each other on spiritual level like a religious individual would, Behaviorists only care about the hard facts. They observe humans like a science: through repeated evidence and proven results. Because of this, Behaviorists believe the social environments surrounding an individual will strongly represent what kind of a person they become in the future. Skinner believed that certain passions and certain people would shape an individual’s character as time progressed throughout their life. These things are what Skinner calls “stimuli”, to which our brain gives a “response”. The stimulus is received, and our minds decide how to plan out our individual behavior accordingly. If there is a negative stimulus in the environment, then Skinner would suggest experimenting with something that he coined as “positive reinforcement” (Wilkens 62), which essentially introduces something new to the environment with the purpose of improving someone’s character. Skinner sought to shape people’s mindsets to be less self-centered on personal control. However, he was intentional and qualified…show more content…
Christianity is made up of many aspects that suggest the idea that actions are not directly rooted in human choice. Christians term this idea with the name “predisposition”. The belief in predisposition is that God has a plan for each and every one us and that individuals do not have control over their own lives, rather, that everything is predestined for them. Predisposition echoes the idea in Behaviorism that Skinner outlines, that we are unable to truly make personal decisions. Proverbs 3:5 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Christians choose to give up their personal independence and they adopt a mindset that is praised and encouraged in Behaviorism. Behaviorists believe that the flaw of humans is that we believe we are in control of our own actions. However, Christians see that personal capability is only an illusion, and they trust in God to determine their paths for the future. While Christians often rely on God out of fear of the unknown and God comforts them, like in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you… plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”, they are still giving up the belief that they can successfully direct their own lives in a morally healthy direction. The idea that all believers are sent to Heaven and all non-believers are sent to Hell is also an example of predestination, that no matter how good on Earth you are, if you do not believe, you will be condemned. Behaviorism states that all actions are dictated by previous actions, and this is commonly seen in Christianity, which successfully connects the worldview with the discipline. Adam and Eve, who were the first humans on Earth, committed sin in the Garden of Eden at
Get Access