The three variables which determine human behavior.

1. Past history of conditioning or learning.

I think we can agree that for the most part when we come into this world we are virtually a blank page. Hour by hour, day by day, week by week, month by month and year by year the environment fills up this blank page. Schools, churches, friends, parents, and any other part of the environment we interact with puts it’s imprint, teaching or fills up those blank pages. In china, its no surprise they speak Chinese, in Germany, of course they speak German. Not only do they speak the appropriate language, but also they learn most of the individual elements of their culture. If you break it down even more, they learn the peculiarities of their neighborhoods. I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. We are products of our environment. Yes, I know the one about one brother becomes a priest and the other a criminal. You get caught by saying they both lived in the same environment. There is no such thing as “the same environment’. The brothers each have very unique experiences growing up.

2. Conditions that are present at the time of the behavior.

People don’t usually speak if there is no one there to speak to. We think these people as being rather odd. People usually don’t poop on the living room floor. They look for a bathroom. People don’t usually try to drink from a stool. They look for a fountain. People don’t talk at hearing end of a phone. Now, often one will see a little baby do many of the above behavior. Why”, they have not learned the appropriate behaviors for these situations. As time goes on and the baby interacts with people and the rest of the environment, he/she learns the appropriate behavior for the various situations. All of these behavior in 1.and 2. above are very simple behaviors which is a good place to start to see that are a function of something. That something is Past history of learning and the Conditions present at the time of the behavior. If one is unable to see how these simple behavior are learned put forth in certain environments then there is no need to go into much more complex behavior at this time.

3. Level of deprivation or level of need.

This one is more difficult to see at times. The old saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”, is not true. All you have to do is wait until the horse is thirsty, or in need of water, and he will drink. If you just finished with sex, usually one needs to wait a bit for the next round, or have the need build up a bit. Unless you are 14 to 25 years old. They have a high level of deprivation much of the time. If you are thirsty, you will drink. If you are hungry, you will eat given there if no incompatible stuff going on. Usually, a rich man will not sleep under a bridge. He can get a hotel or go home. He does not have much deprivation for shelter at this time.
Now, it is the interaction of these three variables that determine if a behavior is engaged in. It appears very simple, but it gets very complex . But, its brief and to the point without philosophy entering into it at this time.

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I believe that one way it is put is that the mind (and consciousness) is an emergent property of the brain.
I believe that one way it is put is that the mind (and consciousness) is an emergent property of the brain.

Emergence is the popular theory right now for consciousness and I admit that I like it. It fits in well with everything else we know. Calling the mind "software" is a bit simplistic.
The mind/software analogy is good for first approximations, but is simplistic, as most analogies tend to be. Maybe by the time we come up with software which is capable of emergent properties itself, it'll fit better.
Agreed. As Roger has said he he didn't know much about the brain, the analogy was more for his benefit and his assertion that the brain and the mind were one and the same. However, I don't know that much about the brain, but I do have intense interest in the subject. They won't give me a PhD for that, though. Academia Nazis!
I have a question for you. Who is the you that is conscious of any given item? Is there a little man living inside you that is conscious of whatever,like the rain, the car, the dog? Is there a you and what you are conscious of? Sounds like two thing to me. I am suggesting you are what you are conscious of. I know most people don't like these kinds of questions. Make them think to hard. Even gives them a headache. That's about those that really think about the question. Then there are those who simply dismiss it out of hand.
Tell me why it is so hard to accept that the self is ever changing and that the I or self is actually whatever they are responding to at the moment? I know we all like to think of ourselves as a separate entity, an individual, We are the only beings in the ever changing universe that have a unchanging and static I or self. I can't remember the actual figures anymore, but our blood is all new in x time, our flesh is all new in x time, our bones are all new in x time. the time varied from a few hours to about a year for the various parts.And of course the brain is changing second by second. this seems very close to the good old soul trip. I know we are stepping on sacred cows here.
You are so right Michel about me not able to operate like my definition of self. Remember, I was raised in this culture also. I've got all the normal self deceptions everyone else has. I think the only difference is I can conceive or imagine no real static Roger. In my saner moments, their is no real Roger. It is usually when I am completely involved with something. there is no longer a Roger, just what I am involved with. I hope that makes sense to you.
Tell me why it is so hard to accept that the self is ever changing

I have no problem with that. I am not the same person I was 20 years ago. Or 10 years ago. Or even a year ago. The longer the time frame, the larger the difference. My own little evolution!
It doesn't make my head hurt Roger. I think about things of this nature and this very thing you ask now quite a lot. Michel's response is good enough for me in answering your question.

On a more personal note, I do not believe in a soul or a distinction between my body and my mind. Because of how people perceive the world, the colloquial usage of terms can make it seem as if people are making a distinction (and for the laypeople, they probably are), but this is no different than evolutionary biologists speaking in a manner that would seem to indicate they are saying that evolution is directed, possibly by the animal itself!

The mind is what the brain does. That is as simple as it can be put.
Reggie. Does what I wrote to michel present you with another view? I know its quite a jump.
About a static versus dynamic self? If so, my partial reply is above.
For Michel and Reggie Well I think we got as close as can be with this last discussion. Is there anything you would prefer to discuss. Be my guest.


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