Amy’s Arguments

  • The philosophical underpinnings of these kinds of “Christian” behaviour “training” models do not sit well with biblical theology.

    The more I read about Ezzo and Pearl’s behaviour modification techniques the more I am reminded of Behaviouristic psychology (the works of Skinner, Watson, Pavlov etc)

    Fundamentally, behavioural psychology advocates the use operant/classical conditioning for behaviour modification (neg or pos reinforcement and the pleasure/avoidance stimulus responses they entail).

    From a purely pragmatic standpoint these often demonstratably work – they get results…for example,

    I see the needle + it causes me pain
    I avoid needles

    I eat chocolate = I feel good
    In order to feel good, I eat chocolate, lol

    …but the understanding of human nature behind it is disturbing from a Christian standpoint.

    At the roots of Behaviourism are a worldview that totally denies that people have

    (a) real emotions (such as love, grief, hatred etc.) our internal states are just a sum of the internal processing of our external behaviour, conditioned according to stimulus response

    (b) personality preferences (unless they’ve been ‘shaped’ through outside behavioural control)

    (c) a moral conscience – people simply learn to “react” and “behave” [so much for God’s laws being written on our hearts and minds…]

    (d) original thoughts/ideas – including the ‘big ideas’ like truth and beauty AND God

    (e) self determination or internal self control [just behaviour patterns that have conformed to external reward/punishment patterns]

    (f) a soul (this is ‘superstition’ which we have been conditioned to believe for purposes of social control or it gratifies some conditioned response)

    OK, so I’ve said that in practise operant/classical conditioning works – we all use it whenever we praise our children for doing something good…but to RELY on punishment/reward for behaviour modification or use it as a sole means of teaching/training a child?

    What a naive and Godless conception of what it is to be a human! Methinks of that song lyric – ‘Despite all my rage, I am still but a rat in a cage!” – Amy in Australia

About Hermana Linda
Hermana means sister in Spanish and Linda is my name. I was born in late 1960 to a mother who had traveled around the world and had been impressed at the baby wearing she saw in Africa and Japan. While in Japan she purchased the baby carrier in which she is wearing me in my avatar. By the grace of God, I trusted Jesus as my personal savior in 1983. He gave me a husband in 1987 and 2 sons in the early 1990's. All glory to God.

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