The Environment Creates Consciousness

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the News (from “Psychologists and sociologists have long assumed that antisocial behavior can spread like an epidemic, but this theory has remained controversial. Experiments have shown that people often violate the accepted norms of behavior when they see that others do that. The “bad example is contagious” is interpreted broadly: seeing that someone violated one of the accepted rules, people allow themselves to violate other rules.”

According to the “the broken-window theory” of James Q. Wilson and George l. Kelling:

“At the community level, disorder and crime are usually inextricably linked, in a kind of developmental sequence. Social psychologists and police officers tend to agree that if a window in a building is broken and is left unrepaired, all the rest of the windows will soon be broken. This is as true in nice neighborhoods as in run-down ones. Window-breaking does not necessarily occur on a large scale because some areas are inhabited by determined window-breakers whereas others are populated by window-lovers; rather, one unrepaired broken window is a signal that no one cares, and so breaking more windows costs nothing.

“But vandalism can occur anywhere once communal barriers — the sense of mutual regard and the obligations of civility — are lowered by actions that seem to signal that ‘no one cares.’ We suggest that ‘untended’ behavior also leads to the breakdown of community controls. A stable neighborhood of families who care for their homes, mind each other’s children, and confidently frown on unwanted intruders can change, in a few years or even a few months, to an inhospitable and frightening jungle. A piece of property is abandoned, weeds grow up, a window is smashed. Adults stop scolding rowdy children; the children, emboldened, become more rowdy. Families move out, unattached adults move in. Teenagers gather in front of the corner store. The merchant asks them to move; they refuse. Fights occur. Litter accumulates. People start drinking in front of the grocery; in time, an inebriate slumps to the sidewalk and is allowed to sleep it off. Pedestrians are approached by panhandlers.”

My Comment: The environment shapes consciousness and then a person’s behavior, and he is not able to resist his surroundings. The ability to shape oneself according to your desire and decision comes down to finding a suitable environment that would form you. So, free will is to choose those who “mold” you.

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