to change some things in the future, but whatever occurs, in
the past or future for good or bad, is lawful.
Most of us don't like some things about ourselves, as discussed
in method #1 above. Understanding and accepting that there
were causes for whatever we have done should reduce
excessive guilt (or pride) or self-criticism, without reducing our
drive to do better in the future. Moreover, developing a self-
accepting way of thinking (credit for the good, less fault for the
bad) can help raise low self-esteem.
Viewing behavior in this deterministic way may make it crystal
clear to everyone that useful knowledge or laws based on
careful observations are needed to solve many problems. That
may be the first step towards becoming a successful self-helper
(and a truly rational or civilized science-oriented society).
STEP ONE: Learn to think like a determinist. Think of all
behavior as caused and lawful. Discover the causes. (This is a
long, rather deep and tiresome discussion of determinism--stick with
it. It is not easy to change how we see the world.)
The ideal determinist doesn't just look for causes. If that were the
case, the person always blaming others or the paranoid who feels
persecuted by someone would be a super determinist. One ideally will
search for the true causes by testing one's hunches. Psychology
may be the only discipline in which the student has a lot of false
beliefs about human behavior to unlearn as well as learning a lot of
new things about the causes of behavior. Throughout our lives we are
bombarded with unsubstantiated or just plain wrong beliefs: boys
should be different from girls, people get what they deserve in this
world, you can do anything you set your mind to do, self-change is
just a matter of setting goals for yourself, there will always be poor
people, masturbation is bad, you have to be thin to be beautiful, red-
heads are hot-headed, the mentally ill are dangerous, men should
earn an income and women take care of the house, and on and on.
Each of those beliefs had their causes, i.e. it was/is "lawful" to believe
those false beliefs, but it is wiser to question the beliefs, to value
seeking the truth. All too frequently we do not question the beliefs
passed on to us. A determinist, recognizing the value of truly
understanding the laws of behavior, would constantly question his/her
understanding of the causes of any thought, emotion, or action.
He/she would recognize our current level of ignorance about human
behavior, the degree of brainwashing done by society and religion, and
the need for bold exploration into the true (proven) causes of
everything. Here's an example.
Suppose we humans are capable of learning to live justly and
lovingly with every other person on earth. That is, assume that the
necessary knowledge will eventually become available and we are