This-essay is a7811011.htm which is available at the web-site www.essayz.com. See more notes at the bottom. Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay By-Months By-Years By-Words Webs of Like-&-Un-Like ESSAYS <==> Like-&-UN-Like This-One ========================================================== %REWARDS AND PUNISHMENTS 781101 We tend to institute rewards and punishments to motivate people to do what is wise. Often our efforts are counter-productive, because we have perverted notions of what is wise, or perverted notions of how to promote wise behavior. Technocratic attempts to control human behavior tend to be legalistic and alienative, and so tend not to be wise. Systems of rewards and punishments create artificial learning environments in which people adapt to the artificial environment. If the environment is perverse the adaptive behavior will tend to be perverse. People tend to rebel against elements of the natural environment under the mistaken notion that they are occasioned by human choices. Some people may not be aware that some of their environment is subject to change by human choice, and some features of their environment can not be changed by human choice. Such lack of awareness can lead to tragic results. Children ten to live in an environment of rewards and punishments, one created by their parents. Because of this fact, part of the painful task of growing up is the process of learning which features of the environment are created by human choice and which features of the environment are beyond change through human choice. The adolescent may find it difficult to tell the difference and rebel inappropriately and with tragic consequences. Excess speeding, running intersections carelessly, drug abuse, careless sexuality, etc. all have natural consequences which are dictated by natural processes--- quite apart from arbitrary chosen human punishments. The adolescent who has been motivated by human rewards and punishments may find it difficult to come to terms with natural consequences. We need to take care when we set up systems of rewards and punishments to motivate human behavior. Will our system confront people with new environments to which they will respond with greater wisdom when they would respond to the previous environment---or will it elicit perverse attempts to use, abuse, confuse, or rebel against the legislated rewards and punishments. What do our rewards and punishments accomplish which the natural ones do not accomplish? (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in www.essayz.com Search for Integrity and Honesty (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================Lines beginning with a percent sign are KEYWORDS for use in ESSAY-System Searches. Their terminal digits are dates of writing in the format @yymmdd#, where @ = a means 99, @ = b means 20, and # = is a within-date essay-count. Links to date-adjacent essays are near page top & bottom.
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