The Ghost in the Machine, Modern Psychology & Managing Our Behavior “Humanism’s basic view of humankind is that man is a mere “matter machine.”
by Bill Lockwood
Americans seem to be out of control. From the halls of Congress where Democrats continually shriek about President Trump to the kindergarten classroom where children are over-dosed with chemicals to restrain undesirable behavior, managing our behavior seems to be the challenge that we are unable to meet.
Information flowing from psychology demonstrates the same ungovernable behavioral problems Americans are witnessing in the news cycle on a daily basis. “Why Our Kids Are Out of Control”; “Anger Management”; “Sexual Addictions”; “Black People are Out of Control”; “Safe Spaces” on College Campuses are “Creating Intolerance”—fill the headlines. “Rude, whiny, arrogant and violent” mark our actions—from early childhood to college campuses to Congressional Caucuses.
On a personal level, behavioral problems include impulsive self-destructive acts, reckless driving, over-spending, shoplifting, binge drinking, substance abuse, sexual perversions, self-mutilation, lying, street violence, suicide, and more. These increasing patterns of action plague our society.
What kind of coping mechanism is advised by our culture? Since modern psychology largely explains these problems on the sole basis of chemical imbalances remedy is sought by medication, either prescribed or self-prescribed. All of this ignores the the real problem. Our society has long ago rejected any biblical explanation of behavior or a God-given prescription to set our lives on a peaceful course. This repudiation of any ultimate value is overtly announced within the field of modern psychology.
Psychology may actually be defined in two different ways. There is a biblical framework and there is a humanistic framework. Most of psychiatry today operates from a humanistic framework. As a matter of fact, the modern “science” of psychology openly repudiates any biblical model of mankind, opting instead to view man from the standpoint of atheism. And, as in any endeavor, beginning at a wrong point cannot lead to success.
Humanism’s basic view of humankind is that man is a mere “matter machine.” This is the materialistic explanation. The infamous statement from the original Humanist Manifesto (1933) explained man as nothing but matter in motion and the “Christian concept” that man has a “soul” or “spirit” is nonsensical—no such thing as “the ghost in the machine.”
Modern psychiatry is squarely grounded upon this concept—the “biological/chemical model” as opposed to a “moral/spiritual model.” It sees man as wholly and completely a physical machine, a mere mixture of chemicals. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV, 2004) classifies all mental illnesses in this model while openly ridiculing Christianity. That a person has a spirit that returns to God (Ecclesiastes 12:7), is answerable to God, and is distinct from the physical body the DSM calls “foolish and obsolete.” It declares that it is a “misleading dichotomy.”
Since all “mental illnesses” are biologically based, they are chemically cured. The vast majority of psychologists aggressively teach this (see bible.ca). Steve Rudd, the founder of this website, has collected dozens of statements from noted and leading psychiatrists that adequately demonstrate these assertions.
For example, Dean Hamer, director of Gene Structure and Regulation Unit at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, in an article Is God in Our Genes? (Time, 10.25.2004): “I think we follow the basic law of nature, which is that we’re a bunch of chemical reactions running around in a bag.”
The University of Montreal’s leading neuroscientist researcher, Dr. Mario Beauregard, in his 2007 book, The Spiritual Brain, argued that there is more to man than the dominant materialistic doctrine allows. Beauregard asserted that on that model “humans are biological automatons (‘meat puppets’) controlled by their genes and neurons.”
From atheist Daniel Dennett we hear that “a brain was always going to do what it was caused to do by local mechanical disturbances” (1994). And clinical psychologist Ty Colbert says that in order to adopt psychiatry’s biological model, one must “believe in a materialistic, non-spiritual world … the medical model claims there is no mental activity that is due to the spiritual dimension. All activity, even one’s religious beliefs or the belief in God, are nothing more than the workings of the brain” (Rape of the Soul, How the Chemical Imbalance Model of Modern Psychiatry Has Faded Its Patients, 2001).
If the above be the true explanation of humankind, that man is nothing more than a physical collection of chemicals and neurons, then not only does man have no legitimate realistic hope beyond this earth but his very mind is the creation of physics. Freewill must be considered a myth and every action we exhibit is not the result of rational thinking but the bumping together of various atoms in our brains. Responsibility for misbehavior is not personal, for there is no such thing as “mis” behavior—only behavior. Everything can be fixed with drugs to change the chemical imbalances.