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People's Behavior Is Largely Determined By Forces Not Of Their Own Making - With A Free Essay Review



Prompt: "People's behavior is largely determined by forces not of their own making. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position."

Behaviour of the people is mostly determined by forces and sometimes of their own making. So I agree with the prompt that behaviour is largely determined by forces.

Behaviour is the way someone responds to a stimulus. This behaviour can be understood well if we divide it according to different ages. Consider a small child; he learns everything from his parents. He learns to speak, respond, or act just by imitating his parents. So his behaviour is totally determined by force. He learns what is wrong and what is right from the external forces. This in-turn starts shaping the character. For most children their parents would be heroes or role models until they enter a school. If his father is a yoga tutor, the child on being exposed to this regularly will develop a natural inclination towards it. So they behave as their parents do.

When the child goes to school his behavior starts changing. He interacts with many people and again he is influenced by external forces where he starts behaving according to it. For example if some teacher is a child’s favourite, he would want to do what that teacher says. If he likes a friend, he would start moving close to him. Behaviour is starting to mould at this stage and later on it develops fully. This is when one's own thinking and making comes to play. For example if the same child has grown up seeing a smoking father he would have thought smoking is very casual activity and even he can do when he grows up. But at this stage due to his knowledge developed from various areas and his growing ability to think better, he analyses it and realizes it is wrong. So his behaviour takes a shift at this stage. By this I would like to make clear that people’s behaviour will be determined by forces in their early ages and later on their own thinking develops but that is also some way or the other influenced by external force. Since, he actually learns smoking is wrong either through his teacher, friends, media or books.

People might make their own decisions when they are grown up but their behaviour is dependent on their character which has been shaped by external forces from their childhood. Even though they make their own decisions some sort of indirect influence will be there from the external sources. Take, for instance, a man who chooses to start his own company. Primarily it is his own wish, his own ideas and plans. But indirectly it is influenced by some external forces like a current boom in that field and the chances may be fortuitous.

Technology is the greatest force driving the world today. People’s behaviour has changed a lot due to the developing technologies. A few decades back, a child might want to play with his peers on the playground, whereas now he loves to spend time alone playing video games. This might not seem harmful but actually it harms the behaviour of the child. Now there are many articles in the newspapers claiming child suicides and crimes have increased due to the killer serials. So parents are recommended to make their children watch informative programmes and motive safe and knowledgeable browsing under their supervision. So considering all these ideas I would like to conclude that external forces have major influences on the people’s behaviour.

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ESSAY REVIEW

Let me begin by clarifying the meaning of the prompt, since some of the language you use indicates that there was some confusion there. The prompt does not ask whether behavior is determined by forces, but whether it is determined by "forces not of one's own making." The word "not" does not introduce an alternative to "forces"; instead, "not of one's own making" is a complete phrase that modifies "forces." A force that is "not of one's own making" is a force that one does not control. You might revise your first sentence in this way: "People's behavior is mostly determined by forces not of their own making, but sometimes people really are free to act of their own accord, without their actions being predetermined." You would also need to revise the following: "This is when one's own thinking and making comes to play." You could just delete "and making."

Having said all of that, you've understood that the prompt is asking you about whether we have free will or whether our behavior is determined. You claim that our behavior is determined by our parents, teachers, and friends, but you support that claim largely by describing a process of influence, rather than by argument or analysis. When you say a child "will develop a natural inclination towards" becoming a yoga teacher like his father, you're making a claim whose validity depends on the truth of what you are trying to prove. It would be better to present evidence (I've seen a lot of children follow in their father's footsteps) and use that evidence to support your claim.

You complicate your argument by claiming that children of a certain age begin to question the forces that determined their childhood behavior, giving as an example the child who, when he matures, chooses not to smoke as his father had done. This choice, however, is still influenced by other external forces ("his teacher, friends, media or books"). Up until this point, the argument is good, but I think you stop before it is complete. The real question, it seems to me, is whether I am still responsible for my own choice not to smoke (i.e., whether I have freely chosen) or whether instead that choice has been determined for me. On the one hand, it would seem that if I want to make a meaningful decision, then I have to gather from teachers or friends or the news or books whatever information and advice is relevant to making that decision. On the other hand, if my decision really is just the logical consequence of all of that information I've received, is my decision really a decision at all? (By the way, if you are interested in this problem, there's a fine articulation of it in Jacques Derrida's _The Gift of Death_).

Finally, you claim that even though people seem to make their own decision, their behaviour seems to be dependent on their character, and their character has been shaped by external forces. That is a pretty strong and interesting claim and is worth developing, preferably with the aid of a different, better example (the current example does not exemplify what you are trying to exemplify).

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: LakshmiRam
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Comments
Travis_Xu
+1

Hi, EJ:

Obviously, you are an intelligent and insightful person.

But, I cannot agree with you on your interpretation of the prompt.

You have said that ""not of one's own making" is a complete phrase that modifies "forces".".

Instead, I would prefer to interpret "not of one's own making" as another object after the predicate "is", though it seems there is a missing "but" in front of "not".

Travis
July,16 2012

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Travis_Xu
+1

Cannot edit... Sorry for a new comment.

To make a force makes no sense.
July,16 2012

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