For materialism to be a valid theory, human personality and behavior would have to be explicable in purely scientific terms and subject to modification according to the laws of physical science. It would therefore be theoretically possible to precisely predict human behavior and to reprogram personality. Otherwise there could be no science of human behavior. Although most psychologists would now recognize that their profession is not science, some still cling to that appealing delusion.
It requires little common sense to recognize that there could not possibly be a “science of human behavior.” If there were, then for a man to say to his wife or child “I love you” would be no more significant than to say he had an itch or a gastrointestinal pain. Love, an appreciation of beauty, a sense of injustice, and all other uniquely human emotions and understandings would simply be physical reactions within the brain cells, the nerves, and the glands, totally explicable by physical laws, thus as meaningless as a reaction between chemicals in a test tube.
Though behavioristic psychologists such as B. F. Skinner tried for years to convince themselves and others that man is a stimulus-response robot without the power to genuinely make choices—to love or hate, to do good or evil, to be kind or vicious—few retain that opinion today. Apparently one person who still does is Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and the richest entrepreneur in the world, not worth about 37 billion dollars. Gates “believes that we’ll someday be able to replicate intelligence and emotions in a machine But he admits that the joy of raising daughter Jennifer ‘goes beyond analytic description.’” Gates may one day recognize that Jennifer is not a machine.