I was reading a psychology book, the psychology book: big ideas simply explained, and in the section about BF Skinner they describe his reopening of the discussion about free will and determinism, that free will is an illusion, selection by consequences controls all of our behaviour and hence our lives.
And they had a quote from him:-
"When Milton's Satan falls from heaven, he ends in hell. And what does he say to reassure himself? 'Here, at least, we shall be free'. And that, I think, is the fate of the old-fashioned liberal. He's going to be free, but he's going to find himself in hell".
First of all, what do you think of Skinner's perspective? Is free will an illusion? Is selection by consequences controlling all behaviour and hence our lives? If this is unacknowledged or denied reality, the free will illusion being preferable, does it necessarily follow that comprehension/acknowledgement will make for a better world or are you just stuck in a "hell" and know it?
Next of all, does this, Skinner's "Radical Behaviourism" (which I think could be better labelled consistent as opposed to radical perhaps, for the sake of clarity/understanding) correlate with the other research which is concluding that the self, character and choice are illusions (Such as the athiest Daniel Dennett or other buddhist inspired, or at least referencing, psychological researchers http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Self-Ill.../dp/1780330073) or is that something different being considered?
I have read depth psychologists/psychoanalysts, opposed to behaviourism, which theorise about free will being illusionary, that culture, social imposition of a social character, basic anxiety originating in the family home in early years, attachment and trauma history can all lead to a "false self", contributing to dynamic tensions between the conscious-unconscious all play their part. Does it matter that these schools of thought quarrel so hardily with behaviourism if they converge on the same point?