Knowledge – Belief – Behavior

Knowledge, Belief and Behavior

Knowledge is no guarantee of right behavior. Knowledge by itself is a man sprinting on one leg. It has an insuperable weakness in that knowledge and the corresponding response to knowledge have an arbitrary nature about them. I may appear to behave according to what I know, but I frequently do not. Some say knowledge is power. Potential power perhaps, but as it effects behavior it is essentially impotent. Examples of behavior contrary to knowledge abound. I have a theory; all behavior, functional and dysfunctional, is compulsive. By that I mean that there is something in us that is so compelling that knowledge alone is an inadequate motivation. I really want to do one thing but contrary to what I want to do, I do its opposite. I really do not want to do something but in the end I do it anyway. Exterior pressures may exert considerable influence, but in the final analysis even these pressures are inadequate masters of behavior.

As a form of knowledge, coping skills abound to modify behavior sufficiently to avoid certain consequences. But like a too short blanket, coping skills can be tugged first one way then another, as needed, but in the final analysis they are still too short.

I would suggest that it is only as knowledge is coupled with belief that it is possible to run on two legs. Behavior is the sum total of what is believed, and will not allow of aberrant acts lest a verdict of incompetent by virtue of insanity be rendered. Believing is behavior. Behavior is the proof of believing. That is why judgment according to what one does is justice. Behavior is the infallible proof of what is believed. Note that behavior is proof of what is believed, not whether they believe or not. Do you wish to know what a man believes? Watch what he does.

Would you change behavior? Address what is believed.