All "YOU" are is a combination of your brain and environment. Two things that we have NO CONTROL over.If we have no control over our decisions, our actions, .. we have no control over life.
You might have no control over your brain or environment, but I do. I can choose to feed off my emotions or ignore them. I can choose to explore and exploit my environment if I want. The possibilities are many and varied.
Fate is possible; Destiny is posible. Put a person with a certain brain into a certain environment and their actions will be able to be predicted scientifically (unfortunately, the brain is still largely an unexplored territory).
Their actions can be said to have a reasonble chance of being predicted, yes, but only in line with certain generalised probabilities, not to anything like 100% certainty.
And this only works in carefully controlled environments, not the real world. Well OK, put a thirsty person in a desert with a flask of water and I'll bet you £1,000,000 they'll drink it, but you see what I mean. In anything more than a 'tow dimensional' environment, prediction of outcomes becomes nigh on impossible.
Actually, I agree with the OP but I have trouble understanding your stand point, so even if I disagree I would very much like to hear your opinions on the matter. Tthe only three things I can think of that affects your mind are your thoughts, environment, and what you got to begin with.
Obviously a person can change drastically, in some cases to the complete opposite personality. But the decisions to do that, to change or control your emotions and personality all depends on your environment and starting point.
About controlling emotions, there would have been an event that triggered the ability or the will to become able to do that. Or you were lucky enough to have your mind set in such a way from the beginning.
The only thing I think is unique about a persons mind is the extent to which it can change. Everything else I see as a product of their environment.
Though in this case the environment is everything that happends to that specific person so this makes every person very much unique, since the complexity of the brain make for almost endless combinations, and the same can be said about a person's life experience.
When you make a decision, you either come to it by calculating or by emotions, both products of the environment. And by calculating what is more beneficial you can do things that contradict your emotions, but what you consider more beneficial is also a product of your environment (coupled with your original mind obviously).
So any actions a person commits good or bad is purely a product of inputs outside of their control?
A mind being able to change is it's only unique quality? Are you suggesting mentally impaired people's brains just aren't able to change?
It does sound quite negative when put like that, but yes. That is my point of view, but I don't doubt for a second it'll change.
And about the individuality of the mind, I belive there is a spectrum of possibilities you are born with, that decreases with time as it becomes set in it's ways. For example a child is generally much more easily influenced then a mature adult with a lot of life experience.
For mentally impaired people they can change, sure, but their spectrum of possibilities is quite small compared to the average person, and it's limits are in other places regarding intelligence, concentration, social behaviour etc based on the individuals impairment.
I do belive everyone's mind is unique, but I also belive that given the right environment, you could give two people the exact personality of the other even if they are initually built different. This would mean controlling every event in their life and is not a study I think will be conducted any time soon, or I would like to see done, but to me it makes sense.
When you first start growing up the one thing you get are possibilities. As you grow older you become molded by your environment, making the possible extremes less and less different and so making each person less likely to end up equal to the other.