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Tag Archives: free will
In terms of free will, I don’t think we have contra-causal free will (free will that actually interferes with and pushes around determinate matter). I think our brains are modular, governed by often contending impulses, and that sometimes–or even characteristically … Continue reading
Or at least I think I have. And I solved it strictly within the bounds of naturalism (a material and closed system multiverse), without any resort to supernaturalism (ghosts entering machines). And I think I can explain it super concisely. … Continue reading
The question. I had a question pop into my head yesterday morning: Why are there no molecule/water dualists in the same way that there are brain/mind dualists? The obvious answer: Because there is nothing at stake religiously. We all presume … Continue reading
Interesting push-back and complexifying of the “it’s all in your genes” meme: __________ And here’s the full (eccentric) documentary of which the above clip is a part (no, I haven’t watched it yet and don’t know anything about it):
Am I missing something here? If contra-causal free will does not exist–and most non-dualist philosophers and scientists insist that it doesn’t, then how did consciousness ever evolve? It’s logically possible that we could all be zombies–though we’re not–without the least … Continue reading
If you answer yes, watching the below video might give you second thoughts. Serious second thoughts. __________ What I take from this clip is that my intentions and actions are things for which the ground has already been prepared, unconscious … Continue reading
This falls into the category of Stop the epistemic power-plays! It comes from a recent article in Scientific American written by Shawn Lawrence Otto: The Founding Fathers were science enthusiasts. Thomas Jefferson, a lawyer and scientist, built the primary justification for … Continue reading
When you think about it, all you ever really have is the present, which the poet William Blake called “the moving image of eternity.” You recall the past in present memory and you model and anticipate the future in present … Continue reading
An article in Seed surveys some recent research on quantum physics’s implications for common sense reality. Here’s the problem: [N]one of us perceives the world as it exists fundamentally. We do not observe the tiniest bits of matter, nor the forces … Continue reading
It’s not just God that’s a delusion. Free will is also. And our language should change to reflect it. That, at any rate, is University of Chicago biologist Jerry Coyne’s opinion. Here’s his recommendation, from his blog today, of what … Continue reading
If you’re an atheist and have concluded that free will doesn’t exist, where does that leave praise and shame? Atheist Jerry Coyne, who does not believe humans have free will, suggests that it leaves praise and shame in the dust: … Continue reading
At atheist Jerry Coyne’s blog, the following statement by Spinoza on free will is quoted with approval: Men are mistaken in thinking themselves free; their opinion is made up of consciousness of their own actions, and ignorance of the causes by … Continue reading
Have you noticed? Contemporary theists and atheists, in their debates with one another, tend to invoke gap arguments that mirror each other. For the theist, God-of-the-gaps arguments are designed to introduce mind into an explanation; for the atheist, multiverse-of-the-gaps arguments … Continue reading
Philosopher John Searle thinks not. _____ And literary critic Stanley Fish, writing in the New York Times, appears to agree with Searle, offering the following as a key distinction between himself and a computer: [I]ts procedures do not track my practice. I … Continue reading
A stunning tidbit from an interview, in The Telegraph, with neuroscientist Tom Chivers: [I]f we are part of the universe, and obey its laws, it’s hard to see where free will comes into it. What we think of as freedom, … Continue reading
According to the New York Times this morning, researchers have discovered a curious correlation between belief (or disbelief) in free will and behavior: [W]hen people doubt free will, they do worse at their jobs and are less honest. This raises … Continue reading
Physicist Brian Greene’s new book just came out, and it’s exceptional. If you want the skinny on what hidden realities there might be behind and beyond our own, you can safely set aside the Bible and just read Brian Greene. And damn he … Continue reading
Consciousness Explained: Spatial Awareness, Time Awareness, Self Awareness, Death Awareness, and Free Will
Below is an excellent BBC documentary on the self and free will. I especially like what Gordon Gallup says at the 11:48 mark: Death awareness is the price we pay for self awareness. If you only have time for a … Continue reading
For those a bit obsessed (as I am) about the implications that underlie the free will v. determinism/fatalism debate, it might be comforting to know that the now deceased author of Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace, was also enamored of the topic. The evidence … Continue reading
Free Will Confusion Watch: Gnu Atheist Jerry Coyne Calls Humans Molecular Puppets, Then Endorses Sam Harris’s New Year’s Resolution
In a blog post this past summer, evolutionary biologist, Jerry Coyne, didn’t flinch at spelling out the implications of strict naturalism for the idea of free will: We simply don’t like to think that we’re molecular automatons, and so we adopt a … Continue reading