I hope to persuade hard (absolute) determinists that their position is based on a false dichotomy. Determinism does not preclude free will. It's not either/or: there are other possibilities. I am presenting, here, one of those other possibilities. It's a model based on reciprocal causality. It doesn't claim to have proof: we know too little about the brain to prove how any…Continue
In the philosophical competition of worldviews many Christians use the "free will defense" as a way to excuse their god's apparent moral negligence in this world. Supposedly the value of free will is greater than whatever evils may result from establishing moral beings who have this opportunity to do both good and evil and suffer or profit as a result of it. I've taken the liberty of assembling all of my analysis of this popular move of theirs. Enjoy.…
Added by Ben on December 21, 2012 at 9:10am — No Comments
“An argument which proves too much, proves nothing.” ~M.M. Mangasarian
Carl Popper popularized the concept of scientific falsifiability. He asserted that a hypothesis, proposition, or theory is observably valid only if it is…Continue
In these discussions about self-determinism, some hard determinists dismissively parade opinion as fact. Their conviction trumps their rational integrity. We all need to be mindful that just about everything to do with free will and determinism is, thus far, a matter of opinion.
Almost 400 years ago, René Descartes claimed that, unlike the human body, the mind has no physical properties or spatial dimension: thus it can not be examined in the same way as the physical body. Today, we…
Added by Atheist Exile on January 16, 2012 at 8:06am — No Comments
This post revisits arguments related to free will and complexity theory. I've recently been focused on newer arguments for self-determinism (a compatibilist explanation of free will) but an interview of Daniel Dennett, by CFI, has prompted me to revisit "emergent properties". If you're not familiar with my explanation for self-determinism, please consult my web page at AtheistExile.com for several posts on the topic.
The basic premise of hard…Continue
I've grown disappointed with philosophers on the subject of free will. The great philosophers of the past knew nothing about the brain. Modern philosophers contradict each other. What I've been trying to do is to stick with the knowledge we have and avoid philosophical entanglements and conjecture as much as possible. However, certain philosophical conundrums must be addressed, such as: (1) the false dichotomy of free will versus causality; (2)…Continue
The Internet is amazing. It hosts media of all kinds. Anybody can communicate with anybody. And you can find out anything you want to know. It's huge and complex but we don't need to understand how it works to know that it does. In the same way, we don't need to understand how the brain works to know that it does. Its electro-chemical machinations, while interesting, aren't necessary to understand in order to know that the brain deliberates. That's what it does.
Neuroscience can't yet…Continue
Dancing with Causality: Purposeful Steps
Free will, in the form of self-determinism, is only a big mystery if you allow your thinking to be governed by the centuries of philosophers who have never managed to figure it out. They've been arguing in circles because they've defined "free will" to fit their premises. This is because they…Continue
Recently I came across this interesting research article by Benjamin Libet in Journal of Consciousness Studies (http://www.imprint-academic.com/jcs) captioned "Do we have a Free Will?” Libet, with the help of experiments, shows that our intention to act starts some time before we actually become aware of it. That points towards the fact that humans may not have a…Continue
Added by R K Sudan on July 22, 2011 at 9:00am — No Comments
The cells in our cortex are essentially machines ready to be influenced by the world as we are born. A blank slate, if you will. While there is some genetically programmed organization there from embryological development, all areas in the cortex pretty much do the same thing as far as pattern recognition (see YT video of Jeff Hawkins’ (On Intelligence, Hierarchical Temporal Memory)). What makes certain areas of our cortex perform different functions has more to do with which sense organs…Continue
Added by MCT on January 21, 2011 at 1:06am — No Comments
This is just a very short and simple version of what I have argued as the proper way to understand choice. I believe there is no such thing as freewill. Choice, in my opinion is a causally determined mental calculation that we are all relatively free to make. Freedom and control are relative terms describing a relatioship between entities. Neither can be absolute, ever. Of course we have relative freedom to choose, it is just that that choice is not completely free from anything and not at…Continue
Added by Atheist Exile on October 1, 2010 at 1:00pm — No Comments
Free Will Explained
This post takes may latest arguments for free will and tries to address all the feedback I've received recently.
Free Will and the Bible
Some assert that man has free will. Some assert that all is determined. Some say (as I do) that free will is compatible with determinism. The debate has raged, unabated, for millennia.
Clearly, an interceding God presents problems for free will. However, a cosmic God - a Creator who does not intervene in human affairs - might be compatible with free will if he keeps his omniscience and omnipotence to himself. I,…Continue
Added by Atheist Exile on March 3, 2010 at 8:30pm — No Comments
Added by TJMorgan on January 13, 2010 at 6:36pm — No Comments
Added by ThorsDecree on July 29, 2009 at 8:35am — No Comments