All Blog Posts Tagged 'determinism' (27)

Free Will Without Dualism

Reductionism

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…

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Added by Atheist Exile on October 23, 2013 at 8:00am — 29 Comments

The Bankruptcy of the Free Will Defense

Intro:



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.…

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Added by Ben on December 21, 2012 at 9:10am — No Comments

Why Hard Determinism Fails

Determinism and Reciprocal Causation

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…

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Added by Atheist Exile on March 27, 2012 at 11:00am — 6 Comments

Emergent Properties of the Human Brain (continued)

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…

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Added by Atheist Exile on January 16, 2012 at 8:06am — No Comments

Emergent Properties of the Human Brain

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…

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Added by Atheist Exile on December 29, 2011 at 3:30am — 12 Comments

Three Conundrums of Free Will

Introduction:

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)…

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Added by Atheist Exile on December 17, 2011 at 12:30am — 8 Comments

Self-determinism: Manipulating events

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…

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Added by Atheist Exile on December 12, 2011 at 1:00am — 16 Comments

Dancing with Causality: Purposeful Steps

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…

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Added by Atheist Exile on December 9, 2011 at 6:02am — 14 Comments

Free Will

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…

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Added by R K Sudan on July 22, 2011 at 9:00am — No Comments

Metacognition

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…

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Added by MCT on January 21, 2011 at 1:06am — No Comments

Do You Value Life Or Death? Think About It.

‎"We'll look back on this 50 to 100 years from now- we'll shake our heads and say, 'What were people thinking? They took these people who were very nearly viable, just barely dysfunctional, and put them in an oven or buried them under the ground, when there were people who could have put them into cryopreservation.'"-Max More, New CEO of Alcor

Added by MCT on January 20, 2011 at 1:42pm — 9 Comments

Choice

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…

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Added by MCT on January 20, 2011 at 5:00am — 27 Comments

So who has some time to kill? (Substance dualism) (This would make a great episode of the podcast btw)

Ok so here's the deal. I made a topic on whether or not the soul exists on another message board. I got a guy that suggested I read his page.



Here's a link to a possibly updated page, )you can type it into Google, minus the HTTP// part, then click cached, to view the old copy I looked at if he does update it.)



http://sophoslogos.wordpress.com/2010/04/12/the-mind-body-problem/



Ok so… Continue

Added by Cory Silver on January 5, 2011 at 6:31am — 1 Comment

Free Will: Redux

Many great minds, through the centuries, have tried, without success, to solve the free will versus determinism controversy. I believe this controversy has persisted because it is a false dichotomy stemming from the assumption that free will must be independent of, or opposed to, causality. As I'll try to explain, free will is produced when human intelligence interacts with the world around us (causality). There is no conflict between free will and causality/determinism. No dualism. It's… Continue

Added by Atheist Exile on October 1, 2010 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Determinism Irrelevant

Years ago I decided that the issue of "free will vs. determinism" is irrelevant to questions of ethics, and untestable with respect to matters of science. Since then I have tried to avoid wasting time on it. But it comes up every now and then in Freethinker circles, and many people are lured into arguing at length over it.


Our ordinary practice is to ascribe "free will" to beings which are conscious and intelligent. "Conscious" meaning that they have an internal…
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Added by John B Hodges on July 7, 2010 at 2:33pm — 13 Comments

Free Will Explained

Free Will Explained

This post takes may latest arguments for free will and tries to address all the feedback I've received recently.


Determinism is the principle that causality is responsible for all events in the universe: that everything is determined by causality.



Free will is a more slippery concept than is determinism and has different meanings to different people. This essay… Continue

Added by Atheist Exile on March 3, 2010 at 9:00pm — 6 Comments

Free Will and the Bible

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,…

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Added by Atheist Exile on March 3, 2010 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Divine Contradiction

On one hand, theists claim that god gave man free-will and that this omnipotent divinity does not assert its power over ones will and choices (because if it did than one would not have free-will), while on the other hand, some theists simultaneously claim that god answers prayers, performs miracles, and in general, intervenes. I find these two claims to be rather contradictory. Let’s first define some terms and then… Continue

Added by TJMorgan on January 13, 2010 at 6:36pm — No Comments

Early Morning Musings, and Free Will

I got up early this morning (around 7.30 or so -- that's early for me) to watch my little sister until my mum got home from work. What with the recent weather (storms and rain for three days, yay!) I've actually managed to get some decent sleep. With that came very vivid dreams, including one lucid one that I remembered for at least two days. Anyway, my mind is insanely full early in the morning like this, and for my tired state I think I'm fairly coherent right now, so I'm going to explain my… Continue

Added by ThorsDecree on July 29, 2009 at 8:35am — No Comments

The no free-will bus campaign

The no free-will bus campaign

The no free-will bus campaign is going international! Featuring, "There's probably no free-will, now stop worrying, as if you had a choice." advertised on the side of buses.

Added by TJMorgan on April 9, 2009 at 6:30pm — 2 Comments

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