Simon Mathews
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Simon Mathews's Discussions

Is free will compatible with determinism?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Simon Mathews 3 minutes ago. 17 Replies

I recently read a book called Freedom Evolves by the philosopher Daniel Dennett. In it, he puts…Continue

Tags: cognition, dualism, philosophy, materialism, will

Do the "New Atheists" have the right approach?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Nerdy Keith Sep 2. 4 Replies

By New Atheists I mean figures such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Lawrence Krauss and the late Christopher Hitchens.The thing that characterises these people for me is their combative and sometimes…Continue

Tags: dawkins, atheists, new

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Latest Activity

Simon Mathews replied to Simon Mathews's discussion 'Is free will compatible with determinism?'
"Hi Belle, Thanks for the book recommendation. I understand what you're saying about choices being limited by circumstance. It is certainly true that we cannot control the circumstances into which we are born and, often, brought up and that…"
3 minutes ago
Reg The Fronkey Farmer replied to Simon Mathews's discussion 'Is free will compatible with determinism?'
"....apologies Simon....I will go back in time and change my mistake......"
9 minutes ago
Simon Mathews replied to Free_yourmind's discussion 'From unshakable faith in Islam to absolute denial of it.'
"Welcome. I am heartened by the number of people who, when leaving a religion, use the words freedom and relief. I think a lot of religious people feel scared at the idea of letting religion go, which is understandable. From what I read, though, most…"
9 minutes ago
Simon Mathews replied to Simon Mathews's discussion 'Is free will compatible with determinism?'
"Yeah, it's a tough read. I had to read it three or four times before I felt I was somewhat on top of it. It's one of those books where as you read it you think you understand it and then you get to the end and realise you couldn't…"
19 minutes ago
Simon Mathews replied to Simon Mathews's discussion 'Is free will compatible with determinism?'
"I understand where you're coming from but I think it's important to not mix the idea that the term "free will" is not coherent with the idea that we do not have free will. This may seem contradictory but the…"
22 minutes ago
Simon Mathews replied to Simon Mathews's discussion 'Is free will compatible with determinism?'
"I agree also that free will is one of those terms that means something different to everyone who uses it."
26 minutes ago
Ari replied to Simon Mathews's discussion 'Is free will compatible with determinism?'
"Free-will is an abstract thing to me. It doesn't appear that we make any choice without some form of restraint. Does it really prove that someone has free-will when they keep there hand in the fire when it hurts? We haven't really…"
2 hours ago
Unseen replied to Simon Mathews's discussion 'Is free will compatible with determinism?'
"Free will is a nonsensical concept."
4 hours ago
Reg The Fronkey Farmer replied to Simon Mathews's discussion 'Is free will compatible with determinism?'
"I agree Robert that maybe "free will" is not the most scientific word. “You imagine a fictional mental construct called “free will” which is kind of like believing in leprechauns or UFO’s to a cognitive…"
13 hours ago
Reg The Fronkey Farmer replied to Simon Mathews's discussion 'Is free will compatible with determinism?'
"@Matt – Kudos on getting all the way through the book. I am an avid book reader yet it took me about six months to start it after I bought it and another 3 months to finish it as I had to take a break from it and read other stuff in between. I…"
13 hours ago
_Robert_ replied to Simon Mathews's discussion 'Is free will compatible with determinism?'
"I think a most common context across the centuries is that free will is a divine gift that distinguishes us from plants and animals and that we are responsible to decide our eternal fates. Without the supernatural element we…"
13 hours ago
Belle Rose replied to Simon Mathews's discussion 'Is free will compatible with determinism?'
"I believe that our choices are determined for us, and then we make choices based on a limited number of options. If we have been randomly lucky enough to have been given more opportunities from very early in life AND been fortunate enough, and smart…"
15 hours ago
Davis Goodman replied to Simon Mathews's discussion 'Is free will compatible with determinism?'
"Do you believe that free will is necessarily wrapped up in some supernatural force?"
16 hours ago
Reg The Fronkey Farmer replied to Simon Mathews's discussion 'Is free will compatible with determinism?'
"I have the choice of which shirt to wear at a point in time. However I am only in the position to make that choice because of past events that we can keep regressing back on. I had to have purchased the shirts at some point in the past which was…"
18 hours ago
Erock68la replied to Simon Mathews's discussion 'Is free will compatible with determinism?'
"I tend to lean toward Robert's view.  I think we are biological machines functioning within the parameters of our physical forms and within our finite environment with its limited choices (red shirt or blue shirt, decaf or regular,…"
19 hours ago
_Robert_ replied to Simon Mathews's discussion 'Is free will compatible with determinism?'
"Free will to a biological entity seems rather limited. Did anyone here get to decide their DNA code, body type, intelligence level? OK so you are pushed out into the world basically helpless for years.... see any free will there? Can you control…"
20 hours ago

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Your Religious Status
Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic
About Me:
I am a non-religious person who is interested in the debates between religious and non-religious people, particularly those involving how to choose which religion is the "true" one.
Age
36-40
How did you hear about Think Atheist?
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