I like this question because people have such a difficult time agreeing to agree on definitions. The most basic question of all, "What is Free Will" never gets hashed out so that people can discuss it on common terms. So I'm more interested now in just how to define it.
It's extremely difficult for people to imagine their own non-existence (whether before birth or after death), and perhaps the only way that an existing mind can contemplate itself is to…Continue
“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 falsifiable. This criteria has become a fundamental test of scientific validity. Here’s Wikipedia’s definition:
Falsifiability or refutability of an assertion, hypothesis or theory is the logical possibility…
Added by Atheist Exile on March 27, 2012 at 12:00pm — No Comments
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
A rambling post today. Fuzzy brained and foot loose!
I was recently thinking about the concept of free will. It's an idea that has always bothered me, like a tickle at the back of the throat. I firmly believe in cause and effect. I firmly believe in the laws of physics and what they imply. So without an outside force, it makes sense that everything is controlled very directly by these laws. Including us. The logic behind it is fairly simple. I'm guessing it's the complexity…Continue
Added by Atheist Exile on November 24, 2010 at 10:00pm — No Comments
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 February 20, 2010 at 1:30am — No Comments
Humans are essentially conscious minds, bound to material brains and bodies, exploring a material world. The mystery of consciousness has remained a mystery despite all the best efforts of philosophers, psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, neurophysicists and neurophysiologists. There are many theories of consciousness but no consensus.
Because we are self-aware and conscious of our choices, people usually assume we have freewill: that is, until they…Continue
Atheism, free will and scientific paradigms
To me, free will is not absolute or limitless. Free will is constrained by physical laws, ethics, and circumstances.
There is evidence that thoughts arise from diverse modules within the brain. These diverse sources of thought, within the brain, are integrated somehow (i.e. in the brain’s electromagnetic field) and passed back for a decision. It’s the decision – yes, no, maybe, I don’t know, not yet, if…Continue