There was a famous case of a terrible shooting in 1966. Charles Whitman, an otherwise intelligent (138 IQ), ‘normal’ man, did a very abnormal thing. Charles Joseph Whitman (June 24, 1941 – August 1, 1966) was an American engineering student and former U.S. Marine, who killed seventeen people and wounded thirty-two others in a mass shooting rampage located in and around the Tower of the University of Texas in Austin on the afternoon of August 1, 1966.
Category Free Will and Determinism
I am just about to listen to this but have not yet. H/T Skepticule podcast for this! Let me know…
Researchers have discovered a gene that regulates alcohol consumption and when faulty can cause excessive drinking. They have also identified the mechanism underlying this phenomenon.
I would like to put together a logical syllogism which really expresses the denial of free will through the denial of the Principle of Alternative Possibilities. The idea is that the ability to choose otherwise is rendered incoherent by lacking fundamental grounding reasoning since all deliberation and causal reasons are taking into account when choosing, say, A, so that what could possibly ground choosing B, rationally, in that identical scenario? As Ted Honderich states in the Oxford Handbook of Free Will:
This is a fascinating article which will feed in to a post I will write about my own twins, and the power of genetics over behaviour, with its necessary mitigation of free will. From Science Daily:
Another thing I wanted to add was the idea that the mental, the experiential, supervenes on the physical. This means that the physical in some way defines and is necessary for the mental.
This is becoming more and more evident. Let me exemplify:
How much do you love your mother?
A new Tippling Philosopher has recently joined our group and come to the last few meetings. I was discussing free will with him in the pub, and he seemed to fail to understand how the Principle of Alternative Possibilities worked, and how the incoherence of free will seems insurmountable. Here is the last email I sent to the group to try to explain.
Dilbert doing philosophy. Good stuff! Particularly the last one!
I am presently reading an absolutely superb book by David Eagleman called Incognito:
The book is a popular foray into psychology and neuroscience and synthesises a host of different studies into things brain. I wanted to just bring up a few fascinating studies which cast doubt upon the idea that we have fully fledged, or even remotely authored, conscious free will. It even talks about chicken sexers, which is nice. Rather than produce notes, I have tried to directly link the claims.
A friend of mine on facebook, George Ortega, who runs the causalconsciousness website, alerted me to the website categorisation project known as…
An online friend of mine whom has a real interest in the concept of free will, and all the problematic baggage it brings with it. He has a proclivity for producing adverts for newspapers and publications like Free Inquiry that concern themselves with this erroneous philosophical belief. Here is one such piece from the Free Inquiry which does a good job of summing up the issues with an account of libertarian free will, and how that works in the context of Christianity. Let me know what you think.
Childhood poverty and chronic stress may lead to problems regulating emotions as an adult, according to research published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
In refutation of the argument for “free moral agency,” Ingersoll once used the following illustration, — itself an argument as clear as it is unanswerable: —
“It is insisted that man is free, and is responsible, because he knows right from wrong. But the compass does not navigate the ship; neither does it in any way, of itself, determine the direction that is taken. When wind and waves are too powerful, the compass is of no importance. The pilot may read it correctly, and may know the direction the ship ought to take, but the compass is not a force. So men, blown by the tempests of passion, may have the intellectual conviction that they should go another way; but of what use, of what force, is the conviction?”
As most of you probably already know, my first book was Free Will? An into whether we have free will or whether I was always going to write this book. This has received overwhelmingly good reviews (the only negative one on Amazon.com is from a mental Catholic priest who hadn’t read it and who has been banned from here, as well as negatively reviewing all of my books.
Anywho, I just thought I’d share the last couple of reviews for Free Will?
Not sure if I have posted this one before, but needing to do quick and edifying (hopefully) posts, I am…
I have a comment to answer on the original blog post Libertarian Free Will Defeats the Kalam Cosmological Argument and I thought I would not lose all the work to a comment forgotten in the annals of blog history. So here is the original post almost in full to remind you:
Everything which begins to exist has a cause for its existence
The universe began to exist
Therefore the universe had a cause (for its existence)
This essay sets out to dispel the myth that the soul can be the originator for free will. I will start the essay by establishing the Cartesian idea of what the body is and showing that Descartes and modern biology indicate that the body is a biological machine. After indicating how Descartes (and others) use the soul as the originator for free will / volition, I will show that in order for the soul to be labelled and identified as a soul, it must have the format and properties of a soul. These must be adhered to in order to designate the soul with coherent and consistent properties. To conclude, I will maintain that if a soul must adhere to rules and laws to remain being a soul, then it must operate within a deterministic framework.
After having looked at Randal Rauser’s reasons for being a Christian, and having had my reasons and his defences intensely debated on his blog, I have in a previous post offered Dr Vincent Torley’s account. Some readers may know Vincent from the Uncommon Descent website which attempts to refute evolution. I have argued with him at length when I used to write for John Loftus more often at Debunking Christianity. Here is his bio:
Here is another guest post. The last one by The Thinker has had a thread which has exploded. This one…
A multi-national team of researchers has identified genetic markers that predict educational attainment by pooling data from more than 125,000 individuals in the United States, Australia, and 13 western European countries.