As a determinist who believes that free will is an illusion, the argument over whether we have libertarian free will or not is somewhat passé. The interesting debates happen over whether we have moral responsibility or not, what any ramifications of this would be, and what approaches we should have to crime and punishment.
The weekly BBC programme dealing with religion, morality, ethics etc., called The Big Questions and hosted by Nicky Campbell, have…
And now for something completely different. This has come through my friend Julian Haydon, and it a great piece of creative atheology, dripping with deterministic wordsmithying I love it. Let me know what you think.
One approach to the growing evidence, and immutable logical philosophy, for the fact of (adequate) determinism and free will as an illusion of the mind is that of the illusionist.
This is a nice little watch. I have a lot of time for the quarantine approach to which Caruso refers.…
‘Trick Slattery, who has written a really good introductory book & ebook on determinism, has produced this infographic comparing determinism…
This fascinating article is from ScienceDaily. It is something I have talked about before with friends, that you can tell so much about a person (or at least think you can) from a cursory look to the face. And, indeed, your brain is doing n awful lot of this non-conscious computation along those lines:
I am speaking at Bournemouth tonight, on free will. It is at the Bournemouth Skeptics in the Pub. Be there!…
Do you jump to help the less fortunate, cry during sad movie scenes, or tweet and post the latest topics and photos that excite or move you? If yes, you may be among the 20 percent of our population that is genetically pre-disposed to empathy, according to Stony Brook University psychologists Arthur and Elaine Aron.
A new light has been cast on one of philosophy’s most profound debates: Do we have free will, and if so where does it come from?
Free will seems pretty obvious. When we make a decision we feel like we’re actually making a choice, not as though a confluence of our genetic inheritance and environmental factors have made it inevitable that we will take the path we do. However, whether this is really the case is much less clear. The more we learn about the factors that cause people to act in certain ways the easier it is to question if there is any choice involved.
The Information Philosopher, Bob Doyle, who has also written a book called The Scandal of Free Will has proposed a two-stage model of free will based on the thinking of William James. I bring this up because previous and infamous ATP commenter, JohnM (John Muze) has been commenting on the Unbelievable forum on facebook about it. It is his knight in shining armour which supposedly gives him the free will for which he argued so vociferously and badly when he commented here.
Bournemouth Skeptics in the Pub have asked me to come and talk about free will on the 9th July. Here…
A reminder to all local skeptics and philosophiles:
I am pretty excited that my biggest talk to date will take place later this month on Thursday 29th May in the Spiegeltent for Philosophy Hour at the Brighton Fringe Festival, one of the biggest fringe/arts festival in the world.
I am pretty excited that my biggest talk to date will take place later this month on Thursday 29th May…
Causality. It is a funny thing. Or not so funny.
A few years back, I took my class, as a teacher, on a class trip to the Historic Dockyard in the naval city of Portsmouth, UK. My school is some 45 minutes walk and a short ferry ride from there. With the cost of coaches, it is important to be able to walk to such places to keep the costs down for parents.
This article in Mother Jones builds on work which I, myself, talked about in my book Free Will? It is certainly the case that we can predict political leanings using disgust sensitivity. As I state in my book (p. 153-4):
I am reposting this one again because it came up in a comment by Shatterface here. ) This was…
So now it is time to return to the idea of homosexuality and Christianity about which I posted the other day.
Having looked at biblical issues concerning the position of deeming h/s morally wrong, let us now look at what makes people h/s and whether it is fair for an all-loving god to judge them.
I would like to give a good synopsis of the current tate of biology and sexual orientation. First of all, it is interesting to note that the drivers for male and female h/s are understood to be often very different. It is not one rule fits all. Furthermore, there are also a whole host of reasons that can lead to h/s – biological, genetic (and epigenetic), and environmental and social.
Let us look firstly at the biological causes and theories.
Brighton Fringe is the largest arts festival in England and one of the largest fringe festivals in the world. It sets out to stimulate, educate and entertain a wide audience by providing a showcase for diverse art forms. Everyone can take part, in fact, whilst enjoying a friendly and supportive environment. And all this in an iconic city with unique cultural heritage.
Daniel Dennett has finally responded (it has been long-awaited) to Sam Harris’s short treatise Free Will. The review can be found at the Center for Naturalism, here. I am going to look at what Dennett says, and what Harris’s idea of free will is compared to Dennett. Essentially, whilst there is lots to like about what Dennett says, there is also much I disagree with.