Some people believe that there is a separation between the causal events of the world, and the consciousness that happens or that arises from such. In other words, even if the mental may be caused by the physical or is in ways correlated to it, they’d suggest that the mental has no causation back to the physical. This rejection of mental causation most often stems from either:
The floomps are a creature not too unlike us (but much furrier). They live in their little floomp village and work together in a civilized fashion. The floomps believe in free will. They believe that any other floomp has multiple options to choose from, and more importantly that all of those options are real possibilities. In other words, whenever a floomp does something that another floomp doesn’t like, that one thinks that not only should the other floomp not have done that, but that it actually could have, through it’s own volition, not done it.
That’s right, I’m creating a much needed holiday. Today, August 31st, is officially “Semantic Shift Day“!
YAAAYE!! WOOOHOOO!!! HAPPY SEMANTIC SHIFT DAY EVERYONE!!!!
It’s the day where we change the definitions of words around for everything that doesn’t exist so that we can officially, only for one day a year, say it does exist!
People often associate the idea of brain implants / microchips with some dystopia where some evil overlord controls the masses by implanting chips in their brain to take over the world with an army of people who are controlled by this mastermind. They fear any hardware that might control, to any degree, the thoughts and feelings of a person. They may even use the term “free will” here,suggesting that such an implant would take away someone’s “free will”.
At first this fear seems reasonable (with the exception of the use of the term “free will” here). No-one wants to be controlled by some psychopath to do hideous things “against their will”. And indeed, if it comes to pass that brain implants can take over a person’s “control” entirely, we need to have some real safeguards in place.
The problem, however, is when we take a technology that can be extremely helpful, and slippery slope it down to some worst case scenarios, and based on those scenarios we reject the idea altogether. This, I think, is a mistake that could be most unfortunate.
* NOTE:The ‘No Free Will Mind Training’ (NFWMT) articles do NOT make the case against free will, nor is that their intention. This training is only for those who already understand free will does not exist and who want their psychology, feelings, thoughts, and actions to align with this understanding due to the various benefits. The use of the term “free will” for these training articles are always using this definition: FREE WILL, not a compatibilist definition (used to evade). If you don’t know why such free will doesn’t exists or what it means that it does not, please pick up a copy of Breaking the Free Will Illusion for the Betterment of Humankind and/or read some of the other articles on this website first, as this training is jumping the gun.
Here is a current list of No Free Will Mind Training articles (I’ve just started):
- No Free Will Mind Training: Introduction
- No Free Will Mind Training: Remembering 1 – Physical Reminders and Writing (you are here)
Also, be sure to bookmark here: breakingthefreewillillusion.com/category/nfw-mind-training/
This NFWMT article will be about some very basic techniques you can use to remember and bring to the forefront of consciousness the understanding that there is no free will. Please make sure to read the introduction if you haven’t already. This post will focus on how to use physical reminders as well as the use of writing to re-enforce the “no free will” understanding and ability to remember at key times.
Straw-man fallacies are interesting because they are almost always intentional, though sometimes they can be unintentional. I tend to think, when a compatibilist (a person who thinks free will is compatible with determinism) uses a straw-man fallacy, that most of the time they don’t do them intentionally – or at least I give the compatibilist the benefit of the doubt. Rather, I think it often comes from a profound misunderstanding or assumption of the free will skeptics position.
So you have concluded that there is no free will (in the sense defined here), but you still seem to behave the same as you did when you believed in such free will. In fact, you find yourself reverting to behaviors that don’t make a whole lot of sense when viewed from the understanding ’bout the lack of free will.
If a dangerous contagious disease that we don’t yet have a cure for starts to find its way into the population, we have to quarantine people who have it. But why do we do this? The answer is simple, it prevents the ability for the disease to spread. But what if a person with the contagious disease doesn’t want to be quarantined? Would quarantining them be something we shouldn’t then do? Should we just let them spread the disease they have as much as they want? Of course not.