That’s right, I’m creating a much needed holiday. Today, August 31st, is officially “Semantic Shift Day“!
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!
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.
Some compatibilists think that so long as we can make decisions to “do what we want” that such decisions are sufficient to label as “free will”. They don’t, however, understand the implications of such thinking. Take a look at this excerpt from my book Breaking the Free Will Illusion for the Betterment of Humankind:
Some compatibilists have a different idea of what’s meant by the word “freedom.” They may say that if a person’s thoughts dictate the event (are the antecedent causes of the event), it’s free, but if the person’s thought does not control the event, it’s not free.
For example, they may say that if a person is stuck in a rainstorm and there’s no shelter available, they are not free to decide to stay dry. But if someone is under shelter during a rainstorm, they are free to step out from the shelter and get wet (or not) because they can make the conscious decision to do so.
A contagious brain disease has been infecting various people. The disease spreads quickly, often within as little as a 5 minute period of being exposed to it, and sometimes it draws one into long exposures. Though the disease has had many incarnations, we found a primary host of a very strong version and have rightly named the disease Dennettrhea after this host. The main symptom of the disease is wrongheaded compatibilistic thinking about the topic of free will that overrides any concern over the type of free will that most people feel they possess.
But don’t worry, you can build up immunity to the disease with a good dose of rationality (Rx). The more you learn about the disease, the more you can be aware of the symptoms and through rational thinking prevent yourself from becoming infected.
Though I wrote a book arguing against free will, I just came up with the mechanism that allows free will! It’s so simple:
If you like this infographic please share it around. Educate people on the mechanism that allows free will. First the available options you think about get sucked up and taken to the system which is outside of space and time (of course). They then get thoroughly spun in the contradiction mixer, confusing any contradictory thoughts. Then, of course, they get pulled into a large box of magic dust where they sit for around a year (though since they are outside of space and time, to willer this happens almost instantaneously). This magic dusts gives such it’s magical ability. It then goes through the tubes of nonsense and into the logic removal system which strips any need for logical consistency or identity. Then it goes to the free will decision injector which of course injects the freely willed decision back into the physical realm and into the brain of the person. There you have it, the free will mechanism. And since the infographic shows a picture of it, we can say it’s scientifically proven. Why not. 😉
Have fun with this infographic. All I asked is you don’t change it.
And if you really really like this, you might want to check out the shirt with this mechanism on it!
Also, support my efforts and check out the book Breaking the Free Will Illusion for the Betterment of Humankind on Amazon Kindle today!