I came across a post the other day by an atheist who seems to be a public speaker, and who runs a blog on ChicagoNow. This post was about the “free will” topic and how he holds a belief in free will. To be fair I suspect that the blogger is unfamiliar with much of the nuance of the free will debate from our little chat we had in the comment section, and he seems like a swell guy. I thought it might be good to respond to his post as some of the things in it are those rudimentary mistakes that those new to the debate quite often make, such as the idea that if hard determinism is shown false, that opens the door for 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.