Nov 302017
 

Atheist-believes-in-free-willI 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. Continue reading »

Aug 312017
 

freewill-exists-semantic-shift-dayHi, I’m August 31st ‘Trick and I proclaim that free will does indeed exist.  You may find it strange that I’m saying this given that this is the “Breaking the Free WIll Illusion” website, but the reality is that posts on this website explaining why free will does not exist and what it means are not written by August 31st ‘Trick but rather from a different day of the year ‘Trick, for example, August 30th ‘Trick.  I, August 31st ‘Trick say that free will for sure exists, and am what is called a “free will compatibilist“. Continue reading »

Apr 012017
 

Compatibilist-Incompatibilist-Transformation
If you frequent this blog you know that I pick on compatibilism a lot, and I do so as a point of contention about definitions, focus, and problems inherent when one uses a term in a way that causes a bypass of some serious issues of concern. And though I’m very critical of compatibilism, especially when the compatibilist is not blatantly clear to the reader about what their position is in regards to “just desert moral responsibility” or what I’ll refer to as “strong responsibility” (and does a sort of “bypass” over that issue), I do sometimes like to bring things back to where agreements can be had between the compatibilist and hard incompatibilist. Continue reading »

Feb 182017
 

free-will-worth-wanting

Found by a reader of whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com in the UK who saw this poster in a waiting room:

I was in my GP’s waiting room this morning & my eyes were drawn to a poster on the noticeboard similar to the one below.  Your free will posts have so thoroughly meme-iated my head that it took me a few seconds to figure out the intended meaning.

Too funny! Finally, a “Free Will” that is truly worth wanting (as Dennett would say).

Jan 302017
 

Rewind-Time-AnalogyThere is a common complaint that I’ve heard by more than one free will believer: when asked to think about “if all events are caused (deterministic) and if we could bring back time to some point before a decision was made, could the person have decided differently?”, some people complain that “well we can’t do this”. They note that it is impossible to rewind time or to travel in time to before the decision. They note that we “cannot test this”.

This response, however, is one that misses the point entirely. The point isn’t about whether we can have the ability to “rewind or reset time” or “physically test it”. The point isn’t a claim about time travel, or magical powers over time. Rather, Continue reading »

Nov 072016
 

practical-importance-of-free-willCompatibilists and incompatibilists disagree on how the term “free will” should be defined. Rather than focus of specific compatibilist or incompatibilist definitions, Gregg Caruso and Stephen Morris wrote a paper on what is of philosophical and practical importance for the free will debate. That paper is titled:

Their analysis is spot on.  The abstract sums up their position fairly well: Continue reading »

Sep 262016
 

study-problemsIn this post, I want to tell a little story about how a study can be negligent, and due to that negligence assert conclusions that should not be made. That study is titled “It’s OK if ‘my brain made me do it’: People’s intuitions about free will and neuroscientific prediction” by Eddy Nahmias, Jason Shepard, and Shane Reuter (2013). Continue reading »