Jul 042016

Philosophical (p) compatibilists believe that free will and causal determinism are “compatible” with each other. They do this by defining the term “free will” in a way that is indeed compatible with determinism. If you have read my blog you will see that I have criticized compatibilism, but that it is always a semantic criticism about the problems with defining “free will” in the way that (p) compatibilists do. I’ve even vehemently opposed certain compatibilist thoughts and attitudes.

With that said, it is extremely important to point out that outside of the semantic disagreement (the words we use to explain things) there is quite often a whole lot of agreement over what is and is not the case between the (p) compatibilist and the hard incompatibilist. Continue reading »

Jun 202016

NDFW1-unpredictabilityI’ve had lots and lots of online debates on the free will topic. I can often tell how new someone is to the topic when I see their initial defense of free will. If they take a compatibilist view with a nuanced semantic, I know that these people are not new to the topic and that we will probably just be debating semantics.

There are a few give-aways, however, of someone being a newbie. I’d like to point them out because it is helpful if you are a free will skeptic who is talking or debating with people who still believe in free will to know where you might need to start. Continue reading »

Jun 062016

illusionism-free-willThere are some people who understand that free will is an illusion, but at the same time say that we should keep the general population within that illusion – or rather, not educate them out of it. This stems from a concern over people learning that they do not have free will, but at the same time taking it to wrongheaded conclusions about fatalism, defeatism, futility, and so on. Ideas that can often have bad consequences.

They might cite studies that were done which create a temporary confusion were the person will display signs of “less free will” leanings after being “primed” by a passage. Continue reading »

May 162016

free-will-umbrellaThe term “free will” is an umbrella term that has a whole lot of added abilities under it that cannot be easily partitioned away from the minds of the majority. It is a term that is simply too baggage laden. This means that it can be used in a narrow way, but those narrow ways do not remove the excess metaphysical abilities that are often inherent in the term. Continue reading »

May 022016

bell's theorem assumes free willWarning: This “free will” post is for those interested in quantum mechanics, and who have a general understanding of the field and terms used within it. 

If there was one theorem that has driven physicists to accept an indeterministic model of quantum mechanics the most, Bell’s theorem would be on the top pedestal. With the acceptance of such a theorem,  certain quantum events simply cannot have a local “hidden variable”. This means that if one is to suggest a cause that we cannot “observe” for the event (a “hidden” variable), the cause  has to be “non-local”. This idea of a non-local cause means that there is instantaneous action at a distance, something Einstein labeled as “spooky action at a distance”.  And though quantum entanglement has been “demonstrated” (but with the loophole I’ll be discussing below), many physicists prefer different quantum interpretations that do not rely on non-local hidden variables, and tend to lean toward indeterministic models which says that there actually is nothing that determines the event. A less common leaning is toward a deterministic model that postulates an almost infinity of invisible worlds. The least common, though still accepted by many, are non-local hidden variable “deterministic” models such as pilot-wave theory (Bohmian Mechanics) – a model I have great appreciation for. Continue reading »

Apr 042016

debate-monsterOnline debates happen both intentionally and unintentionally. I’ve had my fair share of ’em, in fact I’ve had too many debates to keep track of. Many are on the free will topic, and many are on other topics. I  still have them but only when I can find the time, something limited. They are a great tool to get feedback and to provoke other thoughts or ways to go about addressing a topic of concern. They can also be a great tool for spreading information to others. Continue reading »

Mar 212016

compatibilist-qualifiersIt is interesting the hoops compatibilists will jump through in order to qualify their definition of free will in an attempt to make it coherent given any number of counter-points. These qualifiers almost always miss the point entirely.

If you are unfamiliar with the term compatibilist, it’s just someone who thinks “free will” is compatible with determinism. In other words, regardless if the universe is entirely deterministic, or has some indeterminism, free will is something that is entirely compatible with causal processes. Compatibilists build this compatibility by a semantic shift, meaning they change the definition of free will to something that is actually compatible with determinism. Some compatibilists might argue that they have the “true” version of free will, but when they do this, it is done ignoring the abilities the common layperson actually thinks they and others have. Continue reading »

Feb 222016

responsibility therefore freewillI am going to start a “Bad Free Will Logic” series of articles, this first starting with a sort of “responsibility therefore free will” argument.

For each article I am going to point to either part of an argument that has been made by some free will proponents, or an entire argument. A single “Bad Free Will Logic” post may only address one part and why it is illogical, or if the argument is condensed enough I may be able to complete the entire criticism in one post. There also may be different versions of a similar argument that will be addressed in individual posts.

Continue reading »