Remember I gave a one sentence outline of the free will discussion? It was somehow along the following lines:
Where nobody denies that we are determined, some people think that it is possible to keep a meaningful definition of free will, where others don’t.
What we see here is that Lois keeps arguing against compatibilist free will by saying it is impossible to ‘split of a part of the brain that chooses against it determining factors’ i.e. she supposes somebody is denying determinism here. Nobody does.
George seems to understand the point, but he thinks that it is rubbish. But he argues also again and again in one of the many variations of ‘but we are determined by the brain/genes/neurons’. It is true we are determined by the brain/genes/neurons, but that doesn’t touch the concept of compatibilist free will.
A meaningful attack on the idea of compatibilist free will would be that it cannot bear the burden of our daily praxis of praising, blaming, and assigning responsibility. A useless attack is saying “That is not free will, we are determined”. And not much else is happening here.
Yes, this is absolutely correct, GdB.
The main problem I see in this thread recently (and interestingly not in the sixteen billion prior threads and posts about this topic) is that it’s become a long exercise in straw man fallacies.
The point of this Forum is that it is for discussion, argument and inquiry. Straw man arguments don’t advance discussion or inquiry, since they don’t actually confront the argument. They are precisely identical to theists arguing that naturalists pray to Satan: anyone who puts forward this sort of argument simply hasn’t understood what they are arguing or who they are arguing against.
As many of you know by now, the topic of free will is one which I’m sick of arguing about. In these sixteen billion prior threads and posts I’ve gone through the reasoning, and I’d REALLY like to stop there. I don’t mind people disagreeing with one or another version of compatibalism so much as I mind people engaging in straw manning.
But you don’t need to believe me or GdB on this topic if you don’t want. For more objective evidence, read HERE and HERE. While you will see various arguments against the position, you will not see anyone claiming that it entails a denial of determinism, because it does not.