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michaelfaulkner101's Avatar Joined over 3 years ago
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Go to: Morality without 'Free Will'

michaelfaulkner101's Avatar Jump to comment 86 by michaelfaulkner101

@Steve Zara and all the rest.

I think we should make three distinctions here about this debate.

  1. Cartesian concept of freewill. Or contra casual freewill, what is known as Libertarian free will. It is the unmoved mover.
  2. There is compatabilism. This is the view that while we are determined we can still be “free”.
  3. Then there is neo-compatablilism. This view pretty much denies the existence of free will in the Cartesian sense, and rejects the arguments for older versions of compatabilism.

Harris is clearly arguing against the man on the street view, which just happen to be the (more or less) the Cartesian or libertarian concept of free will.

I think it is misleading to paint Dennett and other neo-compats as believers of “free will.” Owen Flanagan points out in one of his books that this is just a way of reassuring people. So, I would suspect that Dennett and Harris actually agree on the subject to a considerable degree. Harris is attacking the 1st sense of free will, which, few philosophers, except religious ones, take serious.

I would make a proposal that we drop talk of free will and talk about freedom, responsibility and rationality – this is all we need. For other neo’s check out the work of: 1.Dennett. 2. Owen Flanagan. 3. Susan Wolf 4. Harry Frankfurt.

Tue, 31 May 2011 20:17:29 UTC | #632771

Go to: Why Evolution is Difficult: An American Perspective

michaelfaulkner101's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by michaelfaulkner101

@STEVEZARA That is, i think, the right way to go. We need to batter religion from all sides.

Sat, 28 May 2011 12:24:47 UTC | #631684

Go to: Science and Philosophy

michaelfaulkner101's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by michaelfaulkner101

What you say in your post is true in many respects.

A few points:

  1. There are deeply critical books of religion from "serious" analytic philosophers. See the work of John Mackie (Miricle of theism) one of the best book on the subject. Mackie is relentless but fair in his dismissal of religion. See also the work of Michael Martin (Atheism: a philosophical justification.) and The Case agaisnt Christianty.)

  2. There are many other books by other philosophers just look for them.

  3. Dawkins 747 argument - is an excellent argument. Though your right to say it is philosophical (nothing wrong with that) and that it is very much in the style of David Hume. Indeed, when it comes to arguments for and against the existence of God, it is hard to keep the distinction between science and philosophy.

Sun, 15 May 2011 16:47:22 UTC | #627084

Go to: Who Says Science has Nothing to Say About Morality?

michaelfaulkner101's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by michaelfaulkner101

For anyone interested in looking at the whole fact value thing in more philosophical depth I recommend Hilary Putnam’s collapse of the fact value dichotomy. Putnam argues that the distinction between facts and values should not be seen as absolute. He traces the history of this to Hume, explains what Hume meant and the significance of his arguments. Putnam I think, comprehensively shows why the dichotomy between facts and values is ontologically, methodologically and epistemologically unsustainable.

While it is academic philosophy book it is very easy to read as it is taken from a series of lectures that Putnam gave.

One further points: firstly, not everyone in the philosophical community supports the fact/value distinction. Many of the important developments in late 20th century analytic philosophy directly and indirectly cast doubt on it. Caveat - denying the distinction I should note does not automatically mean that one is a moral realist or a consequentialist - those are separate issues.

Thu, 05 May 2011 10:42:50 UTC | #623280

Go to: 'No place' in the law for Christianity, High Court rules

michaelfaulkner101's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by michaelfaulkner101

I wonder if this is secualr overreach. Surely, the logic here, if followed through, would mean that parents are not allowed to teach their children certain things. If this is the case, then where is the distinction between public and private?

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 09:32:11 UTC | #597597

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