Intelligent Design Naturalism

At Mind Matters News: Trying to disprove free will shows that materialism doesn’t work

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Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor’s view: If you have a metaphysical theory and it contradicts science, logic, and everyday experience, then your metaphysics should be abandoned:

Free will deniers live their lives as if free will is real — they make moral claims, they believe they can convince other people to change their minds by rational arguments, they acknowledge the concepts of justice and injustice, they give credit or blame for good or bad conduct, etc. The least we can ask of materialists is that they live according to their “beliefs” (which they deny they have — it’s just states of matter after all!). But if you really don’t believe free will is real, you can’t logically praise or blame anyone. You can’t adhere to any moral standard. If free will isn’t real, them murder has the same moral status as saving a life — it’s all determined by states of matter and we have no choice in what we think or do. Hitler and Mother Theresa are morally the same — that is, they are not moral creatures at all. We instinctively know that that isn’t true.

Michael Egnor, “Trying to disprove free will shows that materialism doesn’t work” at Mind Matters News

Takehome: To deny free will, biologist Jerry Coyne tries, once again, to defeat the implications of quantum mechanics, neuroscience, and logic.


Egnor and Coyne have often clashed on free will in the past. See, for example,

A materialist gives up on determinism. Evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne undercuts his own argument against free will by admitting that quantum phenomena are real. (November 16, 2020)

Neuroscience can help us understand why free will is real. Physicist Sabine Hossenfelder and biologist Jerry Coyne, who deny free will, don’t seem to understand the neuroscience. Evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne seems obsessed with denying free will. (October 17, 2020)

Physicist rejects free will — and thus fails logic. If we accepted his argument for materialism, we would have to stop believing in it—a curious, self-refuting result (May 13, 2020)

and

Jerry Coyne just can’t give up denying free will. Coyne’s denial of free will, based on determinism, is science denial and junk metaphysics (April 27, 2020)

You may also wish to read: Do we really have free will? Four things to know

4 Replies to “At Mind Matters News: Trying to disprove free will shows that materialism doesn’t work

  1. 1
    AaronS1978 says:

    Jerry Coyne ignores current science! forget about the reinterpretation of libets paradigm

    For example just look at peoples work like Aaron Schurger and several others that have refuted the very experiment that Jerry and people like Sam Harris constantly miss quote. Often deliberately

    Did anybody know that everybody has variable levels of readiness potential and that some people don’t even show this RP when they make a timed based action! that happens about 20% of the time

    Do these people have more free will then everybody else?

    These are important details that are always glossed over and never discussed by these people

    And it’s shameful science that they deal trying to push their ideology versus actually being truthful about what is being found

    Their crap sickens me and I hope they get canceled right along all of the others that are getting canceled

    But I am truly tired of their misinterpretations of the neuroscience

    There are many articles that have recently released within the last two years that contradicts everything these people are saying

    And all they’re doing is causing more harm than they are doing any good

    They honestly do not know if we have it or not and they can’t know

    They have an assumption based off of assumptions about our universe

    That is literally all they have we don’t know what truly governs everything in this universe

    And Jerry Coyne certainly isn’t professional enough to actually be an expert at that

    He needs to shut up and keep his opinion to himself

  2. 2
    William J Murray says:

    Well, in Coyne’s defense, perhaps he could say he’s incapable of understanding the fallacies of his argument and can’t stop his crusade against free will because he doesn’t have free will. He’s just doing and saying whatever mindless, interacting material forces dictate. Which, honestly, kind of appears to be the case for a lot of people.

  3. 3
    AaronS1978 says:

    And in our defense we can say the exact same thing I just can’t help hating him

    And even though in that post Sam Harris says love will be affectively left unscathed he doesn’t address the fact that so will hate and not only that but hate will be given justification, but racism will be given justification, violence will be given justification, and anything else will be given justification such as pedophilia

    They really don’t understand their position and when I read that Sam Harris believes this, it solidified in my brain that they absolutely do not understand their position or they’re just flat lying to you

  4. 4

    Egnor, and generally all how support the concept of free will, are pretty useless at defining it.

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