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)
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