Neuroscience’s failing attempts to measure free will
|November 26, 2017||Posted by News under Intelligent Design, Mind, Naturalism|
Which, in the context, can only mean naturalist efforts to identify free will as an illusion, like consciousness, that evolved to help spread our selfish genes. From Ari N. Schulman at Big Questions Online:
For example, let’s say I decide not to commit murder. My decision is rational not only because I have deliberated about the reasons not to do it, but also because my decision flows from a character that has been formed in a rational way. When faced with the choice to murder, my dispositions have already been shaped, e.g., by membership in a society that professes to value human life, by individual reflection, or by both. And if this is the case, then when confronted with the choice to murder, my decision is not simply the result of a logical process of deliberation but also a response to a well-formed impulse — something that might well appear from a neurological perspective to be a “real-time read-out of neural precursor activity.”
In other words, Haggard offers a convincing case for the measurability of a reasons-responsive impulse to act. But he has not shown why the existence of such impulses must doom human freedom. Why, when faced with a choice — whether to kill, for instance — am I confronted with this impulse, this sense of will? Might it not be central to the work of a free, rational agent to interrogate and reshape these responses?
Neuroscientists continue to claim that they have annexed free will to their domain. But, at least for now, freedom belongs still to the philosophers. More.
If you think that freedom still belongs to the philosophers, it belongs to you If you think that it now belongs to the neuroscientists, it belongs to the government.
See also: Philip Cunningham on determinism vs free will “George Ellis stated much the same thing when he noted, in Einstein’s denial of free will, that if Einstein did not have free will in some meaningful sense, then he could not have been responsible for the theory of relativity – it would have been a product of lower level processes but not of an intelligent mind choosing between possible options. … ”
How can we believe in naturalism if we have no choice?
Post-modern science: The illusion of consciousness sees through itself