Guide Free will, agency, and meaning in life

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Widerker, eds. Mann, ed.

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A critical survey of a half-century of work on the problem of evil for theism. Chignell and A. Dole, eds. Trakakis and D. Cohen, eds. Adams , L. Jorgensen and S. Newlands, eds. Zalta, ed.

RESEARCH | Derk Pereboom

Quinn, P. I suppose I could confabulate reasons as to why. So a couple of questions.

Simply yes or no please. Inquiring if the causal reason why has to do with conscious wellbeing at base-level. Regardless…on to your question:. Yes — certain conscious atomic configs e. Others conscious atomic configs the consequences are either ontologically good, bad, or benign experiences as they play out. Note that these are descriptive value states, not personal opinion…and the conscious intention is causal not freely willed. Free will the ability can be shown as self-contradictory…qualitative experiences are self-evident.

In fact, to reject them is to leap to a type of epistemological solipsism that rejects all knowledge claims based on empiricism. The feeling of free will is ontologically real. I suspect if you put the same sort of effort into morality and ethics as you did into dissecting free will, I think you would have similar problems with this discussion.

Sam Harris on "Free Will"

While experiential states might not be in contradiction with not having free will for me morality some intrinsic good or bad is. For me morality becomes a non sequitur in the absence of free will. And like free will it is not helpful to the betterment of humankind. But it has been known by many free will skeptics that the one version of ethics that aligns with determinism is a future consequentialist variety. On Sundays at 7PM EST a bunch of free will skeptics join a skype session for an informal discussion about free will and many other topics like morality, etc.

I often join in. We all agree that free will is an illusion and how it is important, but we disagree on a number of other topics some are even pantheists.


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Could use your thinking I appreciate when people disagree with me as it makes for interesting discourse and challenge. Think about it and if interested, connect with me on skype: trickslattery…. No matter how hard one looks for that part of the human soul etc. Michael I agree but I would suggest the divide between heredity and environment is unnecessary. Heredity has been shaped by our environment as well. Free Will Determinism Indeterminism Probabilism.

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The following two tabs change content below. Bio Latest Posts. He's an author, philosopher, artist, content creator, and entrepreneur. He has loved and immersed himself in philosophy since he was teenager. It is his first and strongest passion. Throughout the years he has built a philosophy based on analytic logic and critical thinking. Some of the topics he is most interested in are of a controversial variety, but his passion for the topics and their importance drives him to want to express these ideas to others.

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Log In Sign Up. Matthew Talbert. Published in Mind Pereboom argues that it is very unlikely that we possess the sort of free will required for moral responsibility in the basic desert sense p. That is, people are likely not responsible for their actions in the sense of deserving praise or blame just because they performed those actions, and independently of consequentialist or contractualist considerations that might count in favor of praising or blaming responses.

However, Pereboom is an optimistic skeptic: he believes that our view of ourselves as moral agents and rational deliberators, along with a particular conception of moral responsibility that does not implicate basic moral desert , can be retained in the face of the skepticism he advocates. Pereboom maintains that if our actions are determined by factors beyond our control, then we lack the sort of free will required for moral responsibility, but he argues in Chapter 1 that this is not because determinism rules out access to alternative possibilities. Instead, the problem is that if determinism is true, then we cannot be the sources of our actions in the right way to accommodate praise and blame in the basic desert sense.

Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life

In Chapters 2 and 3, Pereboom argues that event-causal, non-causal, and agent-causal libertarian approaches—which presume that our actions are not always determined by factors beyond our control—are also problematic. And while agent-causal views may secure control over actions, they have implausible consequences. For example, if we are agent-causes, then our undetermined exercises of our agent-causal powers apparently fit seamlessly into a world that we otherwise take to be governed by physical laws, requiring a striking and unlikely conformity between different causal mechanisms pp.

In the remaining chapters, Pereboom makes the case for his optimism.