Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Coyne complains about free will again

Leftist-atheist-evolutionist Jerry Coyne writes:
The boys over at the Discovery Institute (DI) spend a lot of time mocking me online, but I rarely pay attention. ...

You’d think that they’d keep their religious motivations secret, for, after all, Intelligent Design was rejected by the courts ...

Klinghoffer’s new post, “Without free will there is no justice“, excoriates me for my determinism, using as an example my recent post on Manson “girl” Leslie Van Houten. ...

Klinghoffer’s piece is a good example of how many people misunderstand — deliberately or out of ignorance — how “agency” works. In the case of Abrahamic religionists, most (except for Calvinists) have to believe in libertarian free will, ...

Notice how when a leftist does not like someone's conclusions, he makes accusations of bad intentions and ignorance.

Egnor, of course, has no evidence for libertarian free will, and we have lots of evidence against it (neuroscience, psychology experiments, and, most important, the laws of nature). So Egnor simply asserts that what his faith teaches him is also scientifically true:

We are free agents, influenced by our genes and our environment, but are free to choose the course of action we take. Determinism is not true, denial of free will is self-refuting (If we are not free to choose, why assume Coyne’s opinion has any truth value? It’s just a chemical reaction, determined by genes and environment), and our intellect and will are immaterial powers of the soul and are inherently free in the libertarian sense of not being determined by matter.

We are not meat robots. If we were meat robots, why would anyone listen to Jerry Coyne?

Well, Dr. Egnor, maybe they should listen because the two pounds of meat in my skull is better programmed than are the two pounds of Egnorian head-meat. That is, my meat emits statements that comport better with what rational people observe in the Universe than does Egnor’s faith-ridden meat.
So I have no free will to make choices, but I should listen to Coyne because his brain is programmed to be more rational?!

No, that is irrational.

Egnor even tries to reject determinism of human behavior by citing quantum mechanics, which shows how desperate he is:

If you “accept science,” you don’t accept determinism, which has been ruled out in physics by an ingenious series of experiments over the past several decades. It is the consensus of physicists that nature is non-deterministic, in the sense that there are no local hidden variables. Coyne’s rejection of the overwhelming evidence that nature is non-deterministic is a rejection of science, just as his denial of free will is a rejection of common sense and reason.
This presupposes either that quantum-mechanical uncertainty gives us free will, which can’t be true (I won’t insult your intelligence by explaining that again), or that the “Bell’s inequality” experiments showing the lack of local realism on the level of particles show that all forms of natural law determining human behavior are out the window.
It is true that the consensus of physicists that nature is non-deterministic, and that there are no local hidden variables.

I would not say that determinism has been ruled out, as determinism is too ill-defined to be ruled out. But the laws of physics are not deterministic, and Egnor's point is valid.

Coyne denies that "uncertainty gives us free will" but that is not the argument. Uncertainty is a result of free will, not a cause.

If electrons had free will, what kind of theory could be used to explain them? The answer is quantum mechanics. Other theories (ie, failed theories) do not leave room for free will, but quantum mechanics allows for free will.

Coyne's argument is wrong.

Coyne elaborates:
It illustrates one of the many misconceptions people have about science-based determinism and its rejection of libertarian free will: that under determinism is useless to try to change anything since everything is preordained by the laws of nature. Well, the last part of that is pretty much correct — save for fundamental indeterminacy due to quantum mechanics — but within that paradigm lies the fact that people’s arguments constitute environmental factors that affect how others behave.

My own example is that you can alter the behavior of a dog by kicking it when it does something you don’t like. (I am NOT recommending this!). After a while the dog, whose onboard computer gets reprogrammed to anticipate pain, will no longer engage in the unwanted behavior.
So science-based determinism says that you cannot voluntarily change anything, except in examples where the cause and effect is so obvious that it cannot be denied.

And you can make choices to influence a dog, but not yourself.

He has a cartoon of a masculine woman kicking a man in the testicles.
Yes, its determinism all the way down.
I think that this is an allusion to an argument about the Earth being held up by turtles.

I used to think that scientists were much more rational than religious believers.

1 comment:

  1. I find it hilarious for a scientist to blather on about how no one has free will. If he actually believed a single word he way saying, why did he bother saying anything at all? Of course one must remember, all leftists are miraculously exempted from their own pronouncements.

    Since we have no free will, I feel relieved that I have no control whatsoever over calling him an overeducated waste of space and time. Sorry, I had to say it, since I have no control over what I say by his own admission. It must have been my 'destiny' to insult him...wow! This is great! Now I know why it's so easy to imitate leftists, they don't actually have to think about anything at all, they just have to mindlessly read their pre-determined lines on the cosmic teleprompter and pretend they are robots.