Daniel Dennett: Stop Telling People They Don't Have Free Will

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#2
A couple of comments. First of all, Dennett doesn't distinguish between libertarian and compatibilist free will here. Would it make any difference if people knew the distinction and were told they had compatibilist free will but not libertarian?

Second, although we may agree that it is dangerous for neuroscientists to tell people they don't have free will, are we really going to propose that they lie for the rest of history? This is like asking the medical community, pharmaceutical industry, pharmacy technicians, etc. all to lie about placebos. It doesn't seem like a good idea and it won't work in the long run.

I don't know what the solution is.

~~ Paul
 
#3
The question of free will has not been answered by science yet. Dennett and the rest of his materialist, atheist cohorts make an assumption our consciousness is simply a product of the brain. This question has not been answered yet by science or philosophy. Therefore, for Dennett and the rest of the reductive materialists to declare that none of us have free will is irresponsible and arrogant.
 
#4
A couple of comments. First of all, Dennett doesn't distinguish between libertarian and compatibilist free will here. Would it make any difference if people knew the distinction and were told they had compatibilist free will but not libertarian?

Second, although we may agree that it is dangerous for neuroscientists to tell people they don't have free will, are we really going to propose that they lie for the rest of history? This is like asking the medical community, pharmaceutical industry, pharmacy technicians, etc. all to lie about placebos. It doesn't seem like a good idea and it won't work in the long run.

I don't know what the solution is.

~~ Paul
But arent they actually lying when they are saying that there is no free will since they dont really know? Arent they just like pushing their personal opinions and interpretations on others?
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#5
But arent they actually lying when they are saying that there is no free will since they dont really know? Arent they just like pushing their personal opinions and interpretations on others?
Experts in all fields often speak as if they know for sure, even though in private they wouldn't claim that. I'd like to see a specific article by a neuroscientist, as opposed to some dumbed-down article by a journalist. How strong is the claim really?

In my opinion, libertarian free will is an incoherent concept, so claiming we don't have that kind of free will is entirely reasonable.

~~ Paul
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#6
The question of free will has not been answered by science yet. Dennett and the rest of his materialist, atheist cohorts make an assumption our consciousness is simply a product of the brain. This question has not been answered yet by science or philosophy. Therefore, for Dennett and the rest of the reductive materialists to declare that none of us have free will is irresponsible and arrogant.
Philosophers aren't going to answer the question, so there is no need to wait for them. Whether mind = brain is irrelevant to the question of libertarian free will, which is incoherent. I agree that claiming without equivocation that we don't have free will is a bit arrogant.

And even though philosophers aren't going to answer the question, libertarian free will seems to be having problems:

http://philpapers.org/archive/BOUWDP
http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2013/04/29/what-do-philosophers-believe/

~~ Paul
 
#7
Experts in all fields often speak as if they know for sure, even though in private they wouldn't claim that. I'd like to see a specific article by a neuroscientist, as opposed to some dumbed-down article by a journalist. How strong is the claim really?

In my opinion, libertarian free will is an incoherent concept, so claiming we don't have that kind of free will is entirely reasonable.

~~ Paul
Well yeah, the first part is the problem though - they speak like they are sure even so they are not. We are making way too many assumptions these days. Why cant they just say what we actually know there? Isnt that what science is about? Stating facts? Especially neuroscience got some huge problems with that.
 
#8
Plenty of philosophers base their philosophy on science, but not just on science. Philosophers also are known to use logic, rationality, and objectivity - that seems to be in deficit with materialists like Dennett.
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#9
Well yeah, the first part is the problem though - they speak like they are sure even so they are not. We are making way too many assumptions these days. Why cant they just say what we actually know there? Isnt that what science is about? Stating facts? Especially neuroscience got some huge problems with that.
I think you're reading articles written by journalists, not scientists. Often such articles are written with too much surety.

~~ Paul
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#10
Plenty of philosophers base their philosophy on science, but not just on science. Philosophers also are known to use logic, rationality, and objectivity - that seems to be in deficit with materialists like Dennett.
Dennett is a philosopher, so you've contradicted yourself here. I guess you meant "immaterialist philosphers" or "philosphers who agree with me."

So do you disagree with Dennett in that video?

~~ Paul
 
#11
I don't really bother anymore with materialist neuroscientists. There is plenty of evidence now pointing to consciousness not only possessing non-local attributes, which goes far beyond a simplistic Newtonian materialist's conception of reality, but evidence conscious functioning can occur outside the brain, given the 65 worldwide scientific NDE studies made in last few decades.

ps: It is somewhat amusing philosophy is taken less seriously by reductive materialist scientists, as science is just a subset of philosophy. Tyson's recent proclamation that "Philosophy is dead" - I found so foolish I no longer can take much of what he has to say seriously. Tyson has become yet another shallow propagandist for the Skeptical materialist culture, that has even gone so far as vilifying entire religions such as what Dawkins has been engaged with recently with his Islamaphobia. Intellectually, Dawkins and Tyson are more like buffoons for me these days. I have no time for their fundamentalism or naive opinions on reality.
 
#13
Dennett is not even talking about free-will in that video, he is mostly talking about human behaviour and the effect of suggestions.
 
#15
Neuroscience will never come close to describing human behavior or the dynamics of consciousness. Just like examining a radio will never explain or reproduce Mozart's symphonies.
You allowed yourself to make definitive statements, but not Dennett? Ironic don't you know and irresponsible and arrogant.
P.S. Never is a long time to say never. Are you sure you want to stick with never?
 
#16
You allowed yourself to make definitive statements, but not Dennett? Ironic don't you know and irresponsible and arrogant.

P.S. Never is a long time to say never. Are you sure you want to stick with never?
Neuroscience cannot explain consciousness because consciousness is not a product of the brain. And there is plenty of empirical evidence that supports my statement, including a century of work in psychology. Dennett has no evidence at all that conciousness is just a materialistic phenomenon, none, zip. All he has is his materialistic faith.
 
#17
Neuroscience cannot explain consciousness because consciousness is not a product of the brain. And there is plenty of empirical evidence that supports my statement, including a century of work in psychology. Dennett has no evidence at all that conciousness is just a materialistic phenomenon, none, zip. All he has is his materialistic faith.
Entirely your opinion. Do you recognize you have immaterial faith?
 
#19
Opinion based on collected scientific facts. Dennett's is an opinion based on materialistic faith.
Here's one definition of what a scientific fact is. A scientific fact is something so well established - like the speed of light in a vacuum- that to think it not would be ludicrous. Now, name one thing out of all you things you believe are scientific fact one that fits that definition.
 
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