Harris is divorced from reality. He has far too much bolted onto “free will”.
Please actually read his work. Motion and change exist in the block universe same as in a comic strip. The Making Sense podcast is ad-free and relies entirely on listener support. A conscious agent enacting their own will with knowledge and intent. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. That is actually a poll of top philosophy professors. Just as I did with mythicism. That was Harris’ entire point.
I should know because it helped steer me away from libertarian free will when I first started questioning the fundamentalist Christian worldview I’d been brought up with.
So my brother asks a Witness… why are you wasting your life now, so that a copy of you can enjoy paradise… The witness says, its not a copy, it will be me. Well, sure.
I present the documents showing this in my course on free will.
It’s not simply all free or not at all free. As even Harris himself repeatedly admits. It is Harris’s determinism that is in reality most often used to argue for more force and social control, falsely believing autonomy doesn’t even exist, and therefore unbridled regulation makes no difference. Indeed, I even use Harris’s book as the course text for my course on the Science and Philosophy of Free Will! The language in this comment is fraught with ambiguities.
However, it seems that your critique is aimed at Libertarianism A. That’s a problem for you, not for me (or Harris). This is not a good start.
Then you know what to look for. Determinism does nothing to take that freedom away from you. And as Dennett shows, the answer is yes. And neither observation requires anything to be other than the same input always produces the same output. Are you taking responsibility for the bacteria in your body as well? No, soft determinists also deny quantum indeterminacy, same as hard determinists. I’d rather, for the sake of human dignity and the respect for reason, acknowledge that it’s an illusion and work within that framework. And you can’t have more or less of something if it doesn’t exist. Now let’s group dominos 45-55 together and call them “me”. Maybe that’s the bit Harris is missing?
Lastly you claim I make “bizarre” assertions in my final paragraph without support. Then Harris says Dennett failed to prove any of his points, and demonstrates this by completely failing to correctly understand any of Dennett’s points. And computers will likely be learning very shortly here—if you don’t agree they already are, We have free will because we feel like we do, We have moral responsibility because it’s practical to behave as if we do.
Decisions are selections among alternatives; conscious decisions are selections among alternatives with assent (the existence of knowledge of and desire for the selection made). an uncontrollable natural disaster).
I agree Harris is a terrible philosopher, but disagree that’s necessarily a bad thing. Hence change as occurring in an A-series sequence is an illusion. Humans, for some time now have claimed that the true difference between us and the animal world is that we are self aware and as a result can inquire into the meaning of life and as a result have a more fulfilling existence. Movement is change. Thus the importance of ensuring they acted freely in the case we wish to evaluate.
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