Compatibilists are often quite confused. Most pivot between two different nonsensical ideas:
- I can break the laws of physics!
- Me being determined doesn’t mean I don’t have choice.
You realize these are in conflict, right?
Here’s a great example of someone suffering from the first problem.
You’ve probably heard about causal chains. Well, all of the prior causes in the chain bump into us and stop. We are not passive conduits of prior causes. We bend prior causes to our own purposes and choose for ourselves what comes next.
Source: A Keen Grasp…of the obvious
All prior causes bump into human animals and stop. Wow. We’re superheroes. We’re stopping causal chains.
I wonder how that works at the physics and chemistry level. I wish he wondered that too.
The fun part is that once you show them this is silly to believe, they’ll instantly pivot, like nothing ever happened, to the second one.
Well, of course we’re not changing actual physics, but we’re PART of physics, so any choice we make is free. That’s why we’re compatibilists.
That’s me paraphrasing the common argument. Here’s what the same guy just said to me on Twitter:
@FreeWILLisFalse @DanielMiessler Any biological organism choosing an option for its own purpose empirically demonstrates free will.— Marvin B. Edwards (@MarvinBEdwards) December 1, 2015
My response was to ask whether that involved fish and dogs, since they’re making choices all the time.
His answer was that those weren’t REAL choices. Which takes right to the NO TRUE SCOTSMAN problem.
I’m about to join a podcast related to free will and other philosophical topics. I’d like to invite this guy on to hear his views. He seems like a smart guy, so it should be fun.