This argument is not very convincing in my opinion because you could just accept the consequences, but I think most people don’t realize the results of naturalism. And in this post I am going to lay out just one of those results. Wait a second. That was too short an intro. I must write more without actually saying more because the actual content is pretty straight forward and won’t take much explaining at all. So I guess I’ll just ramble for a bit longer. I just saw the movie Contagion finally. I really liked it. It’s amazing how powerful the tools we have against disease are. Okay, this is long enough. Now for the real stuff.
Alright, the argument from free will. This isn’t really a argument for God’s existence, although it does reassure me of him. In it I will show how naturalism and free will are incompatible. In other words, if the physical universe is the only thing that exists than it is impossible for free will to exist.
- Assume naturalism
- Our mind seems to make choices, i.e., free will is contained in our mind
- Our mind and our brain are the same thing
- Our brain is a collection of particles that is bound by the laws of nature
- Our brain as a whole is bound by the laws of nature
- Our brain has no free will
- We have no free will
I guess I’ll go through each one and explain the implications, although it should be self-explanatory. I start by assuming that naturalism is true, to show where future assumptions and steps come from. Next, I associate free will with the mind. I’m fairly sure that this is true by definition, but probably not everyone’s definition. With my definition of the mind it is. Next, I say that mind=brain, transferring free will to the brain. This is valid because I assumed naturalism at the start. Fourth, I start destroying free will. I state that the parts of the brain is subject to the laws of nature. This means that the particles of the brain must do what the equations dictate. Then I go from part to whole, since every part of the brain must obey the laws, the whole thing must. I guess its possible that someone can dispute this part, but that would be ridiculous. It is valid. Then it is a skip and a hop to the end. If our entire brain cannot sway from the laws of nature, then it cannot have free will. That means our minds and we don’t have free will either.
I do believe that this argument is completely valid. This means that free will and naturalism are mutually exclusive, they cannot both be true. Almost all atheists, especially today, are naturalists, so none of them should believe in free will. But many of them still believe in both, even when confronted with this. It at least takes a while for them to accept it. I believe it was Francis Schaeffer who said that this hesitation is a result of the person’s humanity not wanting to give up their choices, which is in itself an argument against it. Possible, but certainly not definite. But I did say at the beginning that this was not an attempt to destroy naturalism, just point out a consequence of it. It is for you to decide whether or not the existence of free will or naturalism makes more sense to reject. I think it is much better to keep free will. Some say it is also impossible to have free will if an all-knowing God exists, but that is for another time.
Now for a short note. I think I’m going to have at least two posts in between each musicks post, because they are much easier to do. Pretty much talk about the tune and then give a link to it. No sweat. Also, thanks all for putting up with my lack of writing skillz, focus, and completeness.