Thursday, October 19, 2006

Compatabilism and Libertarianism

David Siemens thinks J.P. Moreland is wrong. Moreland argues the human mind is part of nature and is endowed with libertarian capacities, such that it is capable of true choice. Siemans believes that this is a capacity that only God has. He notes:

Moreland has produced a straw man, but one with a curious consequence. If, as he claims, physics is not self-contained, that is, if there are nonphysical causes of physical phenomena, where does he draw the line? Psychokinesis? Energy vortexes, like those claimed to exist near Sedona, AZ? Crystals? Pyramidology? Alien intelligences exerting forces we cannot detect or measure? Astral influences?

He argues that Moreland has conflated terms for different disciplines:

"Mass" is obviously an important scientific term, from Newton's [f = ma] to Einstein's [
E = mc2]. This does not mean that I can insist that it be applied by psychologists to determine the mass of anger when someone loses his temper. Conversely, I cannot ask how angry a uranium nucleus is when it spalls.

Read the whole thing.

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