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Ch. 8: How "Ought" One Behave? 
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 Ch. 8: How "Ought" One Behave?
Ch. 8: How "Ought" One Behave?

Please use this thread to discuss the above section of Lex Bayer and John Figdor’s “Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the Twenty-first Century.”

You’re also welcome to create new threads however you see fit.



Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:29 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 8: How "Ought" One Behave?
I saw Dexter's post on Dennett and free will and wondered what Dexter thought about Bayer and Figdor's handling of free will in this chapter. They don't label the topic as free will (wisely, I think), but they are clearly addressing it. And their approach seems to be similar to Dennett's, in that they claim that the atomist view on which philosophical anti-free will is often based is different from the larger-scale psychological view that gives validity to humans as moral agents. Humans can make choices that are substantially their own free acts, is what they seem to be claiming. The claim is important to their argument for "recast[ing[ statements of obligation into statements of preference and choice." (80) In general they promote a model of human acting as consisting of rational choosing.



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Post Re: Ch. 8: How "Ought" One Behave?
DWill wrote:
I saw Dexter's post on Dennett and free will and wondered what Dexter thought about Bayer and Figdor's handling of free will in this chapter. They don't label the topic as free will (wisely, I think), but they are clearly addressing it. And their approach seems to be similar to Dennett's, in that they claim that the atomist view on which philosophical anti-free will is often based is different from the larger-scale psychological view that gives validity to humans as moral agents. Humans can make choices that are substantially their own free acts, is what they seem to be claiming. The claim is important to their argument for "recast[ing[ statements of obligation into statements of preference and choice." (80) In general they promote a model of human acting as consisting of rational choosing.


Yeah, they use the same argument about different reference frames. I think they appropriately take this "common sense" notion of free will when talking about morality. I don't think you can really do it otherwise.

Sam Harris talks about how "the illusion of free will" is really an illusion itself. Meaning if we really think about, we have no idea where our last choice came from, it just happened. (Why did the last random thought pop into your head?) But I think the first illusion is still more powerful -- it sure feels like we "could have done otherwise" even if we really couldn't have. So we'll always live our lives as if we're somehow making free choices (as Dennett says, the only kind of free will that matters), and morality doesn't make much sense without it.



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Sat Jan 03, 2015 9:14 am
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