No free will?

Posted on September 27, 2010


Proffessor Wiggly: “Most of us believe that we have free will – that we are the captains of our fate, the masters of our soul. It’s like we have a little person sitting on top of our brains giving orders: “have another piece of cake”, “tell him to take a hike, ” “turn right,” etc. But science has trouble with stuff that it can’t see or weigh. For instance Dan Dennett – speaking for science – says that there’s no little person, there’s no free will – there’s only teams of ‘mini robots’ running your brain.”

Peter: ” So how come I feel like I’m running the show, that I’m giving the order. I have free will, I decide whether I’ll have another piece of cake, or make a pass at my date.”

Professor Wiggly: “Nope, not according to Dennett. Your consciousness – you sense of free will is like a backseat driver – giving instructions to teams of mini-robots that have already made the decisionn and turned the wheel, or started to make the pass and you – the back seat driver takes credit.”

Jenny: “Wow, that’s neat. I Don’t believe it for a minute – but it’s neat. Let’s see if I really get it? If my date comes on to me, and I say ‘NO’, and they persist, and eventually I give in and we hop in then sack, Dennett  is saying that my behavior was under the control of two teams of mini-robots, the first one is a back seat naysayer, and the second – more powerful one – is a yeah sayer – a sex drive team of robots.  I don’t like it but I can see where Dennett’s coming from. I can see where some of our basic biological drivers like, hunger, sex, and fear can be seen as teams of mini-robots, but my back seat driver has an impact on most of the other stuff.”

Posted in: Sciencing