Over on The Uncredible Hallq, I have run out of room in the comment thread, and there are two or three people there who clearly do not understand me. More after the jump:
I have to go teach now, so I’ll just repost this bit of doggerel from a while ago; if time permits, I will gladly answer some of the complaints here. For now, though, I will merely say that it amuses me to see the assumptions that come packaged with people’s perceptions of my point of view. Not many are accurate. Having spent a bit of time on this topic over the years, I will say that most of them are quite predictable.
Our free will, or its illusion,
Is the source of much confusion;
We make choices all the time, but can we say that they are free?
Mind and body in cohesion
Make us think we are Cartesian,
But the whole of modern science makes me want to disagree!
A causal mind’s existence,
Though a meme of some persistence,
Has the weight of long tradition, but the evidence is slim.
Our environment controls us;
Though Cartesian thought consoles us,
The truth is, we’re reactive, and we never act on whim.
Even my creative rhyming
Is controlled by sound and timing
And a history of consequences leading to this end;
Rhymes appear as chosen freely,
When the truth is different, really—
There are multiple parameters to which I must attend!
(Parenthetically, I mention
That “free will” will draw attention
To the action and its consequence, but little to its cause;
The resulting shift of focus
Makes it seem like hocus-pocus;
Through a bit of misdirection, it appears we break the laws!)