Monday, December 15, 2014

The dark side of free will

I have noted leftist-atheist opposition to free will, but ideology behind it is not always explicit. It is in this TEDx talk on The dark side of free will.

Philosopher Gregg Caruso describes himself as a "free will skeptic", but that is not his point. His argument is that various leftist political goals would be more easily achievable if the public were convinced that they had no free will.

There is some truth to this. Right-wingers emphasize individual freedom, personal autonomy, and moral responsibility, while left-wingers are happier tying their fates to government social programs. Caruso is a leftist, and he does not phrase it that way, but he clearly advocates persuading people to lose a belief in free will.

I doubt that he is right achieving his goals, but I do want to point out that this is a leftist intellectual belief.

Leftists adamantly deny various racial and sexual determination theories, except that they have been asserting for years that homosexuals have no free will over their preferences. But now the NY Times reports that beliefs about such things can spread like a disease:
The study, published Thursday by the journal Science, suggests that a 20-minute conversation about a controversial and personal issue — in this case a gay person talking to voters about same-sex marriage — can induce a change in attitude that not only lasts, but may also help shift the views of others living in the same household. In other words, the change may be contagious. Researchers have published similar findings previously, but nothing quite as rigorous has highlighted the importance of the messenger, as well as the message. ...

The result: Voters canvassed on marriage shifted by about 20 percent in favor of same-sex equality, as measured on a five-point scale of support. Both straight and gay canvassers shifted opinions, but only the opinions of voters canvassed by gays remained as favorable on surveys nine months after initial contact. Voters canvassed on recycling did not budge.

“I truly did not expect to see this,” Dr. Green said. “I thought attitudes on issues like this were fundamentally stable over time, but my view has now changed.”
Did Green think that political views on marriage were inborn?

One lesson here is that you better tell pollsters you favor same-sex marriage, or gay canvassers will come knocking on your door, hoping to infect you with a contagious idea.

No comments: