I shall defend them for rights sake, for pitys sake and for the benefit of society and the race. First is the objective world ruled by natural law where the cosmos is unfolding by itself and free will is an illusion. Neither actually supports the notion of free will as is made clear at the beginning of Dennett's critique. If it moves us to learn that disease may be prevented, that ruin may be averted, that broken hearts and broken lives may be made whole; if it inspires us to hear how beauty may be conjured out of loathsomeness and glory out of shame; how waste may be turned to wealth and death to life, and despair to happiness, then the case for the Bottom Dog is a case to be well and truly tried. Reading the Gospels, one can see Jesus using both points of view, using fear of hell for the childish and appeals of forgiveness with entrance into the 'kingdom of heaven' for the more connected. Harris is not arguing for abandonment of necessary behavioral reinforcement or necessary punishment, more he argues for dropping of vindictive punishment, privilege and judgment that go along with the illusion of free will. Hitherto all the love, all the honors, all the applause of this world, and all the rewards of heaven, have been lavished on the fortunate and the strong; and the portion of the unfriended Bottom Dog, in his adversity and weakness, has been curses, blows, chains, the gallows and everlasting damnation.
My take is we live in two simultaneous worlds. Not Guilty By Robert Blatchford I N defending the Bottom Dog I do not deal with hard science only; but with the dearest faiths, the oldest wrongs and the most awful relationships of the great human family, for whose good I strive and to whose judgment I appeal. This question is similar to the argument between Sam Harris and Dennett. Knowing, as I do, how the hard-working and hard-playing public shun laborious thinking and serious writing, and how they hate to have their ease disturbed or their prejudices handled rudely, I still make bold to undertake this task, because of the vital nature of the problems I shall probe. The second world is the subjective world of human organisms which implement natural law through a virtual reality we call mind which utilizes feelings, beliefs, sense of self, illusions of free will, etc. To my mind this debate is not that new, as the enlightened of all time realized this paradox.
. Much golden eloquence has been squandered in praise of the successful and the good; much stern condemnation has been vented upon the wicked. Not Guilty by Robert Blatchford. Buddha forgave those who spat in his face Interestingly Christian's these days go in for original sin, when from the objective point of view of god, everyone is innocent. If it concerns us that the religions of the world are childish dreams or nightmares; if it concerns us that our penal laws and moral codes are survivals of barbarism and fear; if it concerns us that our most cherished and venerable ideas of our relations to God and to each other are illogical and savage, then the case for the Bottom Dog concerns us nearly.
The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest. However, Dennett argues for the 'compatibilist' view, basically saying we should go along with the illusion of free will, because it's what everyone believes now and causes the right behaviorist reinforcements to maximize good behavior. The case for the Bottom Dog should touch the public heart to the quick, for it affects the truth of our religions, the justice of our laws and the destinies of our children and our childrens children. I shall plead, then, for those who are loathed and tortured and branded as the sinful and unclean; for those who have hated us and wronged us, and have been wronged and hated by us. I venture now to plead for those of our poor brothers and sisters who are accursed of Christ and rejected of men.
For these also are of our flesh, these also have erred and gone astray, these also are victims of an inscrutable and relentless Fate. Harris and Dennett are not disagreeing, but each emphasizing a different one of these simultaneous worlds without being very clear on the distinction. . . . . .
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