FREEDOM INTRODUCTORY QUESTIONS • Why is it that human beings, and not animals are only able to act morally • Define a human action. • Is freedom limited? • What’s the difference between freedom and licentiousness? • Does grace diminish freedom?
Freedom and the Catechism • Generic Definition: • ‘the ability to do what one likes’ • Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 1731) • “Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one’s own responsibility. By free will, one shapes one’s own will.”
Human Freedom • When you exercise your freedom, the action that results makes a change or mark in the world (positive or negative) • You are also changed to your core • In some ways, being free means we are not complete: we have unrealized possibilities (the future is not in our knowing) • These possibilities make us free – we can embrace the future, by giving our word today and keeping it
Freedom for Thought... • Think of any commitments or promises you have made that impact or influence you future...
Its Not Easy being Freesy! • There is difficulty in living freely • Sometimes living free feels like a burden WHY?
Freedom with Responsibilities • Our freedom has the capacity to turn away and even alienate us from God, ourselves and others. This is what we call SIN.
Freedom with Responsibilities • Freedom comes with responsibilities: • Freedom involves the core of human existence (The story of Adam and Eve) • Freedom can go contrary to its own source and destroy itself – freedom’s reach is infinite
But is There Freedom? • How do we explain the human ability to initiate an action caused be exercising freedom? • The core of an action may lie in the intention of the agent - This is not observable (promises and commitments) • Some philosophers say freedom does not exist (no scientific evidence). They think everything can be explained by a physical or chemical process...that’s the concept of Naturalism • How do we explain?
What is Naturalism? • Naturalism would suggest that everything can be explained by physical, biological, psychological, social, and/or environmental processes • It also understands the material universe as unified and interconnected
What is Naturalism? • Everything has a physical cause and a human agent just tends to be a more complex physical cause
Humans and Naturalism • Humans are part of the evolutionary process and we are simply a part of the material universe (we are not anything more) • Everything, including humans are connected by cause and effect
Science • Science rules here! Everything must be explained by experimentation • If something is true, then it must be proven with concrete evidence
Naturalism Hierarchy LIFE - BIOLOGY Naturalism: Everything that is complex...life, reality, freedom even...is assembled from the very beginnings of science! MOLECULES - CHEMISTRY PARTICLES AND FORCES - PHYSICS
Example: Human Genome Project • Genetic research, particularly in the Human Genome Project lay claim that “It’s all in your genes!” • The Human Genome Project (Human Blueprint) shows that the human itself is not an ‘intended itself’, but what sounds like a ‘genetically pre-programmed organism’
Naturalism • Neural mechanics and genetic determinism challenge the notion of ‘self’ • These schools of thought would say that there is no human spirit or culture • Humans and their activity are the result of natural selection processes Who is this guy? Thales – A Father of Naturalism Remember this guy?
Naturalism and Freedom • Freedom is an illusion, because actions are not free; they are the result of brain processes • Naturalism denies human freedom – it maintains that your promises and commitments do not come from motives or intentions, but from a genetic disposition
Naturalism throws away Morality! • Naturalism denies the possibility of ethics and morality. • Can you be responsible for your actions if what you do is a natural physical process over which you have no control? Is it really all in here?
Naturalism throws away Justice! • Think about legal concepts such as free will, guilt, innocence, mitigating factors – what happens when naturalism is concerned? • What about our legal system and holding individuals accountable for their actions? Would there be any people guilty of committing crimes? • Our understanding of the law is that guilt can only be assigned to a human agent acting freely – but naturalism argues there is no such thing as freedom.
Naturalism and Artificial Intelligence • Artificial intelligence (abbr. AI) is the capability of a device to perform functions that may be associated with human intelligence (reasoning and learning), through experience. • AI is deep-rooted in the idea of naturalism • The commonality between Naturalism and AI is that they both focus greatly on the brain and neural pathways.
Naturalism and Artificial Intelligence • Personal identity is shaped by what you do. • But what if you are not the agent? • What if you are nothing more than a pile of neural connections? • What if nothing is truly ‘yours’? • Derek Parfit says “You would be no more than the existence of brain and body, and the occurrence of a series of interrelated physical and mental events.”