More on the Dark Side of Gregg Caruso’s Free Will Denialism

Let’s continue to explore the dark side of Gregg Caruso’s free will denialism. We have already seen that it turns rapists and murderers into victims while turning the true victim of a murderer/rapist into an unfortunate casualty. But there is more.

Note that Caruso, after dismissing all concepts of moral responsibility, feels the need to justify imprisoning murderers/rapists to ensure their well-being and provide opportunities for rehabilitation. He calls is quarantine. That is, we are not putting criminals in quarantine because they are responsible for wrong-doing; we are doing it for “the safety of society.” Sounds to me like the Soviet ideal of sacrificing individual freedom for the public good.

Caruso is thinking like an insect, focused on the well-being of the Hive. Bad insects are not really bad; they just represent a threat to the Hive. So we separate the threat from the rest of the Hive, trying to “rehabilitate” them so they better fit within the Hive. The focus is all on the Hive and the individual’s action only mean something in relation to the Hive.

Of course, with this mindset, there is nothing to stop us from quarantining more than just murderers and rapists. If the majority of people embrace Caruso’s hive mentality, with no substantive concern about individual rights and freedoms, why not quarantine other threats to the Hive?

Look, we already know the Gnu Atheists think religious people represent a threat to the safety of society. Dawkins likens religion to small pox. Harris says rape is better than religion. Dawkins tells us a religious upbringing is worse the sexually molesting a child. Coyne tells us religion is one of the world’s greatest evils and has said we should make a religious upbringing illegal.

Along comes Caruso, who tells us religiosity represents the “dark side.”

If these people had the power, what is to stop them from acting on their beliefs? Shouldn’t religious people be quarantined for the safety of society? In fact, hasn’t another Gnu atheist, Peter Boghossian, argued that faith should be classified as a mental illness and the government should take steps to contain it.

So, if we are supposed to put murderers and rapists in quarantine for the safety of society, it would stand to reason that religion, supposedly one the greatest threats to society, should likewise be quarantined.

This entry was posted in atheism, free will, New Atheism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to More on the Dark Side of Gregg Caruso’s Free Will Denialism

  1. Crude says:

    I suppose, a further question is – what would Caruso say to the anti-Boghossian who points at Bog’s and his own writing, and declares that they are threats to society who should be imprisoned and educated out of their delusional and dangerous beliefs?

  2. Belobog says:

    What struck me when I watched the video is that he said that if criminals have no free will, we have a ‘duty’ to treat them kindly. But if we have no free will either, how can we have any duties? A duty generally means a moral obligation to perform an action, but if we can’t choose what action to perform this seems incoherent. From what I’ve seen, free will denialists never think the implications of free will denial all the way through, they just pick out the implications that they like.

  3. Dhay says:

    Sam Harris’ solution to the problem of crime and free will is that there is no free will, and that crime is an evil which, when understood in causal terms, will be another species of mental illness treatable by eg “a pill”.

    John G. Messerly has a different solution to the problem of crime and free will, namely the removal of free will by implanting a “Hive” chip to enforce a standard — but whose standard, I ask, being unimpressed by Messerly’s thinking skills as revealed in a recent article of his commented on in Shadow to Light; not his standard, I think:

    “In the intellectual realm we need to utilize technology to augment our intelligence (IA) by any means possible–including education, genetic engineering, biotechnology, and the use of artificial intelligence (AI). The same goes for the moral realm. This would include controversial techniques like implanting moral chips within our brains.”

  4. Dhay says:

    Actually, I now find that Sam Harris does advocate implanting a “Hive” chip or morality chip into peoples’ brains; back in 2011 he fantasised about what a ‘Sam Harris Moral Landscape’ moral utopia would look like:

    [S]ome people were not ready for this earthly paradise once it arrived. Some were psychopaths who, despite enjoying the general change in quality of life, were nevertheless eager to break into their neighbors’ homes and torture them from time to time. A few had preferences that were incompatible with the flourishing of whole societies: Try as he might, Kim Jong Il just couldn’t shake the feeling that his cognac didn’t taste as sweet without millions of people starving beyond his palace gates. Given our advances in science, however, we were able to alter preferences of this kind. In fact, we painlessly delivered a firmware update to everyone. Now the entirety of the species is fit to live in a global civilization that is as safe, and as fun, and as interesting, and as filled with love as it can be.

    A firmware update, no less: not a software update (eg re-education), not a ‘wetware’ update (ie neurosurgery) but that mixture of updating hardware and the software on that hardware which is known as a firmware update; it’s a morality chip implant, surely.

    In the subtitle of The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values, “determine” evidently doesn’t have the secondary meaning, namely:

    2. ascertain or establish exactly by research or calculation.

    It has the meaning:

    1. cause (something) to occur in a particular way or to have a particular nature.

    Let’s update Harris’ one example: Kim Jong Un, Emmerson (The Butcher) Mnangagwa, Bashar al-Assad, everyone in both Antifa and the alt-Right, the playground bully, the baby who ruins your life by crying all night every night, Supreme Court judges, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, the sweet little old lady down the road — all of these (indeed, in an unrushed and considered “A Response to Critics”, Harris clearly and unambiguously writes “everyone”) — every one of these mentioned by me and everyone not mentioned also — everyone! — will be forced by their morality chips (ie that firmware update) to conform to the behaviour encoded on their Morality Chip.

    As for the secondary meaning of “Determine”, I don’t think

    So far as I can tell, Harris never did give any good indication of How Science Can ‘ascertain or establish exactly by research or calculation’ Human Values, so in the absence of any actual science it’s anybody’s guess, or proposal, or act of domination, as to what that Chip-enforced behaviour should and thereafter must be.

    And of course, to question or oppose the Harris Chip morality will be immoral, won’t it, what else; and it will be Chip-enforced impossible.

    Are the Cybermen coming, under Harris’ directions, or will Doctor Who manage to save us.

  5. unclesporkums says:

    Another page from the Stalinist handbook

  6. TFBW says:

    In Sam’s case, he never considered human action to be an expression of Free Will in any case. If he thought he could dictate human behaviour through some kind of neurological manipulation, it would amount to nothing more than substituting one set of programmed behaviour for another — “applying a patch,” as software folks say.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.