Prime Mover Confusion

I suck at science. I’m stupid and easily confused. I spent my youth practicing Street Fighter combos and learning yo-yo tricks, instead of basic science literacy or critical thinking. Please listen to this rant and tell me what I’m doing wrong:

Recently I was reading through all the books of Aristotle, and found myself drawn into his thorough step by step logic, in breaking down a subject/concept, and making an argument for the nature of it’s existence/function etc.

In many cases I had to remember to snap back to present day reality and remind myself that of course he was wrong, but struggled how (if I went back in time) I would explain it to him. In all cases it was simply that his reasoning was perfect, but that he didn’t have all the necessary information at his disposal when he was stepping through his arguments. That if he know about using algebraic notation to describe physical laws, if he knew about particle theory, the table of elements, physical forces, quantum electrodynamics, relativity etc. that he wouldn’t have gone astray.

But it was when I got to his Metaphysics book, that I realized I didn’t have an answer to his reasoning of the Prime Mover. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized the disturbing implications of accepting a contemporary scientific/materialist/reductionist explanation of the universe. That by accepting a physical causal chain for all reality, that extends at least as far back as the big bang, that you leave no room for thought to be it’s own starting point, separate from a predetermined clockwork universe, yet able to push particles around in the form of bio-electrical impulses in the brain. In other words, by accepting a scientific explanation of reality (Which most people with a college education would), you necessarily deny the possibility of free will. A leap few scientifically oriented people would actually make (or at least publicly admit to).

How does this point not come up every day when people talk about science or religion or physics etc? Either the scientific community is disingenuously not addressing the implication of the impossibility of free will, or I’m missing something. I’m betting on the latter. Please let me know!

The above recording was made By my Friend Kate, who promised to send it to her smart scientist friend. Hopefully I can get enlightened soon!


One Comment
  1. Realized a lot of the thoughts I was working through were represented in the “Argument From Phisics” section of the wikipedia entry for “Cartesian Dualism” :


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