Your freedom quotient

In “The Free-Will Scale,” Stephen Cave says that we have an IQ that measures intelligence and also an FQ … freedom quotient … to show how much free will we have.  “[T]he comparison with intelligence is revealing. For much of the past 2,000 years in the West, intelligence was conceived in terms of a God-given faculty of reason that set humans wholly apart from other creatures. ‘Intellect’ and ‘will’ were seen by the medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas, for example, as the two pre‑eminent faculties of the soul, which did not depend at all on the body. Now we know differently: we know that we have evolved through a long process of natural selection and that we share our faculties to varying degrees with other animals. Upon realising this, we did not conclude that there wasn’t really any such thing as intelligence – rather, psychologists set about putting it on a scientific footing. Similarly, we should not say that there is no such thing as free will, just because it is not how the theologians imagined; rather, it is time we put it, too, on a scientific footing.”

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Supreme deception

Does the supreme being deceive? “Until the Scientific Revolution, God’s power included a licence to deceive. How did science make an honest man of Him?” Dallas Dennery explains that “the commitment of the Scientific Revolution to rational causes for all events, even exceptional or seemingly anomalous ones, robbed God of the power to deceive.” Interesting discussion of differences between traditional conceptions of God and the God of the philosophers.