http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCofmZlC72g&feature=youtube_gdat...

 

The preceding link is a Sam Harris lecture, about an hour and 20 minutes long. The following link is an excerpt from his book.

 

http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-illusion-of-free-will

An excerpt from this excerpt:

"The question of free will touches nearly everything we care about. Morality, law, politics, religion, public policy, intimate relationships, feelings of guilt and personal accomplishment—most of what is distinctly human about our lives seems to depend upon our viewing one another as autonomous persons, capable of free choice. If the scientific community were to declare free will an illusion, it would precipitate a culture war far more belligerent than the one that has been waged on the subject of evolution. Without free will, sinners and criminals would be nothing more than poorly calibrated clockwork, and any conception of justice that emphasized punishing them (rather than deterring, rehabilitating, or merely containing them) would appear utterly incongruous. And those of us who work hard and follow the rules would not “deserve” our success in any deep sense. It is not an accident that most people find these conclusions abhorrent. The stakes are high."

 

A recent article, Sam's view that free will is entirely an illusion (like a unified field of vision), vs. Dan Dennett's version of "free will":

 

http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/free-will-and-free-will

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Replies to This Discussion

Thanks for the link. I'm very interested in this topic. I will check it out.

"Free will is an illusion. Our wills are simply not of our own making.

"Thoughts and intentions emerge from background causes of which we are unaware and over which we exert no conscious control. We do not have the freedom we think we have. Free will is actually more than an illusion (or less), in that it cannot be made conceptually coherent. Either our wills are determined by prior causes and we are not responsible for them, or they are the product of chance and we are not responsible for them."

~ Harris, Sam. Free Will (p. 5). Free Press. Kindle Edition.

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