Critique of Sam Harris’ book Free Will – Part 1 – Man as Robot

Summary: The book Free Will, by Sam Harris (2012), rejects the validity of free will and proposes that man is an automaton whose every thought and action is determined by his brain neurology. In this and following posts, the fallacies in his argument will be identified, the most basic of which is an arbitrary assertion […]

Free will and mass terror

Summary: Totalitarian and terrorist movements make a direct, explicit attack on the idea of free will. Read how intimately connected the 9/11 Twin Towers attack and the issue of free will are, even moreso than you might think.

The previous post identified the kinds of mental patterns at the root of destructive and criminal behavior. […]

Free will cannot include willing an emotion to disappear

Recall in the introductory post that willing an emotion to disappear is not included in free will. Why is that, and what is the relation between emotion and free will? Do those who say that an emotion “made” them do something have an argument against free will? In this post, the first of these questions […]

Intellectuals do not believe in free will

If you have been reading the posts presented here, you will have seen that the leading arguments against free will have been sympathetically presented, and answered one by one. You may recall that free will was argued to be so fundamental to any argument, discussion, or train of thought that it cannot be denied without […]

Method trumps everything

The fundamental choice is to focus or not, to think or not, as discussed in prior posts. However, that is not man’s only choice. To succeed in life requires innumerable choices, among them being values, goals (in career and leisure), friends, jobs, a city to live, a neighborhood within it and housing within that (to […]

Top five arguments for rejecting free will – and answers to them

Discussed below are the arguments offered by average people, intellectuals and even many in the scientific community for rejecting free will and embracing its opposite – in philosophy, what is called “determinism.” As background, however, consider the positive case for free will. Free will is not something that one must derive by a lengthy chain […]