Sam Harris on Free Will
Blogged by James Preece on 28th May 2012
Being a close minded religious type, I am of course not free to think for myself. This makes me very different from atheist materialist types whose free thinking is entirely the product of external influences and the laws of physics.
We religious people are famously terrified of hearing the views of people we disagree with, so here's an hours talk by atheist Sam Harris on the illusion of Free Will...
My favourite parts are the bits where they debate what they "should" do, now that they have discovered that they have no choice in the matter. The fact is of course that a tennis ball hurled out of the window doesn't have a "should", it only has a "does" and if people lack the freedom to choose how to act then "should", like the tennis ball, goes out of the window.
The atheists themselves observe: Either our actions are determined by outside influences (in which case we are not reponsible) or they are entirely random (in which case we are not responsible) or else we are somehow capable of ignoring the laws of physics and choosing to act one way instead of another. Like a tennis ball opting to go out through the door instead.
As Chesterton observed.. "You cannot live without dogmas about these things. You cannot act for twenty-four hours without deciding either to hold people responsible or not to hold them responsible".
I wonder what the publisher's of Sam Harris' book think? If he is not responsible for writing it... should he be paid?