The Illusion of Free Will

The Illusion of Free Will

By Jamie Matthewman
June 11th, 2015

In this interesting and enlightening talk, drawing on his expertise as both a neuroscientist and an experienced meditator, Sam Harris explores the age-old philosophical question, “do we have free will?

Sam explains his why “you don’t choose to choose what you choose in life”. He argues that every choice you make is driven by unconscious or hidden desires, beliefs, states and intentions which have been hammered into you during your life time. All that we are really doing in life is “in each moment we are simply discovering what our life is”.

Are we truly the conscious authors of our actions, or are we just fixed-track automatons living under the delusion that we have control?

For example do you think you choose your thoughts, the precursor of action? Thoughts simply arise, uninvited. If you’ve ever tried just 5 minutes of meditation you’ll know it’s impossible to get even a hint of control over the contents of your own mind.

I have no formal training in philosophy or am I familiar with the huge body of work that already exists on this subject, but Sam Harris’s take on free will is a succinct and incisive opinion piece that’s open to all comers.

His arguments have been formulated in both the philosophy department and the research lab which I found convincing from all angles.

Take a look at the video and let Sam explain his philosophy and if you want to more on this subject Sam has written a book on the topic of Free Will which you might want to explore.

Jamie Matthewman

About Jamie Matthewman

Jamie is the founder, main contributor and editor of The Inspired Man.

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