Posted by: rudyruddell | April 1, 2012

Sam Harris gives a 1:18 hour talk on his view on free will, which is that we don’t have any. We are the product of our genetics, environment, and past decisions. We therefore have no control over our future decisions. That is not to say that we should just sit there and do nothing since it would be impossible to do so. Our thoughts motivate us to take action. It is just that we do not control the thoughts that enter our brain. If we do decide to think a thought, the thought that made us decide to think that thought was out of our control. Our actions are just a part of the very complex events of the universe, but our actions matter and knowledge of that fact compel us to take actions, which are hopefully enlightened or, at least, not harmful.
Sociopaths did not have the free will to become sociopaths; they too are product of their genetics, environment, and previous thoughts. Thus there is no reason to hate them, but we may have a reason to lock them up. Lack of free will is the “antidote to hate” since it does not make sense to hate a being that could not have helped being who they are. A natural outcome of realizing we have no free will is that we don’t hate; rather, we have sympathy, which propels us to want to help.

The Abrahamic religious represent the antithesis of realizing there is no free will since the assumptions of those religions is to assume we do have free will, therefore retribution and punishment are the logical solutions to harmful actions whereas rehabilitation would be the solutions to those who assume no free will. This explains why the bible uses free will to explain the problem of evil the solution is always blood, whether that be of stoning or human sacrifice. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCofmZlC72g&feature=youtube_gdata_player&noredirect=1

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