EXPLORING THE ILLUSION OF FREE WILL 
 
 

George Ortega,
Producer

Nick Vale

Chandler Klebs

Nomi

Creating a world without blame and guilt

The world's first, and already successful*  initiative, including two TV shows, to popularize the refutation of free will 

*How it happened 

John Searle, the13th ranked post-1900 philosopher, says that our world overcoming the free will illusion "would be a bigger revolution in our thinking than Einstein, or Copernicus, or Newton, or Galileo, or Darwin -- it would alter our whole conception of our relation with the universe." 

The Washington Post, The New York Times, Psychology Today, Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, The Atlantic, The Guardian, USA Today, The Telegraph, Time Magazine, Scientific American, NPR Radio, The Economist, and Science Magazine  all affirm that free will is an illusion.


NEW FEATURE:
Complete online text and pdf download of EXPLORING THE ILLUSION OF FREE WILL, SECOND EDITION by George Ortega

 

Exploring the Illusion of Free Will is two TV shows - WHITE PLAINS NY TV and NYC LIVE CALL-IN TV,  several books - Mine and  Enel's,  and Chandler's one meetup - NYC, this website, Internet video and audio -  YOU TUBE  iTUNES AUDIO PODCAST  PUBLIC DOMAIN VIDEOS & MP3s, and a blog - EXOGENOUS AGENCY

 
Quick Links to the YouTube Episodes: 01-10  11-20  21-30  31-40  41-50  51-60  61-70  71-80  81-90 91-100  101-110  111-120  121-130  131-140  141-150  151-160  161-170  171-180  181-190  191-200  201-210  211-216
 

Quick Links to the 2013 Exploring the Illusion of Free Will, 2nd Edition Chapters: ( by titleIntro. to 2011 edition  Intro. to 2013 digital edition 1  (2 omitted)  3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   Epilogue  Books Refuting Free Will...

 

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Site Features
 

Free Will Refutations in Major Publications

 

Free Will Refuted in the Blogs

 

Free Will Refuted on YouTube

 

Recent books for the public and academia refuting free will

 

Edited and Revised Transcripts of the First Eighteen Episodes

 

Quotes Disaffirming Free Will and Affirming Determinism by the Famous

 

Absurd Free Will Defenses by Major Institutions and Publications Who Should Know Better

 

Claiming credit for public awareness that free will is an illusion

 
 

More Featured Episodes

10. Why Change as the basic Universal Process Makes Free Will Impossible

13. Overcoming Blame, Guilt, Envy and Arrogance by Overcoming the Illusion of Free Will

16. Overcoming the Illusion of Free Will as an Evolutionary Leap in Human Consciousness

17. Revitalizing Religion through Transcending the Illusion of Free Will

26. Because Essential Elements of Every Decision are Stored in Our Unconscious, Free Will is Impossible.

38. The Messenger and I Have Evolved Human Consciousness

50. Freud Popularized the Unconscious.  Ortega is Popularizing Unconscious Will

60. Ten Ways to Refute Free Will

 
 

Landmark Coverage Refuting Free Will

 

USA Today - "Why you don't really have free will by Jerry Coyne January 1, 2012

"The debate about free will, long the purview of philosophers alone, has been given new life by scientists, especially neuroscientists studying how the brain works. And what they're finding supports the idea that free will is a complete illusion."


Time Magazine - "Think You're Operating on Free Will? Think Again" by Eben Harrell July 2, 2010

"In an intriguing review in the July 2 edition of the journal Science, published online Thursday, Ruud Custers and Henk Aarts of Utrecht University in the Netherlands lay out the mounting evidence of the power of what they term the 'unconscious will.'...John Bargh of Yale University, who 10 years ago predicted many of the findings discussed by Custers and Aarts in a paper entitled "The Unbearable Automaticity of Being," called the Science paper a "landmark — nothing like this has been in Science before."


The New York Times - "Your Move: The Maze of Free Will" by Galen Strawson July 22, 2010

"Some people think that quantum mechanics shows that determinism is false, and so holds out a hope that we can be ultimately responsible for what we do. But even if quantum mechanics had shown that determinism is false (it hasn’t), the question would remain: how can indeterminism, objective randomness, help in any way whatever to make you responsible for your actions? The answer to this question is easy. It can’t."

The Atlantic - "The Brain on Trial" by David Eagleman July/August 2011

"In modern science, it is difficult to find the gap into which to slip free will—the uncaused causer—because there seems to be no part of the machinery that does not follow in a causal relationship from the other parts."

The Telegraph - "Neuroscience, free will and determinism: 'I'm just a machine'" by Tom Chivers October 12, 2010

"The philosophical definition of free will uses the phrase 'could have done otherwise'... "As a neuroscientist, you've got to be a determinist. There are physical laws, which the electrical and chemical events in the brain obey. Under identical circumstances, you couldn't have done otherwise; there's no 'I' which can say 'I want to do otherwise'."


The Guardian - "Guilty but not responsible?" by Rosiland English May 29, 2012

"The discovery that humans possess a determined will has profound implications for moral responsibility. Indeed, Harris is even critical of the idea that free will is "intuitive": he says careful introspection can cast doubt on free will. In an earlier book on morality, Harris argues 'Thoughts simply arise in the brain. What else could they do? The truth about us is even stranger than we may suppose: The illusion of free will is itself an illusion'"


Psychology Today - "Free Will Is an Illusion, So What?" by

If you think carefully about any decision you have made in the past, you will recognize that all of them were ultimately based on similar—genetic or social—inputs to which you had been exposed. And you will also discover that you had no control over these inputs, which means that you had no free will in taking the decisions you did.

Complete List

 
 


A brief history of determined vs. free will ideas

Cause and Effect – At about the 5th century BC, in his work On the Mind, the Greek Philosopher Leucippus penned the earliest known universal statement describing what we today understand as determinism, or the law of cause and effect

“Nothing happens at random, but everything for a reason and by necessity.”

Human Will – The concepts of will and free will are actually Christian in orgin. It was Saint Paul in his Letter to the Romans, which is dated at about 58 A.D., who first discovered this thing we call human will. He came to it by recognizing that he could not often do as much right as he wanted. Saint Paul wrote in Romans 7:15 that:

“I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I can’t.” I do what I don’t want to – what I hate.” (Translation – The Living Bible)

Free Will -- Nothing new was said on the matter for the next few hundred years until St. Augustine grappled with the concepts of evil and justice. Saint Augustine wrote in his book De Libero Arbitrio, 386-395 A.D., (translated as “On Free Will”)

“Evil deeds are punished by the justice of God. They would not be punished justly if they had not been performed voluntarily.”

The problem he saw was that if human beings do not have a free will, it would be unfair for God to arbitrarily reward or punish us. St. Augustine concluded that God could not be unfair, and so he created the concept of a human free will, whereby we earn our reward or punishment by what we freely do.

Scientific concepts relating to the determined will vs. free will question

Classical Mechanics -- In 1687 Sir Isaac Newton publishes his “Laws of Motions” that mathematically describes the physical universe as acting in a mechanistic manner according to the principle of cause and effect.

Classical Mechanics is a completely deterministic theory

Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle -- In 1925 Warner Heisenberg describes mathematically that…

We can measure the position of a particle or the momentum of a particle (momentum meaning its direction and velocity), but we cannot simultaneously measure the position and momentum of a particle.

Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics -- Niels Bohr and others make the following assertions;

1) Particles do not have a simultaneous position and momentum.

2) Elementary particles behave indeterministically, and are not subject to the principle of cause and effect.

Believers in free will saw the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics as providing a possibility for free will to exist. They asserted that if elementary particles behave indeterministically, they are not subject to the principle of cause and effect that prohibits free will.

But, as noted above, it eventually became apparent that indeterminism also prohibits free will.

 

Exploring the Illusion of Free Will, 2nd Edition Chapters

Intro. to the 2011 1st. edition 

Intro. to the 2013 2nd. edition (digital version)

1 How I came to see my causal will

2 Proving causal will in real time (omitted)

3 Morality within a causal will perspective

4 What it all means

5 We Do Not "Experience" Free Will

6 How the Hedonic Imperative Makes Free Will Impossible

7 How the Unsolicited Participation of the Unconscious Makes Free Will Impossible

8 Asking When a Child Gains it Illuminates the Incoherence of the Concept "Free Will"

9 Overcoming our Reluctance to Overcome the Illusion of Free Will

10 Why Change as the Basic Universal Process Makes Free Will Impossible

11 The Absurdity of Varying Degrees of Free Will

12 Why the Concept of Free Will is Incoherent

13 Overcoming Blame, Guilt, Envy and Arrogance by Overcoming the Illusion of Free Will

14 Why Both Causality and Randomness Make Free Will Impossible

15 Why Frankfurt's “Second Order Desires” Do Not Allow for a Free Will

16 Overcoming the Illusion of Free Will as an Evolutionary Leap in Human Consciousness

17 Revitalizing Religion through Transcending the Illusion of Free Will

18 Why Humans Cannot Circumvent Natural Law to Gain a Free Wil
l

Epilogue: How Refuting Free Will Went From  Academia to the Public Spotlight – with hyperlinked  articles in major publications – 2004-2012

Books Refuting Free Will and  Fundamental Moral Responsibility
 

 

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Chapters of the 2013 Exploring the Illusion of Free Will, Second Edition

 

Books Refuting Free Will and Fundamental Moral Responsibility

I’ve formatted the list in reverse chronological order by first publishing date to highlight the historical development of the refutations. While the list generally includes only books that unequivocally refute both free will and fundamental moral responsibility, I’ve included recent works like Michael S. Gazzaniga’s Who’s in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain and Richard Oerton’s The Nonsense of Free Will: Facing Up to a False Belief  that put forth convincing arguments for why free will is an illusion, yet maintain the logically inconsistent position that humans are nonetheless fundamentally, as distinct from pragmatically, morally responsible for their actions. Excluded are works like Ted Honderich’s How Free Are You: The Determinism Problem that present compelling arguments and evidence against free will, but equivocate on definitively concluding that free will is a categorical impossibility.

1.  June 1, 2013 - Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility edited by Gregg Caruso, Ph.D.. Note that while this collection of original essays is by scholars who deny, or merely express doubt, that free will exists, and some may maintain the position that humans are fundamentally, as distinct from pragmatically, morally responsible, it is included in the list because of its importance as a first-ever and historic academic compilation of free will refutations. List of authors: Susan Blackmore, Gregg Caruso, Thomas W. Clark, Mark Hallett, John-Dylan Haynes and Michael Pauen, Ted Honderich, Neil Levy, Thomas Nadelhoffer and Daniela Goya Tocchetto, Shaun Nichols, Derk Pereboom, Susan Pockett, Maureen Sie, Saul Smilansky, Galen Strawson, Manuel Vargas, Benjamin Vilhauer, and Bruce Waller  $80.75

2.  October 1, 2012 - The Nonsense of Free Will: Facing up to a false belief by Richard Oerton  $13.29

3.  August 10, 2012 - Brain Choices & Free Will: Getting To Know Ourselves Using Concepts That Are Not Well Understood Or Accepted  by Kip Koehler  $5.69

4.  May 10, 2012 (Third Edition issued on January 17, 2013) - Free Will: The Ultimate in Nonsense by Enel Vale  $17.99

5.  March 6, 2012 - Free Will by Sam Harris, Ph.D.  $9.99

6.  February 23, 2012 - Free Will and Consciousness; A Determinist Account of the Illusion of Free Will by Gregg Caruso, Ph.D.  $56.47

7.  December 2, 2011 (Kindle Second Edition issued on June 20, 2013) - Exploring the Illusion of Free Will, Second Edition by George Ortega  $.99

8.  November 15, 2011 (Reissued on September 11, 2012) - Who's in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain by Michael S. Gazzaniga  $18.65

9.  September 5, 2011 - Hard Luck: How Luck Undermines Free Will and Moral Responsibility by Neil Levy, Ph.D.  $47.51

10.  November 3, 2010 - Free Will?: An Investigation into whether We Have Free Will, or whether I was Always Going to Write this Book by Jonathan M.S. Pearce  $15.00 

11.  2007 (Revised Edition issued on August 11, 2010) - The Myth of Free Will, Revised and Expanded Edition  edited by Cris Evatt  $9.95

12.  June 1, 2005 - Conscious Robots by Paul Kwatz  $1.51 for the Kindle edition (bound edition is out of print)

13.  August 11, 2003 - The Illusion of Conscious Will by Daniel M. Wegner, Ph.D.  $16.84

14.  September 26, 2002 - Free Will and Illusion by Saul Smilansky, Ph.D.  $46.67

15.  2001 (Reissued on November 2, 2006) - Living Without Free Will by Derk Pereboom, Ph.D.  $48.82

16.  May 23, 1991 - The Implications of Determinism by Roy Weatherford (out of print)

17.  November 22, 1990 - The Non-Reality of Free Will by Richard Double  $104.50

18.  July 1989 (Reissued October 22, 2012) - The Spontaneous Self: Viable Alternatives to Free Will by Paul E. Breer  $26.99

19.  June 1989 - Free Will by Robert E. Brooks (out of print)

20.  1986 (Second edition issued on October 21, 2010) - Freedom and Belief, Second Edition by Galen Strawson, Ph.D.  $30.61

21.  1964 - Human Freedom and Responsibility by Frederick Vivian (out of print)

22.  1919  (Reissued on May 15, 2011) - Determinism or Free Will  by Chapman Cohen  $36.86 (the Kindle edition is free)

23.  1839 - Essay on the Freedom of the Will (Reissued on May 6, 2005) by Arthur Schopenhauer  $6.60

24.  1754  (Reissued on November 10, 2010) - Freedom of the Will by Jonathan Edwards  $.95 for the Kindle edition. (The bound edition, published on September 1, 1997 is out of print) free online version

End of Book

 

List of Chapters

 
Intro. to 2011 edition  Intro. to 2013 digital edition 1  (2 omitted)  3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   Epilogue  Books Refuting Free Will...
 


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