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01-20 01-20
21-40 21-40
41-60 41-60
61-80 61-80

Upcoming Episodes


Free Will Refutations in Major Publications


Recent books for the public and academia refuting free will


Free Will Refuted in the Blogs


Edited and Revised Transcripts of the First Eighteen Episodes


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.


Edited Transcripts of the First Eighteen Episodes
01 How I came to see my causal will

02 Proving causal will in real time

03 Morality within a causal will perspective

04 What it all means

05 We Do Not "Experience" Free Will

06 How the Hedonic Imperative Makes Free Will Impossible

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

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

09 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

YouTube Collection

Episodes on blip.tv 
Distrusted for  tabletop television devices like Roku

1-10   11-20    21-30    31-40




Emails To Philosophers and Psychologists



"A free will is necessarily amoral.  A determined will is necessarily moral and non-accountable"

June 11, 2009



Dear Dr...

I am writing to ask you to consider a short proof I have developed that demonstrates that human free will, if it exists, must be necessarily amoral, and describes how it’s alternative, a determined will, must be necessarily both moral and non-accountable. I would appreciate any comment or critique you can offer me regarding this proof.

If human beings are truly in possession of a free will that is capable of making choices that are not compelled by genetic and/or environmental causes, and this free will therefore makes such choices for no reason other than to simply exercise its agency, such a free will must be necessarily amoral, and is, therefore, not worth having.

We can test the validity of this proposition by examining it within the context of a specific moral example; the choice of whether or not to steal. A person’s free will that has chosen to not steal has, by definition, made this choice completely independent of any cause or reason other than to simply exercise its power to act. However, if the person’s free will has chosen without having been compelled by moral considerations, the free will has made its choice amorally. The freely willed choice to not steal cannot be considered a moral choice because it did not rely on moral precepts as its basis or reason. Indeed, a free will that does not base any of its moral choices on moral precepts is necessarily amoral

One might here object that the person’s free will could have considered some moral precepts relevant to stealing, and then freely and independently decided to not steal. However, this prospect is incoherent, or logically impossible; a will that chooses to not steal because it considers stealing wrong has based its choice on a moral precept, and this moral precept becomes the cause of the choice. Once a will makes a choice for a moral reason, indeed for any reason, the choice is immediately and completely rendered deterministic, and we can no longer deem the will that made the choice a free will.

Expressed in greater detail, once we have established any reason for a choice, in this case the moral aversion to stealing, we have demonstrated that the choice was made by a determined rather than a free will, and that the choice is therefore subject to a reverse causal chain that stretches back to a cause completely outside of the control of that will. In our example, the person’s choice to not steal was caused by a moral aversion to stealing. To explain this moral aversion, we can surmise one of many possible reverse causal chains, such as the following: The person’s moral aversion to stealing was caused by having learned from his parents the immorality of stealing. Since this learning was not freely willed or chosen by the person, his choice to not steal was therefore also not freely chosen. The cause of the person’s not stealing is the person’s parents’ morality.

The simple inescapable truth is that a free will cannot, by definition, make moral decisions. Such a will is categorically amoral, and therefore not worth having.

Conversely, if human beings are truly in possession of a determined will whose choices are compelled by genetic and/or environmental causes, and this will makes either moral or immoral choices, such a will must be necessarily moral in the sense that its choices are made according to, and reflect, either moral or immoral reasons. Such a determined will is, however, non-accountable, being neither credit- nor blameworthy for its choices, as explained generally by standard deterministic theory and its principle of cause and effect, and specifically by the above example demonstrating the deterministic nature of a will having chosen to not steal.

The only other case left to examine as we consider a will’s morality and accountability is the possibility that humans possess an indetermined will, or a will that makes its choices according to an indeterministic process. An indetermined will must necessarily make its choices indeterministically, or randomly, and, as such, cannot be deemed to make those choices based on moral precepts. Thus an indetermined will cannot make moral decisions, and is, like a free will, categorically amoral.

A free will and an indetermined will must both be amoral. Only a determined will can be moral, however because it is determined, this will must be non-accountable. These conclusions are certainly not entirely satisfying. But consider some other conclusions we face that are equally less than entirely satisfying. We live in a universe that is either eternal or temporal, and either infinite or finite, but these questions seem to transcend our ability to answer through either reason or science. We are alive as human beings for a few seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years or decades, and then we die and are subject to either non-existence or to an existence about which we know absolutely nothing.

More and more evidence is mounting to establish the firm conclusion that our human wills are determined. We have, however, fortunately been determined to be lucky. Although we are far from perfect in this pursuit, we seem hard-wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain. In other words, we are hard-wired to seek happiness. And although we have been determined to make many mistakes, if we are to accept Aristotle’s conclusion, we seem similarly hard-wired to choose to do only that which we consider to be good, it being only our ignorance of the true good that causes us to be anything other than good. John Locke tied these two concepts of happiness and goodness together in a way that explains their relationship with his definition of goodness as that which creates happiness.

So, to the extent we choose to view our human wills as moral and determined rather than amoral and free or indeterministic, we can take optimistic solace in the understanding that our human will has been determined by the causal past to act according to goodness, to seek happiness, and to, consequently, seek the knowledge to better ascertain that goodness that will create the greatest happiness for the greatest number.

Thank you.


George Ortega

White Plains, New York



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