EXPLORING THE ILLUSION OF FREE WILL
 
 
  George Ortega
Creating a world of far less blame, guilt, arrogance and envy

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

 

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

 
Quick Links to 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
 

Quick Links to 18 Episode Transcripts: ( by title 01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18

 

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Titles Episodes
   
01-10 01-10
   
11-20 11-20
   
21-30 21-30
   
31-40 31-40
   
41-50 41-50
   
51-60 51-60
   
61-70 61-70
   
71-80 71-80
   
81-90 81-90
   
91-100 91-100
   

101-110

101-110

   

111-120

111-120

   

121-130

121-130

 

 

131-140

131-140
   

141-150

141-150
 
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.

 

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
l
 
 

YouTube Collection

Episodes on blip.tv 
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1-10   11-20    21-30    31-40


               


Free Will Refuted in the Blogs
 

Last updated July 30, 2012


Relevant Magazine - "Can you help but do evil? I do not see how. Do you?" by D.L. 

The Examined Life - "Book Review: “Free Will” by Sam Harris" by Geoffrey Lee Hodge

 Good as Gay - "I'm A Naughty Determinist" by Jacob Woods  July 26, 2012

Fun with kids! - "Theists, explain to me how determinism and omnibenevolence work together?" by lucky500  July 26, 2012

Seeking Understanding - "Personal Ethics and Determinism" by bas615  July 25, 2012

HinesSight - "'You didn't build that' because you don't have free will" by Brian Hines  July 25, 2012

More About Parenting - "what is wrong with my philosophy essay?what can i do to make it better and longer?" by admin on July 25, 2012

someone somewhere - "Neuroscience vs philosophy: Taking aim at free will." by zedie  July 24, 2012

Arbitrary Nonsense - "Philosophical Workbench – Free Will (and why you don’t really want it)"  by Zetland

The Open Mind - "The illusion of free will" by Lage  July 23, 2012

camostar - "Freedoom" by camostar  July 18, 2012

Carbon Based - "keplereleven asked:" by July 18, 2012

Super Vidoqo - "Towards An Optimistic Determinism" by Vidogo  July 17, 2012

Meating of Minds - "Free Will: No Means No" by Joe  July 17, 2012

Why Evolution is True - "New York Times reviews Sam Harris’s “Free Will” by whyevolutionistrue  July 14, 2012

Beith Online - "David Hume, Determinism, and the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy" by Robbie  July 14, 2012

Church of the Churchless - "Free will doesn't exist. Compatibilism makes no sense."  July 14, 2012

Google +  Jack C Crawford - "You should find this interesting!" by Jack C Crawford  July 13, 2012

The Barking Atheist - "Determinism, Atheism, and Uncertainty" by TheBarkingAtheist  July 13, 2012

Why Evolution is True - "'Zeuglodon' on free will at the RDF site" by whyevolutionistrue July 12, 2012

filipino freethinkers - "Are We Free to Believe" by  Garrick Bercero  July 9, 2012

"While “freedom of belief” sounds like a perfectly desirable principle, a closer inspection reveals that it is unintelligible. We are no more free to consciously believe the things that we believe than we are free to change what facts in the world are true.

Carbon Based- "Consciousness and Free Will"   July 8, 2012

San Diego Jewish World - "So do we have free will or don't we" by Fred, Riess,  Ed.D.   July 7, 2012

The PsudoMe - "Determinism" by Heather  July 5, 2012

Sam Snyder - "God the Programmer" by Sam Snyder July 2, 2012

MyNews24 - "Losing your religion - Part 3: God" by BrianExmachina  June 27, 2012

Pierre Rousseau - "The Insane Idea That Will Power Exists Is Fatal" by Pierre Rousseu  June 21, 2012

richard bowker - "Free Will and the Immigration Debate" by Richard Bowker  June 21, 2012

Sam Snyder - "The Best Argument Against Free Will" by Sam Snyder  June 15, 2012 

Sam Snyder - "Exploring the Illusion of Free Will" by Sam Snyder   June 14, 2012

 
Heart On Sleeve - "FREE WILL? AT WHAT EXPENSE?" a poem by Richard K. Schwartz  June 8, 2012  Here are a few lines;

"There's nothing more costly than "Will" that is free.
To have it and hold it consumes energy,
And limits our neurons and dendritic tree,
And makes us just less than whoever we be"

French Wine Girl Travels - "According to Stephan Hawking, 'Free will is an illusion…' Who am I to argue?" by French Wine Girl Travels  June 9, 2012

Giovanni Casinelli - "Do we have Free Will?" by Giovanni Casinelli  Jun 8, 2012  A very concise explanation of why both determinism and randomness refute free will.

MyNews24 - "The Free Will That We Don't Have" by shaunstanley  June 08, 2012  "In conclusion, ‘free will’ is something that it is thought we typically have, and we use it in order to cash-out our common sense notions of moral responsibility. Not only do we not have the free will we typically think we do, but the concept itself is mysterious and incoherent. Its incoherency is easily demonstrated, as is the fact that we do not have it. This has grave implications for religion. The realization that there is no free will shatters particular doctrines of religion."

Basic Rules of Life - "More on Free Will"  June 7, 2012  "The old notion of true freedom—the ability to do otherwise—has been killed dead by science. Why aren’t people emphasizing that rather than trying to save free will by using other definitions, or, worse, telling us that determinism and the illusion of dualistic really is really the kind of free will we want. That’s not the kind of free will I want! I want the ability to choose freely among alternatives, but I don’t have it. But I, like all of us, pretend otherwise."

A Slice of Mind - "Thinking with a deterministic perspective" by Suva  June 7, 2012 Understanding that free will is an illusion encourages humility and gratitude.

Godless Business - "Causality, Determinism, and Free Will"  June 6, 2012  "While this is a very brief overview of the decisions I have come to regarding this topic, I hope I have communicated the salient points. In short, we is no choice – there is no such thing as “free will” because we live in a deterministic universe. We know this because causality seems to hold true in all relevant circumstances."

Data and the Divine - "The Free Will Irony" by Gus Lott, Ph. D.  June 6, 2012  "A little more on the book “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell. It talks about the illusion of the self-made man. As I mentioned, Gladwell begins by pointing out that virtually all professional Hockey players in Canada are born between January and April… and goes from there. I highly recommend the read."

Building Bridges to Business Success - "Mind Mastery – Cause and effect which side of the equation are you on?" by Tony Brooks  June 4, 2012  Business is catching on to the fact that whether or not we have a free will is not a trivial nor inconsequential matter. 

 --theoretical ecology - "Probabilistic models in statistical analysis – mechanism or phenomenology?" by Florian Hartig  June 1, 2012  People whom the universe has compelled to not be able to relinquish the illusion of free will often cite quantum mechanics as a possible way free will can exist. The best that quantum mechanics can offer, however, is randomness, and a random decision is not a freely willed decision.  Quantum mechanics is fully deterministic, or causal, as Florian Hartig explains quite well in this blog.

I Am Clarke Roberts And I have thoughts and opinions  "In defence of determinism and predestination" by Clarke Robers  May 30, 2012

UK Human Rights Blog -  "We need to think about Kevin" by Rosalind English May 29, 2012

Third Millennial Templar - "Free Will in Heaven" by tylerjourneaux  May 28, 2012

LandonLockhart's Blog - "Do we have “free will?'" by Landon Lockhart  

ecthelion's Reason - "Free Will"  by ecthelion   May 20, 2012

Church of the Churchless - "Great free will question: What do we want to be free from?"  May 03, 2012 

ABC Religion and Ethics - "Free will is an illusion - and must be exposed" by Sam Harris  April 27, 2012 

FOREXPROS - "Anchors: And You Thought You Had ‘Free Will'"  By   May 24, 2012

Columbia University WNYC Radio; The Brian Lehrer Show "The Illusion of Free Will" audio with Guest Sam Harris  March 30, 2012

Church of the Churchless - "Free will is a limiting, destructive belief"  March 09, 2012

Church of the Churchless - There's no free will, so you're unable to believe me"  January 28, 2012

Sam Snyder - "The End of Free Will" by Sam Snyder  May 12, 2012

Church of the Churchless - "Great free will question: What do we want to be free from?"  May 03, 2012

Secular Perspectives - "Free Will and Determinism" by  Friday, April 01, 2011

Stalin's Moustache - "Lenin on free will and determinism (or why he is a Calvinist)" by stalinsmoustache  February 26, 2011

Carbon Based - "Stephen Hawking on Free Will - The Grand Design"  February 18, 2011

hypothetical thinking. - "Determinism and Free Will"

Lapidarium - "Stephen Hawking on free will" by Amira Skomorowska  Wednesday. December 15, 2010

Meaning and Truth  - "Neuroplasticity, quantum physics and free will"  October 11, 2010

Why Evolution is True - "New York Times to readers: of course you have free will." by whyevolutionistrue  July 27, 2010

Church of the Churchless  - "Free will is a fiction (and that's fine)"  July 27, 2010

Backyard Skeptics - "Free Will vs Determanism" by Bruce Gleason July 08, 2010

Awesomeosophy - "Free will or Determinism, God or Man?"  January 15, 2010

The Skeptical Atheist - "Adam, Eve, Free Will And Determinism" by The Skeptical Atheist   December 3, 2009

Working on Living—through philosophy - "A Problem for Libertarian Free Will" by George Wrisley 

danielmiessler.com - "A Simplified Argument Against Free Will" By Daniel Miessler  October 18th, 2009

ThinkBuddha.org - "Thinking About Free Will" by Will Buckingham  September 23, 2009

Naturalism.Org - "Free Will Skepticism: Where Are the Skeptics?" by Tom Clark  September 2009

The Atheist Missionary - "Michael Vick, determinism and the mirage of free will" July 20, 2009

RadioLab - "Is Free Will Really Free?" audio  Malcolm Gladwell and John Bargh November 7, 2008

Anti-Supernatural - "FREE WILL DISPROVED" January 18, 2008

neurodudes - "Where are we with this whole free will thing?" by Neville Sanjana  December 12th, 2007

Conscious Robots - "If we genuinely had free will - what would we do all day?" by Paul Kwatz  July 2007 

danielmiessler.com - "Free Will: The Necessary Delusion" by Daniel Miessler  June 2007

The Dilbert Blog - "Free Will in Fruit Flies" by Scott Adams 

Short Sharp Science; New Scientist blog -  "Free will is an illusion" by Michael Bond  April 11, 2007

The Dilbert Blog - "Asses and Free Will" by Scott Adams 

Freethought Weekly - "On the Nonexistence of Free Will" by Delta  November 22, 2006

Dr. Susan Blackmore - "Life without free will" by Susan Blackmore  August 22, 2006

A Journey into the Eye of the Storm - "Free Will is an Illusion" by Ronnie Miranda  August 1, 2006

Facts4U - "WHERE'S THE FREE WILL? An Exploration of This Elusive Concept" by Gordon M. Orloff 2005

Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog - "A Note on Free Will" by

Gene Expression - "Undermining Free Will?" by Arcane  October 12, 2004

Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog - "The Metaphysics of Free Will in The New York Times"

The Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County "Free Will: The Last Great Lie" By Robert Gulack  April 3, 2004

Marginal Revolution - "Does Milton Friedman believe in free will?" by Tyler Cowen  September 29, 2003

The Happiness Show - "THS 7. Happiness and the Determinism vs. Free Will Question (Taped 05-20-03) 500kb wmv (2003) video by George Ortega  May 20, 2003

At Kingwood Assembly of Christ - "FREE WILL--POLYTHEISTIC" by W. E. Best  September 23, 2001

 

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