Did you know that neither you, nor anyone else, has free will?
Sure, some philosophers (called “compatibilists”) redefine the term “free will” into something you might actually have.
What I’m talking about, however, is the more common notion of the term. I’m talking about the free will that’s of importance to almost everything we do. I’m talking about the free will that’s relevant to a number of topics, ideas, beliefs, and feelings we hold. I’m talking about this belief that we can choose between more than one viable option or action, in which that choice is “up to us”. Or to put it in past tense, the belief that we could have, of our own accord, done otherwise than what we did. And yes, the “up to us” or “of our own accord” is just as important as the “choosing between more than one viable option” or the “doing otherwise”.
If you are at all familiar with some of the terms used in the free will debate, you might already know words such as determinism, indeterminism, hard determinism, compatibilism, and libertarianism. If you aren’t familiar with these words, don’t worry too much, as when I use them I make every attempt to clarify what is meant.
That being said, for those those who already have an understanding of most if not all of these words, and are already rejecting one or more of them, – that’s all fine and dandy. If you have a belief in free will, you’re probably either a compatibilist or libertarian. If a compatibilist, you don’t necessarily reject determinism, you simply think free will (how you define it) is compatible with it. If you’re a libertarian, you think free will is incompatible with determinism, but you also think indeterminism holds (and therefore free will isn’t problematic).
Both of these positions reject hard determinism, that being that free will does not exist due to it being incompatible with determinism. They do so, however, for differing reasons.
You might even come to this site with a pre-conceived notion that since I don’t believe in free will – I’m a hard determinist. I’m not. Rather, I’m a hard incompatibilist. Hard incompatibilism is the idea that free will is incompatible in BOTH a deterministic universe (or beyond) as well as an indeterministic universe (or beyond). That there simply is no room for free will in any possible space, time, physical, or even non-physical realm.
It rejects libertarian notions of free will happening through some indeterministic means.
It also rejects compatibilism, not in that the definitions of “free will” used by many compatibilists don’t work, but rather that we shouldn’t be using those definitions as they tend to bypass the common idea people have as well as the huge importance of understanding this other notion of free will. The one that’s incompatible with both a determinism as well as indeterminism. The one that’s actually relevant to a number of extremely important topics, from philosophy, to ethics, to economics, to the day to day psychology we have.
I’m currently in the process of writing a book titled: Breaking the Free Will Illusion for the Betterment of Humankind. In it I’ll attempt to put an end to the free will debate once and for all! Easier said than done (of course), and you can be your own judge in how convincing I was. It’s my hopes, however, to make the arguments in it so straight-forward that one simply cannot deny that this common notion of free will is unacceptable (not to mention dangerous), and that due to this we require a complete shift in our thinking.
No, quantum mechanics can’t help. Different ideas about time and space neither. No spirituality or mysticism can’t grant free will, nor can a deity. No, there is no special kind of particle that can give free will. No, time travel wouldn’t help with free will. Nope, holism and downward causation won’t help. No, nesting “orders of” thought won’t get you anywhere. No, acausality, probabilism, and different notions of causality simply won’t help.
And NO, we don’t need the idea of free will. In fact I’ll argue that it’s a gigantic blight on our progression as thoughtful and reasonable beings. I’ll show how it creates so much blame, way too much inequality, and a whole lot of hatred. The understanding the we don’t have free will, if we don’t let our psychology that has been built up on the idea of free will override our reason, will elevate us. We’ll see thinks in an entirely new light!
Join the revolution of thinkers. Of people who care about truth. Of people who care about logic, reason, and evidence.
The understanding that we don’t have free will is a base level understanding. Help me break the free will illusion for the betterment of humankind! Play your role in history as a positive cog.
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