Sep 032014
 

possibility in a deterministic universe

If you don’t already know, I’m a hard incompatibilist. This means I think free will is logically incoherent in both a deterministic universe as well as an indeterministic universe. In this post, I just want to address if the universe is a “deterministic universe”, meaning entirely causal (all events have a cause), and what such would mean for the word “possibility”.

There are different branches of philosophy. One of these branches is called “epistemology” which is the branch that is concerned with the nature of knowledge. In other words, what we can know, how we can know it, and so on. Another is called “ontology” which is the branch that is concerned with existence (or “being”, “becoming”, “reality”). In other words, it addresses what exists, how it exists, if something cannot exist, and so on.

These two branches are more often conflated than not. People address epistemology when they should be addressing ontology, or ontology for epistemological usages of words. This is very problematic and causes great confusion.

To give an example of how these are used, the claim “rocks exist in the box” is an ontological claim. The claim that “a heavy box is probably filled with rocks” is epistemological. We may not know (epistemology) that the box is filled with rocks, but either they do exist (ontology) in the box or they do not. Continue reading »

Aug 052014
 

particle-head

Click Pic for Attribution 

I want to yell this from the rooftops to all of those people who conflate reductionism with hard determinism. Determinism is not reductionistic! Okay…not literally yell it from the rooftops as (the majority) of people who aren’t into philosophy would just think “huh”? But you get the point. :)

For people who don’t already know, hard determinism states that since every event is causal, free will is incompatible with such. I don’t label myself as a Hard Determinist, but rather a Hard Incompatibilist (Meaning free will is incompatible in both a deterministic univerese as well as an indeterministic universe), but either way neither implies a reductionistic framework.

Reductionism, at it’s stripped away base, means that everything can be reduced down to it’s parts. And there are reductionists out there who think everything is just the “small bits” bouncing around. Some even say large scale objects don’t really exist due to this.

This is what I call “extreme reductionism”.  The rejection of what those parts make up due to being able to reduce an object to the parts. And it’s a big, ginormous, whopping mistake from what I can tell.

And some of these people not only reject free will (which they are absolutely correct in doing so), but they also reject consciousness itself and say that is an “illusion”. Let’s just disregard the fact that you can’t have an illusion without consciousness, so the illusion of consciousness is within an illusion of consciousness within an illusion of consciousness, so on ad absurdum.

But why is this reductionistic framework a mistake? Because we know otherwise. We know that parts make up wholes which have an actual effect on the parts themself. That simply isn’t possible without extending existence to the very wholes that the parts make up. Continue reading »

Aug 022014
 

hard-incompatibilism

Labels exist, and in philosophy there is way too much jargon. That being said, many people know some terms that they might label a person and are unfamiliar with others that they never will. It seems the word “determinism” is common enough for many people who have an interest in the topic of free will and some even know what “hard determinism” is. On the other hand the term “Hard Incompatibilism” isn’t as spread around as these other words. And though it has differing usages, it’s been adopted by Derk Pereboom (Living Without Free Will) and others to address indeterminism as well.

When someone learns you don’t believe in free will, one of two things seem to spring to mind. Either they think your position is a religious one, meaning that since God knows everything you can’t have free will. In other words you believe in predestination “fated” by a deity (which would be true if such an all knowing deity existed). Or they think you are a hard  determinist: that you believe every event has a cause and that due to this our decisions stem back in time to causes that precede back to the start of time. Continue reading »

Jul 302014
 

Breaking the Free Will Illusion for the Betterment of Humankind is now out on paperback! 345 pages worth of free will destroying material (including back material such as bio, syllogisms, bibliography, end notes, and index).

Concepts in this book are conveyed in a number of different ways. Logical arguments are made, analogies and thought experiments act as understanding pumps, illustrations are used for key concepts and to break up long text, and (at the end of many chapters) dialogues between two character, one who believes in free will, the other who doesn’t, help display many of the ideas in a conversational setting.

Take a look at a paperback copy (actual photograph):

BTFWI - paperback

These are actual photo’s I’ve taken of a physical paperback copy. The dimensions are 8.5″ tall by 5.5″ wide (very common for books of these types).
BTFWI - paperbacks

If you are an Amazon Associate, feel free to use any of the above graphics to promote this book on your own website, social media, or email!

 

Get your paperback copy on Amazon today (also on Kindle!)

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

I was told it could take from 6 to 8 weeks for other amazon sites (such as amazon.ca) to pick up my paperback book from expanded distribution and make it available. If you are in another location you can also buy my book before then from the createspace store (but you unfortunately can’t take advantage of amazon’s free shipping or things like that through the store)

All locations can currently buy the paperback book from the CreateSpace store:

Amazon CreateSpace Store

Also, if you do buy from the createspace store here is a $2 off discount code you can use to help offset some of the shipping fee: FY96GQ74

Remember, if you do buy the book, read it, and found it useful or enjoyable, please log into Amazon and give me a review (for places like amazon.ca you can place the review on the kindle version as it’s the same book). Help me get the book seen!

 

Jun 062014
 

Today is what I deem the official launch date of my book, Breaking the Free Will Illusion for the Betterment of Humankind. In light of this I’ll be giving my Kindle book away absolutely FREE today, Friday June 6th and tomorrow, Saturday June 7th! Just visit the Amazon link below depending on your location.

You should see the price of my book as $0 for those two days. Click “Buy now” and buy the book. If you have a Kindle ereader have it sent directly to your device. Or you can read it using an Amazon Kindle App on any computer, iPad, iPhone, tablet, or smartphone.

FRIDAY JUNE 6th and SATURDAY JUNE 7th, 2014

DOWNLOAD FREE BOOK

AMAZON.COM -USA

AMAZON.CA – Canada

AMAZON.CO.UK – United Kingdom

AMAZON.DE – Germany

AMAZON.FR – France

AMAZON.CO.JP – Japan

AMAZON.IN – India

AMAZON.IT – Italy

AMAZON.ES – Spain

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AMAZON.COM.AU – Australia


 

BREAKING THE FREE WILL ILLUSION
FOR THE BETTERMENT OF HUMANKIND

BOOK_COVER-BreakingTheFreeWillIllusion-for_Website

Find out why free will is logically incoherent and humanity is better off abandoning it. In this book I make the ultimate case against free will, as well as explain the benefits of this understanding. No longer should we be stuck in the illusion that allows so many harms in the words. The evidence against free will is just too strong.

If you download and enjoy the free book, would you be so kind as to leave an Amazon review?  This will help the books ranking on Amazon which in turn will get this philosophy out to even more people in the future. Also share on social media and tell others. As you probably have guessed, I think this understanding is pretty important.

Thank you,

‘Trick Slattery

Jun 022014
 

This post isn’t going to make the case against free will. If you want that case in all of it’s glory, check out my book Breaking the Free Will Illusion for the Betterment of Humankind.

Rather, this post is going to be about where the case against free will resides, meaning where it sits and what’s being looked at when the case is being made.

First thing first, I want to address burden of proof. Though I do go over this quickly in the book as well, it’s important to point out when addressing “where the case against free will is” that any such case is in the form of “proving a negative”. In other words, the person making the claim of something “existing” always carries the burden of proof to show that such exists, and that it exists as something more than just a “feeling” or “intuition”. To put it another way, no one I know of is denying that people experience a “feeling” of free will or an “intuition” about it.  Of course we do.

We, after all, never see the variables that output our thoughts, decisions, and actions. To us, it seems like all of those options presented before us are all viable options. The illusion of free will exists – as an illusion. As something we intuit (though incorrectly). There is little or no doubt about that. It’s when people say that free will is more than a feeling or illusion that they hold all of the burden of providing proof for their existence claim.

Regardless of this, because people do experience this illusion, and the belief in “actual” free will is pervasive, hard determinists or incompatibilists often feel they have some obligation to “prove a negative”. To shift that burden of proof. To show that free will doesn’t in fact exist, rather than to ask for the evidence for free will – which always seems to come up with something like “we experience it” and then builds on that.

When we look down a straight train track we often experience parallel train tracks converging at the horizon. As we watch a train go down those tracks we see it become smaller and smaller until it eventually vanishes. We know, however, that this is not the case. We know that if we get on a train and ride it toward the horizon that we will not get smaller and smaller until we vanish, or crash because what we thought were parallel train tracks actually converge. We understand the limitations of or perception as well as have an understanding of perspective. We don’t even have to think about it, we simply know that there is no convergence or that the train isn’t literally shrinking. We have no fear of these sorts when riding on that train.

Likewise, we can know that free will is incoherent, even if we seem to experience something like it. That’s because we can actually prove the negative. We don’t have to wait for someone to attempt to prove that free will exists. We don’t have to say “we shouldn’t believe it until it’s proven”, but rather we can say “we shouldn’t believe it because it has been disproven”. A much stronger, burden shifting, case.

The case against free will is within that “proving a negative” arena that most scientifically or logically minded people understand that there is still a burden for the person making the claim itself. Once that’s clear, we can actually move on to actually proving that negative. That’s done within the confines of logic, meaning the methodologies of deduction as well as induction (our best standards of knowledge). The scientific method uses both induction and deduction, and therefore is an example of a logical methodology. But even before the scientific method we can deductively understand that colorless pink square circles are self-contradictory  – rendering them logically incoherent.

boxes_of_contradictions-FOR_BLOG_POST

Likewise, this is where the case against free will is. We can understand that the universe (or beyond?) is either deterministic (meaning everything has a cause) or indeterministic (meaning that some acausal events can occur). Once we understand these two possibilities we can assess if free will makes sense within them. As it turns out, free will is entirely logically incompatible with those two states. Quantum mechanics can’t free it. Different conceptions of time can’t free it. Some non-physical view can’t free it. It’s simply as logically incoherent as those colorless pink square circles are.

And that’s more than sufficient. With just that alone it’s a closed case. The idea of free will has been found guilty of being complete nonsense. But the case against free will doesn’t stop there. When we get into science and in particular neuroscience, we come up with experiments that seem to align with the fact that this magical ability just doesn’t exist. For example, the fact that we can, for the most part, know if a person will press a button held by their left hand or one held by their right hand, 7 to 10 seconds before they are consciously aware of which button they have decided to press. It’s just more dirt on the coffin of free will – and there will be more of that to come.

So where is the case against free will? It’s in logic, reason, critical thinking, and the willingness to shift the burden to prove a negative. The case is within the logical incoherence of the free will position. Where it’s not located is within the realm of wishful thinking, dogma, fantasy, imagination, or illusion. Those areas are reserved for the cases supporting free will. 😉

Interested in reading the actual case? Well that’s much longer than a single post can handle:

The Kindle ebook version is now available!

buy-now-amazon-button

BTFWI_BOOK_COVER

Breaking the Free Will Illusion
for the Betterment of Humankind

Don’t have a Kindle Ereader? That’s okay, use a free Kindle App on your computer, tablet, or smartphone!

May 302014
 

I wrote a guest post on A Tippling Philosopher and I thank Jonathan for having me. The post talks about the dangers of free will and gives a few reasons why we are better off abandoning the belief in it. Take a look here:

Losing the Belief in Free Will is for the Best

(click on above link to go to the guest post)

I met Jonathan, owner of the Tippling Philosopher blog, and author of a number of interesting books, a few years back while on facebook. I explained to him I was in the process of writing my book on the lack of free will. He had written his own book on the free will debate titled: Free Will? An investigation into whether we have free will, or whether I was always going to write this book. Of course I downloaded it to my Kindle and read it at that time. I found he shares many of the same philosophical understandings surrounding the topic.

If you are looking for an excellent understanding of the three primary compatibilist, libertarian, and determinist views of free will, this book is an excellent read that goes over many of the common philosophical arguments for each.

Now that my book is out it’s great that people like Jonathan are willing to support my philosophical endeavors by having me guest post (and he’s going to read my book and review it too). Us un-free-will-ists need to stick together. This is about educating people on this important topic, and the more people doing so the better.

It’s best to build communities by networking with others who hold this understanding.

 

May 212014
 

Now I just need to promote it!

That’s right, my ebook Breaking the Free Will Illusion for the Betterment of Humankind is finally out on Amazon! Woooohooo! This is a milestone for me. It’s currently only in ebook (Kindle) format, but that will eventually change as a physical book is built.

By the way, did you know you don’t need a Kindle eReader to read Kindle books from Amazon? You can use apps for your iPad or iPhone, or even download a Kindle Reading App to you computer and read them there (there is also a Kindle cloud reader which allows you to read them right in your browser)! There are also apps for other smartphones and tablets as well! So even if you don’t have a Kindle eReader (personally, I like the ones with e-ink technology – better than reading a physical book any day!)

If anyone would like to review the book on their blog let me know and I’ll send out a review copy of the ebook. I’m also looking for Amazon reviews as right now the ebook is in no-mans-land (meaning it might as well be sitting in the middle of a desert or floating around in space next to Russell’s Teapot). I’ll be doing a book promotion and an “official” launch shortly to get things going on the book.

Anyway, please do check it out at the link below! And if you left me a wonderful Amazon review send me an email and let me know!  I want to thank you personally for your support!

I’ve also been putting up some neat “no free will” products here for anyone interested in spreading the meme that there is no free will.

May 062014
 

I know I haven’t really said anything profound on this blog as of yet. I’ve basically been using it as a status update on my book and this site. Eventually, it will get to a point where I’ll be adding real content to my blog posts, but for now this is all I have time for.  My breaking the free will illusion book is going to be out on Amazon Kindle any time now. It’ll start as a Kindle only book, but eventually there’ll be a hard copy version as well. There are certain reasons I think ebooks should be a primary focus, especially for a philosophical topic such as this. And Amazon has a program called KDP select which really will be useful in initially promoting the book.

I also revamped the look of this website once again and adjusted the cover of my soon to be released book. I thought the last one seemed a bit too dark and perhaps somber, so I lightened things up quite a bit. Understanding that free will is an illusion is much brighter and happier experience, so the book cover had to correlate with that. I also made the text much bolder so it shows up better as a thumbnail. Here’s the much improved cover:

BOOK_COVER-BreakingTheFreeWillIllusion-for_Website

Notice the logo on it. I’m also creating a brand to help promote the understanding that free will is an illusion. I wanted the brand logo to be simple, easy to remember, all one color, and representative of the breaking of the free will illusion. Here’s the brand design I decided on:

BTFWI-LOGO-SMALL

The three smaller circles represent supposed “viable option”, the inside medium sized circle represents the “willer”, and of course the large thicker circle with the line represents the breaking of the illusion. This symbol is the perfect representation to say that you don’t believe in free will, so it’s the “brand” logo for my book or any other “no free will” products I create to support this extremely important understanding.  There are a number of ways to get information to people, and I think they all should be used. Creating a brand around an idea or concept is one way to spread that idea and concept that shouldn’t be overlooked.

And since I’m an artist as well as a philosopher, it only makes sense to use all of my talents for the causes I find important. I have many plans in the works to hopefully be able to devote more and more time to my philosophy and artwork. These are, after all, my true passions — with philosophy being #1 on my list simply because I want to make a difference in the world, and art being #2.

If you think you might be interested in the topic of free will (the lack of) – subscribe to my infrequent mailing list in the sidebar.

 

 

Sep 212012
 

Welcome to the “Breaking the Free Will Illusion for the Betterment of Humankind” website. This is a website for the book written by ‘Trick Slattery in regards to why Free Will (in the sense that holds important implications) is incoherent and why it conceptually needs to be abandoned.

The book is currently being written (‘Trick is on the 2nd draft of this book).