Patt Morrison For March 23, 2012

Life of illusion - Sam Harris challenges the concept of free will

Free Press

Author, ardent atheist, and neuroscientist Sam Harris first rattled philosophical cages with his 2004 book, “The End of Faith,” in which he both disputed the existence of God and posited that religion has done as much harm as good over the course human history. Harris’ ideas are radical to many, but he is not one to shy away from the controversy. His subsequent books, articles, lectures and media appearances have made him a major figure in the world of reason and scientific thought.

In his new book, “Free Will,” Harris is back with an indictment of another commonly held assumption – the belief that individuals have any choice over their thoughts… and their actions that follow. Harris argues that the concept of free will is an illusion created by our neurological processes and environment – that human behavior is governed by “the unconscious origins of our conscious minds.”

WEIGH IN:

How can our ability to choose our destinies be proved – or disproved? Can you choose what you think about free will?

Guest:

Sam Harris, neuroscientist, author, "Free Will", "The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values, Letter to a Christian Nation," and "The End of Faith"


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