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Free will choice?

Illogical atheist Sam Harris preaches in agreement with biblical text about free will, that is we do not have it, with the exception of "God". Biblical text teaches all is "God's" will, not people's will.

Can we freely choose between options? Think carefully and decide if one of the options is a right choice for you to freely make because you want to make it and do it just moments after reading options.

First choice, participate in the poll or not. If taking poll: choose Blink, wink or not at all. Wink one eye, blink both eyes or do not blink/wink at all.

"Anti-free will" people say you are in an illusion if you think you can make a free will choice in blink, wink or not.

Trying to figure out how to make this a double blind study.

Sam Harris on free will:

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Word 8 Feb 12

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My ideal of a thought experiment:

We take a pile of shit, a mile high and a mile wide. We take the average type of person, with all the most common experiences and knowledge and place them on top of the pile of shit.

They did not choose to be born, the did not choose to be kidnapped for this experiment, they did not choose the smell of the shit.

What is their choice once placed freely to move about on the pile of shit we now call existence? Is their choice to free themselves from the pile of shit by sludging thru the goo a free choice for them to free themselves from the shit?

You may find yourself ....

Word Level 8 Feb 13, 2021

From video Sam uses "pick a city" to demonstrate this lack of free will.

The limiting factors are:
#1. Time
#2. Avaliable choices.

The time it takes you to think of cities to choose, for his demonstration, and the number of cities you think of to pick from, limits the avaliable choices you can make.

Within those choices you are free to choose one as he requested.

The choosing is still "free will" given the options then and there avaliable.

Bad evaluation on his part for thought experiment, he should freely choose to think his thoughts through a little more. But, those may have limited constraints out of his control but doesn't affect his ability to actually make choice.

Word Level 8 Feb 13, 2021

I wonder has Sam Harris reached a philosophical cul-de-sac and settled for nihilism..

Well, if everything is inevitable then your emjoi as it appears is an envitable expression of how you feel/think about my comment.Therefore, given that line of thought whatever you or I say will inevitably find agreement with some people and disagreement with others. I wonder should we sit in a corner somewhere with a paper bag over our heads in the knowledge that everything is inevitable just like the bartender suggested in the opening scenes of a Hitcher's Guide To The Galaxy when it was announced by a customer that the world was going to end in two minutes....LOL


I agree with Harris, there is no free will because the totality of your experiences led inevitably to the present. Free will is also moot because you can't ever go back and change your decision.

So, when driving down a road you come to a fork in the road and there is no sign to your intended destination. The inevitability of choices that you have made up until the moment will determine that the road that you take will lead to your intended destination?

The past does not determine the future any more than the wake of a ship propels the ship through the water, it merely shows where the ship has been as it recedes into the distance where the watery foam dissipates.

To the extent that we learn from our experiences we are able to make choices and learning is not inevitable as you well know, many people keep repeating the same mistakes over and over and over again.

@ASTRALMAX from what little I have heard and seen of Sam Harris on the topic, it seems his biggest point is to remove culpability from people's actions.

It's like he is scare that he is going to have some great judgment day before "God" and he wants to make sure he can articulate a defense that nothing is his fault.

@Word So, you are saying that he wants to remove culpabilitiy from people's actions? There is nothing new then in that line of thought. "Psychoanalysis is the only profession where they can conceive of acts with actors." Thomas Szasz

Why would you want to go back and change your decision if you believe it was inevitable. Surely, then there cannot be any room for regret, can there? if it was an inevitable situation or event that was beyond your control, you were a mere puppet of circumstances without even an iota of choice.

@ASTRALMAX if I am miss understanding the video. He talks like a murderer is ultimately not responsible for killing because of all prior cause leading to the killing was never the killers "free will" choice starting from birth.

@ASTRALMAX in legal terminology I am understanding of, it would be simular to what's called "fruit of the poisonous tree" legal concept.

@ASTRALMAX Fruit of the poisonous tree is a legal metaphor used to describe evidence that is obtained illegally.[1] The logic of the terminology is that if the source (the "tree" ) of the evidence or evidence itself is tainted, then anything gained (the "fruit" ) from it is tainted as well. Wikipedia

So, our "tree of life": was started with out our "free will" choice, so therefore, any fruit of our life is not our fault or of our free will choosing. .

@ASTRALMAX we are not trees

@Word Oh! Well, in that case there is no need for a courtroom trial at the tax payer's expense. The murderer can be incarcerated indefinitely in some institution. In fact the whole judicial apparatus can be dismantled now that we believe that the murderer had no choice, Why stop there, why not extend it to all acts that are deemed illegal/unlawful, given the line of belief that there is no choice in human action.


I don’t really want to invest an hour on this, but the older I get the greater my suspicion that my Psychology teacher was right about us being a construct of circumstances rather than of our own devising. I’ve achieved everything I’d ever wanted to as a twenty something, but realise that it’s down to nature, nurture, circumstances and opportunity that I’ve been so lucky 🙂 (and there have been scrapes of the not so lucky along the way, but still). Some people have less efficacy and may feel fate has dealt them a poor hand, I believe sometimes they’re right. Unfortunately complaining doesn’t help, only reassessment and working towards goals does, I had some good mentors.

4 big words, I agree. nature, nurture, circumstances and opportunity


whats free will?

mzee Level 7 Feb 13, 2021

Please feel free to ask, "what's free will"


. . . Libet :

Something about mark the time of decision to move the hand? That's like 2 decisions. First decision is to decide to mark the time, or to move but mark the time first?

And, one decision would be dependent on the other. So if deciding to move, the decision to mark the time isn't exactly the free decision

Wouldn’t the decision to note the decision to move the hand also cause brain activity? Thus causing and extra reading.

@girlwithsmiles @Word The whole point of the Libet experiment(s) is that the brain activity occurs 3-500 milliseconds BEFORE the person is aware of the decision to move the hand. 😛


@FearlessFly yes, but my point is that they were asked to note when they thought about it. What about the thought of noting it?
I believe there is also evidence that the body itself has some cognition prior to the brain, but don’t remember the names in the study, I’ll try and dig it out 🙂


Did you even watch the video you posted??

Like. 5 minutes, it got old fast

@Word See, this is the problem. You can't speak intelligently about a topic after having done zero research. To everyone who has you sound very silly. Your statements equate to someone saying "Because god did it. How do I know? I just know." It's utterly nonsensical. You're basing everything you're saying off nothing more than your feelings. This is why I have come to realize there is no correlation between atheism and critical thinking.

@JeffMurray how do you know I have not researched blinking my eyes or not?

@Word A completely nonsensical response, as expected. That would be like that same religious person saying, "How do you know I didn't speak to god?" It's a meaningless statement in the confines of this discussion. You'd perhaps know this if you actually did some research instead of just repeatedly vomiting out the same things you already believed over and over and over.

@JeffMurray no, your statement "You can't speak intelligently about a topic after having done zero research. " Started the nonsense.

That was an illogical statement, hence I followed with my statement.

@JeffMurray that was funny, I had to edit from pasting wrong copy of your statement

@Word Are you fucking kidding me?! YOU were the one that said that. It's in YOUR fucking post!!

@Word You already admitted that you weren't willing to read or even listen to the evidence against free will. I'm obviously wasting my time talking to you. Enjoy your ignorance; I hear it's blissful.

@JeffMurray are you saying I must choose by free choice to accept your non-free will information?


I don't really understand what your options are asking here. What is the difference between the three 'not free will choice' options? I don't think any of those things can be freely chosen...

Don't choose anything if you don't want to.

@Word In just asking you to explain what you're asking...

@JeffMurray asking you to feel free to choose, or not.

@Word None of it is free...

@JeffMurray it cost in calories burned to process the activity by body function.

@Word So still not free in that sense either? Do you even know what the fuck you're talking about?

@JeffMurray you have no choice, you cannot do anything else

@Word Exactly, you have no choice. That's what I've been saying for hours.

@JeffMurray I guess I am just stuck not choosing to not have non-free will?

@JeffMurray why are you acting all mad when you say it's not even my choice any ways?


At this point, 2 people picked "blink - not free will choice "

The poll does not show me who but I would have to ask, what caused you to answer the poll in the first place? If it is not free will choice: something forced or caused you to take the poll? That was a first choice cause of force to choose to participate in the poll, or not.

Word Level 8 Feb 13, 2021

Illogical atheist? Well, if I had a choice to meet and talk with you or Sam Harris, it would probably take me 1 trillionith of a second to choose Sam.

As for your question, who cares; it's not honestly asked, just a dig at Sam and atheists.

I don't specifically have any thing against Sam or illogical atheist. He just happens to like carrying the label atheist, which, atheism is illogical.

Digging? No, just an honest poll to see what people think about blinking winking or not, for no other reason but choice.

@Word I can see the argument for gnostic atheism being illogical, but a simple statement of one's belief about something simply cannot be inherently illogical. It would be no more or less illogical that a statement about your belief which team will win the next super bowl or what flavor of cake your co-worker will bring in for the next potluck.

@Word atheism is illogical in your opinion. Don't make a statement like that as if it's a fact. I think agnosticism is logically inconsistent, frankly. I won't go into why because I don't wish to discuss it again. Now that's my opinion and I would state it as such. Same for you on yours.

Also, if you wish to raise the issue of free will then fine. No need to tie it to your bias against atheism.

@David1955 I don't have a bias against atheism. Atheism has a bias against me and you. We really do exist.

@David1955 for 1000s of years there has been cultural labeling that "We" for what "we" are, are gods. This is not to say all cultures thru out history has known of this. Some cultures have had their definition for what a God is. Some people believe the only style of God is invisible pasta in the sky with meatballs. Some people are not educated on other cultures.

From text certified to be at least almost 2000 years old. Referring to "People" the laws for the nation of Israel recognized "people: as gods.

"Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are "gods"'? John 10:34

By a long standing cultural definition, we are gods for what and how we ate now label such ad human and homo sapian. We really do exist. Atheism illogical. Not an opinion, it is backed by historical documentation.

@Word well I certainly don't believe in you. Prod you and go off on fairy dairy land.


Blinking is usually involuntary.

Yes, there is involuntary mechanism within nerves to blink eyes for protection.

Can you blink, wink or not, your eye for no other reason but for your wanting choice to blink, wink or not?

There is no need to blink, wink or not for the next few seconds after you have considered the options for your choosing. It is strictly a matter of choice and you deciding if you did it because you wanted to choose between blink, wink or not.


Philosophers have been 'discussing' the "free-will" question since at least the ancients. 😛


You forgot the I don't know if free will exist.

To blink or not to wink, that is the question.

You can also include ... I don't care if free will exists.

the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion.

There is no necessary reason to blink, wink or not. What fate is there involved in choosing between things of non-necessity?

Fate - the course of someone's life, or the outcome of a particular situation for someone or something, seen as beyond their control.

Is blink, wink or not, beyond you control?


Accidental chaos that works.

Put a square cube of rock in chaos with other things to bump into. One of those rock shinning things, It would become rounded. It would then work to roll.

But, how do we get square cube from random accidental?

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