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The more important fundamental laws and facts of physical science have all been discovered, and these are now so firmly established that the possibility of their ever being supplanted in consequence of new discoveries is exceedingly remote.... Our future discoveries must be looked for in the sixth place of decimals. physicist Albert. A. Michelson, 1894

11. FREE WILL Previous | Next

Your decisions are not your own

EVERY day, we live under the spell of an illusion: that our conscious mind is autonomous, and in control of our bodies and decisions. We think we have free will, yet as neuroscience digs ever deeper into the mystery of the human brain, that delusion becomes harder to justify. We are, as one neuroscientist told me as he used a powerful magnet to take control of my body’s movements, brain-machines.

This runs contrary to our every impulse. Our gut instinct, our experience, is that we make the decisions to move, to think, to eat, to steal, to lie, to punch and kick. We have constructed the entire edifice of our civilisation on this idea. Is science wrong when it says free will is a delusion? If not, what does it mean for our sense of self? And for our morality – can we prosecute people for acts over which they had no conscious control?

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Subject User Posted No of Posts Last Post
Wht is the debate about? genemang 14/04/2009 03:01 1 14/04/2009 03:01
Quantum Physics and Psychology MichaelPierattini 12/04/2009 16:17 1 12/04/2009 16:17
Depends on how you interpret consciousness CharlesRoss 25/02/2009 11:34 1 25/02/2009 11:34
Spirituality redpill 10/08/2008 05:33 4 25/10/2008 15:57
We have will, it's just not free blueken 08/08/2008 13:24 3 07/09/2008 22:12
FREE WILL HELPTOWRITE 08/08/2008 19:30 4 05/09/2008 16:48
Libet proved wrong again Michael Brooks 25/07/2008 07:25 11 21/08/2008 09:59
Free Willy Nilly pieinthesky 13/08/2008 14:51 1 13/08/2008 14:51
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