18 thoughts on “The free will test

  1. I have free will, but I am not going to beat my wife, sell drugs, or molest little children.
    As I understand the issue (very simply), we live our lives where we continually make choices of whether we will choose the good and right thing or the bad and wrong things. We encounter all kinds of situations where a choice for good may not be expedient or work out well. One question that life seems to want the answer from us is: will we choose the right and good even when it doesn’t benefit us and may even expose us to pain and trouble?
    At the end of life, there is a judgment where God removes those who have not chosen the good and right. He then starts the whole thing over again with those who have already answered the question of what they will choose. Only this time there is no more Satan, the ultimate tempter, and all those things like sickness and pain that bring out the worst (or best) in people.
    Is it possible that someone could still after all this reject the good to choose evil? While not likely, I suppose for the sake of argument that it is possible. There were angels that rebelled against God, and He was able to remove them, so I don’t see there being a problem of removing any other sources of evil at that point.

    • There is no god, never was, never has been. I’m getting tired of these people who still believe in the fables of ancient and ignorant nomadic desert tribes.
      There IS a sensible scientific debate to be had about free will, but leave your god(s) out of the equation.

      • Sorry, Grumpy. The way the question was posed was to point out an apparent problem for people who believe in God. My answer merely showed how a belief in heaven, which would assume a God, would answer the question. An atheist with a Christian background could have answered the question in the same way.

        • It seems to me that religious people will always find a religious angle to answer this question.

          And yet, a religious angle is totally unecessary. The question of free will also ties in with the belief in absolute morality which religious people seem to harbor.

  2. I must be missing something here, but I don’t know what. The original (first) question was not about free will but evil. Actually the question was more about God than evil. Then there are two questions about heaven. These seem like religious questions to me.

      • thank you. I didn’t scroll down enough to see that you had posted this clip, but I did look at another one on youtube. My question is: are we then responsible for our actions whether courageous or malicious? It seems to me the logical conclusion of all this is that everything in life is just random events, yet I go to work at the same job, I am devoted to the same wife. Am I just fortunate that my unconscious is keeping some stability in my life? Maybe my brain is just making me think all this is happening, while I am actually in some kind of comatose-like state. I think he is over analyzing things and missing the bigger picture.

        • Of course you have a choice!! That would seem self evident. I think you are needlessly beating yourself up over this question, and getting confused as a consequence.
          You have a job and have a loving relationship. In my book it doesn’t get much better than that! Be cool, feel the breeze, smell the flowers, see the reflections on the water.
          It’s good to be alive man!

        • Off cousre you’re responsible for your actions. Everything in life is not random. They’re dicated by the environment you live in.

          You confuse making choices with free will. The fact that you have a choice, does not mean that you have free will. Your choice is predicated on often multiple factors. If you could make a choice free of all external orevn internal bias, then yu could say you had free will. When you examine this critically, you will realise that this is simply not possible.

  3. Boy, now I am really confused. I don’t understand what all the ruckus (I mean, debate) is about in the first place.
    Nobody who believes in free will would say that our decisions don’t spring from who we are inside, based on our past experiences and choices. Every day we make countless choices that slowly develop our character which makes our decision-making easier and more predictable as we get older. Our choices are not ‘unpredictable,’ though children are more of what we would call spontaneous. They haven’t formed into the persons they will become.
    At any given time, multiple choices of options come to our minds and we choose which option to go with. As time goes on, the number of options decreases, because certain courses of action we refuse to consider.
    And, yes, we are responsible for our choices. We can’t say it’s somebody else’s fault. In the face of adversity, we choose whether to become bitter or to keep smiling, to become impatient and angry to continue to be loving.
    I do a lot of writing, but I can’t just sit down and write. I listen to the inner voice that gives me the words, and then I try to remember what came to me.
    I haven’t listened to any more of Sam Harris, but I am wondering just what new insights he will bring to the table.

    • You’re lcky to have many good options to choose from. What if you didn’t? Ther are countless occasions where people are faced with this limited choice. The classis case used to illustrate this (and the reason why absolute morality is frowned upon) is the mind-thought experiment where a train is hurtling towards a group of people stuck on the track and you have the choice of pushing someone in front of further forward to derail the train, or allowing it to kill those stuck. I have paraphrased very basically, but you can Google it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s