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  • Writer's pictureKurt Keefner

Free Will Defended

A new essay defending the idea of free will.

In this new essay I defend the idea of free will against Sam Harris, leading atheist, who claims that we are the puppets of the unconscious forces. He makes arguments from philosophy, neurology and introspection, all of which can be shown to be flimsy and even unfair to the other side. Harris problem, I conclude, is that he is in the thrall of religious ideas still ambient in our culture.

The short version is that Harris believes that consciousness isn't the kind of thing that can cause actions. He is correct as far it goes, because there is no such thing as "consciousness." That is just a linguistic convenience. What exists are conscious persons. A person, who integrates non-conscious, unconscious, pre-conscious and conscious activity, can act freely.

I also take on the flawed Libet experiments into conscious action, showing four ways in which the studies are flawed. I describe the different states of consciousness that free will can affect, focus, drift, evasion, and passive attention.

This is a book of interest to anyone who cares about human hope and dignity, especially those who are concerned that a secular worldview puts those things in danger.

Available in a Kindle Edition from Amazon.

If you are interested in my essay on free will, you might also like my collection of essays about authenticity, Killing Cool: Fantasy vs Reality in American Life



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