Free Will

Last night, I started (and finished) reading Free Will by Sam Harris. In it, he disassembles the concept of free will entirely, covering every argument for and against the concept, whilst keeping the book short(68 pages), witty and entertaining.

Some passages in the book are slightly more technical than others, but there is an overarching narrative which is perfect for newcomers to the topic such as myself. I plan to re-read it in a month or so. Highly recommended.

Here are a few thought-provoking excerpts from the book:

The only skills at your disposal are those inherited from moments passed.

Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills.

You will do whatever it is you do, and it is meaningless to assert that you could have done otherwise.

The urge for retribution depends upon our not seeing the underlying causes of human behaviour.

If we could incarcerate earthquakes and hurricanes for their crimes, we would build prisons for them as well.

If we made sneezing illegal, some number of people would break the law however severe the consequences.

These lead to perhaps my favourite quote by Harris:

The illusion of free will is in itself an illusion.

If you're planning to buy a copy of this book, I'd appreciate if you'd use one of my affiliate links:

Thank you. I think you'll enjoy it.