Stanford Scientist After Decades of Study Concludes We Don't Have Free Will

What do they believe? What do you think? Talk about religion as it exists today.
Post Reply
Posts: 2159
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:10 am

Re: Stanford Scientist After Decades of Study Concludes We Don't Have Free Will

Post by StephenGoranson »

Not sure why this thread belongs in the Christian forum, but Sapolsky said,
"“I'm really, really, really trying not to sound like a combative jerk in the book,”

Trying sounds a whole lot like willing.
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2020 1:30 pm

Re: Stanford Scientist After Decades of Study Concludes We Don't Have Free Will

Post by annotate »

"The first dogma which I came to disbelieve was that of free will. It seemed to me that all nations of matter were determined by the laws of dynamics and could not therefore be influenced by human wills."

Bertrand Russell
Posts: 349
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2023 10:31 am

Re: Stanford Scientist After Decades of Study Concludes We Don't Have Free Will

Post by RandyHelzerman »

The first book written in America which anybody in Europe took at all seriously was Johnathan Edwards's book "The Freedom of the Will." (which argued that there's no such thing). It was just the next step in the same argument between Calvinits and Arminians, which had been going on since Augustine invented the notion of Free Will (or it was another of those "heretical ideas he was tainted with" from his gap years as a Manachaen).

Yeah, *that* Johnathan Edwards, of "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" fame. A very powerful sermon, in which he looked out at an audience full of people he thought had no ability to make any choice at all, and proceeded to exhort them to come to Jesus on pain of eternal torture.

Its amazing how that same theological debate is going on today. Like almost any explanation we give for anything, the debate has been translated from a theological key to a scientific key. But its the same debate--indeed, it still is an inevitably theological debate. Scientific results are one thing (yeah, I read "5.234 seconds on the stopwatch") but *interpreting* those results as to what their implications are for the human mind is an intrinsically hermeneutic enterprise.
Posts: 2780
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:36 am

Re: Stanford Scientist After Decades of Study Concludes We Don't Have Free Will

Post by andrewcriddle »

Sapolsky seems to be confusing the plausible case that free will as a metaphysical concept is incoherent with something much more radical.

Sapolsky seems IIUC to be arguing that the reasons we give for our actions are generally bogus, that rational arguments for and against a position do not really change behavior and that changes to incentives and disincentives do not change behavior either.

This might be true but it seems unlikely and its falsity is entirely compatible with a denial of metaphysical free will.

Andrew Criddle
User avatar
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:50 am
Location: 20636

Re: Stanford Scientist After Decades of Study Concludes We Don't Have Free Will

Post by JPCusickSr »

I agree with that scientist and I accept his reasoning but I myself take that much farther because God does not give people a free will.

The very idea of a free will is an exaggerated conceit.
Each person gets to chose left or right, up or down, chocolate or vanilla, etc etc etc, and that is a childish view of free will.
A more sophisticated claim is that we get to chose right from wrong, chose a job, chose a spouse, chose our activities, but even those are an orchestrated charade for our benefit.
The governments provide bread-and-circuses to keep the people pacified, while every government is controlled by God, see Romans 13:1-7.

Where we have no free will is significant in that we do not get to chose to be born, when or where we are born, our race or color, gender, language, our looks, while those that try to change these realities are just trying to play God and that might be vanity or egotism but it is not free will.
User avatar
Posts: 1304
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:27 pm
Location: New England, USA


Post by billd89 »

"every government is controlled by God" ?
Earthly Government (to me) appears Satanic. I would therefore seek a gnostic explanation, source. Jung claimed 'it' (the Self, this 'Will') was of Abraxas.

His definition of Abraxas is much more consistent w/ World Government and Mammon, Lord of Earthly Reality.

Look familiar?

Gnostic version (confirmed by countless archaeological examples):

Greek version:

Jewish version:

Jung perceived it as the God-Behind-God, the Invisible Sun, etc.:
Sermon II :

That god may be distinguished from it, we name god Helios or Sun. Abraxas is effect. Nothing standeth opposed to it but the ineffective; hence its effective nature freely unfoldeth itself. The ineffective is not, therefore resisteth not. Abraxas standeth above the sun and above the devil. It is improbable probability, unreal reality. Had the pleroma a being, Abraxas would be its manifestation. It is the effective itself, not any particular effect, but effect in general.

It is unreal reality, because it hath no definite effect.

It is also creatura, because it is distinct from the pleroma.

The sun hath a definite effect, and so hath the devil. Wherefore do they appear to us more effective than indefinite Abraxas.

It is force, duration, change.

The next sermon speaks further of 'terrible Abraxas':

Hard to know is the deity of Abraxas. Its power is the greatest, because man perceiveth it not. From the sun he draweth the summum bonum [highest good]; from the devil the infimum malum [lowest evil]; but from Abraxas life, altogether indefinite, the mother of good and evil.

Smaller and weaker life seemeth to be than the summum bonum; wherefore is it also hard to conceive that Abraxas transcendeth even the sun in power, who is himself the radiant source of all the force of life.

Abraxas is the sun, and at the same time the eternally sucking gorge of the void, the belittling and dismembering devil.

The power of Abraxas is twofold; but ye see it not, because for your eyes the warring opposites of this power are extinguished.

Abit more;
Post Reply