Understanding Free Will

If we have free will, we can consciously make decisions that are not determined by the physics and biology of our brains. It's a philosophical and religious concept that has found no support in science, despite the strong illusion that we are free. Even if we are not, belief in free will can be healthy, as long as we remain aware that many factors influence our behavior subconsciously.

Recent posts on Free Will

The Mind of God

"The Mind of God" is an elegant and wise book that leads us to wonder about and fashion our own unique answers to some of the most baffling and vital of questions.
Can Stock Photo 19486083

Does the Brain Create the Mind? Speculation on Consciousness

What can science tell us about the hard problem, finding the origins of consciousness?

The Deep Roots of Left vs. Right

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on June 05, 2017 in Ambigamy
The fundamental distinction in politics as in life is between constraint and freedom. We need both.

The Unconscious Mind in Everyday Life

How does the unconscious influence why you do the things you do?

Perpetual Adolescents

A nation of adult-children cannot be a nation of self-governing people.

The American Law Institute Revises the Model Penal Code

New revisions to the Model Penal Code continue the archaic dominance of "just deserts" and retributivism.
Paul Nunez

What Makes the Human Brain “Human?” Part 2

How do “small world” connections contribute to brain complexity and a healthy mind?
T. Mairunteregger

Seligman on Tour

Is "prospection" the newest and holiest of grails in psychology? Seligman: "Yes." We: "No."

Reclaiming Human Dignity

Have you experienced religiously-based abuse or violence? This post explores the ideological basis for Judeo-Christian patterns of aggression.

Freedom

What does freedom really mean?

Inside the Mind of The 'Celebrity' Serial Killer Ian Brady

...why this serial killer never garnered the media attention that others... did, include the fact, unlike the 'Moors Murderer', Trevor Hardy did not have a catchy nick name...
pixabay.com

Guilty, With an Explanation

The increasing use of neuroscience in behalf of criminal defendants with "defective" brains raises a perennial question: how do we define responsibility and free will?
canstockphoto 26401185 Mandelbrot set

What Makes the Human Brain “Human?” Part 1

A quick introduction to some possible anatomical underpinnings of higher consciousness in humans and other animals.

Spring Back to Life

I like fresh starts, and I’ll use whatever is around me to make them easier. We all reinvent our lives from time to time. If you've done it before you can do it again.

Can a Caregiver Be a (Benevolent) Dictator?

Can you override a patient's request if you know it's best for them?

Explanation or Excuses for Stealing?

The criminal evaluates his evaluator.
Patty Mooney [CC BY-SA 3.0]

What Is Consciousness?

What would it take to make a robot experience a dream?
Bill Davidow

Why Dogs Don’t Use The Internet

By Bill Davidow on March 13, 2017 in Psychology of the Virtual World
What we can learn from dogs about managing the internet.

Myth: "As Soon As"

There can be a lot of ideas floating around in our mind that aren’t actually true. They are a series of stories, excuses, justifications, rationalizations, and procrastination.

Brain Dynamic Patterns and the Mind

The mystery of consciousness is approached from several materialistic or dualistic perspectives. Brain activity patterns play a critical role; could the patterns be fractals?

Useful Fictions: Why Beliefs Matter

By Sandeep Gautam on March 06, 2017 in The Fundamental Four
Believing in false things sometimes makes sense. Free will appears to be such a construct.
3Dman:shutterstock

So You Want to Be Happy? OK, But Consider This...

By John W. Reich, Ph.D. and Frank J. Infurna, Ph.D. on February 25, 2017 in Mastering Your Daily Life
Research suggests that you should carefully evaluate your positive experiences. Those that you do not control can relate to negative outcomes.

What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

A brain region known as the basal ganglia appears to be important in treating and understanding obsessive compulsive disorder.

The timing of free will

By Marc Wittmann Ph.D. on February 18, 2017 in Sense of Time
Why the famous Libet task does not touch on our notion of free will.
Paul Nunez

Are Some Scientists Serious About Denying Free Will?

A brief look at the issues of consciousness and free will.

Sex and its Divine Nature

Why does our sexual appetite come and go? Is sex an activity that brings pleasure because it nurtures our ego? Or is it the opposite? Is sex so good because it disrupts our ego?
Can Stock Photo Inc. /Alexmit, used with permission

Could a Zombie Be Elected President?

Can philosophical zombies tell us something about the deep mystery of consciousness?

Speaking of Marriage

How often does it happen that partners decide to put the couple before themselves as individuals?

Why Does Rape Happen?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on February 01, 2017 in Media Spotlight
How are victim blaming, sexual objectification, and sexual scripting linked to sexual assault? New research explores this disturbing question
Paul Nunez

Is the Brain More Than the Sum of Its Parts?

Emergence: How can a brain be more that just a bunch of interacting nerve cells?