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

How the Media Influences Us...Perhaps Without Our Awareness

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 20, 2017 in How To Do Life
We explore using an example: the play, The Book of Mormon.
Inked Pixels/Shutterstock

Life’s Imaginary Prison Bars

By Alex Pattakos Ph.D. on August 17, 2017 in The Meaningful Life
"Prison bars imagined are no less solid steel."

They Won't Stop Because They Can't Stop

Why can't they just stop? The answer may surprise you. A former addict shares his journey and insight gained during recovery.
dark energy, not expanding

Testing Free Will

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on August 09, 2017 in One Among Many
Not to rain on your parade, but the will is still not free. Just accept it, freely if you will.

The Psychiatric Scapegoating of Michelle Carter

The woman convicted in the texting-suicide case is guilty of no crime.
Gts/Shutterstock

True Optimism and the Path to Meaning

By Alex Pattakos Ph.D. on August 04, 2017 in The Meaningful Life
Do you believe that life just happens to you? A lesson in true freedom can help you cope.

What Does "Affirmative Consent" Actually Mean?

We have laws to update our "Do Not Call" lists because we don't want to have our privacy violated. So how is it an imposition to make sure people ask erotic partners for consent?
J. Krueger

Freedom From the Will

The idea of a free will is like a soft drink: sweet but bad for you.

Mental Illness as Strategy: Game Theory and Psychiatry

Mental illness--like depression, anxiety, and even schizophrenia--is a game, a strategy, invented by the player (often without acknowledgment) to achieve some end, or "payoff."

The Optimism Challenge: Specific Strategies

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on July 14, 2017 in Boundless
Here are a few strategies for moving into a more optimistic frame of mind.

The Question of Contact

By David Kyle Johnson Ph.D. on July 10, 2017 in Plato on Pop
Can personal experience ever be used to justifiably override scientific evidence or argument?

Committed: The Battle Over Involuntary Psychiatric Care

No other issues in mental health seem to ignite flames as great and persistent as do liberty and privacy.

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

By Jennifer Verdolin Ph.D. on May 18, 2017 in Wild Connections
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.