The question of free will touches nearly everything we care about. Morality, law, politics, religion, public policy, intimate relationships, feelings of guilt and personal accomplishment–most of what is distinctly human about our lives seems to depend upon our viewing one another as autonomous persons, capable of free choice.
So beings Sam Harris’ book, Free Will. Coming in at a thin 83 pages of text and notes, I finished the book in a matter of a day or so. My first reading left me with the impression that Harris is one smart cookie, but not amazing at conveying his ideas to a reading audience. It also left me with some questions that I hope to answer on a second run through the text. Once I’ve finished my second go-around, I plan on posting my thoughts. In the meantime, here are some of the questions I’m looking to mull over as I read through.
- Do people tend to focus on free will only in regards to the positive? Or is it somewhat equally spread out to both positive and negative?
- At what age do we become responsible for our own actions?
- Does free will, or the lack of free will, account for what we refer to as evil?
What about you? What sort of questions about free will might you have?