Zen and the Art of Neuroscience: Your Will Is Not Free Reply

The aim of the following video is to show that all of your decisions in life are predetermined. You have no free will. The neurons in your brain already determined whether or not you would click and watch this video before you were even aware of making a conscious decision to do so.

Here’s what you are expected to draw from this video. Your experience of having free will — the ability to make decisions without compulsion — is an illusion. You have personally experienced the phenomenon of exercising free will at McDonalds — will I get the medium fries or the large fries? Diet coke or a milkshake?

Even though the options were there for the choosing, and you apparently chose before you paid for you food and sat down to eat it, you really had no choice in the matter. Here’s what happened.

Man Takes Brain for a WalkUnbeknownst to you, the neurons in your brain were firing away while your eyes were fixed on the McMenu. Those neurons were determined to fire in a certain way and, subsequently, you were determined to order the large fries and the shake.

Moreover, here’s what you didn’t really know, until now (the Biltrix). This neuronal activity gave you the impression that you freely chose to opt for one set of items over another.

Conclusion: You are programmed to deceive yourself. You give yourself the impression that you are free to choose, but neuroscience has proven that this impression, which is a natural part of every person’s experience, is an illusion. The universal experience of freedom is false. All of it.

If this is so, then why should we continue to reward and honor people for doing good things, when they do not freely choose to do what is good? After all, everything they do is predetermined by their brain. Where is the merit?

Why should we punish people for inappropriate behavior? The choice to use drugs, to drink and drive, to rob a Mini Mart, to abuse another person — if these are all caused by neuronal activity that is beyond the person’s control, how can we hold the person morally responsible for behaving in this way?

Of course the upshot would be that moral decisions don’t really matter, because you are going to do what you are going to do anyway. It isn’t really up to you.

In the following days, I am going to address the assumptions, implications, applications, and errors behind the latest and greatest craze in science — The Neuroscience Scam.

The new science is scamming people out of their mind.

Related Posts on Neuroscience

Minimalist Mistakes

Nietzsche and Neuroscience

Clear Signs of Fuzzy Science

The Shocking Truth about Your Brain

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