Book Review: Free Will by Sam Harris

Book Review: Free Will by Sam Harris

There are 78 comments on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer story from May 2, 2013, titled Book Review: Free Will by Sam Harris. In it, Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that:

By now we've all noticed the campaign of scientific materialists to discredit religion in the hope that a saner, more scientific society will prevail.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Since: Jun 07

Location hidden

#41 May 17, 2013
Carchar king wrote:
<quoted text>
Let's see, um.... oh yeah, the universe can't create itself and therefore God must of created it.
Horsesh*t assumptions and no proof of god.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#42 May 17, 2013
CunningLinguist wrote:
<quoted text>
I aim for the WatchTower pamphlet.:)
Sometimes if youngsters are with them, in the requisite white shirt and tie, I tell them they been deceived, and give them my own pamphlet, which contains sites and links that provide detailed information on gods, superstitions and such.
The young ones can be rescued, the older ones are already lost.
Yes, I agree-- having your own counter-materials handy can be fun.

The last long-ish conversation I had with a couple of little old ladies pushing Traditional Bible™, I pointed out that in order to flood the whole world, their god had to drown babies....

... and kittens...

.... and, of course, cute puppies too.

I asked them what their god had against these innocent?

They were very confused.

They haven't been back, though.

:D

I'm quite certain, however, they waste a great deal of time, casting spells (praying) over my welfare.

I find that amusing to contemplate.

Since: Jun 07

Location hidden

#43 May 17, 2013
True Christian witness wrote:
The Bible teaches that the person who can know from observing that everything in existence had to be created and not formed from a big bang theory or from a molecule in a mud puddle would be a person of worth.
Romans 1:20
Anyone else is a fool, the Bible says that too.
Psalms 53:1
Your cult is dishonest - its lies about atheists and science.

Atheists are more moral and respectable than the people that lie about god being real.
havent forgotten

Lamoni, IA

#44 May 18, 2013
True Christian witness wrote:
Free will is the ability to exercise your right to satisfy your fleshly desires, everyone is born with this right, because it is God given.
Genesis 1:26
Adam and Eve are the perfect example to focus on when you are about to do something that conflicts with your conscience, your inner heart telling you that what you desire is ungodly. Disobedience to God's will for you.
Of course it depends on whether you have a Bible trained conscience, because some religions excuse or forgive your actions because of your religion or their false doctrine that your sins are already forgiven by God.
Matthew 15:9
It is only God's word that could dictate what is acceptable conduct or not, to be self willed in loose conduct will only make you an enemy of God.
Galatians 5:22,23
James 4:4
Please explain in more detail what you mean in the paragraph beginning with
"of course". also do you think loose conduct - maybe sex, alcohol, and drugs - is worse than murder and lies and cruelty? Is adultery worse than coldblooded murder, or just as bad, in your view? and what do you mean by sins, and false doctrine, and already forgiven?

What is your religion, denomination?
havent forgotten

Lamoni, IA

#45 May 18, 2013
-Skeptic- wrote:
<quoted text>
Your cult is dishonest - its lies about atheists and science.
Atheists are more moral and respectable than the people that lie about god being real.
that was to true christian witness.
Not all atheists are more moral and respectable than people who believe in a god. Ethics is one thing. Rational thought is another. Many people who think God is real are not intentionally telling a falsehoood - they believe it themselves. You are welcome to call them stupid or brainwashed, but I do not think they are deliberate liars. Although some of the opportunistic preachers may be, if they make $ off of it.
I just wish all agnostics, atheists, and skeptics were moral. and what do you mean by "respectable"? surely you mean worthy of respect, rather than conventionally middle-classy bourgeois
"respectability"?
what do you call moral, and worthy of respect - other than agreeing with you and thinking you are wonderful? I was never too clear on what else you value besides yourself.
havent forgotten

Lamoni, IA

#46 May 18, 2013
-Skeptic- wrote:
<quoted text>
Horsesh*t assumptions and no proof of god.
you insult horses. and of course none of them have any proof to offer of a god.
havent forgotten

Lamoni, IA

#47 May 18, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes, I agree-- having your own counter-materials handy can be fun.
The last long-ish conversation I had with a couple of little old ladies pushing Traditional Bible™, I pointed out that in order to flood the whole world, their god had to drown babies....
... and kittens...
.... and, of course, cute puppies too.
I asked them what their god had against these innocent?
They were very confused.
They haven't been back, though.
:D
I'm quite certain, however, they waste a great deal of time, casting spells (praying) over my welfare.
I find that amusing to contemplate.
So, like me, you emphasize that the orthodox Christian God is full of evil, and not worthy of love, respect, trust, adoration, or belief. How does that argument against the Christian God compare with the simple assertion that it does not exist and they have no proof for it, when you argue with a believer? I have not argued with a believer in person for such a long time. I would rather watch CNN,. and that shows how a low a priority it is! I suppose I have given up on thinking that reason will penetrate their superstition. And in some cases, to be candid, I would find it digusting to have such stupid and/or awful people agreeing with me! Would rather have them on the other side!
havent forgotten

Lamoni, IA

#48 May 18, 2013
Just Think wrote:
<quoted text>
What language are you trying to speak?
obviously the person is disadvantaged by trying to quote little verses from the Bible, when it is full of contradictions (such as on the issue of whether to call anyone a fool) and lots of evil stuff. I feel sorry for both those guys - they deserve Skleptic.

You are probably up to a higher level of discussion than merely insulting the non-rational types, I bet. For example, what are your views on free will? I am not a believer in it. I am closer to being a determinist.
havent forgotten

Lamoni, IA

#49 May 18, 2013
KittenKoder wrote:
<quoted text>
I know asking for evidence that supports your myth is pretty much asking the impossible, but do you have any that .... make sense, at least?
I think that you are also wasting time in argument with the two true believers on here. How about upping the IQ level of the discussion a bit and discuss free will? I have my doubts about it, and that leads me to think that people are caused to think badly and act badly. So I think people should be enoouraged to think and act wisely and kindly. I suspect good parenting has something to do with it. Unfortunately genetic makeup may also play a role. TV and education and peer influences.
So it is difficult to offset those already turned astray. As the twig is bent so the tree inclines, goes the saying. My solution was not to have children and expose innocents to this partaly awful world. I was lucky in my own childhood./ But I am not optimistic about offsetting the horrid influences, so as to help other people be better or think more wisely. Are you? or do you believe in free will and think it is up to them to help themselves?

“Is that all you've got?”

Since: Jun 10

Location hidden

#50 May 18, 2013
havent forgotten wrote:
<quoted text> So, like me, you emphasize that the orthodox Christian God is full of evil, and not worthy of love, respect, trust, adoration, or belief. How does that argument against the Christian God compare with the simple assertion that it does not exist and they have no proof for it, when you argue with a believer? I have not argued with a believer in person for such a long time. I would rather watch CNN,. and that shows how a low a priority it is! I suppose I have given up on thinking that reason will penetrate their superstition. And in some cases, to be candid, I would find it digusting to have such stupid and/or awful people agreeing with me! Would rather have them on the other side!
Yet Bob adores Terry Pratchett's goofy stories about witches. Talk about pot/kettle hypocrisy.

“I Am No One Else”

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#51 May 18, 2013
havent forgotten wrote:
<quoted text> I think that you are also wasting time in argument with the two true believers on here. How about upping the IQ level of the discussion a bit and discuss free will? I have my doubts about it, and that leads me to think that people are caused to think badly and act badly. So I think people should be enoouraged to think and act wisely and kindly. I suspect good parenting has something to do with it. Unfortunately genetic makeup may also play a role. TV and education and peer influences.
So it is difficult to offset those already turned astray. As the twig is bent so the tree inclines, goes the saying. My solution was not to have children and expose innocents to this partaly awful world. I was lucky in my own childhood./ But I am not optimistic about offsetting the horrid influences, so as to help other people be better or think more wisely. Are you? or do you believe in free will and think it is up to them to help themselves?
Yeah, I have taken to just encouraging them to betray their ignorance.

As to free will, I am pretty certain there is a balance between free will, and driven actions. Consider the old butterfly effect adage, that when a butterfly flaps it's wings in the US, it causes a tsunami in Japan. Our lives are much like that, making the determination of whether an action we take is actually of our own free will, or the result of other influences, because such actions can be the result of something that happened to us beyond our memory recall capability or could be something so insignificant on it's own as to not merit actual recollection.

We do know for certain that the more intelligent and skeptical a person is, the more capable they are of breaking from influences such as indoctrination, abuse, and terrorism. We do see an increase in the species' over-all intelligence as well, so this does bode well for us ... eventually. Consider the steady decline in violence among humans across the world, the US actually tracks the numbers well and we see that this is the all-time record low for criminal activity as a whole. Not to mention the fewest wars still going on in the world for any point in history. So yeah, free will may actually be our future, if not our present, and with free will I have no doubt our species will improve drastically.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#52 May 19, 2013
nanoanomaly wrote:
<quoted text>Yet Bob adores Terry Pratchett's goofy stories about witches. Talk about pot/kettle hypocrisy.
Oh look! My illiterate stalker has returned, flinging her usual "wisdom"...

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#53 May 19, 2013
havent forgotten wrote:
<quoted text> So, like me, you emphasize that the orthodox Christian God is full of evil, and not worthy of love, respect, trust, adoration, or belief. How does that argument against the Christian God compare with the simple assertion that it does not exist and they have no proof for it, when you argue with a believer? I have not argued with a believer in person for such a long time. I would rather watch CNN,. and that shows how a low a priority it is! I suppose I have given up on thinking that reason will penetrate their superstition. And in some cases, to be candid, I would find it digusting to have such stupid and/or awful people agreeing with me! Would rather have them on the other side!
Well, it is a much harder sell, to show someone who's been indoctrinated from birth, to think that belief in gods is reasonable.

But--most folk are pretty good people, I've found. If you give'em half a chance, that is.

And again, most folk pretty much agree on what is and what isn't Just and Fair within our society.

So if we can point out that the god they claim is good, is anything but good?

We have a much better shot at getting them to re-think their certainty that the bible's god is worthy.

Once you've broken that (bible-certainty) down? The steps to eventual atheism, or at least, Deism (which translates to pretty much inactive-believer--a good thing, politically) is short.

So I tend to poke holes in their beliefs as I can; showing them that what they have taken granted since childhood, is unworthy of a human being.
True Christian witness

Slick, OK

#54 May 21, 2013
havent forgotten wrote:
<quoted text> Please explain in more detail what you mean in the paragraph beginning with
"of course". also do you think loose conduct - maybe sex, alcohol, and drugs - is worse than murder and lies and cruelty? Is adultery worse than coldblooded murder, or just as bad, in your view? and what do you mean by sins, and false doctrine, and already forgiven?
What is your religion, denomination?
Unless you read God's word the Bible for yourself, you will never know what God expects from the people who worship Him. They are called his children, special property or a people who represent Him on earth.
Today these people are Jehovah's witnesses, as I am.

Jehovah's witnesses are no part of Christendom or religious demoninations or sects that claim to worship the God of the Bible, but they teach man made doctrines and not the truth of Scripture.
Matthew 15:9

Anyone who is raised with a Bible education can discern for themselves if their conduct is acceptable to God or not. It is the person who is misdirected by his own understanding or the teachings of a minister or clergy who interpret what the Scriptures mean, that is unacceptable to God. 2Peter 1:20, 21

Sin is imperfection and since we are all imperfect, we all sin, that is why we need Jehovah God's forgiveness for our sin, Isaiah 1:18
We must exercise faith in the sacrifice of Jesus as the Lamb of God, whether our sins are deliberate or unintentional. John 3:16
John 3:36

Since: Jun 07

Location hidden

#55 May 21, 2013
havent forgotten wrote:
<quoted text> that was to true christian witness.
Not all atheists are more moral and respectable than people who believe in a god. Ethics is one thing. Rational thought is another. Many people who think God is real are not intentionally telling a falsehoood - they believe it themselves. You are welcome to call them stupid or brainwashed, but I do not think they are deliberate liars. Although some of the opportunistic preachers may be, if they make $ off of it.
I just wish all agnostics, atheists, and skeptics were moral. and what do you mean by "respectable"? surely you mean worthy of respect, rather than conventionally middle-classy bourgeois
"respectability"?
what do you call moral, and worthy of respect - other than agreeing with you and thinking you are wonderful? I was never too clear on what else you value besides yourself.
There's a no proof of god - people that believe in god are liars. Especially when they do not listen to rational arguments and reject facts.

Since: Jun 07

Location hidden

#56 May 21, 2013
True Christian witness wrote:
<quoted text>
Unless you read God's word the Bible for yourself, you will never know what God expects from the people who worship Him. They are called his children, special property or a people who represent Him on earth.
Today these people are Jehovah's witnesses, as I am.
Jehovah's witnesses are no part of Christendom or religious demoninations or sects that claim to worship the God of the Bible, but they teach man made doctrines and not the truth of Scripture.
Matthew 15:9
Anyone who is raised with a Bible education can discern for themselves if their conduct is acceptable to God or not. It is the person who is misdirected by his own understanding or the teachings of a minister or clergy who interpret what the Scriptures mean, that is unacceptable to God. 2Peter 1:20, 21
Sin is imperfection and since we are all imperfect, we all sin, that is why we need Jehovah God's forgiveness for our sin, Isaiah 1:18
We must exercise faith in the sacrifice of Jesus as the Lamb of God, whether our sins are deliberate or unintentional. John 3:16
John 3:36
Pre-prepared religious lies given to you by your cult.

You have no proof of god and are lying about all of this.

“I Am No One Else”

Since: Apr 12

Seattle

#57 May 21, 2013
True Christian witness wrote:
<quoted text>
Unless you read God's word the Bible for yourself, you will never know what God expects from the people who worship Him. They are called his children, special property or a people who represent Him on earth.
Today these people are Jehovah's witnesses, as I am.
Jehovah's witnesses are no part of Christendom or religious demoninations or sects that claim to worship the God of the Bible, but they teach man made doctrines and not the truth of Scripture.
Matthew 15:9
Anyone who is raised with a Bible education can discern for themselves if their conduct is acceptable to God or not. It is the person who is misdirected by his own understanding or the teachings of a minister or clergy who interpret what the Scriptures mean, that is unacceptable to God. 2Peter 1:20, 21
Sin is imperfection and since we are all imperfect, we all sin, that is why we need Jehovah God's forgiveness for our sin, Isaiah 1:18
We must exercise faith in the sacrifice of Jesus as the Lamb of God, whether our sins are deliberate or unintentional. John 3:16
John 3:36
That's nice, you have a bunch of assertions. Where is the evidence supporting these assertions?

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#58 May 21, 2013
True Christian witness wrote:
<quoted text>
Unless you read God's word the Bible for yourself,
I have. Hundreds of times.

But it took a college-level study of the bible to convince me it could not possibly be from any god of any note.

It is simply too evil of a book-- it's concepts are Bronze Age ideas, long since passed by, by superior concepts and ideas.

Once I realized the bible cannot possibly be from any god?

The very existence of such a horrible book of lies, is 100% proof that there cannot be ANY gods who CARE!

No CARING deity would have allowed such as the evil bible to even EXIST! For it sullies the name of god! No self-respecting deity would have permitted such to exist.
True Christian witness

Slick, OK

#59 May 22, 2013
Jehovah's witnesses do not care what anyone thinks or believes, we are all free will agents capable of making our own decisions what to think and believe based on education or pursuasion of people.

It is the person who wants answers and evidence that there is a Creator and God in heaven and who wants peace and happiness, these are the people Jehovah's witnesses are looking for, they are compared to lost sheep, and only the sheep will be able to accept this message of hope from Jehovah's witnesses, because they are meek people.
Psalm 37:11

Jesus is the shepherd King and he is directing this world wide preaching work to gather his earthly subjects, these will survive the end of this unrighteous system and will inherit the new world of righteousness. Matthew 28:19,20 Matthew 24:14
Matthew 25:33

Since: Jun 07

Location hidden

#60 May 23, 2013
True Christian witness wrote:
Jehovah's witnesses do not care what anyone thinks or believes, we are all free will agents capable of making our own decisions what to think and believe based on education or pursuasion of people.
It is the person who wants answers and evidence that there is a Creator and God in heaven and who wants peace and happiness, these are the people Jehovah's witnesses are looking for, they are compared to lost sheep, and only the sheep will be able to accept this message of hope from Jehovah's witnesses, because they are meek people.
Psalm 37:11
Jesus is the shepherd King and he is directing this world wide preaching work to gather his earthly subjects, these will survive the end of this unrighteous system and will inherit the new world of righteousness. Matthew 28:19,20 Matthew 24:14
Matthew 25:33
You're a proven immoral liar with no proof of god who doesn't know when to leave the forum.

We don't listen to liars like you over here so go back to your cult and tell them you failed to convert any atheists here today.

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