Welcome to the Nexus of Ethics, Psychology, Morality, Philosophy and Health Care

Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, philosophy and health care

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Does non-belief in free will make us better or worse?

Studies have shown that people who believe things happen randomly and not through our own choice often behave much worse than those who believe the opposite.

By Tom Stafford
BBC - Future
Originally published September 25, 2013

Are you reading this because you chose to? Or are you doing so as a result of forces beyond your control?

After thousands of years of philosophy, theology, argument and meditation on the riddle of free will, I’m not about to solve it for you in this column (sorry). But what I can do is tell you about some thought-provoking experiments by psychologists, which suggest that, regardless of whether we have free will or not, whether we believe we do can have a profound impact on how we behave.

The issue is simple: we all make choices, but could those choices be made otherwise? From a religious perspective it might seem as if a divine being knows all, including knowing in advance what you will choose (so your choices could not be otherwise). Or we can take a physics-based perspective?

The entire story is here.
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