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The Politics of Everything

Aug 9, 2022

Free will is something we all perhaps don’t think a lot about in our everyday lives.


My guest today David Lawrence is the author of Are We Biochemical Robots. He is a social critic and animal rights advocate, and philosophical proponent of free will, opposing the determinist views held by many new media personalities. David wrote his book as a response to the 10th anniversary of another author Sam Harris’ book Free Will, in an effort to expose the flawed thinking that Harris’ book and determinist ideology present - and to address the central arguments against the existence of free will.

David holds a B.A. in Philosophy from UCLA as well as Jurisdoctor Law Degree from USC.

So this is an episode for the thinkers among us as we discuss determinism, free will, and why the great debate between them matters more than ever.

We talk about:

  1. How can free will be defined and is it something most humans take for granted? Please explain your perspective in a few sentences.
  2. What is determinism and what does that have to do with free will?
  3. In your words, determinists have markedly grown in number over the past decade, in large part due to a misreading of neuroscience studies seeking to link prior neural brain activity to the exercise of choice. At the same time, the moral importance of the free will debate has been increasing in intensity due to other scientific findings, which demonstrate that determinist beliefs promote cheating and other anti-social conduct. For many successful people and those who aspire to be say wealthier or smarter or more goal-orientated that may seem like the natural way to reach their goals in business or sport, for example. What is the counter argument to this and how can it help society function better?
  4. Take away: What is your final takeaway message for us on The Politics of Free Will?



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