10:00 - Announcements
10: 15 - Fun and Frivolity
10:30 "Free Will – Can we live without the illusion?"
Dr. Susan Blackmore
The more we learn about the neuroscience of self, volition, and consciousness, the less plausible becomes the traditional idea of free will. Libet’s experiments on the timing of voluntary actions throw free will into doubt; the neuroscience of volition reveals the brain areas responsible for decision-making and self-control; and research by Wegner shows how the feeling of having done something ourselves comes down to attributions we make after the fact on the basis of sequence, similarity and timing.
So if our intuitions are not to be trusted, how should we live our lives?
Despite the mounting evidence, many philosophers and psychologists still believe in free will. Others claim that even if there is no free will we still have to live ‘as if’ there is. Otherwise, they claim, terrible disasters will befall us – a loss of morality, the breakdown of our legal systems and even of society itself. I think they are wrong, and indeed that we would be better off not to delude ourselves. In any case, I am not prepared to live a lie. I will discuss the challenges of striving to throw off the illusion of conscious will.
This event will be held at DuVal auditorium and is sponsored by FreeThought Arizona.