Most atheists don’t believe in free will. Did you know that? In The Moral Landscape, Sam Harris writes,
From the perspective of your conscious mind, you are no more responsible for the next thing you think (and therefore do) than you are for the fact that you were born into this world.
Why is this? Because in a purely physical world, every event can only be caused by physical stuff. There’s no room for a ‘ghost in the machine.’ There is only the machine, whirring away. Consciousness is, therefore, something for which they have no real explanation. It just is. And free will is an illusion.
So far, so good. Your assumptions lead you to believe that free will doesn’t exist. Be my guest. But be bold, Sam, Richard D and Steven P. Follow the logic wherever it leads. Surely, no free will means no responsibility for our actions, right? Well, how could we be responsible if we’re not responsible for what we think?
Yet, suddenly, cold feet appear. Sam Harris certainly doesn’t want to exonerate those who commit hideous crimes, does he? No, he doesn’t. No one wants to look like they don’t believe in morality.
Tomorrow, his answer, which will make your head spin.