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Free Will
Posted: 08 March 2012 02:17 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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I would like to buy an electronic copy of Free Will, either Kindle or iPad

I notice that the End of Faith is not available in electronic format.

Is this your publishers policy?

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Posted: 08 March 2012 08:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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I purchased End of Faith from Barnes & Noble in Nook format, so it available from them if you install the Nook app for your platform.

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Posted: 09 March 2012 07:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Thanks for your recommendation, but I can’t see how to download that to my iPad

Doesn’t the publisher want to take my money through either iBook or Kindle

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Posted: 09 March 2012 07:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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You can install the Barnes & Noble ‘Nook’ software on your iPad through the Apple AppStore.  Once that is installed, you can set up your account with B&N, then download the book.

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Posted: 09 March 2012 07:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Have tried but can’t find the software. I am in the uk, could this be the problem

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Posted: 09 March 2012 07:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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From within the ‘App Store’, search for ‘NOOK by Barnes & Noble’.  It is free software.

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Posted: 09 March 2012 10:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Thanks for your suggestion, but this doesn’t exist on the UK App store.

 

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Posted: 12 March 2012 12:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Now I find that I could buy this in iBook or Kindle format but only in the US.

Is there a plan to publish in the UK in electronic format?

If so, when?

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Posted: 16 March 2012 08:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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I am getting the biggest laugh out of this. I am watching all of you struggling to get this book on your IPads or whatever and trying to get the correct software so that you can download it, and acting as though that were the only way to read Sam’s book.. Did it ever dawn on anyone to simply order the BOOK?????  Remember books, people or is that too far back in time?

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Posted: 02 April 2012 04:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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I just downloaded this book to my Galaxy Tablet and also to my smartphone.  Beginning to read it now.  It is amazing to me how people get so defensive and hostile when you try to discuss a subject like this.  I find it fascinating how the brain is wired and how experiences, environmental factors, culture, upbringing etc.  all play a part in how we make choices in life that may be on a subconscious level and not really a choice at all in a conscious manner.  The fact that Sam brings up the whole notion that we might not really have free will due to these factors seems more logical to me.  I don’t think he is trying to get anyone out of consequences related to crime or people who commit crimes but he does bring up interesting points about how we treat people in the penal system and how maybe they were victims themselves of these circumstances that lead them to do what they do.  To me it does seem to bring more compassion and understanding to these concepts and problems.  In other words not everything is cut and dry or black and white as so many want to view their world. 

I am interested in hearing from others who are reading this book.

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Posted: 03 April 2012 07:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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One of the commentators on here says: “I find it fascinating how the brain is wired and how experiences, environmental factors, culture, upbringing etc.  all play a part in how we make choices in life that may be on a subconscious level and not really a choice at all in a conscious manner.” and I believe that this is what Sam is saying also, but of course, I could be wrong.


Many years ago I remember L.Ron Hubbard stating that man’s major problem was the fact that instead of acting and initiating action, that he spent most of his time reacting and that reacting actually requires more effort and energy than acting. He did, however believe that man does also have the ability to originate thought. In a different way Sam Harris is also saying that we are “wired” to react a certain way due to environment, culture and upbringing. But he seems to be disallowing our ability to also be capable of original thought and our ability to rise above our initial reactions. Perhaps I am misunderstanding him. Our initial response to this is that perhaps criminals and people who exhibit anti social behavior may not then be totally responsible for their actions. However if that is true, then we also need to look at the other side of the coin.


What about heroes?  What about humanitarians? What about the Nobel Peace Prize? What about the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart? Perhaps we are just wasting a lot of time and effort and expense lauding and praising individuals like Abraham Lincoln, Albert Schweitzer, Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa of Calcutta, the 911 Heroes and others for merely doing what they were “wired to do.” So now we find ourselves suddenly living in a world devoid of criminals, but also devoid of heroes. If this is the case, then we are really downgrading mankind from the unique position of “Cogito Ergo Sum” to simply a higher form of animal that only reacts and is incapable of original thought or volition and responsible for none of his/her actions be they good or bad. It seems to me like the dehumanization of man.


I, most certainly am not a follower of Scientology or any institutional religion, but I can’t help but agree in a general sense with the following quote: “Convince a man that he is an animal, that his own dignity and self-respect are delusions, that there is no ‘beyond’ to aspire to, no higher potential self to achieve, and you have a slave. Let a man know he is himself, a spiritual being, that he is capable of the power of choice and has the right to aspire to greater wisdom and you have started him up a higher road.”- L.Ron Hubbard

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Posted: 03 April 2012 11:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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BobInBpt - 03 April 2012 07:35 AM

One of the commentators on here says: “I find it fascinating how the brain is wired and how experiences, environmental factors, culture, upbringing etc.  all play a part in how we make choices in life that may be on a subconscious level and not really a choice at all in a conscious manner.” and I believe that this is what Sam is saying also, but of course, I could be wrong.


Many years ago I remember L.Ron Hubbard stating that man’s major problem was the fact that instead of acting and initiating action, that he spent most of his time reacting and that reacting actually requires more effort and energy than acting. He did, however believe that man does also have the ability to originate thought. In a different way Sam Harris is also saying that we are “wired” to react a certain way due to environment, culture and upbringing. But he seems to be disallowing our ability to also be capable of original thought and our ability to rise above our initial reactions. Perhaps I am misunderstanding him. Our initial response to this is that perhaps criminals and people who exhibit anti social behavior may not then be totally responsible for their actions. However if that is true, then we also need to look at the other side of the coin.


What about heroes?  What about humanitarians? What about the Nobel Peace Prize? What about the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart? Perhaps we are just wasting a lot of time and effort and expense lauding and praising individuals like Abraham Lincoln, Albert Schweitzer, Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa of Calcutta, the 911 Heroes and others for merely doing what they were “wired to do.” So now we find ourselves suddenly living in a world devoid of criminals, but also devoid of heroes. If this is the case, then we are really downgrading mankind from the unique position of “Cogito Ergo Sum” to simply a higher form of animal that only reacts and is incapable of original thought or volition and responsible for none of his/her actions be they good or bad. It seems to me like the dehumanization of man.


I, most certainly am not a follower of Scientology or any institutional religion, but I can’t help but agree in a general sense with the following quote: “Convince a man that he is an animal, that his own dignity and self-respect are delusions, that there is no ‘beyond’ to aspire to, no higher potential self to achieve, and you have a slave. Let a man know he is himself, a spiritual being, that he is capable of the power of choice and has the right to aspire to greater wisdom and you have started him up a higher road.”- L.Ron Hubbard

I don’t think that is what he is saying in fact I think if we see that free will is an illusion it in more ways than one makes us more humane toward others.  It also opens us up for more introspection and allows for more meaningful communication on such issues.  Yes, I do believe we are wired a certain way and our brains through neurons and neurological pulses etc lead us to do and think in a way that is really not of our choice as in free will.  The examples he gives like him drinking coffee instead of tea and him asking why not tea? or why not juice?  His brain made some minute calculations and fired off nerves and cells reacted and deducted some how that coffee was the choice.. all this was done unconsciously and once the brain made the choice he then became conscious of the decision and drank coffee.  I see this in my lay man’s eyes as an organic computer (the brain) that is ultimately ticking away and calculating constantly while we are completely unaware.  The brains response is through cause and effect within the body.  So in reality one isn’t really choosing and there really isn’t free will in the sense that we believe in free will.

Now that isn’t to say there aren’t consequences and since we live in a world of cause and effect there will always be consequences to the brain activity of choice I guess.

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Posted: 03 April 2012 06:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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We do perform many of the functions of our lives as though on automatic pilot and the “choices” are made or accomplished merely based upon previous good results. But then that leads one to wonder: why then do we sometimes switch from coffee to tea, or why do we stop doing the old habitual things and try something new? Aren’t the decisions to try new things, new foods, new drinks, new music, etc. original thoughts? When we turn from strict Roman Catholicism and become agnostics, isn’t that new thought?  When we quit our banking job of 25 years and decide to run a bed and breakfast, isn’t that a new and original thought? Aren’t both of those desires to change our situations in life conscious decisions or were we incapable of coming to any other conclusions than the ones we came to?

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Posted: 02 July 2012 04:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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BobInBpt - 16 March 2012 08:05 AM

I am getting the biggest laugh out of this. I am watching all of you struggling to get this book on your IPads or whatever and trying to get the correct software so that you can download it, and acting as though that were the only way to read Sam’s book.. Did it ever dawn on anyone to simply order the BOOK?????  Remember books, people or is that too far back in time?

I didn’t spend €120 euro on a Kindle so that I’d have to:
a) Wait 7 days for postage of a book, which is how long it takes to get anything from amazon.co.uk if you live in Ireland
b) Pay for the binding, printing and postage of a paperback
c) Store a physical book on my bookshelf with hundreds I already have

I won’t be buying this book until I can get it on Kindle.  It seems crazy to me that it’s available to American Purchasers and not the rest of the world.

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Posted: 06 July 2012 06:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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i dont know where else to post this,so ill post it here cos its here that i first spotted the button to reply,ie wtite anything.
so my comment concerns the latest article of sams,on spirutuality. he says its inevitable that he uses this term thou it means other things as well,things we thinkers dotn like. i dont like it eithre.
and since i very well understood what sam meant with the word spiritual,that of the mind and not of the body,maybe he could,i suggest,use this ‘of the mind’ to create a new word or find an old one that would mean ‘of the mind’ and not of the spirit cos theres no such thing as soul and spirit. all these of the mind are of the brain,the function of neurons. and he knows it well better than i do. he is a neuroscientist. so to conclude,there is a body,and there is a brain,which is brw body too. so the body in narrower meaning produces diferent action,while the brain as organ produces some other actions that we call thoughts emotions etc. but all these are of the body. even the thought,which is mind. so spirit is in a way of the mind. not of the soul or spirit,cos there are no such thing. all is body and its actions.
who agrees and who doesnt? and why?

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Posted: 22 August 2012 05:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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Free Will/Won’t ——-  a different angle
Before language we lived in groups and members cooperated. When we learned more efficient cooperation it was due to improvements in communication of what the different organisms   intended to do. It was done by by signs,  sounds and, later,  words.  The intensions/decisions were formed in the (sub)conscious workings of that organism.
With time,  we got better and better in communications and we even created a word for the ‘announcement’:  ‘I’ !  But that did not mean that we added a function to our organism:  an ‘I’  that suddenly could deliberate and decide about things! 
Through 1000s of years we then used ‘I’  to give agency to decisions that were communicated and then we started to believe that what was communicated was really made by   ‘I’,  as we had little idea about how a decision came to. 
We are still in that situation;  most people have no idea about how an organism makes decisions….they just assume that ‘I’  did it.
And …. As ‘I’  did it…‘I’  have Free Will.
Voila!
But…..
My organism is still doing decisions in the same way as it has done for 1000s of years! Only   better due to access to more information.
A big confusion was created when this witnessing and announcing function of my organism’s deliberations and decisions was also supposed to have the powers to do them; i.e.  when the announcement got the confusing ID:  ‘I’ ?  Or rather:  Who is there to have Free Will?  There is no one! 
Without anybody   to own the Free Will/Won’t mechanism; it can not exist.
But my organism will continue to make decisions and announce them and many people will continue to believe that a Free Will decision has been announced.

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