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The Illusion of Free Will

"If you pay attention, you can see that you no more authoring the next thing you think than the next thing I say. Thoughts simply appear in consciousness. What are you going to think next? What am I going to say next?

I could suddenly start talking about why we don't eat owls. Why don't we eat owls? They seem perfectly good. Okay, where did that come from? It came out of nowhere as far as you're concerned but the same thing is happening in your own mind at this moment.

You're trying to listen to me but you also have a voice in your head that says things, haven't you noticed? It says things that are completely unconstrained at times by the thing you're trying to focus on. I am standing up here trying to reason with you and you will think, 'He does look a little bit like Ben Stiller.'

Thoughts just emerge in consciousness. We are not authoring them - that would require that we think them before we think them. If you can't control your next thought and you don't know what it's going to be until it arises, where is your freedom of will?"

Sam Harris