Sam Harris is a philosopher, neuroscientist, author, and podcast presenter from the United States who has proposed a variety of hypotheses in his books and presentations. He is a big proponent of meditation, having studied Hinduism, Buddhism, and other Indian insight training methods and theologies in India and Nepal.
He attended Stanford University and is well-known for experimenting with psychedelic chemicals that he believes might aid in spiritual enlightenment. With his opinions and arguments on Islam and free will, Harris has sparked some debate.
Sam Harris Books and Works
In 2004, Sam Harris wrote The End of Faith, which spent almost seven months on the New York Times Best Seller list. Letter to a Christian Nation was released in 2006. The Moral Landscape was published in 2010. In 2011, Lying. Free Will in 2012. Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion was published in 2014. Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue was published in 2015.
A few years ago, I was rather captivated by Sam’s art, but I was turned off when I came across some statements regarding Muslim women and “cloth bags.” I didn’t agree with what was said. However, I found parts of what he stated regarding awareness and other levels of consciousness to be quite apparent.
However, I believe that ignorance concerning free will obstructs enlightenment, therefore I’d want to uncork it right now.
Free will respond.
To be entirely honest, I have no idea what Sam’s case against free will is, other than the fact that he has one. I also don’t want to delve too far into it now because everything is apparent now and I’d rather write.
I’d want to discuss free will in a single essay, written just tonight as the topic came up, and to be more fair, there will be no revisions that I don’t highlight.
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I hope this is as useful to my regular readers at home as it is to those facing a meta-level infinite war with cognition.
Sam believes that the concept of free will “cannot be mapped on to any possible reality” and is nonsensical, according to Wikipedia. “Neuroscience exposes you to be a biochemical puppet,” Harris argues in Free Will.
Okay, so here it is, issued at 2:38 a.m. on April 15, 2022, with no revisions until they have been highlighted:
As previously said, I am unfamiliar with Sam’s work, despite his impact. I’m not sure where he stands on the ancillary issues or why he finds free will so difficult to accept. It might be due to what I perceive to be a provocative component to his personality. For many years, I’ve been aware of both free will and its absence. However, I believe I have solid proof of its existence.
Sam’s contrasting viewpoint on free will, I believe, challenges common wisdom on what many perceive to be “evident.” However, it is not immediately apparent. When considering why one does anything, one needs examine numerous meta levels of cognition, as well as emergent emotions, cognitive biases, and confabulations.
Sam Harris’ Thesis
The fact that breaking meta level after meta level constantly leaves the practitioner with another meta level to break does not rule out the possibility of gaining clear insight into the reality of free will. The activity itself is the issue. One can always stop and think about where the free will came from to undertake the activity in the first place.
Sam’s thesis, I think, is that there are underlying patterns that dictate choices, regardless of what explanation a person gives for doing so. That everything is interconnected, leaving only the appearance of autonomous choice.
If Sam is correct, free will may be an illusion due to deeper levels of cognition, possibly another level of cognition that is already predestined. Or that our biology is completely within our control. Then this is where I disagree. I believe that decisions taken in life have consequences that are subsequently experienced, and that, for example, standing up for someone can result in a huge shift in where that brave creature ends up in this world. I’m also well aware that these things require developed abilities, tenacity, and guts. However, keep in mind that the development of such traits should be choice-driven rather than predefined.
Not only do I believe that choices exist in life and that there is a certain level of free will accessible to make them. Choices, which are acts, I believe, are what guide an entity’s whole experience in this realm. I might also mention that a lone solo practitioner has far more free will than someone who must seek acceptance from others for whatever reason.
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Small decisions, I believe, are made along the route that may lead us to more favorable conditions.
When it comes to making a decision, we may feel pushed to go one way or even move or act impulsively. However, I’ve also had the reverse scenario, when a decision might be debated for years. One may argue that the outcome of this practice is already predetermined, but I would point to karma and claim that one can only arrive to a happy dwelling by practicing and upholding righteous behaviors of one’s own free choice.
Sam Harris’ first assumption, I believe, is that we must track cognition down several meta levels to rule out the existence of free choice. However, doing so reveals that the entire process appears to be limitless and preset. If that is his method, I believe it is erroneous.
One cannot show the existence of free will by following meta levels of cognition down.
However, I believe we may get a lot of insight into free will if we look at it from a different perspective.
If we were to establish an environment like ours for feeling beings. I believe there are three things that we will require. The space of entities. Rules that are objective. Willpower.
The space is also made up of creatures. They would be in all circumstances, since they are formed of’space stuff,’ and they may then recognize it, freeing themselves from the anguish brought on by wrong beliefs, even death.
We may also look at free will in terms of other patterns that are visible. Observations on those who make the right choices and acts, as well as those who make the wrong choices and behaviors. If this was merely a ride with the appearance of control, it would hint to an unscrupulous or inept creator of the space we name universe.
Furthermore, if humans did not have free will. It would seem absurd to predict that someone like Sam Harris would devote decades of their lives to investigating it. I believe it would be a lot more fun if this area was predefined and there was no free will.
Sam Harris Net Worth and Earnings
Sam Harris, an American philosopher, neuroscientist, author, and podcast host, is expected to have a net worth of $2 million USD in 2022. Harris writes about spirituality without religion and the possibility that free choice does not exist.
Short Bio on Sam Harris
Sam Harris has proposed hypotheses that have changed the way many people perceive, think, and feel. He has researched topics such as awareness and how the mind works in order to assist others while still making a good career. He makes money by selling books and a meditation software that can be downloaded from his website, Waking Up.
Sam Harris has an estimated net worth of $2 million as of 2022, and he continues to explore ideas and propose hypotheses through his blogs, books, and presentations.