From Sam Harris: Many people seem to believe that morality depends for its exis­tence on a meta­phys­ical quan­tity called “free will.” This convic­tion is occa­sion­ally expressed — often with great impa­tience, smug­ness, or piety — with the words, “ought implies can.” Like much else in philos­ophy that is too easily remem­bered (e.g. “you can’t get an ought from an is.”), this phrase has become an imped­i­ment to clear thinking. In fact, the concept of free will is a non-starter, both philo­soph­i­cally and scien­tif­i­cally. There is simply no descrip­tion of mental and phys­ical causa­tion that allows for this freedom that we habit­u­ally claim for ourselves and ascribe to others. Under­standing this would alter our view of morality in some respects, but it wouldn’t destroy the distinc­tion between right and wrong, or good and evil. · Go to Morality without “free will” →