PJ Media

Is free will becoming extinct?

Have you noticed an uptick in studies that seem to say you have no or little free will? It seems that a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/014311526X?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=014311526X”as more and more liberals desire/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=014311526X” width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / to regulate behavior, the academic world is focusing more intently on studies that show free will to be an illusion. For example, in span style=”font-style:italic;”Time/span, there is a recent article entitled a href=”http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2000994,00.html?xid=rss-topstoriesutm_source=feedburnerutm_medium=feedutm_campaign=Feed%3A+time%2Ftopstories+%28TIME%3A+Top+Stories%29″”Think You’re Operating on Free Will? Think Again”/a (a href=”http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/102345/”via Instapundit/a):br /br /blockquoteThere may be few things more fundamental to human identity than the belief that people are rational individuals whose behavior is determined by conscious choices. But recently psychologists have compiled an impressive body of research that shows how deeply our decisions and behavior are influenced by unconscious thought, and how greatly those thoughts are swayed by stimuli beyond our immediate comprehension./blockquotebr /br /a href=”http://richmedia.pjmedia.com/audio/politicscentral/glenn_helen_show/20080422-Sunstein.mp3″Glenn and I interviewed/a Cass Sunstein, the author of a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/014311526X?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=014311526X”span style=”font-style:italic;”Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness/span/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=014311526X” width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / two years ago. Sunstein is now Obama administration’s regulatory czar. I remember as I listened to him talk about “libertarian paternalism” (isn’t that an oxymoron?) that I felt sick to my stomach. In Sunstein’s opinion, it seems that justifying the notion that people do not have free will gives license to bureaucrats and politicians to “nudge” people in the direction that they desire them to go. A nudge is often not noticed until it becomes a shove and by then, it is often too late. br /br /Beware of studies that show free will to be more and more of an illusion, for as a href=”http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/102345/”Glenn says,/a “This kind of thing is often pitched as a reason for regulation, since your free will is portrayed as illusory.” br /br /Perhaps the free will of academics who do so many of these studies is really the illusion. Maybe it is span style=”font-style:italic;”they/span who unconsciously want to give more ammunition to the current administration to proceed with policies that usurp free will and take more and more of our freedoms away. Free will and personal responsibility are the epitome of freedom. Let us not allow them to become extinct.

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