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“Free Will” is Incoherent

October 11, 2011 4 comments

Free Will is IncoherentIn the book I am currently writing titled Breaking the Free Will Illusion for the Betterment of Humankind I not only argue that we do not have free will, but I argue that free will is logically incoherent. That it is nonsensical. That it is something that cannot coexist with reality.

I show that thoughts are events, and that there are only two possibilities for events. I show why these possibilities are entirely incompatible with free will.

I also explain why compatibilist notions of free will, which basically is a redifining of the term ” free will” in such a way that it fits in with one of these possibilities, misses the point entirely. That these notions of free will are not helpful in any way, and that they just allow people to contrive their own notion of free will that does not relate to the compatibilists notion.

In other words, the book I am writing is not one of those books that do not take a side. It is not one that suggests that there is any possibility what-so-ever that we can or do have free will. It is a firm stance on one side of a controversal issue.

But just because the book only takes one side does not mean it is not for everyone. The book is for both people that already understand that free will is impossible as well as people that hold a belief in free will.

For those that already disbelieve in free will, the arguments will strengthen their conviction or give them some new ways to think about the topic.

For those that believe in free will, the book is a challenge. It is a challenge for them to see if, after reading the book, their belief in free will still holds water. Maybe they will be able to. Maybe they have a good argument I have missed. I doubt it, but who knows? So I throw the challenge out to them.  Prove me wrong. And who isn’t up for a challenge?

If they fail the challenge, which I think they will, it is my hope that the book changes minds. That people begin to understand this important fact about reality. The book goes into depth of why this is so important. Hence the second part of the title “… for the Betterment of Humankind”.

I invite people with dissenting  points of view to read my book once it is out.

And if you are one of those with a dissenting point of view, do me a favor. After you read the book:

Send me an email.
In it explain how “free will” really is logically coherent.

I betcha can’t. 😉

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Life’s Little Distracting Annoyances

August 31, 2011 2 comments

I sit at my computer, thinking of the next word to type. Suddenly a spitball smacks me in the face. “How annoying” I think as I wipe my face and refocus on the screen. A finger comes close to my eye and I hear “Isn’t this annoooyyying. Isn’t this annnooooyyying!” in a voice that can only be described as “annoying”. I swipe the finger and plug my ears. The sound goes away. “Ahhh”, a sense of relief. A thought comes into my head and I start to type. “Brilliant” I think as I press on a key. Suddenly I see the light above me flickering. “Errrgh” I say as the thought I had leaves my head.

This is how I feel sometimes.

Little “life” annoyances make it difficult to get a book written during my spare time. Things happen, “urgent” matters occur, and “life” interrupts writing patterns. Little annoyances build up to larger nuisances. These annoyances seem to work together to make sure they all happen within the same timeframe.

It isn’t just that these events consume the time normally spent on book writing. They also create a stress in the mind that interferes with the will, excitement, and motivation necessary to drive progress forward. Individually they are manageable, but together they build up to energy sapping annoying little creatures that you just want to “knock it off”!

These are happenings with their own time constraints, and they are happenings that demand attention. They need to get done for the sake of my own life and wellbeing.

My book, however, is something I desire to accomplish for a cause I believe in. For a purpose that I deem beyond me. For something that may exist even after I die and can reap any benefit. For the wellbeing of future consciousness.

This is why I find it annoying when life, my life, and goals that only pertain to my life and those close to me, cause distractions from a goal that I find much greater in the bigger picture. And I can’t just ignore these things. They would only cause larger problems in the long run. They weigh heavily on my mind until resolved.

So all I can do is be annoyed. Annoyed by the necessities and stresses that life imposes.  Annoyed that I am not doing what I want, and distracted by what my life requires. At least I live in a country and at a time were annoyances are the concern, and not starvation, lack of shelter, threat of enemies or predators, or other harsher realities. Comparatively, I’ll take my annoyances any day. They are, however, a distraction. A causal distraction that truly hinders progress. Hindering the ability to make a decent blog post even.

“Phttthhht!”

“Knock it off – Life!”

Does life ever hinder you from something you desire to accomplish?

Books I Want to Write Before I Die

June 27, 2011 3 comments

There are a number of books that I want to write before I die. As someone that has pessimistic tendancies, I do not think I will accomplish them all. I hold a full time job and have to write my books in my spare time, either on my lunch hour, or time that I make available to write after work. There really is only one book that I know for sure that I will finish(unless I get hit by a car or something of that sort), and that is the one I am currently in the process of writing and have been for a number of years now. My first book will be Breaking the Free Will Illusion for the Betterment of Humankind. It will show, in complete layperson’s terms, the absurdity of the notion of free will. It will also detail why our current free will psychology is harmful and needs to change. I have started with this book because it is a base topic. In other words, strongly establishing this fact is of great importance for most others. The four main books I want to write are as follows:

  • The book I am currently writing about the lack of free will and the direction that I hope humanity will be lead with this understanding.
  • A book detailing my ethical philosophy, of course written for the layperson (as all of my books will be). One that I find of equal importance as my book about the free will illusion, but one that must come afterward.
  • A book about the state of affairs of life, and what our ethical responsibilities should be to those state of affairs. This book will be even more controversial than my book about the free will illusion, but it will be a very important book, and equally as supported by logic.
  • The three above are all nonfiction books. I would also like to write a science fiction book that illustrates some of my philosophical concerns. One that has thoughtful entertainment value. I have already started one and work on it when the mood strikes. Ideally, I’d like this to be my third or fourth book.

If I could get all of the above books written and out to the public before I die, that would make me ecstatic. I have more books in my head in which I would like to get out as well, such as one in regards to my philosophy of knowledge (epistemology), one on animal welfare, one on certain -isms that are problematic, and maybe even another fiction book or two. At the rate I am processing the first book (hopefully complete in 2012), these ones will need to take back seat. I’d be happy enough with the four books I have bulleted above before I croak. We’ll see.

Is there a book you desire to write before you die? If so, what type and what’s it about? Leave me a comment.

Doodles for my Blog

June 13, 2011 4 comments

If you have been reading my blog, you may notice the line drawings above each post. Once I write a blog post I like to whip up a sketch that has some relation to the post. I started these doodles from May of this year on. Hopefully I can keep these up.

I also am going to illustrate sections of the book I am currently in the process of writing: Breaking the Free Will Illusion for the Betterment of Humankind. Of course (like the writing) I plan on taking more time with those pieces used for the book than the ones I draw quickly for my blog.

I’m also considering creating a page linked off of www.TrickSlattery.com for art that will be free for people to use as clipart, or on their own website or blog (as long as they are unaltered and link back). Just random drawings that I may do. The drawings will probably be a little obscur (I have a weird mind), so not sure if many will find them of use. I have not created such a page as of yet, but stay tuned. Once I do I will create a new blog post to let any blog subscribers know, and a quick blog post when I post a new doodle or drawing.

I’d appreciate it if people do not use the images at the top of my own blog posts, as I am drawing them specifically for my posts and would like them to be unique. If, however, you like something I am using for a post, let me know. I’m flexable.

A Causal Posting About the Word Acausal

For my book, I had to decide on the word to use for an event without a cause. My options were “uncaused”, “non-causal”, “not causal”, and “acausal”. I ultimately, with much hesitation, decided on acausal. Each had their own issues. I ruled out “not causal” as “not causal event” and “not caused event” did not sound right. They did not flow. Non-causal sounded a little better, but not by much. It came down to “uncaused event” and “acausal event”. Since I wanted to use “causal event” for an event that was caused, it seemed to make sense to stay consistent and use “acausal event” since “uncausal event” did not seem to work.

I was concerned that the a- prefix might be confusing, but felt that people would become accustomed to the word quickly, and once they did it would be a better fit. There is no lack of defining and explaining what the word means in my book, and I repeat it in the beginning through different means. The a- prefix for the most part means: absence of, without, or lack of. An acausal event would be an event that is “without cause”. I think people who are not familiar with the word will catch on easily.

What is your take on using the a- prefix in this case? Should I have used “uncaused” instead?

10 Reasons I’m Considering Indie Publishing

While writing my book Breaking the Free Will Illusion for the Betterment of Humankind I though long and hard about how I want to publish it. At first I figured I would take the traditional publishing route. As I began researching the different publishing routes and the direction they are heading, that mindset has changed. I researched every site, podcast, and video I could find. I’ve read every book I could get my hands on. Here are 10 reasons why I am leaning toward the Indie Publishing route:

1 ) I don’t want to give up creative control. This by far is the most important reason to consider indie publishing. I desire control over the way my book looks and how it informs. I want to illustrate the book myself. I want to create the cover myself. I do not want someone to tell me I have no say over what the cover of my book looks like. I have seen way too many covers for philosophical books from conventional publishers that look horrible. I want creative control over all of the content in the book.

2 ) I want control over the pricing of my book. I do not want a publisher to price my book in an unaffordable range. I want my book to be cost accessible to all people. I also firmly believe that the ebook version should cost much less that the paperback. Though I think my books content very valuable, I would rather charge lower prices for more readership. I want control over this balancing act.

3 ) Ebooks are becoming popular. Ebook readers such as the Kindle and Nook are becoming more popular each day resulting in more online purchases rather that physical bookstore purchases. Certainly ebooks have not taken over as of yet, but I see this happening in the near future. I work in the technology industry and have the ability to format my book for various ebook readers.

4 ) Technologies are making it easier to indie publish.  Print on demand is now a viable way for people to sell hardcopies of their book. More importantly, they only get printed when purchased, meaning less trees are killed. An environmentally conscious decision. My book may not be on a physical bookshelf, but many traditionally published books are hidden in the back or have a very short shelf life in bookstores anyway.

5 ) The publishing industry is changing quickly. People are beginning to buy books based on reader reviews, rather than if a large publishing company decides to take it on. If a book is good, the reviews will be good, and more people will read it. If it is not so good, the reviews will be poor, and it will not sell well. This is a better way to disseminate the quality of a book rather than if a few people in a large corporation think a book worthy. The movie and music industry is already taking this approach.

6 ) I want to own my work. I want control over the rights of my book. I want to be able to sell my book where I want and how I want. If I want to give my book away, even if for a promotional time period, I want the right to do that at anytime. I don’t want a publishing company to decide when to take my book out of print.

7 ) Others are making it as indie publishers. There is evidence that self publishing can and does work for many. A few are making more than most traditional publishers. See Amanda Hocking for an example of a fiction writer who made it big indie publishing ebooks. Traditional publishing does not mean your book will make it. In fact, you need to do much of the marketing yourself taking the traditional route now-a-days, with less profit, selling a higher priced book.

8 ) I want to put out the book when I am done with it. The process of obtaining an agent, and then a publisher can take a year or longer, and the process can take a year or two after that until it is finally published. This is all time in which my book can be out and I could be building readership for it.

9 ) Indie publishing is losing the negative stigma it once had. Mindsets are changing, and indie publishing is being equated with indie films and indie music. The Internet has brought forth a new dynamic for people to disseminate a quality product from a poor one, and that dynamic is only getting better.

10 ) I want the ability to create a new edition easily. Having control over the book means that if there is new information that I think the book could use, I can create an updated edition and have that information available quickly and easily. This is especially important for philosophical books.

Those are reasons why I am seriously considering the indie publishing route. I know there are good reasons to take the traditional route. At this point in time the larger percentage of books are still being sold in brick and mortar bookstores. This I believe is changing rapidly given ebook readers. I also understand that a traditional publisher has distribution channels that are not easily accessible to the indie publisher. They also assist with editing, design, and marketing, – things that the indie publisher has to take care of on their own. These are definitely things that need to be taken into consideration.

I could change my mind. Maybe a future post will be 10 Reasons I’m Considering Traditional Publishing. At this point I am not seeing that happen.

Let me know what you think. What is the future of book publishing?

Consider writing a nonfiction book.

You should consider writing a nonfiction book about something you know. Something that you may have thought long and hard about in which others may not have. Something that is passionate to you. And most importantly, something you think will be helpful and have a positive effect.

Do you have little known information that solves a problem? What changes would make the world a better place? Do you have a viable solution?

Of course the book writing process is no easy task. Most people who try to write a book give up before it is ever completed. This is understandable. It is a thankless and grueling task in the beginning. Most people (such as myself) require full time jobs to support themselves. So they have to make time to write. I do so on my lunch hour and at home, but it is difficult to do so consistently. It is tiring to write after you have worked all day.

But it is doable! – as long as you keep yourself inspired. Sure it may take longer than the person who is able to write fulltime for a living. You do not have to write your book all at once. Do so in small consistent chunks. They add up quicker than you can imagine.

Ignore people who are skeptical of you writing a book. They project their own feeling and insecurities on to you. They may say things like “Do you know how many books are written each year and read by only a few?” They miss the point.

The point is, everyone has something to offer. Detracting from people wanting to better the world, even if such desires are idealistic and may only reach a few, leads to people casting their writing to the side for American Idol. Is that really what they are looking to do?

It is easy to find yourself in this mentality, believe me, I know. I fight the battle of laziness every day, and it is never helpful when detractors promote it. I would rather relax on my lunch hour, and sometimes I succumb to that. But then I read or watch something that inspires me to keep moving on my book project. Keeping inspired is a key to completing that book. I intend to keep inspired and it is working well.

Ignore those detractors. They are simply mistaken in regards to what really has importance. Leaving something that has a chance to affect the world positively after you die is better than doing nothing at all. Make your thoughts heard, before those thoughts cease to exist. It is worth the investment of your time, and it is in your ability. Don’t let people tell you otherwise.

Are you considering writing a book?

Have you considered it but never started, or started but never finished? If so, what has kept you?