A talk by Jonathan M. S. Pearce
at Portsmouth Skeptics in the Pub
Thursday 14 June 2012, at The Fat Fox,
11-13 Victoria Road, Southsea PO5 2SP
Introductions by Trish Hann
Jonathan Pearce is the author of "Free Will: An investigation into whether we have free will or whether I was always going to write this book". The book is a fine introduction into the age-old philosophical debate as to whether we have free will, or whether we live determined lives. Pearce approaches the subject in a lively manner, explaining terms clearly and using anecdotes to break down some of the heavier philosophy so that it is available to the popular philosophy reader.
Now that we are understanding our genetic heritage and our neurology better, can we account for all our characteristics and decisions? The author also looks at how theories of free will and determinism integrate with religion, particularly Christianity. If we live under the illusion of free will, do religions need reassessing? How does free will work when God knows what we are doing in advance? Does God have free will? How does prophecy interfere with free will? How is our justice system affected if we know exactly why people commit crimes? These and other crucial questions are investigated with a deft touch, and the author uses recent and important scientific findings to support the text supplying a valuable overview to the subject.