May Meeting: Illusion of Free Will and Its Impact on Moral Responsibility

Published by Minnesota Atheists on

Headshot of August Berkshire, smiling.

The question of whether or not we have free will has been debated for thousands of years. What affects do determinism, indeterminism, and randomness have on free will? What are the obstacles to perceiving free will as an illusion?

If free will is an illusion, what does this say about praise, blame, responsibility, ethics, justice, revenge, punishment, rehabilitation, cooperation, and altruism? Is life worth living? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic about the future?

Our speaker, August Berkshire, will discuss the ramifications of a natural universe without gods or free will, in which evolution shapes our thoughts and actions. He will conclude that it’s a good thing that we don’t have free will.

August Berkshire is a past president of Minnesota Atheists and a past vice president of Atheist Alliance International. He has been an atheist activist since 1984 and is the author of numerous pamphlets. He is the owner of the ATHEIST car license plate for Minnesota and is proud to be listed in the reference book “Who’s Who in Hell.” His following the trail of reason and evidence has led him to the conclusion that neither gods nor free will exist, and that we can live happy, fulfilled lives without either one.When:
1:00-1:15 p.m. – Social Time
1:15-1:45 p.m. – Business Meeting
1:45-2:00 p.m. – Break
2:00-3:30 p.m. – Program
4:00-whenever – Dinner at Panda Garden Buffet (1706 Lexington Ave N, Roseville)   Where: Roseville Library – 2180 North Hamline Ave. Roseville, MN 55113

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Minnesota Atheists

Positive Atheism in Action Since 1991