Do We Have Free Will? Maybe It Doesn't Matter - Facts So Romantic

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Belief is a special kind of human power. Agustin Fuentes, an anthropologist at the University of Notre Dame, eloquently claims as much in his recent book Why We Believe: Evolution and the Human Way of Being. It's the "most prominent, promising, and dangerous capacity humanity has evolved," he writes, the power to "see and feel and know something--an idea, a vision, a necessity, a possibility, a truth--that is not immediately present to the senses, and then to invest, wholly and authentically, in that'something' so that it becomes one's reality." A great example of this is the widespread and intuitive idea that we have free will. Most people grow up with the notion that they are, in some sense, responsible for their thoughts and actions because, unlike animals, humans can think about their choices.

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