Richard Oerton condemns the illusion of free will as harmful in his second book investigating the false belief

Richard Oerton, who resides in Bridgwater, Somerset, presents a strong case for his assertion that belief of free will is destructive, fostering incomprehension and cruelty.

Following the success of his first book, described by New York Times bestselling author Sam Harris as ‘a wonderfully clear – and very clever – little book’, Richard presents a strong case for his assertion that belief of free will is destructive, fostering incomprehension and cruelty. He adds, “The belief persists because it seems to justify our urge to blame and to inflict suffering, but we close our eyes to the fact that we are all the products of biological and environmental luck for which none of us deserves to be blamed.”

Free will is thought to be a good thing and determinism a bad one, but Richard Oerton insists that we’ve got this the wrong way round. Our belief in free will allows us to think that those whose lives are bleak have only themselves to blame, and that criminals and other bad guys are embodiments of self-created wickedness deserving of retributive punishment – whereas in reality we should be exactly like them, and behave just as they do, if we had had the same biological inheritances and environmental influences.

The controversial nature of Richard's second book presents a strong argument against popular philosophical opinion. 

Copies of Richard's illuminating book, The Cruelty of Free Will , are available upon request from Matador.

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