Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow - Chapter 8 - 9 Summary & Analysis

Yuval Noah Harari
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Summary

Chapter 8 deconstructs the related ideas of free will and individualism. Harari notes that liberalism, like all other religions, makes factual claims that are not supported by evidence. In this case, it assumes that humans are individuals with free will. Harari argues, however, that we do not, in fact, have free will. Rather than making independent decisions, we respond to chemical reactions in the brain that are either random or deterministic. Though we respond to desires, we have no control over what those desires are, giving us only the illusion of free will. Supporting this argument, scientists have demonstrated the ability to anticipate our decisions before we are aware of them and control rats directly with electrodes implanted in their brains. This technology has begun to shift to human beings in the form of transcranial stimulators. Further, the author states that there is no...

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