Free Will – Why Ken’s Wrong

Free will has been disputed by philosophers since the beginning of civilization. Find out how Ken Wheeler claims to have resolved this timeless puzzle, and why the best choice is to ignore his bizarre arguments.

As Nobel Prize winning author Isaac Bashevis Singer half-jokingly wrote, “We must believe in free will. We have no choice.” His ironic comment gets to the heart of philosophy’s free will paradox.

We all feel a tension between two impressions of the world around us and our place in it. On the one hand, everything we observe seems to be based on an endless sequence of cause and effect.

On the other hand, we also appear to go through life making choices and taking actions that seem up to us to decide. We feel we can choose, or not choose, or choose not to choose, and that our minds make all those decisions.

Does Something Cause Us to Make Our Choices?

It seems that, if everything results from cause and effect, something must cause us to make our choices. Philosophers call this idea about causation determinism.

So, are we free to choose or are our choices determined by prior causes, like genetics or conditioning? Is free will an illusion? The question is older than philosophy itself.

Philosophy is about wisdom, and most of us would agree that a wise person responds appropriately to situations that arise. If that’s wisdom, philosophy without free will would be meaningless.

Free Will Versus Determinism Unresolved

Even so, in every period in human history, free will sceptics have challenged the idea that we have agency in life. Philosophers have never fully resolved the logical contradiction between free will and determinism, because the nature and value of moral responsibility is always controversial.

None of this scholarly debate deters Ken Wheeler from claiming to have resolved this age-old riddle that’s puzzled history’s greatest thinkers for thousands of years. His explanation is that free will is “potential, but not actual.”

As usual, the Angry Photographer resorts to an analogy to make his point. In this case, he compares free will to the relationship between the acorn and the oak tree.

Ken Wheeler’s Analogy Involves Acorn and Oak Tree

Although an acorn and the tree from which it fell are genetically identical, they’re not the same thing. As a seed, the acorn has the potential to become an oak tree but only after years of growth under the right conditions.

The Theoria Apophasis host claims to be an expert on Plato. Apparently, he’s unaware of Plato’s warning to his students that, “Arguments that make their point by means of similarities are impostors and, unless you are on your guard against them, will quite readily deceive you.”

In the case of this acorn and oak similarity, Ken Wheeler completely misses the point of the free will controversy. Some acorns grow into mature trees and some never germinate, but not because some have acquired free will and others haven’t.

Neither a Seed Nor a Tree Has Free Will

Seeds have no awareness of the conditions that cause them to sprout and if they did, they couldn’t choose those conditions. Neither a seed nor a tree has free will so, as usual, the Angry Photographer’s analogy is a disanalogy.

Beyond that, if we all have the potential for free will, but only some of us attain it, what causes the difference? Do most people choose not to develop their potential?

Isn’t not choosing to do so also a kind of choice? Could they make such a choice without first developing their potential for free will?

Wouldn’t Deciding to Cultivate One’s Free Will Be a Choice?

What causes others to develop free will? Wouldn’t deciding to cultivate one’s free will be a choice?

How could they make such a decision before their potential free will develops? Could it be that something else caused them to nurture that ability to choose? Wouldn’t that prove determinism?

The notion of some sort of “potential” free will adds nothing to the free will conversation. It’s another one of Kentucky Ken’s logical fallacies.

Views All Governments as Inherently Evil

The YouTuber behind Theoria Apophasis approaches his claims about free will from a position of paranoia. As a conspiracy theorist, he views all governments as inherently evil.

Kentucky Ken believes that governments invariably lie to the people they govern. As a result, in his view, the vast majority of ordinary people, even in America, have forfeited their free will potential to obey sinister masters.

Those who respect authority and participate in civil discourse and the political process are deluded sheep with no capacity to make rational choices. On the other hand, “rebels without a clue” like Ken Wheeler have fully developed their potential for free will through their vastly superior wisdom.

None of the Conspiracy Theories Ken Believes Are True

The trouble here is that none of the conspiracy theories the Angry Photographer believes in are true. Whether it’s his belief that COVID-19 is a hoax, that mask mandates are tactics to force the masses to conform, that vaccines are lethal and worthless, or that there’s a hidden, sinister cabal of 300 obscure people plotting to oppress us all, they’re nonsense.

Conspiracy theories arise from many sources, from random misfits trying to make sense of a world that’s rejected them to unethical propagandists taking advantage of alienated people. Whatever their origin, whenever the Theoria Apophasis host becomes convinced of a conspiracy theory, he’s abandoning his own free and letting fear and nonsense govern his life.

Ken’s Abandoning His Own Free Will to Follow Nonsense

Throughout his videos, Ken Wheeler displays a need to feel superior to others. He makes grandiose claims, either of being an unrecognized genius, or of having made various earthshaking discoveries, or both.

His claim to have resolved the age-old free will dilemma is part of that delusional view. Assuming we do have free will, we should choose to ignore his unfounded claims.

Ken’s Evidence

FATE & Free Will. Answered
Metaphysics on FREE WILL. It doesn’t exist unless actualized
Free Will Versus Determinism Is the Wrong Question

Published by David Morton Rintoul

I'm a freelance writer and commercial blogger delivering content services to selective business to business marketing clients. I have extensive experience in content creation, technical writing and training, working as a consultant and later in management roles with many of Canada's most successful organizations. Specialties: Content Marketing, Social Media, Technical Writing, Training and Development

2 thoughts on “Free Will – Why Ken’s Wrong

  1. Thank you for making this website. I found it by Googling “centripetal convergence”, one of the many confusing phrases a family member likes to use in discussion (“incommensurable” is another).

    I had never heard of Ken before, but my family member has discussed virtually everything you have posted here as if it was gospel (literally all they talk about, to anyone). Concerned for their mental health is an understatement.

    Unfortunately I already know they would not be receptive to the information here. There’s always an excuse, or a dive even deeper into the pseudoscience to which I don’t know how (or care) to respond. It is interesting to find out where the information has been coming from, though.


    1. Thanks for your kind feedback! The important thing is not to let your relative gaslight you. You’re not the one who’s not getting it.

      That’s what we’re here for! 🙂

      I hope your family member gets the help they need. All my best to you and your family!


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