"The most fundamental neuroethical issue concerns free will and responsibility. The mind is what the brain does, and the brain is a causal machine. Consequently, deliberations, beliefs, decisions and ensuing behavior are the outcome of causal processes. Typically, the causal processes leading to awareness of a decision are nonconscious. The "user illusion," nevertheless, is that a decision is created independently of neuronal causes, by one's very own "act of will." Some philosophers-usually called libertarians-resolutely believe that voluntary decisions actually are created by the will, free of causal antecedents. Like flat-earthers and creationists, libertarians glorify their scientific naivete by labeling it transcendental insight."
--Patricia S. Churchland
Churchland's quote is one of the clearest and most concise arguments I've encountered against "free will." I agree with it, as far as it goes. However, I'd go further and say that our will and resulting behavior is determined not only by "neuronal causes," but also by interacting psychological, social, and cultural ones interacting with our unique neurophysiology. Because our will and resulting behavior cannot be other than what it's determined by these interacting conditions of different dimensions of our being to be, there is no free will in the sense of will and behavior that can be otherwise.
This seems so obvious to me. Why doesn't it to most people? Am I wrong, or are they?
Stephen Hawking Dies - I’m sure everyone has heard by now, but Stephen Hawking died just a few days ago. In a recent post I mentioned that I’m not good with dealing with change. ...
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