Consciousness: brain lesions remove free will (General)

by dhw, Friday, August 02, 2019, 12:40 (44 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I don't know where consciousness goes, but my thought is in a layer of our reality at a quantum level. Not another world or whatever you mean.

dhw: Then I apologize. I thought you believed in an afterlife in which our consciousness linked up again with your God’s.

DAVID: I just reiterated my belief in a panentheistic God in and out of this universe.

It would be interesting to know what you really believe will happen to your consciousness after your death! Anyway, the fact remains that the concept of free will remains highly dependent on dualism, and even then it requires careful handling of the problem of cause and effect, since all our decisions are predicated on factors such as heredity, environment, upbringing and chance experiences which determinists rightly claim are beyond our control.

I suspect, however, that most of us – myself included – are convinced that we do have freedom of choice, and I remember in our discussions with Romansh pointing out that even if it is indeed the cell communities (principally of the brain) that make the decisions (= materialism), they are MY cell communities and no one else’s. No matter how many external factors may have influenced me, those influences have become part of MY individuality. And so to deny free will is to deny my individuality, but how can you do that? I AM my cell communities and all that they contain, and so their decisions are MY decisions, which are not controlled by anyone or anything else – an important element in defining free will. Whether those cell communities can also generate something greater than the sum of their parts (a possible compromise between materialism and dualism) is another subject dealt with in my Theory of Intelligence.


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