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Arkady Grudzinsky


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Is "free will" an illusion?

Can someone explain to me how to understand "free will" from a purely materialistic point of view?

Let's assume that my mind is a product of my physical brain. This means that everything that's going on in my mind is a product of neural activity. Say, I'm looking at a can of vanilla and a can of strawberry ice cream and try to make my choice. WHO makes the choice?

Again, if my mind is nothing more than neural activity, then, perhaps, visual stimulus activates some associations and connections from my past experiences, and I pick vanilla, because it is associated with some childhood memory. This means that our response to every situation is predetermined by the neural connections that make my memories. Right?

Doesn't this mean that "free will" is an illusion? Can we really make decisions or do decisions "just happen"? If not, then WHO makes the decisions?


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  • Oct 22 2012: dualism laughable?...dont get you...the mind is outside of the brain...fuctiones though it though..if the brain would birth the mind..it would mean it would create something higher then itself its components...if you mix clay with clay you don't get water...
    agree with realistic resignation..or acceptance one can work with
    • Oct 22 2012: Is not the telling of time by a watch not an example of something creating something "higher than itself its components"? In fact aren't all machines such examples? Have i missed the point of that statement?

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