Yuri wrote:mitchellmckain wrote:I would respond that on the issue of determinism he seems to be as out of touch with reality as you obviously were.
I am delighted to hear that. Thank you.
Your God, eh?
Yuri wrote:mitchellmckain wrote: I believe that our free will, like life itself, is a quantitative thing and neither absolute nor inviolable, but something that varies considerably -- depending on things like ones beliefs and ones awareness of the possibilites. And so our free will is something that can definitely be destroyed -- and I think has demonstrably been destroyed by such things as drugs -- just as Harris imagines his machine doing.
Sounds like you are saying that free will is determined by the environment of the brain. I couldn't agree more!
No, but it certainly plays a role. I think that the physical process of life is a necessary part of our free will and any physical process is subject to influence, interference and disruption by physical forces from the environment. But there are also mental and spiritual parts to it as well. By the mental I am refering to a physical process as well and thus that is also subject to influence by physical forces from the environment although a bit more indirectly much like the operation of software in a computer can be effected by things that interfere with the operation of the hardware in the computer. The spiritual component (assuming it exists) must be rather subtle and have a primarily epiphenomenal relationship to the physical. I think we need the self-organizing nature of the physical process of life in order to have free will choices but that it is these choices that provide the substance of our spiritual existence.
Yuri wrote:mitchellmckain wrote:My experience of .. my wife do[es] not constitute anything like an objective proof [of her existence]
You're not really married, are you...?!
LOL Excellent! You have made my point exactly. My experiences of my wife and 3 sons are more than sufficient for MY knowledge of their existence but they certainly don't establish any such knowledge of their existence for you. For all you know I could be just making them up as part of an internet persona along with all the information in my profile. For all anyone here REALLY knows, I could be a 14 year old girl who lives in South Africa, right? Whether you actually have any reason to doubt my word on any of these things is another matter.