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Old 08-06-2019, 11:20 AM
Dinsdale is offline
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 18,890
Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers View Post
I'm an atheist who views the human brain as sufficiently complex and subject to so many random environmental inputs that trying to isolate a purely deterministic mechanism for how it functions may be practically impossible, hence we may as well operate under the working assumption that free will exists.
That's probably a better description of how I feel than kayaker's well phrased "it is complicated!"

I actually had a discussion about this recently w/ 3 other atheists. 2 of us were lawyers, so decent with words and argument. The other 2 were microbiologists, 1 of whom specialized in electrical and chemical transmissions within and among brain cells. His opinion was that as much as we know about what goes on in the brain, we don't know enough about every synaptic firing and every protein coding to support pure determinism. And there is enough "noise" or randomness in the process to limit predictability.

So yeah, "insert miracle here." As Lightnin' said, how do we distinguish between the illusion of free will and free will? And our observable universe might all be a dream, or a mote in the fingernail of some giant...
I used to be disgusted.
Now I try to be amused.