2 Answers

  1. Can I give you an example? What drives a car? Highway or engine? Clearly, the answer engine fits better. The highway in this case may not exist at all. What is the reason for the lack of the possibility of the existence of free will – processes in the brain or determinism? Clearly, the brain has nothing to do with it. There is a relationship of cause and effect. It concerns everything that exists in the universe – any object big or small, alive or alive… dead. And nowhere is it described or invented the reason why the human brain, with any of its design and operating principles, could somehow get out of this relationship. They just don't exist. Even at this stage, the answer is obvious. So why mention neuroscientists, robots, and artificial intelligence in discussions about free will? It's like building a foundation on a roof. The principles of determinism are already working – at the level of molecules they work! And anything that is constructed from these molecules cannot magically turn out to be free, just in order to maintain the interest of the discussion.

    Another question is that there is quantum physics and obscure elementary particles. But in this direction, so far, no one is digging at all. But in vain.

  2. The question is a bit like an interview with Louis C. K., where he describes people who are angry about slow Wi-Fi on a plane. How quickly does the world owe you something? Thousands of scientists are working on these questions, and the fact that the answers have not yet been found indicates that the questions are very complex.

    There are three statements in the question, and all of them are not quite correct.

    1) Understanding of mental illness is non-zero. For example, a gene that may be associated with schizophrenia has recently been found. It is responsible for synaptic pruning (removal of synapses), and in people with schizophrenia, it may be too active. This is just one possible reason, and it is too early to say that an explanation for schizophrenia has been found. But this opens up possible ways to treat or prevent the disease, if a way is found to stop the process of excessive pruning.

    2) Neuroscience is actively engaged in the problem of consciousness, but the “claim to an explanation” is still far away. There are different theories, ways are being sought to confirm or refute them, contradictory articles are published – in short, a normal scientific process is underway. Consciousness is, for obvious reasons, a rather slippery concept, and there is no consensus even about the definition. Not everyone agrees that the “complex problem of consciousness” (how exactly qualia, thoughts, and sensations arise from nerve impulses) is correctly formulated or should be studied. However, there are many interesting studies developing ways to determine the presence of consciousness in patients who are unable to communicate, as well as trying to figure out what tasks consciousness is necessary for and for which it is not.

    3) Neuroscience does not say that there is no free will. Libet's famous experiment (indicating that information about a future decision is available in the brain half a second before the decision is made consciously) he opened the topic of free will for discussion and study, but over the past 30 years he has been criticized a lot, so he is not considered the ultimate truth. Quote from the BBC article linked below: “even Libet's supporters are forced to admit that the situation used in his experiment may be too artificial to reliably model the real-world choice situations that we all face every day.”


    a gene associated with schizophrenia: https://slon.ru/posts/63150

    Free will and the Libet experiment: http://www.bbc.com/russian/science/2015/08/150817_vert_fut_intuitions_about_the_brain_are_wrong

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