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November 21, 2023


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I stopped reading here :

>> ..... was that the consensus of neuroscience is that goings-on in the brain result in consciousness, with nothing supernatural involved.<<

[1] was that the consensus of neuroscience is that goings-on in the brain result in consciousness

Yes that seems the accepted point of few

[2] was that the consensus of neuroscience is that goings-on in the brain result in consciousness, with nothing supernatural involved.

No, I do not thing that ALL or most scientists state publicly or in a scientific paper .... an addition like .... with nothing supernatural involved.

That is a conclusion that cannot be made for the simple reason they , as scientists have nothing at all to say about supernatural as that is beyond their field of operation.

Personaly I have the feeling that it is more a psychological or even an kind of political issue to make these claims.

Most scientists are not interested in the supernatural. It is like a worry of baker that wants to prove that the wheat he uses for his bread is not from Russia.

Hi Brian:

Unfortunately, you seem to have missed this quote from the very article you cite from Frontiers in Neuroscience, a very well respected Journal, which SantMat64 graciously provided...


""The approach the majority of neuroscientists take to the question of how consciousness is generated, it is probably fair to say, is to ignore it. Although there are active research programs looking at correlates of consciousness, and explorations of informational properties of what might be relevant neural ensembles, the tacitly implied mechanism of consciousness in these approaches is that it somehow just happens. "

Neuroscientists are too busy measuring how the brain and consciousness operate together to make the over-reaching conjecture you are making by claiming consciousness is entirely based in the physical brain.

For that to happen we would need to know the entirety of the functioning of consciousness, including its inception, and even before that, the precursors to consciousness, as well as its full attenuation, decline and cessation. You must know a lot more than science has established to make claims for a closed system. So long as elements of any system are not known, the system cannot be claimed to be closed.

As a systems person, you already know this.

The above authors are actually proposing that the energy fields in the brain (science has already established they are rich and complex) must be crucial and possibly causal elements of consciousness.

And EM fields are susceptible to influence by other fields, and over great distances.

That's extra-cranial, Brian, if it turns out to be proven.

The filter theory, still respected in Neuroscience, also is extra-cranial.

But how can these things be tested? That is all that matters. Not broad-sweeping philosophical statements about God and the Supernatural.

It is in your constant and continuing effort to make theological statements from Neuroscience findings that has landed you, and the credibility of the field of consciousness theory, into trouble.

And if they can't be tested, no scientific claim can be made. But that doesn't stop people from claiming they are being scientific when making such claims. And that is pseudoscience. Just what 100 Neuroscientists have claimed recently about IIT....Consciousness science is, today, in the throws of a credibility gap, which your claim reflects.

"Consciousness theory slammed as ‘pseudoscience’ — sparking uproar
Researchers publicly call out theory that they say is not well supported by science, but that gets undue attention."

"Scientists gave a group of 385 students brief descriptions of psychological phenomena, including face recognition, spatial memory, and emotional states, each accompanied by superfluous explanations for them, derived from neuroscience, social sciences, or “hard” sciences such as physics. Neuroscientific explanations – involving phrases such as “prefrontal cortex” and “neural circuitry” – were consistently rated the most convincing, even when the information was pointless and offered no further insight."


"When used appropriately, neuroscience is powerful. Neurobabble, however, is not. But here’s a quick guide to how to use it anyway, just to win an argument:

"Use the word ‘neuroplasticity’, ideally in a sentence

"For example: “I’ve changed my mind about the SNP because the neuroplasticity of my brain has created novel neural pathways.”

"What it means: When it’s used out of context, not much. Neuroplasticity is the ability of the nervous system to respond to stimuli by reorganising its structure, function and connections. It doesn’t explain why we think what we do.

"Talk nonsense about the insular cortex lighting up

"For example: “We know people love iPhones because they put someone in a scanner, showed them one and their insular cortex lit up.”

"What it means: Almost nothing. The insular cortex will light up in a third of all fMRI studies no matter what people are asked to do in a scanner.

"Make grand claims about mirror neurons

"For example: “Mirror neurons are the basis of human empathy, the entire emergence of human culture, and the shaping of our civilisation.”

"What it means: This is absolute codswallop. Mirror neurons, which fire when monkeys do something or see a fellow monkey doing it, have been called “the most hyped concept in neuroscience”. But the research is not yet proven to apply to humans."

We can't create consciousness in the lab.

And as you yourself have written, what we call consciousness is a subjective experience. It might not actually exist. Or if it does, it may be something entirely different than we suppose.

So to make claims for where it begins or ends, when itself consciousness may be nothing but our interpretation of experience, provides you (and any other theologian) with zero basis to make claims of where it came from...

At best your claim that consciousness is entirely based in the brain is just a presumption. To measure anything is to presume that there are physical correlates that can be found to learn more about the subject.

But right now consciousness can only be defined as wakefulness, attentiveness, perceptual functioning and cognitive performance.

We have learned a lot, relatively speaking, about the functioning of the brain.

But here is where consciousness theorists overreach, in attempting to make broad conclusions from what is still very much an open investigation.

And this is why 100 neuroscientists have labelled IIT as Pseudoscience. Taking good perceptual science and trying to make statements about this much vaguer thing called "consciousness" whose definitions vary depending upon just what is being researched.

My statement was only that no practicing neuroscientist, given today's results, would claim that it is a proven fact that consciousness is entirely sourced in the physical brain. And that is because, as Chalmers and Koch have agreed, we don't know the actual source of what we can test. The neuro-correlates haven't yet been fully mapped. This was why their presentation was made on stage. The bet was a huge deal.

And therefore we can't claim to understand just what consciousness is, and less so, where it actually begins or ends.

You have failed to provide any evidence for your bold theological claim, Brian.

So just admit that science doesn't actually know enough, and does not have the proof of the actual source of consciousness.

And honestly, does it really matter?

And let's leave all discussion of supernatural things to scientists trying to test for them.

And let's not confuse supernatural with all the rest of what is unknown.

Because all science is driven by discovery in the Unknown...So let's not minimize that. Let' celebrate it. That's where the next adventure awaits our careful journey of investigation!

Spence Tepper, thanks for your absurd comment that is so filled with science-denying falsehoods I feel no desire to respond to all of the B.S. in it. You've proven that you are a religious dogmatist who wants to be a troll on this blog, never admitting when you are mistaken, seeking to proselytize your supernatural views in just about every post on any subject.

From now on, as I said in an earlier criticism of you, any comments you write have to be in an Open Thread if they deny clear scientific truths such as that consciousness almost certainly arises in the brain through natural processes. Otherwise they will be unpublished. As a lover of science, I refuse to have my blog filled with "science spam," religious lies about what is true. Be grateful that you can still share that crap in an Open Thread.

Look, I have no problem with your supernatural beliefs. If you want to say, "I believe consciousness arises from a supernatural source," fine, that's your opinion. I'd call it unfounded, but you are entitled to your opinion. However, you aren't entitled to your own facts. You can't say "Science says Covid can be prevented by prayer" or "Science says human aren't causing global warming."

Likewise, you can't say "Science says consciousness has a supernatural origin," because that's also a lie. It even is a lie to say that science seriously, or even semi-semiseriously, entertains that notion. That's why your anti-science comments have to appear to an Open Thread -- so visitors to this blog don't take what you say to be true, rather than your own religiously motivated opinion.

[Q} Does consciousness arises in the brain through natural processes accordind the majority of neuro scientits

The answer according AI = YES

>> Yes, according to the majority of neuroscientists, consciousness is believed to arise from natural processes in the brain. While the exact mechanisms and processes by which consciousness emerges are still not fully understood, there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that it is closely tied to the functioning of the brain.

Neuroscientists study the neural correlates of consciousness, which are the patterns of brain activity and the specific brain regions that are associated with conscious experiences. By examining brain activity using techniques such as functional neuroimaging, researchers have been able to identify neural processes that are highly correlated with various aspects of conscious perception, attention, and self-awareness.

Additionally, studies involving patients with brain injuries or neurological disorders have provided further insights into the relationship between the brain and consciousness. For example, damage to specific brain regions can lead to changes in conscious experience or even loss of consciousness altogether, further supporting the idea that consciousness is intricately linked to brain function.

While the exact nature of the relationship between brain activity and consciousness is still an area of ongoing research, the prevailing scientific view among neuroscientists is that consciousness is a product of the natural processes occurring in the brain.<<

That doesn't say however anything about the supernatural.

It reminds me of something that I have come to understand over the years, something that was found in any and all mystic texts I came across that mystics do have knowledge about what they label with three "attributes" one of which is "unknowable"

Obvious it can be "known" but NOT with the senses, not with the mind and not with the body. .. but ... one has to have a body, senses and mind to communicate about it ... that means that the means to communicate, language, concepts word, in fact are NO suited as they are all related to the material..

So most scientists understanding this problem will refrain from making statements about the supernatural ... they have nothing to say about it, nor can they as scientists.

THAT .. leaves the atheists with empty hands and makes brings him at the same level of devout religious BELIEVERS

um, your comment makes no sense. You say that neuroscientists agree that consciousness arises from the brain via natural causes. That's the only subject being debated here. I'm right about this and Spence Tepper is wrong.

Obviously nothing can be said about the supernatural, the reason being that there's no convincing evidence the supernatural exists. I used to believe that it did, but now I see that I was wrong to hold that belief. If evidence comes along, scientists will be happy to investigate the supernatural. Heck, so will I, with pleasure.

So I fail to understand what you're getting at when you claim that not believing in the supernatural because there's no evidence for it makes atheists into believers. Huh? How can not believing be a belief. You're just playing with words here. Are you also saying that because I don't believe in fairies in our garden that makes me a believer that they aren't fairies in our garden? That's wrong. Absence of a belief isn't a belief.

That’s what I don’t get about any of Um’s comments either, Brian.

Most people that look at a tree and a crow, will say that the tree and the crow exists.
They are not at all interested in others stating that what they see is an brain activity.

Their interaction with what they perceive and are aware of is all that matters to them and is all that CAN matter to them.

For those that have so called inner experiences handle their content in the same way. For them to what matters is what that experience does to them.

In fact all these problems as to how to deal with "content" sensoric mental etc have in fact already been solved hundreds of years ago.

Whether god exists or not exists is in fact an empty discourse ...what does matter however is the effect it has on peoples life as to HOW they deal with it.

If on a mountain side a person gets caught by fear and freezes ..one can say that there is no reason to be fearful, but these words will have no effect.

With almost everything it holds that it doesn't mater what you have, what you can, what you believe etc but what you do with it.

Even if a person is terminal ill, that illness doesn't matter , nor the terminality but HOW it is dealt with .. I have had the great fortune and privilege to witness what that means in practice, when one of my relatives had to deal with cancer for a year.

All books about mystics tell the same tale of what it did with these persons and those that came close to them. ...there EXPERIENCE .. is the reality ... whether what they experience has or has not an existence of its own doesn't matter.

And yes ... I have no problem in accepting that there are people rejoicing in things that I have the slightest idea of and which I am maybe not able to rejoice in ... no need for mee to start ontological debates with them .. it is a waste of time for them and me....and it doesn't change anything for any of us .. I remain empty handed and their faces shine based upon what they have gone trough.

@ Brian

If my comment doesn't make sense to you .. what can I do?!

You are the one that looks at "the painting".

You are the one that attributes meaning and value to my words.
I cannot solve that problem for you.

And brian

I do not identify myself in the world as theist or atheist

Those that identify themselves with something they are not, will have to defend that identification. That is how humans survive in nature and in culture

um, what you're saying is not new. Did you even read Brian's response?

Yes I do and if the level of english is to much I even take the trouble to use the google translater.

But I am interested in other things than he is and you seem to be.
For me the "human" behind what he does is much more of intyerest than what he does or what he is known for.

If one delves into the personal history of for example renown psychologists like Freud, Jung, etc and the historical social and cultural background, a complete other light will fall on their worldview

If one thinks about the circumstances of the tribe of Abraham, the problems they were facing in those days, what is to be found in the bible and how it is explain by and use d by theologians etc, becomes something else ..something much more interesting that what the books have to tell and what others are arguing over.

My this helps.

I am not interested in atheism or theism of anybody but what draws my attention is how YOU and others here deal with it.

Spence for me is just like a rooster, what he writes is part of his conditioning and I just accept that as a fact not as a truth and his opinion as such has no meaning or value to me.

@ Sai

I have stated again and again here that for me, whatever I see is a
[2] I am NOT interested in the unique variation but in the sameness
[3] any interest I have for the Unique variation is to have more clear understanding of the sameness

Conversing here with people that express there unique variation of being human, people that excel me in almost everything, helps me because of their talents, to better understand the phenomena human ... especially if they IDENTIFY themselves with this or that abstract thing.

The better they are in defending and expressing that which they identify themselves with the clearer the become visible as human.

Yes that makes me a poor contributor to the debate .. that much i owe all of you

Okay, but none of this changes the fact that naturalism is evidence-based, while supernaturalism and/or dualism are faith-based. Not the other way around.
You and Spence STILL seem to be struggling to grasp this, like many woo-misters.

@ Sai

Not at all Sai ... if I want to repair my bike I certainly do not gor to a priest or go to church or spend some time in meditation.

What you call nature and what is perceived by you and shared with others is an mutual linguistic agreement, not an fact .. you even have no incling about the existence of anything

The fact that you have to use so much adjectives to make your point tells a tale by itself.

um mentioned ontology. I'm not sure, but I think we're debating whether noumena are "real." Even "real" is slippery.

Yes, of course, most neuroscientists today believe that consciousness somehow arises from the brain, rather than the liver or the spleen (this has probably been true since the late 19th century). But the qualification about the scientific community's uncertainty as to precisely *how* consciousness arises indicates that the major questions about consciousness aren't settled science.

It seems to me that there are scientific topics where there is a margin of uncertainty, and these topics can generate interesting and fruitful debate.

The ultimate explanation for the arising of consciousness would be one.
So would hard determinism vs. compatibilism.
So would the controversy over abiogenesis.
These are all topics where ongoing debate exists among scientists.

Those topics differ from genuine *Junk* pseudoscience, such as the flat earth theory, young earth creationism, and similar theories without any merit.

But even with Junk Science, is it really useful to ban people from talking about them?

We were told that everything our government did against Covid was purely guided by science. That was one of the most dangerous lies of my lifetime. The cost in dollars and child development alone was astronomical.

We were told that anyone who disagreed with the Covid science was a danger to humanity.

Likewise, we were told that Iraq had WMD according to the trusted scientific findings of over a dozen intelligence agencies. And that Israel is just doing what's necessary.

I could go on (oh boy could I), but do you get my point? There's far more harm in censoring voices, however fringe they may seem, than to allow them. Far more harm in railroading one's views under the banner of science than allowing opinion from all sides and allowing debate.

@ Sant 64

As long as participants in a debate, organisation, etc share the same worldview, differences in opinion are to be welcomed.

However if the participants no longer share the same world view, some opinions are no longer attributing to the sound functioning of an society and they should in one way or another be excluded of the debate.

Let me give the example of the STALKER.
The stalker, being told that he is behaving in an abnormal and undesirable behvior, will say loo, I am just walking this street as anybody else, your are trying to steal my liberties as a citizen etc etc

Stalker walk the street like all that walk the street
but not all that walk the street are stalkers.

That people operate as stalker is not the real danger but that the normal society is not able to label them as such and stop them.

These days we have lots of "stalkers" in the media, doing their best to make fake news seen as news.

I think I can distill Spence's new theme.

Science is unable to examine the supernatural; therefore, it can not disprove the supernatural. Science is inherently atheistic, which disqualifies it as a measure of religion.

Stay in your lane, Science!

What would Jesus do? Humbly relocate to the Open Threads.

Late to this party. Traveling, on phone, short on time, so... Only skimmed recent posts and comments.

Won't go into the Spence thing, that's an administrative matter between Brian and him, not my paygrade, not my province.

(I enjoy his comments, personally, for what that is worth! ...Even though, given his curious absence of intellectual integrity, and bizarre compulsion to constantly misrepresent and mislead, I've learnt to take everything he says with a pinch of salt, including, at this point, his claims of mystic experiences. But I recognize that each individual claim is stand-alone, that it would be an ad hominem fallacy to summarily dismiss. And he does know a great deal, more than me certainly --- even though he keeps dissembling and misrepresenting every step of the way, making his knowledge difficult to follow, given that one is well advised to cross-check everything he says. ...Still, while I take him a lot less seriously than I used to, but I do like having him around.)

In any case, this administrative decision, not my province. But as far as the content of what Spence is preaching, or trying to:


The Chalmers bet thing, of which I'm vaguely familiar, is about the detail of understanding, not about the source of consciousness. Further, it's to do with detail, over a given time frame. And in any case, none of that has anything to do with his actual disagreement with Brian. Typical Spence spin! (Sorry, Spence, that's all it is.)


As for the I Don't Know thing. Just hark back to our long discussion. (Heh, as if right?! As if that were remotely possible, right?!)

Is consciousness the product, in some way, of a mysterious teapot shaped object, wielded by a mysterious interstellar being that looks like a huge dragon, in a far-off galaxy? No neuroscientist can directly claim that ain't so. There's no paper showing that ain't so. We don't know enough to say anything definitely. The God of the Gaps leaves the door open to accommodate that possibility.

So repeat after me, Spence: I don't know! I don't know if consciousness stems from Russel's teapot and Sagan's dragon, or is farted out by some underwater creature with huge tattooed buttocks (and formidable farting range).

That isn't how science works, Spence. That isn't how a scientific worldview works.

Consciousness emanates from the brain. Period. We do remain open to being shown that isn't so. We encourage research seeking to show that isn't so. We conduct that research ourselves, some of us, to the extent of our capacity and bandwidth and interest. We'll keep our mind open, sure, but not so open our brains fall out. Burden of proof. Dragon. Teapot. Universal consciousness. Supernatural mumbo jumbo. Phone, hurry, therefore staccato repetition of straightforward argument already made now, and more than once on the past.

To Spence, and the other woo commenters.

Consciousness being brain-generated doesn’t mean one still can’t be “spiritual”.
One can be spiritual without the Chopra woo.
Take a look at some of these blogs here on meditation, Taoism etc. Or check out Sam Harris’s work, Blackmore’s.
The self being an “illusion” and arising from the brain is nothing to lose sleep over.

@ Sai

In every field of human interest one can divide people in three groups

[1] those [experts] that spend their life to a cause. They have no desire nor the time to get out on the stage

[2] those knowledgeable experts that have gathered all the available information in the field but most of the time are NOT the generators of that information ..They need a stage and an audience

[3] Finally there are the consumers of information, that have no idea themselves, so they turn to experts. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on the angle one looks at it, the nummer [2] experts are available in great number and in many different tastes

The number [2] people are "at service" so to say of the number [1] group, the "real scientist, the real mystics" as they keep the number [3] people away from knocking at their doors and distracting them from what is so near and dear to them..

For some in the number {3] group the theaters where the [2] people sell their "knowledge" are a starting point to get in touch with the real thing but for most it will be a lifelong pleasure to discuss books, experts en comment on it.

That is how it should be everybody gets what is due to him ..or her of course

Hahahaha .. I have some coffee Sai

Not much to add to this post except to say it’s a pity that Spence was so intransigent on this matter of neuroscience’s general acceptance that consciousness arises from brain processes. Even David Chalmers who Spence gleefully pounced on re the bet with Koch has said that: “Why should physical processing give rise to a rich inner life at all? It seems objectively unreasonable that it should, and yet it does” (Chalmers, 1995, 1996, 1997).

Anyway, harking back to our earlier comments which led toward this matter of consciousness – free will – our opinions and habits of thought are determined by the experiences and information that we have accrued during our lifetimes, so Spence has no choice but to expound his views to undermine much of what Brian writes in order to maintain his ‘library’ of information. We all behave similarly in order to protect the constructed sense of ‘me’.

As with all of us, much of the data our brains have absorbed goes a long way to maintaining a sense of self – ego if you like – and it is here that such strong investments have to be maintained in order to protect the (illusory) essence of what we believe is ‘me’ (which can include the belief that free will and consciousness is separate from the brain.)

@ um

Now say all of that in English.

@ Sai

If there3 is anything you do not understand , let me know
Hahahaha ....

I'm currently reading the new Elon Musk biography. A question for the hard determinists here:

Elon experienced a violent childhood, including an extremely abusive father. The same is true of a large percentage of his peers growing up in South Africa. If hard determinism is correct that Elon's experiences ineluctably determined his destiny, why didn't South Africa produce millions of young people who turned out similar to Elon?

Easy one Sant64. It's not simply a case of childhood upbringing, but also to do with the other experiences encountered in those formative and following years.
Some may feel and be downtrodden while others may rebel and fight against their experiences.

Here's another paradox, SM64.

Elon has two ears and one nose and two nipples. So, I'm assuming, do you.

So why aren't you making electric cars and siring children off multiple hot women and buying random corporations?

Riddle me that!

(Not trolling you. Okay, just a bit. But same thing, really.)

Spence, I'm regretting that last comment of mine. I stand by each and every word of it, but I'm regretting voicing it, and wish I'd stayed silent.

Don't take all of this amiss, and go away, please. You're an asset to this place, very much so, your oddities notwithstanding. And it's a pleasure interacting with you.

I'm traveling, may not be able to check in for a while, but hope to see more of your posts when I'm back again, in both Open Threads, and non-woo remarks in regular threads. Cheers, old friend.

@ AR

Hahaha AR .... you must have enjoyed a good cup of coffee.
Have another one and good travel.

@ Ron E

"Easy one Sant64. It's not simply a case of childhood upbringing, but also to do with the other experiences encountered in those formative and following years.
Some may feel and be downtrodden while others may rebel and fight against their experiences."

I see. And precisely what unique childhood experiences did Elon Musk have that set him radically apart from the millions of other young, white South Africans with abusive fathers who became truck drivers, accountants, alcoholics, pawn shop owners, or any other of the life paths that were fairly common to Elon's demographic?

Hard Determinism is as provable as the Law of Karma -- oh, that happened because it had to happen "because of the past."

The only meaningful difference is that the law of karma allows for free will to possibly change one's destiny, while Hard Determinism is pure fatalism, and from everything I've seen, a useless if not negative (and uhprovable) philosophy.

@ AR:

"Here's another paradox, SM64. Elon has two ears and one nose and two nipples. So, I'm assuming, do you. So why aren't you making electric cars and siring children off multiple hot women and buying random corporations?"

According to the Gospel of Hard Determinism, different destinies are the result of a person's past experiences.

No wait, destiny is due to genes. No wait, destiny is due to culture. No wait, destiny is due to family wealth, No wait, destiny is due to one's education and social network. Etc.

Hard Determinism makes as much sense as astrology.

Appreciative Reader, you may regret submitting your comment about Spence Tepper, but I don't. And I'm confident that neither do other people who find Tepper's commenting style irritating, frustrating, and not conducive to reasonable comment discussions. Sometimes truth needs to be stated plainly and strongly. You did just that with your comment. Hey, it might even make Tepper do some introspecting about himself.

It bothers me when people new to this blog encounter Tepper's refusal to admit that he was wrong, even when his wrongness is clearly pointed out to him. This is like someone dominating a face-to-face group discussion by talking all the time, refusing to listen to others, and changing the subject when caught in a falsehood or contradiction. Others in the group then should step in and tell the would-be dominator that he/she needs to act differently, because it is harming the group's ability to communicate among themselves.

Sant64, I can't understand your attacks on determinism, which is pretty clearly how the world works. Causes and affects product other causes and effects, and so it goes, in a never-ending chain, or more accurately, a network, of cascading deterministic influences. Prediction isn't always a part of determinism, as I've shared in my posts about Sapolsky's book on the illusion of free will. Chaos theory and emergent properties often preclude making firm predictions.

We humans are highly complex. Sapolsky points out that many different sorts of influences combine to make us the person we are today. Elon Musk is unique in this regard. So are you. So am I. So is everybody. It isn't possible to point to a single influence, such as genetics, and say "This is the sole cause of why this person is this way." Maybe this is possible for certain aspects of a person, such as a propensity to have a certain genetic disease. But determinism almost always works through complex chains of causes, effects, feedback loops, non-linear influences, and such.

I'm curious. If you don't think that determinism is how the world works, then when does make the world the way it is? Chance? Randomness? God's will? Share your theory.


Synchronicity! I’ve been reading Elon Musk’s autobiography too!

@ Brian Hines

"Sant64, I can't understand your attacks on determinism, which is pretty clearly how the world works."

As I've mentioned in other posts, there's hard determinism and then there's compatibilism. Hard determinism is absolute determinism and holds there is absolutely no free will. Compatibilism can be called soft determinism, which attempts to reconcile the apparent conflict between determinism and free will by defining free will in a way that doesn't necessarily conflict with determinism.

My problem with hard determinism is twofold. One is that hard determinism is not the consensus view in contemporary philosophy.

are most philosophers compatibilist or hard determinist?

"Determining the exact distribution of philosophical views among all philosophers regarding compatibilism and hard determinism is challenging due to the diverse range of perspectives and the evolving nature of philosophical discourse. However, historically and in more contemporary times, a considerable number of philosophers tend to lean towards compatibilism rather than hard determinism."

Given that hard determinism is the minority position among philosophy's big brains, I don't understand being called upon to defend compatibilism. If Sapolsky and Breer are correct in their hard determinist views, should the majority of their peers agree with them? Maybe the day will come when hard determinism is approved by consensus, like heliocentrism, but we're not there yet.

My other key problem with hard determinism is that I find something distinctly dehumanizing with a philosophy that reduces people to soulless mechanisms and that excuses harmful behavior as inevitable.

Sant64, your first objection, even assuming it's true, is a fallacious argument um ad populum. Doesn't absolve you from defending your position.

And your second objection, even assuming it's true (which, incidentally, I contest, but even granting you that for now), is a fallacious argumentum ad consequentiam.

Hey, um. Thanks, and cheers!

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