Has neuroscience killed off free will?


Anyways, I think I get it now. Thanks everyone for answering.
So what I have concluded : subconscious and preconscious thought is not the same.
Preconscious thought is the result of a prior conscious thought affecting our next decision.
There has been evidence to suggest that we still have free will.
Free will is only killed off by neuroscience if they find a way to show hard determinism, which they haven’t yet and probbably won’t.
If we really are this complex the more evidence for something intelligent.
That was quite an exsistential problem to me, but thanks everyone for clearing it up


I think they did prove something…humans have little control over what they do in a stressful “life or death” situation. Whenever the “flight or fight” mechanism is triggered, the response is really based on past experiences not some kind of heroism.

But we already know this. It’s why we train firefighters and military people by desensitizing them to danger.

And the Church even has an answer for this lack of control in life in death (or serious) situations. Diminished culpability. It’s why it’s not a mortal sin to say you don’t believe in God when there’s a gun to your head. It’s in how we understand that stealing an apple when you are starving and have no money is not a mortal sin.

So, in essence, they did measure “free will” but they measured a miniscule part of it that we already know is unreliable and strongly subject to the situation.


For materialists, this conclusion is inescapable: if the entirety of who we are is our physical self, then we live in a deterministic universe.

However, for those who believe that there is a spiritual dimension to our existence – that is, that we are comprised of both body and soul – then this is not the necessary conclusion. After all, the soul is without physical extension and therefore, the necessary condition for determinism (physical parts that obey laws of physics), no longer is in place. Instead, we recognize that our intellect is part of our soul, and therefore, does not obey “laws of physics”, such that our behaviors can be predicted deterministically.


I do agree to some extent.
Though I do think its a problem to think like that because free will means being able to choose between something (in the theological sense). And we gotta look at this sometimes from a materialistic view since the brain is responsible for decision making. People with mental disabilities can’t make as many free will choices as normal people, and some can’t make any choice because a part of their brain is damaged.


Isn’t that just an expansion of a correctly formed conscience and culpability? It seems to me that all this science is saying is that, perhaps, the Church would wholly agree with the idea of how things work.


I am happy that it helped.

Keep in mind that science makes no claim to truth because it can be falsified. In other words science is self-correcting. When someone call a particular scientific study “baloney,” without supportive evidence, what they are really saying is “I don’t understand science.”

Good luck in your studies.


Thank you very much!


That is why I said I agreed to some extent.


I’ve always contended that the soul is the source behind your life. Upon death there’s separation and even if the body is artificially sustained it will never become conscious. The brain is the interface between our spiritual life force and our physical body. They’re both fused until death. Consciousness originates from your soul and memories are stored there as well. Age, disease, and time weaken physical connections within our brains that allow us to physically access memory. It’s never lost though. Kinda like the Digital Cloud. It’s just not always retrievable with your brain. Truly consciousness cannot be proven without accepting that there’s a life force. Otherwise we’re a corpse!


I think there is a difference between conscious and unconscious decision. Unconscious decision is the result of the situation and all experiences in the past including our conscious decisions and it is made by brain. Conscious decision comes into play when unconscious decision cannot be made or we want to will against unconscious decision or logic. Conscious decision is made by mind. That explain why unconscious decision can be tracked in the brain before we become conscious of them. The obvious example is deriving when we are not aware of decisions made by brain during the activity.


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