Free Will

Topics: Philosophy, God, Mind Pages: 3 (898 words) Published: February 18, 2013
Free Will
Vilayandur S. Ramachandran came from a distinguished family in Tamil Nadu, India, and was neuroscientist, which is a field of study encompassing the various scientific disciplines dealing with the nervous system. Ramachandran's views on the brain and how it works are discussed in his work “The New Philosophy”. In his essay he discusses the nature of consciousness, discussing the effects of certain mental states and their influence on the body and the brain. One of his main topics, however, is the Ramachandran's view of free will. He suggest that “...neuroscience intersects with philosophy because the question of free will has been a philosophical problem for hundreds of years and more” (Jacobus 569). He discusses the significance of the brain imaging that shows a “readiness potential” and what it really means to have a free will. Through his essay, though, it is interesting to point out where religion and Christianity stands on the issue of free will and whether Christians are puppets under God's command.

Ramachandran poses this question about free will: “Is your brain the real one in charge, making your free will only a post-hoc rationalization; a delusion..?” When a special experiment was underway, it was discovered that when a person was told to move their finger within the next ten minutes at their own free will, their brain would kick in almost a second before the actual willingness to move the finger. This posed the original question stated above and brought on other questions as well. If this person is now shown the screen displaying the signal from the EEG scanner hooked up to your brain, they can then see their free will. They will then have three options: 1) They will experience a sudden lack of will, feeling as though the machine is controlling them, making them feel like a puppet. 2) They will refuse to have their belief of their free will to be altered but instead believe that the machine has some “paranormal precognition by which it...

Cited: Jacobus, Lee A. A World Of Ideas. 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin 's, 2008. Print.
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