I started this thread for the discussion of the consequences of our knowledge of physical determinism/probabilism on consciousness. What are your viewpoints regarding what I think are two possible scenarios: a. Consciousness can be solely attributed to the physical brain (it is a physical phenomena), thus the free will that most of us think we have doesn't actually exist. Consciousness is created by biology/chemistry, which is determined by physics, which is all that exists - nothing escapes physics. Everything in the physical universe can be predicted (or, with the emergence of QM we can predict the probability that it will occur, and map out a massive number, or perhaps infinite[if space is infinite and not a loop] number of probabilities of all possible futures - assuming copenhagen interpretation) and as such every thought you will have can also be predicted (to a maginificently huge probability) by full knowledge of the physical laws of the universe and the location of every particle in that person's brain and the location of every particle in the surrounding environment which impacts upon the brain. Of course, as QM comes into the picture you get probabilism, except you should still be able extrapolate all future possibilities with knowledge of the properties of all the wavefunctions in the universe & all the physical laws. (Hmm, perhaps the uncertainty principle forbids this, although you should still be able to compute the thoughts of a person into the future (due to the brain's scale)based on full analysis of the brain and the environment acting upon it). [If you're going to argue emergent phenomena, then wouldn't this would indicate an escape from causality which we have no reason to believe has ever happened in this universe?] b. Free will exists only because something called the soul exists. Without it everything we do could be determined(or a probability of it happening). The argument that even the soul should be determined cannot be put forward here because all our experience tells us that determinism is part of the fundamental reality in which we exist (the universe) which would give us bias in our formulation of opinions. If souls did exist, then this would hint that the physical universe may not be the fundamental fabric of reality and free will may be allowed to exist in a reality we cannot even contemplate. I conclude that the belief that you have free will and the belief that consciousness is produced solely by the brain to be incompatible. Does anybody disagree with the conclusion I've made that either we have free will and a soul from a separate reality, or we don't have free will and consciousness can be attributed to the brain? My main question is this, if the materialism perspective is reality, then why is free will such a persistent illusion? Would the illusion of free will be a necessary one in a materialistic/deterministic/probabilistic universe? Is this illusion an emergent property of the inner workings of the brain, or do we actually have free will (your opinion here)? I haven't read much on this topic, so I'm trying to battle test my thoughts.