This e-mail was received early in 2001:

"I recently came across a theist's argument that the idea of the physicality of the mind is philosophically deterministic. "I can't help being this way" the argument would imply "my brain states make me this way."

Free thought is not impaired by assigning "mind" to brain states any more than assigning "mind" to soul states. Or, if they are so different, it is beyond me. Surely the equating of brain states and soul states is valid when discussing mental states...and wouldn't that mean that soulishness is just as deterministic?"

Yes! But, also relevant to the point is a determinist universe so unthinkable? Presuming that there is no soul, aren't we left with a pretty mechanistic model for the human mind? What if what seems to be free will is simply the expression of unique individuality? Christian theists are revolted by this proposition, and most atheists I know demure at its mention‹but if atheists work backwards from their assumptions to arrive at their proofs, instead of working forward from what we know to arrive at informed conclusions, well, we might as well give it all up, go to church and avoid the pyre : )

I'm enjoying your Apologia.

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