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If living creatures, such as ourselves, are evolved biochemical mechanisms, and should free will exist, what natural neurophysiologic phenomenon could possibly give rise to it (that would not be as deterministic as, say, any other chemical process)? And if we are indeed biochemical structures (as biologists in general believe), why might not appropriately designed future machines (advanced AI) likewise have the capacity to exercise free will (should free will exist)?

Don't forget the compatibilist account of free will (see the entry here ), which says that we can make free choices -- i.e., choices for which we're responsible (including morally responsible) and properly subject to praise or blame -- even if our choices result from totally deterministic processes. In other words, free will doesn't require the falsity of determinism. I know of no cogent arguments against the compatibilist account of free will. According to compatibilism, then, we can make free choices without needing any mysterious, non-causal, or indeterministic neurological goings-on. By the same token, an advanced AI machine could also make a free choice, provided it's advanced enough to be able to entertain, appreciate, and evaluate reasons for and against making (in its own right) some particular choice and able to choose in accordance with that evaluation. As far as I know, such machines are a long way off, but I see nothing in the concept of free choice that rules out, in principle, their...

Science claims that the cells in our bodies are alive, but the fundamental parts of the cell such as molecules and atoms are not alive. Does that mean our bodies are only partly alive?

Science also says that some of the cells in our bodies are dead. That already implies that our bodies are only partly alive, but only in the sense that not every part of our bodies is alive. If every part of a living thing must be alive, then the fact that atoms and molecules aren't alive implies that none of our cells are alive, and no bodies are ever alive. Both of those consequences are false. So we must reject the principle that every part of a living thing must be alive.

If neuroscience were to prove that one particular person has free will, does that imply that everyone else in the world would have to have free will as well? If neuroscience tests show that not everyone has free will, how would philosophers explain that other than redefining free will?

I notice that your question leaves "free will" undefined, so let me propose the definition found at merriam-webster.com: "the ability to choose how to act; the ability to make choices that are not controlled by fate or God." I presume that no one imagines that neuroscience will prove that some of our choices are controlled literally by fate or God. So if neuroscience is to show that some or all of us lack free will, neuroscience must show that some or all of us lack the ability to choose how to act or the ability to make choices. I don't think we need neuroscience experiments to show us that some people lack free will in the sense just defined: for example, people who are in the midst of drug-induced mania or a psychotic episode. To show us something we didn't already know, neuroscience would have to show that people in general typically or routinely lack free will. Some neuroscientists do claim to have shown that, but their arguments are woefully unpersuasive (in my judgment and in the...

Since the theory of evolution presents a kind of meaning to existence or at least, a logical structural pattern to it, is Camus' Absurdism necessarily in conflict with it?

I don't think that the theory of evolution (which I accept) provides anything like the kind of meaning that existentialists such as Camus have in mind. What is the meaning of existence according to evolutionary theory? The only remotely plausible answer I can think of is this: "To pass on one's genes to posterity, since that's what counts as success from the perspective of natural selection." But, of course, natural selection has no perspective, point of view, intentions, or goals. It's a mindless process. So that answer depends on a false presupposition. Even if that weren't true, it's highly implausible anyway that passing on one's genes could really be the meaning (or purpose) of existence. If it were, then anyone would be missing the point of existence who didn't make it his/her top priority to reproduce as often as possible, to clone his/her genome again and again, etc. But, on the contrary, someone who tried to live such a life would be pathetic. Evolutionary theory explains how species arise...

My amateurish reading of popular science books tells me that it is generally thought that all life descended from one original single-celled creature. Perhaps if the conditions of the world were better ‘tuned’ for life, then I suppose life might have originated from 27 different ancestors, or from 97,583 different ancestors, or from 94,523,987 different ancestors. Perhaps if the conditions were less well ‘tuned’ for life, then life would not have arisen at all. The number one seems a rather unique number. Does the fact that all the life which exists in all the known universe seems to have arisen from one ancestor indicate the involvement of a designer (God), because of the uniqueness of the number one? Presumably if all life originated from exactly 1,000,000 ancestors, then we would smell something fishy, because of the uniqueness of this number. Similarly does the uniqueness of the number one point towards a non-naturalistic account of the origin of life? Thanks.

Although it is, as you say, "generally thought that all life descended from one original single-celled [organism]," the issue doesn't seem settled among the experts, as reported here . But regardless of the resolution of that issue, I'd answer no to your question. Each of the numbers you mentioned is unique. Any card in an ordinary deck is as unlikely to be drawn as any other; it's just that we arbitrarily assign special significance to particular cards, such as the ace of spades. Similarly, we may assign special significance to the number 1 or (simply because we use a base-10 system) the number 1 million, despite the fact that every number is unique. Furthermore, it's not clearly true that "all the life which exists in all the known universe seems to have arisen from one ancestor." More accurately, it's "all the life we know of seems to have arisen from one ancestor." The life we know of may constitute a small sample of all the life that exists, as yet unknown to us, in the known universe:...

Are there universal principles in healthcare, or is ethics in health care relativistic?

I presume you're asking a normative or conceptual question, rather than a descriptive question about how healthcare systems are in fact viewed or implemented in various places. I'd answer, then, that whether ethical principles are objective or relative, universal or particular, doesn't depend on the subject matter at hand. If ethical principles depend on the place or culture (like rules of etiquette), then it seems they must be relative no matter whether they concern the ethics of healthcare or (say) the ethics of meat-eating. On the other hand, if ethical principles are true or false objectively (like statements in chemistry), then it seems they must be true or false objectively regardless of the subject matter. I can't see how there could be objective principles concerning the ethical permissibility of eating meat but only culturally relative principles concerning the ethical permissibility of aborting a fetus or euthanizing a patient. This isn't to say that objective and universal principles of...

Look at what I just read in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: "2. You could not have been born of different parents. (Someone born of different parents wouldn't be you.) (...) Each of these claims appears to have a true reading." Do you all think this way? A son of my paternal twin-uncle and my maternal twin-aunt could easily (so to say) have exactly the same DNA as I have. He could have been born on the same day. He could have been told that his parents were my actual parents. He could have been given my name. My actual parents could have had no biological child. Things in the whole world could have been exactly as they actually were and are since then. So, in what reasonable sense wouldn't this person be me?

Interesting question. Can't we interpret the story you told as one in which you never exist but someone quite similar to you does instead? Why would such an interpretation be unreasonable? You list six conditions that you seem to regard as jointly sufficient for someone's being you: (1) having exactly your DNA sequence; (2) being born on your birth-date; (3) being told that your parents are his parents; (4) being given your name; (5) your parents' having no biological child; (6) all else being equal. None of those conditions is individually sufficient for someone's being you. (1) Given identical twinning or cloning, someone else (your twin or clone) could have exactly your DNA sequence; (2) plenty of other people share your birth-date; (3) someone else could be told that your parents are his parents (and has been if you have a brother); (4) someone else could (and may actually) share your name; (5) your parents' having no biological child is certainly not sufficient for someone's being you; (6)...