Some of my thoughts lately.
If nature is governed by laws 3 questions arise:
1. What is the origin of the laws?
2. Are there any exceptions to the laws, ie., miracles?
3. Is there only one set of possible laws?
Many scientists, philosophers, and theologians have tried to answer these questions. Kepler, Newton, Galileo, and Descartes-- and their answer to the first question was traditionally God as the embodiment of the laws of nature. Unless one endows God with some other attributes such as being the God of the Old Testament employing God as a response merely substitutes one mystery for another. So if we involve God with the first question as answer we see the real crunch comes with the ...view middle of the document...
Laplace clearly postulated scientific determinism: Given the state of the universe at one time a complete set of laws fully determines the future and the past. This would therefore exclude the possibility of miracles or an active role for God. Scientific law is not a scientific law if it only holds when some supernatural being decides not to intervene.
So one might ask do people have free will? If we have free will where did that develop? What about other animals? Did the chimpanzee exhibit free will when it chooses to have a banana or a cat when it rips up the couch? What about the roundworm only made of 959 cells? It probably never says "Damn that's great bacteria I got to dine on just now." Yet it too has a definite preference in good and will either settle for an unattractive meal or go foraging for something better. Is that the exercise of free will? Though we feel we have free will look at a recent neuroscience discovery that support the view that it is our physical brain following the known laws of science determines our actions not some outside force or deity. For example people undergoing awake brain surgery (yes there is such a thing) electrical pulses stimulating the correct part of the brain gave the patient the desire to talk, walk raise their right hand. It is hard to imagine our free will can operate if our free will is determined by physical law. So it seems free will is just an illusion. While conceding that human behavior is indeed determined by...