I've always respected individuality. We are each special in our own way and no two of us react in the same specific way to stimulus.
Not debating this.
Fortunately I've never stood before a room full of people and decided for them that they are nothing more than what some unfeeling inanimate machine calculated they were. Each is an individual and special in their own right. My contention isn't that I alone am special. I believe that each of us is special even those who would attempt to take that away from me.
The thing is, though, that we're individual and unique within certain constraints.
You wouldn't say that a cat is just a particularly special and unique human being, would you? One of those constraints is that, as physical objects, we exist within physics. I can't just decide I don't want to obey the second law of thermodynamics any more because I don't like paying for food, I can't just ignore gravity to get out of a traffic jam, and I can't act in a non-deterministic fashion. I might be a unique individual with unique psychology, but that psychology still exists within a human brain. Wishing it were not so does not change reality. I am not attempting in any way to say that you are not unique and special and individual - merely that you behave in a deterministic fashion. "Free will" as typically formulated is the violation of determinism - the ability to choose a course of action other than the one your brain chemistry and experiences up to that point dictate you will
choose. This, I reject. You are a supreme badass, a highly intelligent being capable of a great number of things; my only contention is that violating physics is not one of them.
You are, each and every one of you, the sum of your biology and everything that influenced you. You are each to be celebrated as a unique individual with intelligence and self-determination. I applaud you all and hope that no one ever succeeds in diminishing you to an equation or a predictable statistic with only the odor to burned insulation to hint at your existence.
I agree with everything you say up to "hope that no one ever...". I am not trying to reduce anybody to anything. I am stating facts about the world as it already exists.
Not one thing has changed about the nature of consciousness and determinism since this discussion started.
Arguing for the sake of arguing has never appealed to me because it's pointless. I'm not good at being stubborn and closed minded or a linear thinker and I feel those characteristics are needed to continue here. Lest any of you take that as an accusation, it is not. I revel in the emotional and the magical and celebrate the mystical and inspirational that give my spirit wings.
Adieu and enjoy.
I think you misunderstand where I'm coming from, here. I'm a very passionate person, by nature. I revel in my emotions, too - but I take joy in the merely real. That's all. I would rather believe in what is
rather than what I wish
were real, and I will look to the real world to support or destroy my beliefs accordingly.