Contemporary neuroscience, through the mouth of Daniel Dennett, says that “minds” do not exist –we are all “zombies”, (i.e. functional automatons)! But without a real mind, there is no basis for a real ethics! If you were just a machine, it would not really matter whether I caused you pain or caused you happiness. It would only be a matter of which noises you subsequently made: i.e. “pain noises” or “happy noises”! If I were able, it would not matter whether I cut Dennett’s leg off or were able to award him the Nobel Prize! True, the mechanism whose name “he” bears might cause me danger, but since there would be no “me” either, that fact would be essentially irrelevant in any fundamental, (either ethical or ontological), sense.
At least one part of the answer to the mind-body problem must pass as rigorous science –it must be science, and it must be both mathematical and logical. The answer I will present here will be revolutionary, and it is new. See the link above, (IN A NUTSHELL), for a brief synopsis. The greatest problem however, will be in your understanding of it. To quote Immanuel Kant:
"If in a new science which is wholly isolated and unique in its kind, we started with the prejudice that we can judge of things by means of alleged knowledge previously acquired -though this is precisely what has first to be called in question -we should only fancy we saw everywhere what we had already known, because the expressions have a similar sound. But everything would appear utterly metamorphosed, senseless, and unintelligible, because we should have as a foundation our own thoughts, made by long habit a second nature, instead of the author's." (Kant, Prolegomena, p.10) Otherwise stated, the whole of the answer must be understood “heterophenomenologically”, to use Dennett’s own term. It is so different that I think the only way to understand it is in its own terms!
Science drives the ongoing debate. Its conclusions are what your children and your grandchildren are going to have to live with –or die with! Here is an entirely new perspective on the ancient problem which gives us a hope for a better world. ---------------------------- JI