What is death? Most medical experts experts would agree death occurs when the brain dies. Although the body can be maintained alive through a series of interventions, if the brain is no longer viable, a human being is pronounced clinically dead. ... Does biological existence alone without free will constitute life?
What would "free will" be, anyway, other than everything which constitutes a person through its lifetime being what outputs or contributes to the person's decisions, desires, goals. Innate programming and learned conditioning might be the narrow tendencies which regulate you, but they are still YOUR parameters
, not Dictator Nong-Hong-Jong heteronomously pulling puppet-strings from the outside. Try threatening a simple doll to do something or else you will burn it. Unlike our reactions, the doll would be totally indifferent, lacking any capacity to understand the information or care. That's what a totally "free" system amounts to. No templates whatsoever regulating it means it is not actually a system at all, a clueless aggregate.
As for the outdated eternal oblivion
dogma... Biology doesn't float on its own. Or there's more than the naive materialism which a biocentric school of thought [about death] flounders like a rain-needy mudcat in.
If committing to a vast network of naturalistic explanations, the whole damn cow should be bought. It's not an array of religious denominations and doctrines where the adherent can pick and choose what s/he's comfortable with, like a customer at a buffet counter. One just does not expend all that iconoclastic effort during the teen years to get squeezed from the birth canal of scientism [science groupie-ism as a militant ideology], and then upon confronting physics backtrack to some of the same commonsense prejudices / everyday realism that the gospel singing couple next-door sport.
Change is more akin to the static structural variations along the length of a carved totem pole than change dependent upon a mythical time-flow with its special, universal "now". Even if there was such a global now, it sure as hell wouldn't be my or anyone else's subjective "this moment" egotistically bloated with pregger fishiness upon the whole cosmos.
Consciousness correlates to your whole worldline, not just this specious instant being all that is real or the sole location of cognition. Your brain is an interweaving spiral of particles extended through spacetime, but the memory organization it uses for cognition has functional "divisions" along the way. You seem to be conscious only in this latest sequence of nows because that's what your working memory at this region in your body's history is limited and devoted to (it certainly doesn't contain non-speculative information about tomorrow's events, and yesterday's storage was concerned with yesterday).
You [not "you" specifically, just an empty placeholder] can be thankful that at age ninety-four [death] all your elderly ailments will appear to cease, but at the expense of losing (memory-wise) who you are in the future [as if that will matter if dementia, Alzheimer's, etc, long before kicked-in]. But the bad news is that you will never cease to exist, you're hell-condemned to your body's worldline in spacetime. So make the best use of this
eternal life: There is no other. Or such perpetual being should be your motto if you're a good methodologist willing to accept the whole network of natural explanation, rather being one of those selective, cherry-picking prigs who cops-out when the wider territory differs radically from the original little crap-container s/he potty trained on.
PAUL DAVIES ~ "Peter Lynds's reasonable and widely accepted assertion that the flow of time is an illusion (25 October, p 33) does not imply that time itself is an illusion. It is perfectly meaningful to state that two events may be separated by a certain duration, while denying that time mysteriously flows from one event to the other. Crick compares our perception of time to that of space. Quite right. Space does not flow either, but it's still 'there'." NEW SCIENTIST, 6 December 2003, Sec. Letters
ROBERT GEROCH ~ "There is no dynamics within space-time itself: nothing ever moves therein; nothing happens; nothing changes. [...] In particular, one does not think of particles as 'moving through' space-time, or as 'following along' their world-lines. Rather, particles are just 'in' space-time, once and for all, and the world-line represents, all at once the complete life history of the particle." GENERAL RELATIVITY FROM A TO B
PAUL DAVIES ~ "The most straightforward conclusion is that both past and future are fixed. For this reason, physicists prefer to think of time as laid out in its entirety — a timescape, analogous to a landscape — with all past and future events located there together. It is a notion sometimes referred to as block time. Completely absent from this description of nature is anything that singles out a privileged special moment as the present or any process that would systematically turn future events into present, then past, events. In short, the time of the physicist does not pass or flow." THAT MYSTERIOUS FLOW, Scientific American Sept 2002
CHERYL CHEN ~ "If the block universe view is correct, it is irrational to fear death. We apparently fear death because we believe that we will no longer exist after we die. But according to the block universe view, it's not true to say that we exist now, but won't exist any longer after death. Death is just one of our temporal borders, and should be no more worrisome than birth!" THE PHILOSOPHY OF TIME, CENTER FOR SCIENCE AND SOCIETY SYMPOSIUM, FALL 2003
PHYSICALISM.WORDPRESS.COM ~ But it’s worth pointing out that if we turn to our best theory of spacetime, General Relativity, which has proved itself fantastically successful over the past century, there is a straightforward answer to this question: The universe has always been here. In General Relativity, the Big Bang is a spacetime singularity. What that means is that as you go backwards in time, you eventually run out of time (or, more accurately, out of spacetime). The path back in time cannot be extended beyond 13.7 billion years or so. There is no time before this. What this means is that there was never a time when the universe didn’t exist. It has always been here. It’s tempting to think, “Ah, but what about before the Big Bang — say 14 billion years ago — then there was nothing, not even the universe!” But this is mistake. According to General Relativity, there is no 14 billion years ago. There is no “before the Big Bang.” Time doesn’t extend beyond the universe. Anytime there was time, there was a universe to go with it.
BRIAN GREENE ~ "In my everyday routines, I delight in what I know is the individual's power, however imperceptible, to affect time's passage. In my mind's eye, I often conjure a kaleidoscopic image of time in which, with every step, I further fracture Newton's pristine and uniform conception. And in moments of loss I've taken comfort from the knowledge that all events exist eternally in the expanse of space and time, with the partition into past, present and future being a useful but subjective organization." THE TIME WE THOUGHT WE KNEW, NYT, 2004
HERMANN WEYL ~ "The objective world simply IS, it does not HAPPEN. Only to the gaze of my consciousness, crawling upward along the life line of my body, does a certain section of this world come to life as a fleeting image in space which continuously changes in time." PHILOSOPHY OF MATHEMATICS AND NATURAL SCIENCE