Revising Self-ownership

In various articles in the past I have made a monist objection to a dualistic concept of self-ownership due to the problems that an absolute mind/body dichotomy leads to. To summarize the problem: who exactly is it that is doing the owning? If I own it, then it is not me. If I am owned, than I am not the owner. One cannot be both the owned and the owner at the same time. Using the analogy that the mind owns the body doesn't really work because the mind is also part of the body. There is a coherant whole in reality, the mind and body are not metaphysically detached to the point where we can treat them as completely independant entities.

Hence, the way in which libertarians commonly put foreward the concept of self-ownership is flawed and must be revised to what is really meant by the concept, I.E. individual sovereignty, which is an ethical concept rather than a descriptive one. The problem is that when libertarians argue for self-ownership, they tend to treat it as if it was descriptive. So they will put foreward an argument along the lines of what Hans Hoppe's argumentation ethics and Stefan Molyneux's UPB would put foreward: that by virtue of you argueing and generally purposefully acting, you implicitly aknowledge self-ownership. But this is to totally confuse an is with an ought, or descriptive ethics and normative ethics.

It goes so far as to completely conflate categories of philosophy and definitions, as this reduces to an attempt to make a metaphysical argument for self-ownership. "Individual sovereignty" is really what is usually meant by the term self-ownership, but it is also often used as a sort of mix of different concepts like conciousness, free will and individual sovereignty. This is the sense in which I think the self-contradiction argument starts to fall apart, because conciousness or free will by themselves, while they are a necessary condition for personal sovereignty, are not the same thing as the ethical right of personal sovereignty. So the argument may apply to those who deny conciousness and free will, but it is ultimately erroneous to characterize arguements against self-ownership and property rights as necessarily being in denial of conciousness or free will. In this way, I think that self-ownership has a danger of being used as a package deal concept.

What's in dispute is not necessarily conciousness or free will, I.E. the capacity to have individual sovereignty as opposed to the substance of having individual sovereignty itself, what's in dispute is a specific ethical theory or principle. Therefore it does not make any sense to put foreward purely descriptive arguments as if they justify a particular ethical premise by themselves. Proving that someone has conciosness and free will is simply not a sufficient proof by itself for the ethical right of individual sovereignty, and neither is the mere fact that individual sovereignty is internally consistant as a concept (although half the problem here is that libertarians themselves aren't always internally consistant in their definition or use of the concept).

Published Thu, Jan 8 2009 12:16 PM by Brainpolice

Comments

# Rorshak (1313) said on 08 January, 2009 12:29 PM

I think that's a pretty good summary of the problem many libertarians have with the concept of self-ownership.

# Stephan Kinsella said on 08 January, 2009 01:17 PM

"Individual sovereignty" is vague and useless except as metaphor or poetry. Self-ownership means that each person has the exclusive right to control the scarce resource of his body. That's all.

# Brainpolice said on 08 January, 2009 06:02 PM

Kinsella, I fail to see how your accusation of vagueness applies any more to "individual sovereignty" than it does to "self-ownership". Both, by themselves, are just slogans or buzzwords, but what they are supposed to refer to are specific concepts.

"Self-ownership" is the standardized term that libertarians use for the right of personal sovereignty, but the way it is often used is somewhat erroneous because in ethical terms a human being is not a mere object or resource.

A declaration of individual sovereignty means the exact opposite - that a person is not a mere object or means for the ends of others, and hence they have exclusive decision-making power over that which directly affects them. Human beings cannot be owned.

Conceptualizing personal sovereignty as a property right is an irrational preferance that stems from treating it as a dualism. I provided a simple philosophical argument as to why such a dualism doesn't make sense given the totality that is a person.

I also presented a rational argument as to why it is erroneous to use self-ownership as a package deal concept that conflates conciousness, free will and the ethical right of decision-making power. Conciousness and free will are metaphysical and epistemological, while individual sovereignty or "self-ownership" are ethical in nature.

# Brainpolice said on 08 January, 2009 06:40 PM

So I have to see it the other way around: self-ownership is a bad metaphor for a valid concept.

# Charles Anthony said on 08 January, 2009 08:46 PM

BP,  

If I am understanding your correctly, you are essentially saying that the concept of "self-ownership" is an ethical position that is assumed to be true and from there, libertarian philosophy is derived.  I am in agreement with that position.  

We can not prove that a person owns himself any more than we can prove that a mouse is free from being owned by a cat.  

# Brainpolice said on 09 January, 2009 02:51 PM

Charles: I'm saying a few different things. For one, I'm saying that self-ownership as a dualism simply makes no sense due to the metaphysical problems that arise from making an absolute mind/body dichotomy. For another, I'm saying that libertarians often use the concept of self-ownership to mean three different yet related things at once (conciousness, free will and personal sovereignty) and conveniently switch between these definitions.

I'm not making an argument against personal sovereignty, I'm argueing that self-ownership is a bad metaphor for it. I just think that libertarians need to have a more rational conceptual foundation for liberty. In this sense, my criticism is somewhat along the lines of Rand's criticism. A more rational conceptual foundation can make it so that you don't have to just assume self-ownership as a contextless axoim.

# Brainpolice said on 11 January, 2009 09:47 AM

Free will only applies to humans by default. So I don't see what your argument is. That because it doesn't apply to inanimate objects and lower life forms, this is an argument against free will? Yes, we are the only species that has developed the level of conciousness and rationality necessary to develope elaborate notions of responsibility and begin to transcend mere biological impulses.

To me, compatibalism is the default philosophical position until science discovers more about the human mind, at which point compatibalism might be officially vindicated. Until then, both hard determinism and indeterminist free will are untenable positions philosophically. And no, conciousness itself is not what gives rights, so the strawman argument doesn't work.

# lulzy said on 11 January, 2009 11:16 AM

"...I don't see what your argument is."

My argument is that "Free will only applies to humans by default" is a ridiculous assertion. You simply made it up (well, somebody did, and you adopted it because you thought it sounded like fertile ground for planting ideological seeds).

"That because it doesn't apply to inanimate objects and lower life forms, this is an argument against free will?"

Yes. You need to explain how and where our species got it. "We have it because we can think it up" isn't good enough. I can think up all kinds of other bullshit, too.

"To me, compatibalism is the default philosophical position...."

Key words, "To [you]." You can believe in the Tooth Fairy if you like, and you can even build a political system on top of that belief. But you can't expect me to take it seriously, or give a shit that I'm violating some right that you granted yourself by virtue of your Tooth Fairy ideology.

Just because you can't conceive of, or accept, the idea that your actions are determined, doesn't mean they're not. You're simply not considering it closely enough. Most people don't.

It wasn't a strawman, it was a question and an assumption. So tell me then, what "gives rights"? (This should be deliciously Lockean.)

# Charles Anthony said on 11 January, 2009 03:31 PM

BP,  

I agree with you that "self-ownership" is a bad metaphor for personal sovereignty.  

My belief is that we libertarians face an insurmountable feat if we demand "a more rational conceptual foundation for liberty" as you do.  Such a foundation does not exist.  

At its very core, the non-aggression principle -- I am assuming we agree it represents the foundation for libertarianism -- is a personal preference.  

# Brainpolice said on 12 January, 2009 06:44 PM

Lulzy: Your tone is patronizing and rude. Notch it down. The point is that I don't accept the dichotomy between causality and free will. I don't think that it follows from the existance of causal factors that someone does not have any control over their own life. I don't deny that our environment is predetermined for us and the fundamentals of our biology is predetermined for us. However, unlike hard determinists, I do not conclude from this that there is no such thing as purposeful action and any real real meaning to the concept of responsibility.

# Paul Edwards said on 13 January, 2009 08:36 PM

"In various articles in the past I have made a monist objection to a dualistic concept of self-ownership due to the problems that an absolute mind/body dichotomy leads to. To summarize the problem: who exactly is it that is doing the owning? If I own it, then it is not me. If I am owned, than I am not the owner. One cannot be both the owned and the owner at the same time. Using the analogy that the mind owns the body doesn't really work because the mind is also part of the body. There is a coherent whole in reality, the mind and body are not metaphysically detached to the point where we can treat them as completely independent entities."

If the premise that "the mind is also part of the body", and "the mind and body are not metaphysically detached to the point where we can treat them as completely independent entities" is true, then i see no problem with his conclusion that "concept of self-ownership is flawed". It seems rather circular to conceive that that which owns, owns that which does the owning. I refer to my hand as my hand, my heart as my heart, and my brain as my brain. None of these things is me, as they are "mine". "Me", must be my mind, which must logically be not part of the body, and completely an independent entity from my body. It must be the case for self-ownership to be a coherent idea. It also happens to be the case if "free will" and the concept of responsibility is to be anything but a fraud and delusion.

"Hence, the way in which libertarians commonly put foreward the concept of self-ownership is flawed and must be revised to what is really meant by the concept, I.E. individual sovereignty, which is an ethical concept rather than a descriptive one. The problem is that when libertarians argue for self-ownership, they tend to treat it as if it was descriptive. So they will put foreward an argument along the lines of what Hans Hoppe's argumentation ethics and Stefan Molyneux's UPB would put foreward: that by virtue of you argueing and generally purposefully acting, you implicitly aknowledge self-ownership. But this is to totally confuse an is with an ought, or descriptive ethics and normative ethics."

This sounds unclear. But i agree that to the extent that the mind is considered part of the scarce resource which is uses to perform its actions of thought and argumentation, then the entity providing the purpose, and thing being used for that purpose become the same thing. And this is just incoherent. To solve this, the mind must be assumed to be entirely separate from the scarce resource it uses, the body, when it acts to claim ownership of that body.

"It goes so far as to completely conflate categories of philosophy and definitions, as this reduces to an attempt to make a metaphysical argument for self-ownership. "Individual sovereignty" is really what is usually meant by the term self-ownership, "

This strikes me as a distinction without a difference. We're talking about establishing an exclusive right to control a scarce and valued resource - one's own body.

# lulzy said on 14 January, 2009 12:59 PM

"I refer to my hand as my hand, my heart as my heart, and my brain as my brain. None of these things is me, as they are "mine"."

This is merely a matter of language. You could just as easily refer to "the part of me that I call 'hand'" but, well, that would be dumb. Perhaps in some other language, which evolved under a different understanding of the self, there would be a non-dumb way of saying that. (You also refer to "my ideas," but you can hardly be said to possess them, absurd "intellectual property rights" notwithstanding.)

"It also happens to be the case if "free will" and the concept of responsibility is to be anything but a fraud and delusion. "

But it is a fraud and delusion, and yes, there are vast implications there. Ones we shudder to think of, so we push it out of our minds, because believing in free will "just works." It's like any other religion: they survive because they provide comfort. Their absurdities are tolerated or ignored because they help people sleep at night.

"To solve this, the mind must be assumed to be entirely separate from the scarce resource it uses...."

Just because it appears logically necessary to divide the two in order to solve some perceived riddle doesn't mean they're actually divided. This is the primary problem with adherents to the Austrian school: they have a need to solve riddles using the structure of logic, which they spend a most of their time trying to do. Once they feel satisfied that they've solved one, they write it down and it becomes an axiom. Never mind that they dove headfirst into a pool devoid of information.

This is why a guy like Einstein was content to gaze at the wonder of the universe while conceding that he didn't really know jack shit about it, ultimately. You've got to be willing to admit when you just don't have enough information to make a declaration.

# Paul Edwards said on 14 January, 2009 02:26 PM

"I refer to my hand as my hand, my heart as my heart, and my brain as my brain. None of these things is me, as they are "mine"."

lulzy:

This is merely a matter of language. You could just as easily refer to "the part of me that I call 'hand'" but, well, that would be dumb. Perhaps in some other language, which evolved under a different understanding of the self, there would be a non-dumb way of saying that. (You also refer to "my ideas," but you can hardly be said to possess them, absurd "intellectual property rights" notwithstanding.)

me:

Language reflects thought - the two are tightly intertwined. The fact is, "you" now must of necessity use the term "I" and "me" to say the same thing without a "my" or "mine", which again is a reference to the entity that claims ownership over - the right to exclusively control - any and all of "your" physical elements and organs, including your brain. As for "my ideas", they reflect the fact that it is your "mind" that intentionally conceives of them. That is all - it has no bearing on property rights because there is no physical conflict implied if two people "share" an idea. Two minds can posses similar information without physical conflict over any scarce resource.

"It also happens to be the case if "free will" and the concept of responsibility is to be anything but a fraud and delusion. "

lulzy:

But it is a fraud and delusion, and yes, there are vast implications there. Ones we shudder to think of, so we push it out of our minds, because believing in free will "just works." It's like any other religion: they survive because they provide comfort. Their absurdities are tolerated or ignored because they help people sleep at night.

Me:

Step back and observe your argument. "Their absurdities are tolerated or ignored because they help people sleep at night." Really? Perhaps these things are all tolerated simply because there is no choice in the matter, if your argument is correct. Tell me, if you have no choice but to see something as an absurdity, and others have no choice but to see the same thing as perfectly logical, on what basis do you claim to be correct? Destiny? If you are right about free will, neither you, nor anyone else is free to choose to evaluate the question solely based on facts and reason alone, just what is valid and true and what is invalid and false. And if this is the case, then we cannot ever know that you are right about free will - which is to say, possibly you are wrong. In contrast, our entire manner of thought, and experience, tells us that we do, in fact, choose, or claim to choose, to use reason and admit facts in support of our arguments.

"To solve this, the mind must be assumed to be entirely separate from the scarce resource it uses...."

lulzy:

Just because it appears logically necessary to divide the two in order to solve some perceived riddle doesn't mean they're actually divided. This is the primary problem with adherents to the Austrian school: they have a need to solve riddles using the structure of logic, which they spend a most of their time trying to do. Once they feel satisfied that they've solved one, they write it down and it becomes an axiom. Never mind that they dove headfirst into a pool devoid of information.

me:

Note the contradiction inherent in such an argument. I must point out that implied in any argument is a presupposition of a reasoning consistent with whatever "appears" logically necessary. It is not merely the Austrians who accept this. Until one is interested in presenting an argument that uses the facts we are given and analyze them consistently with the laws of logic, one is reduced merely to expressing something similar in epistemological significance to an "ugh", or an "uuumf".

lulzy:

This is why a guy like Einstein was content to gaze at the wonder of the universe while conceding that he didn't really know jack shit about it, ultimately. You've got to be willing to admit when you just don't have enough information to make a declaration.

me:

He didn't know everything. But there are several thousand Japanese who might have attested, if they had the chance, that rather than not knowing "jack shit", he actually knew too much.

# lulzy said on 14 January, 2009 03:50 PM

"Language reflects thought"

Of course it does. And our thoughts on the self (and free will, any many other things) are inherently flawed. You're seeing a giant swirling paradox where there is only a limitation of language.

"the right to exclusively control ... "your" physical elements"

You have no right to control "your" body, because you don't need one. This is a case of desiring an inherent and inviolable right to do things where the language of rights does not apply. But that's a derail so I'll drop it unless I get a green light.

(I'll step over the scarcity herring because it leads us to opposing worldviews and I don't want to argue about which is "right." Suffice it to say that your conclusions are not universal, despite what you may hear in the Mises.org echo-chamber.)

"on what basis do you claim to be correct?"

It's not on me to defend the negative. Free-will believers shoulder the burden of supporting their positive claim that we possess this amazing faculty that makes no sense when held up against the backdrop of the observable universe.

"If you are right about free will, neither you, nor anyone else is free to choose to evaluate the question"

That's silly. You've basically just defined the entire thinking process as an example of free will. When we make a decision (see how that pesky language limitation boxes us in, so that we have to all but affirm free will in order to communicate?), it's simply our brains weighing options. The most desirable (or least undesirable) wins, and we act accordingly. You don't "choose" to eat your dessert but feed your veggies to the dog, you do it because doing the reverse would be yucky.

"possibly you are wrong."

Sure, but it seems unlikely, given the universe we live in. I've found that people who resist the idea that free will is bunk, do so because the implications are too severe. Not just the deeper implications, but even the surface ones, like political and religious ideologies. They prefer to ignore these tough questions, or do backflips over them. But that's not how the game is played. In my case, when I began to consider the free will question, my mind was blown, and along with it my entire worldview. OK, so be it. You only live once; what you believe while you're here isn't going to matter when you're gone. Better to follow the trail where it leads you, adhering as closely to science as possible, rather than plot a course for your preconceived worldview while ignoring all the speedbumps along the way. Worldviews are not matters of "truth" anyway, so why cling to one or the other? I wear mine like a loose garment -- but I don't give all viewpoints equal weight, I'm not a fence-sitter.

"our entire manner of thought, and experience, tells us that we do, in fact, choose"

Yes, and therein lies the illusion. Why does it seem like we choose? I don't know. An evolutionary adaptation to deal with this swirling mass between our ears? Maybe it keeps us sane. Think about it: what would happen if everyone suddenly realized that free will was horseshit? EVERYTHING would change. Literally. There's no aspect of human existence it wouldn't touch. Are we ready for that? Probably not. I think ultimately it would be a good thing. But I don't know how we might go about flipping that switch. Even if it happened, I envision little bands of holdouts -- Das Uber Conservatives -- keeping the "secret ancient 'knowledge'" alive in secret free-will rituals. Heh.

"implied in any argument is a presupposition of a reasoning consistent with whatever "appears" logically necessary."

Sure, but that's not what I was talking about regarding the Austrian school. I'm talking about their need to develop logical axioms for everything, because they don't deal with empirical data. That entire house of cards is built on deductive reasoning from unavoidably flawed premises.

(I guess the last bit was a personal barb against Einstein, but he's not here to respond.)

# Paul Edwards said on 14 January, 2009 08:09 PM

"Language reflects thought"

lulzy:

Of course it does. And our thoughts on the self (and free will, any many other things) are inherently flawed. You're seeing a giant swirling paradox where there is only a limitation of language.

Me:

If our thoughts on the self and free will are inherently flawed, on what basis do you claim to have an accurate understanding of the nature and truth of self and free will?

"the right to exclusively control ... "your" physical elements"

lulzy:

You have no right to control "your" body, because you don't need one. This is a case of desiring an inherent and inviolable right to do things where the language of rights does not apply. But that's a derail so I'll drop it unless I get a green light.

Me:

You presume a right to control your body each time you so choose to control it for the purposes your mind determines for it. You presume another's right to control his body each time you set out to discuss what is true and what is not with him, rather than beating him on the head until he concedes a point. Each time you presume you will not be assaulted or coerced by another it is because you presume the other acknowledges your exclusive right to your body. For this same reason, others presume you will not assault or coerce them. This right occurs from the mutual presumption of this right, and a will to act in a civilized, productive, cooperative and non-aggressive manner. It is not like the law of gravity. It must be presumed by non-criminal actors with similar peaceful intentions.

lulzy:

(I'll step over the scarcity herring because it leads us to opposing worldviews and I don't want to argue about which is "right." Suffice it to say that your conclusions are not universal, despite what you may hear in the Mises.org echo-chamber.)

Me:

I am only interested in what can be justified via reason. I am uninterested in the fact that reason is almost universally applied only occasionally, and usually inconsistently and incompetently by the masses.

"on what basis do you claim to be correct?"

lulzy:

It's not on me to defend the negative. Free-will believers shoulder the burden of supporting their positive claim that we possess this amazing faculty that makes no sense when held up against the backdrop of the observable universe.

me:

Every proposition, including its contrary, can be cast as either negative or positive. But further, when you offer a contradiction as refutation of someone's argument, you have refuted our own argument. You need not feel any burden to do so, but if you're claiming to invoke logic in your argument, (I'm not sure you are), you must eliminate self-contradictory statements from it.

"If you are right about free will, neither you, nor anyone else is free to choose to evaluate the question"

lulzy:

That's silly. You've basically just defined the entire thinking process as an example of free will. When we make a decision (see how that pesky language limitation boxes us in, so that we have to all but affirm free will in order to communicate?), it's simply our brains weighing options. The most desirable (or least undesirable) wins, and we act accordingly. You don't "choose" to eat your dessert but feed your veggies to the dog, you do it because doing the reverse would be yucky.

Me:

It is impossible for us to conceive of the act of thinking and the process of thought as a not a choice and decision. It is not a pesky language limitation, but rather the fact that language merely reflects what our minds must assume to be the case - that we choose to think, and we choose to act. The fact is as we debate this, you suppose that i am free to change my mind on the topic if you can successfully convey the correct logic of your argument to my mind. I on the other hand, observe the contradiction and futility of your undertaking if you were logically committed to your thesis which appeals to you on a psychological level.

"possibly you are wrong."

lulzy:

Sure, but it seems unlikely, given the universe we live in. I've found that people who resist the idea that free will is bunk, do so because the implications are too severe. Not just the deeper implications, but even the surface ones, like political and religious ideologies. They prefer to ignore these tough questions, or do backflips over them. But that's not how the game is played. In my case, when I began to consider the free will question, my mind was blown, and along with it my entire worldview. OK, so be it. You only live once; what you believe while you're here isn't going to matter when you're gone. Better to follow the trail where it leads you, adhering as closely to science as possible, rather than plot a course for your preconceived worldview while ignoring all the speedbumps along the way. Worldviews are not matters of "truth" anyway, so why cling to one or the other? I wear mine like a loose garment -- but I don't give all viewpoints equal weight, I'm not a fence-sitter.

me:

It is very significant that you concede that it is possible that you are wrong. At this point, i think it is probably most profitable for me to agree with you here and leave the rest. If your conclusion is admittedly only likely, then it does not hold the epistemological weight i thought you were suggesting it did. And if worldviews are not matters of truth, then they are not a matter of interest to me.

# lulzy said on 16 January, 2009 04:00 AM

"If our thoughts on the self and free will are inherently flawed, on what basis do you claim to have an accurate understanding of the nature and truth of self and free will?"

Think of it as waking up from the matrix.

Most people never really consider these issues. A relative few have. I'm not claiming special insight.

Most people believe in a supernatural deity, too. Does that evidence one?

"You presume a right to control your body each time you so choose to control it"

No, I don't.

Again, the language of rights doesn't apply. This is a case of people seeking a "natural right" where they don't need one, so that they may declare it inviolable as a means of defending their liberty to act. This is completely bass ackwards. All they need do is deny others the right to curtail their actions.

Rights are a human construct. We grant and revoke them. (There is no distinction between rights and privileges. Nor do they come in two flavors, positive & negative. All rights are in fact positive privileges.) The concept of rights only becomes meaningful in the presence of other humans, and only regarding actions that affect others. I don't need a right to free speech when I'm alone on a deserted island. This doesn't change when others land on the island and a civilizations springs up around me. What does change is that others may wish to curtail my speech. This is where the language of rights becomes meaningful and necessary.

A bird doesn't need a right to sing. I don't need a right to speak. You do need a right to silence me.

"I am only interested in what can be justified via reason. I am uninterested in the fact that reason is almost universally applied only occasionally, and usually inconsistently and incompetently by the masses."

I'm unclear if this is directed at me. I stepped over the scarcity herring because, presumably, it leads you to private property rights doctrine, whereas it leads me to a rejection of it. I didn't want to argue that here. Am I mistaken, or did you imply that my position lacks reason?

"Every proposition, including its contrary, can be cast as either negative or positive. But further, when you offer a contradiction as refutation of someone's argument, you have refuted our own argument. You need not feel any burden to do so, but if you're claiming to invoke logic in your argument, (I'm not sure you are), you must eliminate self-contradictory statements from it."

I can't find anything meaningful here. You say there's a creature called free will. I say I can't see him. Nor do I see a contradiction.

"It is not a pesky language limitation, but rather the fact that language merely reflects what our minds must assume to be the case"

No, it really is a matter of language. People believe in free will. Language grows up around this. Language reflects our belief in free will.

"as we debate this, you suppose that i am free to change my mind"

I already addressed this. When you "change your mind" it is because one argument outweighs another. It feels like a choice, but it's really just your brain weighing the options and acting on the one that makes the most sense for whatever reason.

"It is very significant that you concede that it is possible that you are wrong. At this point, i think it is probably most profitable for me to agree with you here and leave the rest."

This is funny. You seem to be declaring some sort of victory.

"If your conclusion is admittedly only likely, then it does not hold the epistemological weight i thought you were suggesting it did."

Richard Dawkins calls himself an atheist. Yet, when pressed on the matter, he concedes that he is technically an agnostic, because that's all he can be on the matter of deities. He says, if disbelief is a scale of 1-7, with 7 being certainty, he's a 6. That doesn't stop him from calling himself an atheist, or calling BS on deities.

I can't declare any truths about free will because it's like a deity. I don't believe in Yahweh, either, but I don't make an absolute declaration as to his nonexistence because then I'd have to disprove it -- along with unicorns, elves, and every other bit of nonsense that anyone might throw at me. Yes, I say free will is BS, because that's my belief. But if pressed to disprove it, clearly I cannot -- any more than you can prove it.

As I said already, it shouldn't be necessary to begin every sentence with "In my opinion..."

I have come to the conclusion the free will is patent nonsense, and that any worldview built on it is shaky.

"if worldviews are not matters of truth, then they are not a matter of interest to me."

This is also funny, because it's a crock of shit. You have a (shaky) worldview of your own, and in fact you've been arguing for one of its cornerstones (or, rather, fending off my hammer-blows without actually doing any repair work).

What's really significant here is that you find no need to defend free will, but only to make demands on those who deny it. This is like a creationist demanding that science provide an answer for all the mysteries of the universe -- immediately -- or forfeit credibility, while offering no defense of creationism.

(I hope you really are done now. I spend most of my response time trying to dissect your verbiage for clear statements I can respond to.)

# eliotn said on 03 March, 2009 01:37 PM

Someone, stop these random comments.