My book Man Alive! is six months old today. I celebrate this auspicious occasion by defending the undeniable ontological fact of human free will while dismantling two specious arguments on the subject.
The first, put forth by an academic completely out of his philosophical depth is discussed in some detail in a post I wrote earlier today. The author’s claim is yet another instance of the Dancing Bear Fallacy, the insistence that human behavior can be understood by drawing analogies from animal behavior.
Both of these arguments are specious for the same reason: Each advocate is attempting to draw an invalid inference from the putative facts offered up as evidence. The first claim is that free will does not exist in humans because some insects get brain diseases. I am not making this up! The second is that god exists because so far no one has come up with a reductionist materialistic explanation for human will. In both cases, the authors insist that ignorance equals knowledge, and it is no surprise that each one of them arrives at an obvious error, even though their errors are mutually contradictory.
Volitionally conceptual free moral agency — human free will — exists. This is a statement of ontological fact. For now at least, no one knows why free will exists, but no human being ever actually doubts the factual existence of human free will, regardless of what any one of us might say he believes. I like to use the argument of luggage tags, but in fact every purposive human action and every concept in the uniquely human notation systems I call Fathertongue presupposes the undoubted factual existence of human free will.
My take is that arguments against free will and/or arguments for the existence of a god are alike and equally attempts to gull ordinary people into denying or frustrating their own will to the benefit of the person making the specious argument. The purpose of dead-end teleologies, always, is to induce you to volunteer for your own enslavement. And that is why you need to read, master and share Man Alive!
Here is this week’s video:
As always, the audio-only version of this video is linked below, or you can find the SelfAdoration.com podcast on iTunes.