Friday, April 20, 2012

On the Ruins of Two Cherished Schemes

The problem with denying either free will or the self is that you end up assuming what you deny, as well as giving the denial itself a free ride.

To deny the self assumes a self in the process of carrying out the denial. All you can do is not use the term "self", but you'll still be stuck with the implied vantage point and implications of the denial itself, which on determinism is equally problematic, however hidden it might be behind Oz's curtain.

To deny free will is to assume it in the nature of the denial itself, the status of determinism as itself anything beyond its own causally reductive factors, including "known", "ought" to be believed, "true" as opposed to "false", and so on.

To counter either the existence of the self or free will, necessarily ignores the equally-determined (and therefore equally true) status of belief in both, and assumes all the features of both in those same denials of them.

Hence, the ways in which both self and free will are discussed by determinists necessarily end up giving other factors the same treatment as the self and free will, while being exempted from the implications that determinism originally alleges against both.

That's why those who deny free will or the self necessarily end up cognitively acting out a belief in both in spite of themselves, as well as treating their own denials as some kind of intellectually-obligating gospels, complete with all the same rhetoric of that which they deny.

A rose, by any other name---or no name at all---is still a rose.