A Fearless Search for the Ultimate Cause of Our Nausea
Continuing with Friday's post, it seems axiomatic to me that if humans did not have free will, then they couldn't possibly know it, for there would be nothing separate from necessity, i.e., no space across which to view it.
If we are in the land of necessity, then so too is every thought necessary; and if necessary, then unable to be anything other than it is. Therefore, statements are not true or false, only necessary.
Thus, in a very real way, to say necessity is to say freedom; I believe someone once made the crack that freedom is awareness of necessity. That is the least one can say of freedom: that it is something other than necessity.
But what is it actually? In other words, that minimum definition is like saying that light is awareness of darkness. It lets you know light exists, but doesn't tell you anything about it. Moreover, it is misleading, for it implies that darkness is the substantial reality, light a kind of nebulous absence or privation.
Now, in a certain way, truth is parasitic on error for the same reason that freedom is awareness of necessity. Certainly science proceeds strictly on this basis: it is a continuous exercise in trying to disprove one's current beliefs. It is very much as if science cannot know truth, only chip away at presumed error. Which is not nothing!
But it is not, and cannot be, truth. Nevertheless, as we've been insisting over the past I-don't-know-how-long, man has a RIGHT to truth.
In other words, all men and any man have always had a right to know what the hell is basically going on, i.e., what is the metacosmic truth and how to order ourselves to it. I would say this is definitional of man qua man: that man is the being who is entitled to truth, dammit, thank you very much.
But because he is so entitled, it means that he is entitled to the cosmic conditions that render truth possible.
Thus, first and foremost, man is entitled to freedom, since, as alluded to above, no freedom, no truth: the two are inseparable; it is not possible to think the one without the other. Or, you might say that we "think freedom" so as to "act truth" (and vice versa). Right? Right.
It seems to me that this goes to the Science Before Science; I would say that we are entitled to the science before science, but that we have to work for the science after science, i.e., ordineveryday worker bee type science.
Again, consider the Muslim world, where people aren't entitled to freedom. Therefore, they aren't entitled to truth. Therefore, science cannot develop.
To what then are Muslims entitled? The Koran. What is the Koran? The direct, unmediated, infallible, inerrant word of Allah. Unlike the Bible, it is not to be interpreted, because for one thing, that implies some sort of human freedom engaging with the text.
I guess I don't have to remind the reader that certain strands of modern Christianity are indeed more similar to Islam than to a Christian worldview. Islam means "submission," and that is what it is: submitting to absolute necessity, i.e., cashing in one's freedom.
The whole thing is rather confused, for how is submission possible if everything is necessary? Submission either implies freedom to submit, or else it cannot be meritorious. But let's let them sort out their own incoherence. We're more worried about our own Muslims in Christian clothing.
A mirror image of this pneumapathology is seen in the left's so-called "tolerance," in that it is an indefinable nothing. It is related to the negative definition of freedom in paragraph 2 above: tolerance is just the absence of intolerance, which, if you think it through to the next step, is the active acceptance and embrace of EVERYTHING.
In short, it is the complete abandonment of discrimination, taste, propriety, decency, judgment, maturity, and good breeding. In them it induces pleasant feeling of sanctimony. In us it induces vomiting. So that's the main difference between left and right.
It is not a question of intellectual differences per se, but a question of the gastrointestinal tract. Embodiment, don't you know; to paraphrase Don Colacho, it is an investigation of the causes of what disgusts us. For I don't doubt that we disgust Obama, just as he disgusts us.