Breaking: It isn’t the genes: the genes don’t rule
"Why argue? Why debate? Why struggle? It's all in the genes." Really?
This is a piece I wrote and posted in 2018. Here is a new introduction:
Ayn Rand pointed out, perhaps a thousand times, that PHILOSOPHY isn’t a luxury or a useless academic distraction. It’s the main event of a civilization.
Ideas are weapons. A lack of ideas is also a weapon.
For instance, take FREE WILL.
You can read the history of Western philosophy from Plato onward, and you won’t find a convincing argument for free will.
The reason is, freedom stands outside logic.
It’s a premise, an assumption, or as I would say, a fact so obvious it needs no explanation.
It isn’t a collection of parts, which can be analyzed. It isn’t a series of interactions. It isn’t a sequence of chemical billiard balls striking one another.
By DEFINITION, it isn’t any of that. If you could break down a CHOICE a person is making, if you could trace all the clicking events, in a time-row, leading up to that choice, you wouldn’t be talking about freedom. You’d be talking about a machine.
Some modern philosophers deal with free will by merely dismissing it as a meaningless question that can have no answer — and therefore, there is no need to consider it. Case closed.
Which opens the door to genetic determinism, the assumption that all our choices are really delusions. The genes decide. They control our “outputs.”
A hero or a villain is merely the observable effect of genetic process. Therefore, among those things that go begging? Morality.
In the face of determinism, pretty much everything goes begging. Why argue? Why debate? Why struggle? It’s all in the genes.