Friday, October 22, 2010

CombatWords, October 22, 2010: Vice, Virtue and Free Will

CombatWords, October 22, 2010: Vice, Virtue and Free Will

I usually keep a torn up copy of the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius on my desk. To create order in a world that is full of inconstant people, he urges one to focus on knowing rightness (which he doesn't axiomatize) and then applying it, regardless of conditions around one. Bold philosophy, but I wonder how well it holds up in a cattle car filled with freezing, starving, dehydrated people on their way to a death factory? He would say that sticking to virtue, even when self-detrimental, is evidence of free will. I think I agree with that notion, having cooked up my own proof for free will before I even read MA: suicide & celibacy—two actions which contradict models of genetic determinism. Oh, but the cattle car, the cattle car! Maybe there are triggers that exist so deeply within us that most people don't encounter them even once in life? And jammed in a cattle car, must we return to our origins as meat circuitry?

Combat Expiration: 12am PST, 10/24/2010

Critique Expiration: 12am PST, 10/25/2010

Bonuses/Penalties: +2 by 8pm PST, 10/22/2010; +1 by 2am PST, 10/23/2010; -1 by 6am 10/25/2010, -2 by 12pm 10/25/2010

The rules:

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