Monthly Archives: October 2013

Free to Choose?

This raises one of the paradoxes of liberalism…. First, [liberals] want to say that the criterion of acceptable behaviour is choice – the will is, in the end, completely insulated from all influences. So a person can buy pornography until they’re blue in the face, watch pornographic movies, go to prostitutes, engage in pederasty, all of which is legal – and all of that is acceptable, because the person’s will is supposed to be so powerful that it can instantaneously stop short of other behaviour which society (and the law) deems unacceptable (for the moment), such as paedophilia or sado-masochism. But the idea that choice is all that matters puts pressure on the supposed unacceptability of even these activities, so that even children are regularly trumpeted in the liberal press as being capable of choosing for themselves. Still, as soon as the activity is considered unacceptable, according to the tastes of the time, liberals start scurrying, looking for the determining causes of such wicked behaviour – a bad childhood, deprivation, or whatever. All of a sudden choice goes out the window, because liberals refuse to believe anyone can be evil, or make evil choices of their own free will. Actually, it’s ruled out by definition in the liberal philosophy, since choice is good of itself as the act of an autonomous agent – who instantly ceases to be autonomous when he does something liberals or society at large find offensive!

— Jonathan Bowden, Apocalypse TV, 2007.