Monday, 27 April 2009

The Costello Memoirs

By Peter Costello
Former Treasurer of Australia



Peter Costello to boy:
"I also succeeded in putting in place capital acquisition programs which actually allocated money to specific programs. We discovered, for example, that in listing projects for capital acquisition Defence never allowed for deprectiation or repairs!"

Boy to Peter Costello:
"I got a lollypop."

**


Here's an anecdote about a time when he was spending a lot of late nights with Finance Minister John Fahey, working on some revenue committee thing and putting in a lot of hours.

Are you ready for this? Alright, here it goes...

"At the end of the process, after months away from home, John said to me one night, 'I haven't seen much of Colleen (his wife) lately. And I guess you haven't seen much of Tanya. In fact, we now spend more time with each other that we spend with our wives...' I cut him off. "I'm getting a little uncomfortable about where this conversation is heading, John!'"

Did you catch it? Did you see it? Because there it was, the only gag in 385 pages of memoirs.

That was it! A kinda gay joke! That was fairdinkum the most funny thing in the whole book, and it wasn't even funny, at all.

Then again, I did laugh a few times in the book, but only at parts I wasn't supposed to be laughing at.

**

Look, it's easy to bag this book, and Costello himself, and don't worry, I intend to, but, let me start with a few positives, some of them controversial amongst my left leaning friends.

First of all, if anyone was to be the Treasurer during the Howard years, I'm glad it was Costello. For starters, he LOVES taxation law. The most vibrant passages of the book, where his personality seems to come to life and what meagre charm he posseses jumps up from the page, are all to be found when discussing economic mechanics. There were chapters and chapters where he goes to great lengths explaining how the IMF works, what GDP is, and how Treasuries, banks and taxation laws all come together. Like over 100 pages was just explaining how stuff works (obviously to then give merit to the decisions he made - the extract above with the picture is a typical sentence). But really, the only people who would be vaguely interesetd in any of it would be budding Federal Treasurers. For the rest of us, it was stuff that belonged in an appendix. Even so, his enthusiasm was admirable.

But another reason he made a good treasurer was because I don't think he made one economic decision based on politics. Every economic decision he made seems to have been made on an economic level - in that it had economic, not political justification. Whether he made wrong or right economic decisions is neither here nor there, the point is, he left politics out of it somehow and on that level, he was a worthy treasurer. In fact, he even used economics for good instead of evil at one point, when squeezing Indonesia over the East Timor issue. It's a long story, but basically, he helped Indonesia fix some economic problems in return for getting the fuck out of East Timor.. which is more than Keating ever did (I loved Keating, but on East Timor, he failed me).

Costello would also make a fine husband and father. Reliable, devoted, and mentally sound. That comes through in the book too. He seems a nice enough guy, and if he had to pick you up from footy training, he would be there on time. Good on him. Also, he's a Blackburn boy, and I'm originally a Mitcham boy, so, you know, he gets a point for being a boy from down the road, even though he went to a toffee private school and I went to Mitcham 'Igh.

A final positive... his view of Howard is hilarious, unintentionally. He presents Howard (who, by the way, he constantly refers to as 'Howard') as this vague, shadowy figure who sometimes crawls out of his ivory cave to ask how things are going, then crawls back into the cave, leaving the real people alone to do the work. After reading this book you get the impression that Howard never actually made a decision about anything, or ever actually did a day's work. He was just a mouthpiece for Costello and all the other hard-working Ministers who made the decisions and did all the work. But you know what, Costello? I think that's a better system. I don't want my Prime-Minister bogged down until 3am wading through economic data. I want him or her to be fresh in the morning, fresh to lead. And that's one thing Howard could do (rightly or wrongly) and you can't do. Face it Costello - you were the worker, he was the leader, and that system kept the two of youse in power for more than a decade.

The biggest problem with the book (aside from it being boring as batshit) is that it proves that Keating was right when he said Costello was 'all tip, no iceberg'. Try as I did, in 385 pages, I still don't know what this man believes in, aside from God. Which, by the way, grant me this aside. He believes in God too much for my liking and should be prevented from holding office. His wife had a brain problem and nearly died. Costello writes "...medical assistance and, in my view, divine intervention saw her recover..." Divine intervention? You're kidding me? God, as a sole and sentient entity personally healed your wife with the assistance of doctors? Fuck off idiot.

No, aside from God, there's nothing I could find in here. There's a few things he doesn't believe in, like, left wingers, and Brian Harradine (who, by the way, fucked the Libs on the GST by asking for the removal of some gay safe-sex material from a Government publication - Costello thought that meant Harradine would support GST, but he didn't), but there's nothing that I could put my finger on when it came to what he actually wanted in a society, aside from canny taxation law and 'law and order'. Even his dislike of the left is lame, as it was developed in his Monash Uni days when he encountered some extreme-left anti-semites, but jesus, I don't dismiss all conservative-leading policy just because Hitler existed, so I can't see why he refused to acknowledge anything from the left just because of some militant arsewipes he came across at Uni and in the Union movement.

When it got to the Pauline Hanson bit, I thought maybe he'd be able to let loose, but even then it was a pragmatic but gutless response. He backed the decision to "...not attack Hanson personally... (but to)attack her policies in a logical and analytical way." I recall that backfiring even then, but he still supports it. She was using emotional language and she needed to be fought on that level, as well as a 'logical' level. But it came to me then, reading that - that's his whole political life, this Costello man. Take God away, and all he has is 'logical and analytical', and that's the 'no iceberg' quip in a nutshell. That's why he can't lead the country. Not enough heart. Brains and dignity aplenty, but no heart.

I also found him disrespectful to the ALP leaders. He seemd to like Beazley as a man (not as a pollie), and thought Crean had a brain, but from Hawke to Rudd he seems to think anyone on that side of politics was some yobbo buffoon. I know I know, there are plenty of yobbo buffoons on the left, but jeez, what's Wilson Tuckey then? Buffoonery crosses the political divide.

But I digress. Actually, there's not much more to say. He had one shot at this memoir business and he fucked it up. It had no guts, no substance, no balls. Just like Ian Thorpe and Brodie Holland* I ask, "Where's the cock? Where's the cock? Give me some cooooooocccckkkk!" There's just none. This book is a document, not a memoir. It's a timeline. There's not even anecdotes! No bon mots! No gossip! No insight into his feelings or any indication that he can be moved by art, or nature, or anything apart from God and family. Mark my words, this book will be in the $2 bin by now. It has nothing to offer to the world or arts and letters, or hell, even the world of politics or Australian History. Economic historians might take a fleeting interest in it (luckily for Costello I did Economics at Uni so I took a little interest in some of it), but that's it.

Look, maybe there is something to him, and he just thought it was none of our business. If so, he shouldn't have bothered writing memoirs. Either you give it your all, or not bother. There is no audience for this book. It's a waste of paper.

I give it an E.

Divine intervention... FUCK. OFF.

Superstitious idiot.

PS: He mentions me, accidentally. Talking about Ron Walker's influence, he refers to the Commonwealth Games 'flying tram into the centre of the MCG' (landing on a Melway map of Melbourne) which I came up with, proposed to the Government, was rejected, but they did it anyway and someone else got paid for it. I HAVE THE DOCUMENTS TO PROVE THIS! (Note: They were legally entitled to take my idea... it was on the tender contract). Yes, 9 years later it's still a sore point.

* Rumour and innuendo. I'm not saying either are gay, I'm just saying that's what I hear on the grapevine.

38 comments:

Lewd Bob said...

Well you got off the couch. Actually, maybe you didn't.

I used to force myself to finish a book even if I hated it. It was some sort of misguided self-obligation. Then I thought 'fuck that, I don't have enough time in my life to waste reading trash'. So now when reading shite, I 'do a Mr Sheehan' and hurl the book across the room, often bringing down a vase in the process.

Boogeyman said...

I think you're being a little harsh. Many people, faced with the impending death of a loved one, come to realise just how powerless we are to prevent death, sadness and tragedy. Many people do actually die with similar medical conditions, despite the best efforts of doctors. To then have that loved one recover would give one a feeling of immense relief and thankfulness that they were lucky enough to survive. It doesn't take much religious sentiment to feel that one's personal deity may have helped out.

And as an aside, I think all your dating problems are because you rip on God so much. He told me on Sunday that if you let up and took out your anger on Buddha, he might consider finding you a girlfriend. One that reads, even.

Perseus said...

I made it as far as the desk Bob. I wouldn't have finished... well, I wouldn't have even started reading this book if it wasn't for Ramon daring me to. I'm hopeless with dares. I read Les Mis in 48 hours on a dare once. Slept 3 hours.

Boogeyman, I don't think it is harsh at all. It is hubris and solipsistic to presume God intervened to save a life there, and not somewhere else (eg: the bushfires). To presume his wife is so special that God saved her and not Joe Blow or Fred Citizen in the same hospital even, is fucked up.

She lived (I assume) because of good doctors, strong support and her own strength.

Nietzsche said 'God is dead' in 1890.

And now, in 2009, I say: '...and now buried."

We don't need God any more. It's a spastic belief, particularly an interventionist God belief. Anyone who thinks God intervenes in the day to day runnings of the planet should not hold office.

(PS: Tell God I wouldn't root one of his maidens with his dick.)

Boogeyman said...

I think you're full of hubris yourself. You're so sure your interpretation of the world is correct you refuse to see any validity in another's personal beliefs.

I think you cannot appreciate that some people don't think that God saved them because they were special in some way, but rather they were just thankful they were (in their belief) saved, and probably equally sad that others weren't. You're so determined to believe that religiously-minded people are malevolent and disordered in their thinking that they couldn't possibly feel gratitude, therefore it must all be hubris instead.

It's telling of your own 3 metre wide shoulder chip about anything religious that of all the negative personality characteristics of Peter Costello you could rip on (and certainly he has heaps), you spit venom over a passage where he expresses gratitude for his wife's recovery from a likely fatal illness, and ascribes it (as any remotely religious person might in a time of great anguish) to a higher power.

Perseus said...

Boogeyman - I'm not a scientist, philosopher, doctor, engineer or mechanic. I don't know how things work. I don't grasp why I exist, I don't fully understand how the sun comes up or how a CD Player works. I'm in awe of the world and feel great wonderment at all of it. I don't know how any of it works.

People tell me it is God that made all of it, and dictates what is.

I say they are wrong, and it is the only thing I say with certainty.

Accuse me of hubris, fine. In the absence of any proof or even a hint of proof that God is real, then they can equally stand accused.

Which leaves 'agnosticism' as the only acceptable stance to make on an intellectual level - or 'fence-sitting' as I like to call it. You and I have clashed on this before, and rather than go over the argument again, I recommend Dawkins' 'The God Delusion', who spends a lot of time discussing agnosticism, and how it has little to no footing in human intellectual pursuit.

Just like a belief in fairies and elves, to approach any topic with a view that God might exist holds us back.

But I ask: Is it reasonable that Peter Costello could look a man in the eye - a man who, say, has lost his wife to a disease, and say: "God saved my wife, and not yours."

It is an insidious claim.

Perseus said...

...and also, I don't have a chip on my shoulder about religion, I have a chip on my shoulder about interventionist-God belief. And it's 3.6m wide, not 3m wide. Once you say 'God can intervene' then God fails by selectiveley intervening. If he saved Tanya Costello, then why didn't he save the bushfire victims? Just the thought of that made the chip grow to 3.9m.

You also write that I could have targeted other aspects of Costello, but that would be unfair of me. There wasn't anything else in the book for me to attack. He really does come across as a decent man, trying hard at his job, and if he came to my house I would offer him a meal and talk about footy with him (he barracks for the Bombers).

Interestingly, the preface was written by his father in law, Peter Coleman, who was also his editor, and even he devoted a large slab of his preface to Costello's God belief. The most telling line in the preface is where Coleman, talking about his own daughter, says of Costello, "...he believes that divine intervention helped Tanya, his wife (my daughter) recover from a grave illness in 1987."

"he believes."

Coleman, did not.

Cath said...

err.... no diatribe from me. I just wanted to say that it's great to have you back. Now keep up the review writing!

Boogeyman said...

I'm not disputing the illogicity of belief in an interventionist God, nor seeking to make this a place to argue about it. There are many illogical beliefs out there in the world, and I'm sure you and I possess more than a few that are not 100% endorsed by Occam's razor. Which is why I don't fuss about demanding that every Christian examine and justify their beliefs to the nth degree to me. As long as they don't ram theirs down my throat, I'm happy. If they do, then I'll get pissed, because I hate bigots.

You, on the other hand, seem by the tone of this review to take such offense at a man expressing gratitude to his personal god for the recovery of his wife from illness. He's not saying "only god, and not the doctors, saved my wife" or "god saved my wife and not yours" - that was just your applying the most extreme and unfair interpretation on his words. I'm sure he was grateful to the doctors for saving her too. But doctors can save one person with a brain tumour and lose another, and there are many factors out of their control, so it's understandable that someone who already believes in a god and not say, blind luck, would be thankful.

Also, this statement: "Anyone who thinks God intervenes in the day to day runnings of the planet should not hold office." - there's no reason why they shouldn't, provided they keep their religious belief and their political decisions separate.

Perseus said...

"provided they keep their religious belief and their political decisions separate" How can you tell?

Matt Damon of all people made a good point in relation to Sarah Palin... he wanted to know what she believed before she ran for office. He said it was important to know, and I agree.

Consider this: Costello believes in an interventionist God. We have that on paper. So, let's say he becomes our Prime-Minister. It is fair to assume he would think that God helped him become Prime-Minister. Therefore, he would perhaps think that any decisions he made were either God-given or God-approved. That is no basis for governmental decision-making.

"He's not saying "only god, and not the doctors, saved my wife" Correct, but he is saying that God directly intervened in the medical condition of his wife Tanya. He is free to believe that, which you point out, and of course, being deeply religious, he is almost compelled to believe it, but I stand by my call that that is a vile Old Testament conceit on his part. If God has the power to intervene to that extent, then God has failed us, and even if he existed, we should rise up and rebel against him for not intervening at every other time. Death by old-age is the only acceptable death, should God have the power to intervene in our affairs.

squib said...

In recent months, a religious friend of mine attributed her miraculous escape from death to divine guidance. Maybe I should have respected this in an anthropological kind of way but I'm afraid I grinded my teeth a lot and had pretty much the same thoughts about her 'chosen-ness' that Persey here has expressed about Costello and his wife

Moving along, I'm stuck in the pages of two tedious non-page-turners and I'm thinking I should follow Lewd's example

1. Oblomov and 2. A stuffy and pompous bio about Dr Johnson. I need to find something a bit more fun

Boogeyman said...

Like I said, we all believe in irrational stuff. You just focus on the religious stuff for objecting to a politician's right to hold office, but by doing so you ignore all the other possible nutty stuff that could influence their decisions. What if that person is a free-market extremist? What if they believe in nanny-state extremism? What if they are an totalitarian bigot that believes all other belief systems should be suppressed by the state? These are more powerful predictors of their political decisions than their religious beliefs, and both religious and irreligious folk are scattered all over the political spectrum. Their religious beliefe might influence their political positions ie. abortion vs pro-choice, but provided they make those political positions up-front and not conceal them, you can judge the poltician on their political platform alone. George Bush AND Barack Obama are both christians, likewise Peter Costello and Kevin Rudd, but each represent opposite ends of the political and (in GWB's case) intelligence spectrum.

My objection to Sarah Palin was not her religion per se, but that she belonged to a particularly extreme sect, Assemblies of God, that don't respect the separation of church and state, and are actively trying to promote more church power within politics. I don't particularly want any fringe group taking political power, x-tian or not.

Boogeyman said...

Speaking of non-page-turners, I'm trying to get through Moby Dick at the moment. Great book in parts, but the parts that drag, really drag.

Perseus said...

I gave up on Moby Dick twice. You're right, the good bits are great, but his tangents are so boring.

All religions are extremist sects. They believe there's a sentient being that knows everything. That's extreme.

Political extremists announce their politics and we get to choose them if we want (in Western democracies, anyway).

The Lord's Prayer is extremist. Prayer is extremist.

The religious sneak under the political radar.

Extremist religious belief have to be 'tolerated' (I'll never understand why...)

Kevin Rudd has never said God intervenes in anything.

Perseus said...

Squib - if you take Bob's advice, make sure you smash something as you throw Oblomov across the room.

Boogeyman said...

All religions are extremist sects. They believe there's a sentient being that knows everything. That's extreme.Sigh. No, only to you they are.

However, you do sound just like the bible-bashing bigots that think their way of seeing things is the one perfect truth, and won't tolerate anyone else having a belief system that doesn't fit within your own's limitations.

If you were ever to seek politics, should we be worried how your extremist atheism would manifest itself, and how it might influence your policies?

Perseus said...

Oh come on Boogeyman - A sentient being that created the world and belief and worship in him will mean you go to heaven for ETERNITY? That's not an extreme position? I can't think of a more extreme belief.

My opinion that we live and die is hardly an extremist position. It's rational and backed by empirical data and casual observation. We seemingly live and die, it's all around us. I'm going with it, and you're calling me extreme? Jesus.

You're saying that people who think they will survive their own death, based on nothing but faith are not taking an extremist position?

Come on now.

As for me President Perseus, yes, be very worried. God help you all, indeed.

I would ban all religion in Parliament for starters. No Lord's Prayer.

I would not give one cent to any religious institution. Not a cent. Happy to let them survive on their own merits, but not a cent of taxpayer money will go their way.

Pope wants to visit and wants security? Pay for it, Catholics and/or Vatican.

Is that a Christian lobbyist? Not listening.

However, the chances of me getting into a Presidential seat in this or any other country is the same as the likelihood of God existing... ZERO!

Boogeyman said...

If your belief causes you to take actions to impose that belief on others against their will, that in my book makes you extremist. You show all the signs of someone that just cannot accept that another human being could hold a belief different to yours, without explaining them away as in some way mentally disordered. You're so convinced that your opinions, formed out of individual observations, some books you've read, lack of proof and lack of a means to prove otherwise, makes your beliefs absolute.

You seem to have such a glorified notion of provability that absolutely everything must have some scientific explanation, and we should believe nothing that cannot be proved. Even though not everything can be proved or disproved scientifically, because to be capable of so doing relies on us being able to construct repeatable experiments around a hypothesis. Scientific method works for understanding some aspects of our world, but it hasn't, and possibly will not be able to perfectly and completely explain how the universe exists, or give a complete understanding of consciousness, subjective experience and free will.

So if someone believes in god and you in your stubborness demand that they either prove that god exists, or accept your ridicule, even though what they believe in is based on an unprovable mixture of private subjective experience and free choice, then I find that to be both extremist and closed minded.

Perseus said...

Bullshit. I don't have the belief, they do. I have non-belief in God, and that's not extremist.

You refer to me pushing my 'beliefs' and that's a completely incorrect statement. I don't have a belief to push. I don't know how the sun comes up, or what the meaning of life is, but these people say that they do, and they say it's God'd design. It is they that are taking the extreme position, not me.

They are pushing their absolutist 'beliefs' on to me, and I refuse to accept their beliefs. I am not offering an alternative 'belief', simply a rejection of theirs.

And I do not have a 'glorified notion of provability' - you are wrong. I can't prove love, or sadness, or quantify with science how much the sunset over the water moves me, or how a piece of music can make me tremble in awe, or how my sub-connscious guides / affects me. I need no proof of any of this. But I'm sure as Hell not going to attribute any of the above to some magical La-La Man in the sky.

It is the wonders of life, and living, that both confounds and inspires me.

God is irrelvant to this.

And finally, I have never asked a believer to 'prove' God exists, because even if I believed in God I understand that proof is impossible. I am not as stupid as you think. I might be as arrogant as you think, but not as stupid.

Perseus said...

To illustrate belief and non-belief.

Godboy: You have three arms.

Perseus: No I don;t.

Godboy: Yes you do. You can't see the third arm, but it is there.

Perseus: No I don't.

Godboy: I believe you have a third arm, just like all of us have third arms that we cannot see.

Perseus: You;re an idiot.

Godboy: But I am overwhelmed with faith and love of the third arm, and I believe with every essence of my being we all have a third arm.

Perseus: You're a spaz.

Godboy: Well if there is no third arm, what is there instead.

Perseus: There is the ABSENCE of a third arm! It does not need to be replaced with something else. You do not need to 'believe' in anything else. All you need to do is 'not believe' in the third arm.

Godboy: But the Bible says...

Perseus: Get fucked idiot, and by the way, if you drop this third arm bullshit, you may very well begin to embrace the two you have already. Now, get me a coffee.

Boogeyman said...

I don't like religious types that push their beliefs on me either. But there are heaps that don't, and are happy for others to believe differently to them. I don't see the need to regard such people as mentally disordered, or extremist, or incapable of holding political office.

Anyway, when I suggest that their might possibly be some sort of god, I'm not offering that limited anthropomorphised notion that belongs to conventional religion - 'magical La-La man in the sky". I am suggesting that what religions believe in, might be a very limited interpretation of the something much greater and more inconceivable, that is also touched upon by the inspiration and confundity you speak of.

Perseus said...

there are heaps that don't, and are happy for others to believe differently to them Yeah, but they get antsy when you have no belief at all. They can't cope with that. They don't get it.

"I am suggesting that what religions believe in, might be a very limited interpretation of something much greater and more inconceivable..." Fine, but the religious will argue that whatever it is, is sentient. Therein lies my problem. An inconceivably greater thing than all of us? Fine. An inconceivably greater thing than all of us, that happens to be sentient, and has opinions on what we eat and how we act and whether we die or not and how? Not fine.

Is confundity a word? I hope so, because it's great.

Boogeyman said...

To illustrate belief and non-belief.

Godboy: I once experienced a feeling of contact with a being that seemed, to me, to be greater than my limited human mind. I think this was 'god'.

Perseus: No you didn't, that's impossible, you must be mad.

Godboy: I know my own experiences, I know my own memories.

Perseus: No, you can't prove such a being existed, therefore you must be crazy to believe such a thing. Never mind that I can't even satisfactorily explain or prove why I have consciousness, I'm happy to ridicule your belief. If you did experience what you say, it cannot possibly be what you intepret it to be, because I say so. Therefore I expect science will one day provide a neat, reductionist explanation for your odd experience. Until that day, expect more ridicule.

Godboy: Sooo, it's ok for you to believe in your own subjective experiences, but mine are invalid unless they fit with some neat explanation you have for how the world works?

Perseus: Damn straight. Now where's my bloody coffee - I don't pay a bloody barista to discuss metaphysics.

Boogeyman said...

"Therein lies my problem. An inconceivably greater thing than all of us? Fine. An inconceivably greater thing than all of us, that happens to be sentient"

We are sentient, so if it's greater than all of us, one would expect it to be sentient also. However, I am suggesting that what we call sentience might itself be a very limited concept of something much greater.

Perseus said...

Unfortunately Boogeyman, in the real world, Godboys add to that little debate, "Oh, and by the way, this being that seemed, to me, to be greater than my limited human mind, demands that I not support abortion, reject Darwinism, and give 10% gross of my wage to the custodians of buildings constructed in his honour"

Cue ridicule.

If, as you say, there is an uber-sentience, whatever it is, and whatever form it takes, it's a malicious cunt.

What form could uber-sentience take? Take a stab...

In the meantime, let's look at string theory.

Boogeyman said...

Some do, indeed. The ones that do are cuntish bigots and on my list.

And then some don't, and I'm not eager to assume they're one way or the other based on expressing thanks for a sick relative surviving an operation.

But...

Perhaps God really is compassionate, but failed to save the others because was out getting his sagittarian nebula waxed, or on a hot date with Quan Yin at the time and forgot.

"If, as you say, there is an uber-sentience, whatever it is, and whatever form it takes, it's a malicious cunt."

Well, assuming that such an uber-sentience must possess a form of compassion as we understand it.

"What form could uber-sentience take? Take a stab..."

Now that's just anthropomorphological thinking. If I started imagining such a thing taking forms I'd merely be playing with mental images, which of themselves are a subset of sentience, not a superset.

Perseus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Boogeyman said...

That's a very nice, life-affirming theory, PQ.

My point though is that while it may be possible to experience such a greater sentience, as soon as you start defining it and talking about it, it's reduced to mere ideas.

Btw, your atomic god called, and said you've still got some reducing to do before you get to first principles.

Alex said...

Sorry to comment on this so late, but I only just got around to reading it. Glad I did though. That argument was great. I'd just like to say two things:

Firstly, I may not like Peter Costello but neither do I mind the idea of a boring analytical person being in charge. People with grandiose visions of the future tend to scare me a little bit.

Secondly, while people are talking metaphysical, can anyone point me to a good explanation of how scientific causality can be compatible with free will?

Perseus said...

I don't mind a leader being a visionary, as long as every other person around him or her was a realist. I'm with you, I prefer nuts and bolts people running the country.

As for scientific causality / free will: Start with Socrates, jump straight to Nietzsche.

Alex said...

Thanks, but I was actually wondering if anyone has had a bash at explaining free will in a modern scientific context. Obviously it isn't present in our basic chemical components. Does it begin to manifest somewhere at the cellular level? Higher up perhaps? How is it even possible?

Perseus said...

"Q" from 'Star Trek'?

It's well above my comprehension.

I'm science-retarded, and would struggle to understand it anyway.

Dawkins (a scientist first and foremost) kind of touches on it in The God Delusion, but even he lost me there for a bit once he started talking about proteins and shit.

I want you to find the material and report back, explaining it in retarded terms.

Alex said...

That's assuming I can understand it. Just don't expect a speedy reply. I must be about the slowest reader I know.

Andy Pants said...

I prefer to define agnosticism as 'indifference'. In other words the belief that questions which cannot be answered and appear to be absurd and of no consequence anyway are irrelevant.

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