Yeah. Here. You wouldn’t even think the concept still existed, if Darwin were right:
The fact is that we don’t “make” anything of our compulsions, or use them to “realize the self”. We have no ability to “realize” our self; all we can do is rationalize what we do and re-brand it as “freedom” so people don’t get scared. So Eagleton’s simply engaging in nonsense when he says stuff like this:
Freedom is not a question of being released from the forces that shape us, but a matter of what we make of them. The world, however, is now divided down the middle between off-the-wall libertarians who deny the reality of such forces, and full-blooded determinists such as the US convict Stephen Mobley, who 20 years ago tried to avoid execution for the murder of a pizza store manager by claiming that it was the result of a mutation in his monoamine oxidase A gene. It wasn’t the smartest way to appeal to a jury of citizens likely to endorse Oprah Winfrey’s view that “we’re responsible for everything that happens to us”.
Yes, we’re “responsible” in the sense that someone identifiable as Stephen Mobley did a crime. It may not have been solely the result of his mutation, but it was solely the result of his genes and his environment. He was wired in a way that he had to commit that crime. It’s sad that people like Oprah don’t seem to realize that, but the sooner we do, the sooner we can reform our judicial system in a way that’s both empathic and efficacious.
He means, like, 1984? Aren’t these people becoming caricatures of themselves?
Note: 1984 could happen, but not like that. It’s more sloth than zombie. No politician sells a program to promote the public bad, only the “public good.”
See also: How can we believe in naturalism if we have no choice?
“I will” means something after all