Thursday, May 17, 2007

Pumping You up, Physically and Mentally

As we all know, Finnegan is a personal trainer. Clients pay him something like $100 an hour for him to whip their bodies into tip-top shape. But it seems to me that this falls something short of his potential. You see, Finnegan is the Ayn Rand-ian Apotheosis of Man, the philosophical genius with a sinewy, trapezoidal body. So why not charge $200 an hour and get a full mind-body workout from Finnegan- give it a thought, would you Finn? Here is how I imagine a session might go down with Finnegan and an Upper East Side Trophy Wife.

Finnegan (shirtless, has a German accent for some reason): I am Dahn, and I am hee-ah to pump (clap) YOU UP!

Upper East Side Trophy Wife (UESTW): Fantastic! So I was thinking we'd do a little treadmill and then maybe some Stairmast...

Finnegan: No cahhdio! You will lift two refrigeratahs! One in each hand!

UESTW: Sweetie, on my diet I barely open a refrigerator- haha!

Finnegan: Stop it! Stop whining! I vill staht you out with just one fridge!

(Finnegan places a fridge in UESTW's hands. She promptly drops to the floor due to the weight. She is writhing on the floor, with the fridge on top of her)

Finnegan: Goood. Now do foo-ahty reps- GO!

UESTW: AHHH!! I can't lift it off me! Ahhh it hurts! You fucking asshole, why did you do that?

Finnegan: Do you think I CHOSE to hand you daat fridge?

UESTW: No one put a fucking gun to your head so yeah! Goddamnit, I can't feel my fucking toes!

Finnegan: NONSENSE! They-ah is no such thing as free will! All of the following four statements jibe with intuition but at least vahn of them must be false on pain of contradiction:
(1) Vee have free will.
(2) If the uuuniverse is deterministic, vee don't have free will.
(3) If the uuuniverse is indeterministic, vee don't have free will.
(4) The uuuniverse is either deterministic or indeterministic.
(4) is simply an instance of ze law of ze excluuded middle. If you-ah prepared to deny (4) not actually prepared to deny (4), vatever you-ah protestations. You live by assuming de law of de excluuuded middle.

UESTW: FUCK! SO MUCH PAIN! Alright, I want to get this fridge off of me, so I have decided I'm going to do it and I can do it!

Finnegan: Vaht! Have you been listening? I am in de middle of proooving you have no free will! You have no decisions to make! Let me continuuue... So vahn of (1)-(3) has got to be false. But (2) and (3), while not truths of logic alone, look pretty sound. The denial of (2) and (3) is compatibilism, and to cut a long stooory short, it doesn't vork. So that leaves (1). It's not in whole or in part a truuuth of logic. It's not a statement with any empirical confirmation of ze sort admissible in science behind it. It's an intuuuition, just an intuuuition. "It's not just an intuition," squeals ze freeee-vill dogmatist. "I actually have ze expeeerience of acting freely." Indeed.

UESTW: See - uhhhh....(drifting in an out of consciousness) .... there is free will

Finnegan: STOP INTERRUPTING MEEE- YOU HAVE ZEE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STRENGTH OF A SMALL CRUSTACEAN! (composing himself) And many people do not have zat experience, after reflecting on it just as thoroughly as zee upholders of freee-will. And vat's more, given zee absence of free vill, dee alternative theories do indeed predict zee datum of the experience of free will. If duh uuuniverse is deterministic, then zee laws of nature and zee states of fundamental pahhhticles at duh time of zee Big Bang determine zat in 2006, Peter Johnston vill have zee experience of having free vill. If zee universe is indeterministic, then by quantum coin flip, Peter Johnston had zee expeeerience of having free will. Zee expeeerience anyone has of having free will is therefoo-ah uttahhly irrelevant as evidence for or against it. So de intuition is just raw assertion.

UESTW: Please... Call an ambulance... I beg of you...

Finnegan: Veey-ah ahh you-ah mannahs, little lady? So it might have utilitarian backing of some sort---pehhaps societies flooorish vhere belief in zee existence of free will is dominant---but zat tells us nothing about vhether or not free vill exists. Hence, of (1)-(4), (2) (3) and (4) have varying degreeees of objective backing, (1) has none. And vuhn of (1)-(4) must be false. So the only varranted conclusion is zat (1) is false. QED.

(Finnegan lifts the refrigerator off of UESTW and throws it aside. He helps UESTW up so she is standing now)

UESTW: Oh... my... God! You have taught me so much, Dan. You're right, I DON'T have free will. And despite my complaints, what a great workout too! I must have burned 500 calories under that fridge. How much do I owe you?

Finnegan: It is twooo hundred dollahhs- to be paid in eithahh cash oo-ah in protein shakes and philosophy textbooks!

(UESTW pays Finnegan $200 cash)

Finnegan (nudging UESTW): Tell all ya friends to CHOOSE me foo-ah they-ah training needs!
(Finnegan and UESTW have a hearty laugh together)
(Finnegan snaps UESTW over his knee)


Mulatto Jesus said...

Great idea. For some reason though I keep picturing Finnegan as arnold Schwarzenegger.

Eric said...

Finnegan said...

woah.... how did you know about that day?

Beneficent Allah said...

rugby believes in nothing