Thursday, January 4

ARBIT THOUGHTS

I used to believe, till couple of months back, that man makes his own destiny, that our actions and choices make us what we are and decides what we will be. I was certain that the future is an unpredictable unknown entity and that whatever that I did presently was of importance because my future depended on those very actions. But as said earlier it was what I USED to believe.

Now the thing is I believe the entire world is like a series of events, discrete or continous, each influencing the other through connections which are unimaginably complicated. These sort of connections between 2 seemingly unrelated events is pretty well brought by scientific theories such as " the butterfly effect". Such connections can even explain the logic behing astrology, in which phases of our life are determined by the relative positions of planets. How the position of planets can affect our lives?.. I dont know, but I do believe that its not a totally impossible probability.

SO is the future predictable?... If it IS predictable, then it means its already decided, it means its already destined, it means our choices, decisions and actions are already laid out and we are just walking through them. It means choice is nothin but an illusion to keep the human beings in the dark about their own insignificance in the global order. But all this is true only if the future is indeed predictable....

SO what am I trying to say here>?.. Its not a solution for any problems, even if we are to finally get the truth of whether choice exists or not. Even if we realize its not, we cannot change anything bcoz all our actions including that of the current discovery was also predecided and destined to happen. Destiny, if it exists, is a weird thing, coz it makes u realize that neither the credit for successes nor the blame for failures is ures. It also brings out the irony in celebrating successes and rueing over failures..

IRONY!.. lets try n stay away from tht irony......

7 comments:

Mohan K.V said...

Ah, the eternal question again !

'Fate' , by _definition_, is like a self-fulling prophesy..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-fulfilling_prophecy

Oh, but thats ok, C'est la vie :-)

Andrew Gray said...

Determinism vs free will: it's the oldest debate in philosophy! Science essentially assumes a deterministic model of the universe, and this approach has been extremely successful. The laws of physics are immutable, inviolable, and you and I are nothing but sets of highly complex chemical reactions. This I certainly do believe.

However, that does not mean the world is predictable - at least, not with arbitrary accuracy. As chaos theory shows, like you said yourself, even small changes can have large effects, so that to perfectly predict the future - with, say, a computer simulation model - we'd need to incorporate knowledge about every single particle that exists; so unfortunately, the only computer capable of such a feat would have to be at least as large and complex as the universe itself. I think this shows that the future, though determined, is not perfectly predictable. And since you'll never be able to make perfect predictions, it doesn't actually matter whether the future is determined or not: knowledge of determinism is useless without the ability to make predictions.

Unfortunately, many people use this idea of determinism to escape moral responsibility. Your actions are not "yours", so you can just do whatever you want and suffer no guilt. From a utilitarian perspective, non-belief in free will is bad for society.

On the other hand, determinism and free will are not necessarily incompatible. Maybe it's only because of determinism that you actually do what you want to do (i.e., that you exercise your free will). If the universe was not deterministic, maybe you'd want to do one thing, but you'd end up doing some other random thing. That wouldn't be cool! And that's not what reality feels like, so it's probably not true.

So what if what you perceive as a "choice" was really predetermined? You still perceive it as a choice, and (like it or not) your perceptions are all you have. Free will may be an illusion, but it's a really, really convincing illusion - so convincing, in fact, as to be indistinguishable from reality. So I think we might as well go with it.

wolverine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wolverine said...

@ mohan

the "self fulfilling prophesy" concept is really pseud da... wonder just to how much extent it can be true?.. it really sounds very mystical that if you believe in something strongly enough, then it will come true..

btw tht will mean we do have a choice!

@Andrew

That was very beautifully written man!!!...
I have agree with you completely there.. our perceptions are really all tht we have!!!
By the way..there is a zen story of a monk who meditated until he got enlightment.And ,according to the story, after getting enlightened he went and had a tea! The moral of the story being that the knowledge of the ultimate truth( if there is one) doesn't change anything!.. We still have to live our life as it is, believing our senses and their perceptions...

Also the whole thing sort of reminds me of the movie matrix in which the character named "cypher"(the guy who cheats on neo and others) sits with agent smith in a pseud restaurant and while having chicken, looks at the chicken piece and says:

"You know, I know this steak doesn't exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize?
[Takes a bite of steak]

Ignorance is bliss

mathew said...

I can understand where all these thoughts about things being connected come from. We IITians watch too much Lost and Heroes. Which is why I say, to hell with these shows. Watch 24. Jack Bauer makes his own destiny. And America's destiny too.

mathew said...

The latter part of your post is basically the crux of what I learned about free will in my Philosophy course last semester. It's a part of my life I am trying to Shift+Del.

wolverine said...

da mathaew...

balls to your 24!.. LOST is any day better!... and at the very least it inspires some arbit thoughts( :D ), unlike 24 which makes you think some idiot like Jack Bauer is GOD!