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The universe is fatalistic

The universe is fatalistic
August 24, 2011, 01:36:35 AM
No matter what any one human does, history will follow the path that was destined for it by the big bang. All things that happen were destined to happen. The interstellar matter which gave me birth told me this in a prenatal dream. The vague memories of this wisdom is called the collective unconscious. Humanity is destined to be a great species to rank among the great galactic civilizations. As imperfect beings, we need time to reach this. In a matter of 5 or 6 centuries humanity will be mostly genetically engineered. Who cares if most people today are not able to be scientists and philosophers? I understand that we are living in the worst time in history, where the ancient order is lost and the new technological order has not been fully realized, but the new golden age will come and whether or not a website plays a role is predetermined and nothing to worry about. That's the jist of what I wanted to put out there, I suck balls at writing but thanks for reading. This thought has encompassed my entire life for the past few months so I just wanted to see what people thought about it. Immortal rules. See you on the plains of Meggido.

Re: The universe is fatalistic
August 24, 2011, 02:17:05 AM
Deterministic is the term we're looking for but determinism in the materialistic sense falls apart depending upon scope. Quantum mechanics still perplexes us for example. That isn't to say there isn't a logical path for everything. But all we get to see is the tip of the iceburg and we probably haven't seen much of it thus far. All we're doing is trying to predict what the unseen portions above water look like.
”The Revolution ends by devouring its own children” – Jacques Mallet du Pan, 1793

Re: The universe is fatalistic
August 24, 2011, 05:56:26 AM
When considering the world in objective terms, we can only consider things based on deterministic or random causality.

However, anything relating to subjects operates according to Will, and can't be dealt with determinstically except in so far as objective considerations are concerned.

Determinism is only a partial truth, and so supposing that it is universal fails both on a descriptive level, and the emotional level*.

* any ideology, determinism included, tends to overemphasise certain emotional tendencies while restricting others. It must therefore be balanced by a counter-model, in this case that of the will.

Quote
No matter what any one human does, history will follow the path that was destined for it by the big bang.
This is not true: our future is not totally pre-determined, it is necessarily Willed, and while objective restrictions to Will overemphasise certain paths compared to others, there is a huge spectrum of possible directions.

Quote
The interstellar matter which gave me birth told me this in a prenatal dream. The vague memories of this wisdom is called the collective unconscious. Humanity is destined to be a great species to rank among the great galactic civilizations.

Well, this of course is not factual, but is significant in the sense that it describes an innate vision common to many people. Utilising such archetypes is a good way to ensure a working towards constructive goals.

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I understand that we are living in the worst time in history, where the ancient order is lost and the new technological order has not been fully realized, but the new golden age will come and whether or not a website plays a role is predetermined and nothing to worry about.

This is a highly important period. Decisions now will likely have huge impacts on the future, and so "not worrying" is certainly not the answer.

Re: The universe is fatalistic
August 24, 2011, 09:10:09 AM

Quote
No matter what any one human does, history will follow the path that was destined for it by the big bang.
This is not true: our future is not totally pre-determined, it is necessarily Willed, and while objective restrictions to Will overemphasise certain paths compared to others, there is a huge spectrum of possible directions.


There is nothing which operates outside of pure causality, even if we do not understand the causes.  We maintain the illusion of free will because our subjectivity is situated at a particular moment in time and moves through time, we witness possibilities unfold according to a logic which when realized temporally is called causality, but because this causal network is too complex for us to make accurate predictions about the future we consider it to be in flux.  It should be understood that we only consider the future in this way for practical reasons.  To suggest that the future is not determined just because we are yet to witness it is like suggesting that the whole universe is not determined whenever it escapes our field of vision, it is egocentrism, nothing more.

Re: The universe is fatalistic
August 24, 2011, 10:27:09 AM
I'm not so sure about determinism any more, as I've begun to doubt whether the rules of reality are entirely fixed.  It is possible that there are supersystems which alter various aspects of reality according to their own rules, which might be the cause of things like Chaos and other as-yet unexplainable phenomena (unexplainable, because we're trying to observe the outside of an opaque box from the inside).

Consider a computer program the code of which can be altered while it's operating.  The programmer decides that he wants to subtly change one fundamental aspect of the program's machinations, and he does so - one line of code is changed in the most miniscule of ways.  Way down the line, in the more complex manifestations of the program's operations, that slight change manifests itself as a monumental shift in the direction of the program.  If we were experiencing the program from the inside, this change would be as unexplainable as an elephant appearing inside your stereo.

We have the ability to create subsystems within our own system.  We even have the ability to create systems which create systems, and systems which create systems which create systems, and so on, potentially infinitely.  How unlikely is it that ours is the most complex of such systems, given this truth?  Is it not plausible that ours is a system within a system, within a system, within a system, ad infinitum, ad deos?  If so, who's to say that those in systems "above" ours are not altering our system, and all of the other similar systems which have their roots in that supersystem?

Of course, we have no evidence for this.  It is speculation, extrapolation.

Re: The universe is fatalistic
August 24, 2011, 10:43:25 AM
I don't think arguing about its truth really very useful. I've seen some cool stuff come from the question, typically from investigations on the nature of the will.


What is the purpose in accepting determinism?

Its effects tend to be that we invest more time into investigating the laws of causality, but on the other hand also leads to defeatism and a lack of training of the will power. "It doesn't matter what I do, I was going to do it anyway!"

When investigating that which we know to be deterministic, from our point of view, its a cool model to use. Giving it unrestricted power is not a good idea.

I prefer more useful questions, like what is the nature of causality? How can we determine it? etc

Re: The universe is fatalistic
August 24, 2011, 03:18:27 PM
I'm not so sure about determinism any more, as I've begun to doubt whether the rules of reality are entirely fixed.  It is possible that there are supersystems which alter various aspects of reality according to their own rules, which might be the cause of things like Chaos and other as-yet unexplainable phenomena (unexplainable, because we're trying to observe the outside of an opaque box from the inside).

Consider a computer program the code of which can be altered while it's operating.  The programmer decides that he wants to subtly change one fundamental aspect of the program's machinations, and he does so - one line of code is changed in the most miniscule of ways.  Way down the line, in the more complex manifestations of the program's operations, that slight change manifests itself as a monumental shift in the direction of the program.  If we were experiencing the program from the inside, this change would be as unexplainable as an elephant appearing inside your stereo.

We have the ability to create subsystems within our own system.  We even have the ability to create systems which create systems, and systems which create systems which create systems, and so on, potentially infinitely.  How unlikely is it that ours is the most complex of such systems, given this truth?  Is it not plausible that ours is a system within a system, within a system, within a system, ad infinitum, ad deos?  If so, who's to say that those in systems "above" ours are not altering our system, and all of the other similar systems which have their roots in that supersystem?

Of course, we have no evidence for this.  It is speculation, extrapolation.

I actually believe there is a lot of truth in what you have said here, but here's the thing, causes which are beyond our understanding or knowledge are still causes.  If a cause comes from 'outside' what we usually describe as the universe that does not make it illogical, it simply means that we do not have enough knowledge of the cause to incorporate into a closed system of knowledge.  The great difficulty of modern science, and why it tends to continually revise and contradict its own theories, is that it wants to assume that we possess enough knowledge to create such 'closed systems', so that every time a discovery is made which violates the laws of these systems they must be expanded.  Also most people want to locate the source of all causality in the interactions of matter, so that anything which falls outside of this domain appears to them to be illogical.  As some people on this forum have realized matter is only an expression of causal systems which do not depend on it for their existence.  The problem for us is that, especially in our era, anything which is not given an expression in matter is invisible to us.  Ultimately all these problems can be reduced to the following formula, the universe, insofar as it is given a material expression and is therefore perceptible to us, is logical because the realities it manifests are logical, our 'human logic' is simply the extent to which our minds operate according to the same patterns as the universe, just because we are not perfect in this regard does not mean our entire means of understanding is flawed. 

I don't think arguing about its truth really very useful. I've seen some cool stuff come from the question, typically from investigations on the nature of the will.


What is the purpose in accepting determinism?

Its effects tend to be that we invest more time into investigating the laws of causality, but on the other hand also leads to defeatism and a lack of training of the will power. "It doesn't matter what I do, I was going to do it anyway!"

When investigating that which we know to be deterministic, from our point of view, its a cool model to use. Giving it unrestricted power is not a good idea.

I prefer more useful questions, like what is the nature of causality? How can we determine it? etc

A person's reaction to absolutist determinism is simply a measure of their character.  Once you realize that every event is determined you still do not get to opt out of making choices.  The Bhagavad-Gita is a good example of the reaction of a true noble to the realization that Reality as such contains all of its possibilities in eternity.  He quickly realizes that all this means is that there is nothing to stop him from fulfilling his potential as a human being, and that to dwell on the past or the future is useless.  Only the present is real and the present is an echo of eternity. 

Absolutist determinism scares people because they think it means that they have no choice, actually it is even more terrifying than this, all our choices are illusions and yet we still have to make them, however once we realize this all our choices become easy.  Anyone who is really honest with themselves will come to see that the idea that the future is in flux is ridiculous.  Like I said this is an egocentric opinion, it assumes that because our subjectivity is situated at a particular moment in time, that this moment has a primacy over all others.  Who would say the same thing of the space where they sit?

Re: The universe is fatalistic
August 24, 2011, 04:04:37 PM
I wonder whether causality might be a system within an acausal system?

Re: The universe is fatalistic
August 24, 2011, 06:29:57 PM
I wonder whether causality might be a system within an acausal system?

I see what you mean, like, read this:

"...it is possible that not only this [philosophical systems that are thought to originate on repressed sexuality] but all of human culture and also the planets and the universe originated, as gigantic tumors, by an inicial repression or twist around itself that produced its differentiation, materialization and solidity, representing the repressed force of God."

You're quite hostile.

I got a right to be hostile, man, my people been persecuted!

Re: The universe is fatalistic
August 24, 2011, 06:53:05 PM
Perhaps pre-big bang existed as everything at once. The essences of everything we deem separate nowadays would all have been unified as one thing. Once the big bang occurred, this 'one' split into 'many'; all different facets relating back to the original. This pre-big bang essence may have served as genetic material for 'existence', with the event itself triggering a sort of instantaneous transcription/translation process, from representations of reality (DNA) to reality itself (proteins).
"The traveler with empty pockets will sing in the thief 's face." - Juvenal

"We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses." - Carl Jung

"Time spent with cats is never wasted." - Sigmund Freud

Those who fancy themselves cultured are committing an ironic manslaughter.

Re: The universe is fatalistic
August 24, 2011, 11:06:25 PM
I wonder whether causality might be a system within an acausal system?

I see what you mean, like, read this:

"...it is possible that not only this [philosophical systems that are thought to originate on repressed sexuality] but all of human culture and also the planets and the universe originated, as gigantic tumors, by an inicial repression or twist around itself that produced its differentiation, materialization and solidity, representing the repressed force of God."



Here's a quotation for you in response:

"Like a downy giving a blowjob".

Hope that makes more sense to you than it does to me in this context.

Otherwise, good show, old chap!

Re: The universe is fatalistic
August 25, 2011, 12:05:17 AM
I don't think arguing about its truth really very useful. I've seen some cool stuff come from the question, typically from investigations on the nature of the will.


What is the purpose in accepting determinism?

Its effects tend to be that we invest more time into investigating the laws of causality, but on the other hand also leads to defeatism and a lack of training of the will power. "It doesn't matter what I do, I was going to do it anyway!"

When investigating that which we know to be deterministic, from our point of view, its a cool model to use. Giving it unrestricted power is not a good idea.

I prefer more useful questions, like what is the nature of causality? How can we determine it? etc

A person's reaction to absolutist determinism is simply a measure of their character.  Once you realize that every event is determined you still do not get to opt out of making choices.  The Bhagavad-Gita is a good example of the reaction of a true noble to the realization that Reality as such contains all of its possibilities in eternity.  He quickly realizes that all this means is that there is nothing to stop him from fulfilling his potential as a human being, and that to dwell on the past or the future is useless.  Only the present is real and the present is an echo of eternity. 

Absolutist determinism scares people because they think it means that they have no choice, actually it is even more terrifying than this, all our choices are illusions and yet we still have to make them, however once we realize this all our choices become easy.  Anyone who is really honest with themselves will come to see that the idea that the future is in flux is ridiculous.  Like I said this is an egocentric opinion, it assumes that because our subjectivity is situated at a particular moment in time, that this moment has a primacy over all others.  Who would say the same thing of the space where they sit?

So, we still make choices, and can't avoid this. What exactly is determinism saying then? I don't see how anything about fulfilling your potential follows from this, except perhaps in some koan-esque way, where despite the logical meaninglessness of the question pondered, great insight results. I do believe that to a large degree our choices are illusions, but that's because in retrospect we forget what it is we actually choose - so it is not the choice which is illusory, but out representation of the nature of that choice. What does it mean to say we still have to make these illusory choices? The statement implies that we are nonetheless choosing, Willing. I may perceive a hallucination for physical reality, and so it is an illusion in that sense, but I'm still seeing -something-.

I don't get what this primacy of the moment means exactly if it's something that isn't evidently true. From my perspective, this moment is all important, because this is where my choice is situated. It then propagates through time. Likewise, this moment in space is al important because this is where my choice lies. It then propagates through the rest of space. It is only egocentric in the sense that it points out that we experience things from our perspective, which is pretty tautological.

I still can't see what the point of absolute determinism is. A model which includes the notion of will seems the superior one.

It just seems to be a different perspective, and says nothing about actual reality. I believe this perspective to be fundamentally limiting unless it includes notions which are typically not associated with determinism, though for others this may not be the case. So long as holding a determinisitic stance doesn't result in a derailing of discussions placed in non-determinisitc terms there should be no problem (admittedly, I should agree to the same terms, but discussions about determinism always have such a defeatist tone to them).

Does absolute determinism have any implications for objective/empiral reality? Or is it simply a perspective thing?

Re: The universe is fatalistic
August 25, 2011, 09:21:42 AM
It's a perspective thing.  I don't think free will and determinism are mutually exclusive - if "free" will exists (which it doesn't, but that's not the point here), then it could be said that it was determined from the start that you would freely choose whichever option you do choose.

Re: The universe is fatalistic
August 25, 2011, 03:21:22 PM
The whole point of the philosophy of this site is this; to recognize that mental constructs such as will, choice, freedom etc. are illusions which have no objective reality, but to accept that our own subjectivity is unavoidable and therefore to attempt to cultivate our thought patterns to mirror those of external reality, thus minimizing the essentially illusory divide between subject and object.  Just because a model is more useful and conforms better to our experience does not make it true, such models exist only for practical purposes, one should recognize the difference between the universe as it appears to us (ie. the future is determined by our choices), and the universe as it is (all future events are already determined, in fact all future possibilities already exist otherwise they could never come into being, time itself is a condition of the existentially limited being), in reality only the latter exists, the former is an illusion created by the limitations of human consciousness. 

Re: The universe is fatalistic
August 27, 2011, 04:45:08 PM
I think the difficulty in communicating the idea of free will in a rationally sound way comes from the fact that, as Schopenhauer mentions, while Will and Idea are both different perspectives of the same thing, the fact that they are different perspectives means that there is a mutual exclusivity between them. You can't communicate the notion of Will through Idea, and the Will cannot be guided by Idea, yet the two are one, in that each is always the other. Yet there retains a strange distinction between them, in which each has a sort of world of its own.

Suppose, as an example, we treat a human simply as an expression of a particular set of genes. Then, from this perspective, the whole of human activity is reduced to the propagation of the various genes. But on the other level, the question of the genes appears unimportant, and it is completely the human sphere as experienced by the individual which is our focus. And extending this even further, we can regard the human being itself as only a part in the larger system of culture, and view the flow of events as the flow of culture. Each of these three examples is equivalent in the sense that they are describing the "same thing", yet they retain a strange sort of independence from each other.

So, the same is the case in the question of Idea vs. Will. Inter-subjective communication occurs through a process of a) Idea transmission, and b) enforcement of Will. If we look at a), what we have is agents who take in a set of information, and deal with this information in some particular way, output some other information - a pure, detached, dealing with Ideas. This is how we typically think of communication - as a pre-determined algorithm, free from any notions of enforcement of Will. Yet, on the other hand, we may view communication completely in terms of the Will - basically the view which Nietzsche proposed, in which all logic is arbitrary, and what is actually going on is a continuous battle of the Will of the various Subjects, from which the seeming order which Ideas deal with is an unimportant by-product. Due to the nature of this view as distinct from Idea, it cannot be communicated through Idea, and so any attempt at doing so will prove futile. Rather, what we are forced to do, is to make this notion of Will known by enforcing our Will on the world. We apply a force to this object, to this person, to this emotional state - but we cannot Will an Idea.

Thus we have seen the source of the notion of determinism. Determinism seems so irrefutably true because it is an Idea, and it is communicated through Idea, and it addresses Idea, and Idea is totally free from the notion of Will - determinism is always the more logically sound position, since logic is a deterministic system. Yet, the relation between Will and Idea remains, and we see this Idea as having an effect - or at least, indicating an effect - in the realm of the Will. When determinism is prevalent, the most illuminating picture of the world will be that of Idea, for a view is being propagated which benefits Idea whilst harming the Will. When, on the other hand, even the realm of Idea is suggesting an importance of Will, we see a richer picture when we turn our view to the realm of the Will, for when this is the case Idea is essentially self-destructively shifting focus over to the Will.

We see this for example in the cycling of societies. When the picture of the realm of Will becomes less important, which we may possibly represent with thermodynamic models of reducing entropy of power, the realm of Idea becomes increasingly emphasised. And by exactly the same measure, as the realm of Idea is increasingly focused on, the realm of Will suffers more and more to the point that it becomes meaningless. Similarly, as Will becomes the focus, Idea declines. As Idea declines, Will prospers. 1

What happens, then when a culture who emphasises Idea meets one who emphasises Will? Presumably, one spreads its Ideas over to the other, the other spreads its Will, until equilibrium is obtained.

--

1 - This notion that that which is beneficial to the Will is destructive to Idea will need to be investigated. Indeed, there will likely be certain meta-characteristics of the system which cause both to be heightened or lessened in equal proportions, while the two simultaneously, and orthogonally, exchange focus.