This is my philosophy, it’s the collection of my personal musings and one day I got bored so I wrote it all down. I am very interested in what other people think of what i have to say so please let me know.
I begin my discussion with three fundamental assumptions I hold about life. If you disagree with any of these than you will disagree with the rest of my statement, however they are logical, legitimate observations of the world around us. My assumptions are that: I) the world is reigned by coincidence, II) the human body is nothing more than a clumping of organelles, and III) the world is finitely complex.
The idea of things occurring due to a greater reason is an illusion, brought upon by the human necessity of importance. As an individual, we strive to consider ourselves as worthwhile and significant; that we have some semblance of control over the world around us. This concept crumbles alongside the notion of determinism which I will get into at a later point. The reality of it all, is that shit happens because shit happens and more shit happens because all that shit happened. With this idea adopted to fact, coincidence replaces control and fate.
Continuing to my next assumption, the human body is far less intriguing than we would like to believe. The brain is a lump of flesh. It may be a beautifully perfect lump of flesh, however it is still just a lump of flesh. As well the kidneys are heaps of vessels, and the heart is a contracting and relaxing muscle. What the body is not is a majestic contraption that conjures consciousness. The idea of a soul is what I most importantly need to address. Possession of a soul is an incredibly illogical notion if you assume the aforementioned. The soul is just another expression of the human craving for significance. My second, imperative assumption is that the body is no more complex than the things that make it up.
My third, final, and most arguable assumption is that the world is finitely complex and are finitely able to comprehend is. The idea is a branching off of chaos theory so let me first explain that.
Over the course of time, our methods of scientifically observing the world have shifted. Going back thousands of years, Aristotle believed that everything could be understood through logic. By speaking himself in circles he came up with a number of explanations which were found suitable for the time. Though we now know they were often extremely incorrect, they were as good as you could get with his method of observation; that is qualitative observation.
Around 1500, things shifted greatly. The dawn of Newtonian physics led the defeat of Aristotle’s’ statements. Newton completely changed how we saw the world. Now rather than gauging thins approximately and guess outcomes, things were measure and put next to each other in functions. My favorite example of this is ?y=1/2a*t^2 a beautifully simple, elegant, and logical formula that I use frequently. The importance of this shift is manifold. First, it enabled people to begin seeing the world quantitatively. They could measure velocities and accelerations and algebraically solve for displacements. Obviously, these ramifications are astronomical. Secondly, it spawned an entirely originally idea called determinism. Determinism is the idea that so long as we can more effectively measure things, we can more effectively predict things, a very logical connection. And due to the fact that any action is the product of initial conditions, if you were to completely accurately the initial conditions of something, you would be able to predict any event afterwards.
I give you this example: you are at the edge of a sidewalk with a soccer ball. You gently kick the ball into the street. Using Newtonian physics and having precise measurement of velocities and friction you could, theoretically, predict where in the street the ball will come to rest. After our hypothetical ball comes to a rest it is hit by a car. The impact sends the ball hurdling through the street where it collides twice more and finally lads in a patch of grass on the side of the street opposite of you. Theoretically, if you could completely accurately measure every influence on that soccer ball’s course – known where the cars would hit, how much force would be given, how much wind would effect the ball, what the friction coefficient on the street is, etcetera – it is a logical presumption that you could have predicted, before the ball was even kicked into the street. that the ball would lay to rest in that exact location. This idea is the idea of determinism. That outcomes are the product of series of reactions and with enough knowledge of initial conditions any future moment could be predicted.
The third shift of how we observe the world is born from Chaos Theory. In the 1900’s, astronomer and mathematician Henri Poincare noticed something incredible. Through his studies of plants’ interactions with one another he found that no humanly possible level of precision in measurements would be able to produce and accurate prediction. As I stated, the idea of determinism is that the more precise you get on one side of the equal sign, the more precise you are on the other side of the equal sign. Poincare’s observations contradicted that statement. He instead found that when dealing with things with such high levels of complexity it truly is physically impossible to produce any accurate predictions no matter what level of precision you have. That is the backbone of Chaos Theory. That many/most things found in nature are completely unpredictable because they express infinite complexity and we are limited to finitely measuring them.
Though I mostly concur with Chaos Theory, there is one commonly used word in it I disagree with : infinity. The idea of infinity is a misconception due to Chaos Theory’s roots in mathematics. Not matter if nature is impossible, epically complex it cannot be infinitely complex. As in the example of the soccer ball, the factors acting upon that ball were incredibly complex however there were a finite number of them. Still, humans are finitely limited in observing these complexities and so infinite complexity is a theoretical possibility. This is my third assumption: the world consists of an epic volume of thins influencing on another that though they may never be fully comprehended by humans, they exist in a finite quantity.
With all that out of the way, I continue to explain the bullshit life is. With my third assumption determinism remains very real. As well determinism shatters the illusion of control humans desperately cling to.
I provide you with this example. A rock sits precariously atop a hill. A steep slop lay to the right of the rock and the left of the rock. When observing this, many people would say that there two ways this rock could roll. It could roll to the right, or it could roll to the left. I beg to differ. There is on possible direction this rock could ever roll. Whether to right or to the left is besides the point, what is important is why it rolled way it did. Perhaps a gust of wind pushed it left, or a slight tremor slid it right. Regardless, with all the influences on the rock as they are it could only roll on way.
I give you another example: you flip a quarter. Again, most people would say there is a 50-50 chance of the landing heads or landing tails. However when you observe the quarter being flung into the air, completely however many rotations, and finally coming to rest lying with one side up or down, the reason it landed that way is from the series influences upon it including humidity, air resistance, sound particles, and initial velocities. It would then be logical to assume that if it were possible to completely recreate the circumstances in which the coin was flipped, there could only ever one outcome. The 50-50 probability of chance is innately bullshit.
Now to refer back on my second assumption, that the human body is no more complex than what it is made up of and that the existence of a soul is an impossibility. With the understand that the human body is merely a clump of materials I find that thinking of a human is no different than thinking of a rock on ah ill or a coin in the air. We like to believe that there are many things we could do. That a any point you have the ability to control what you are doing. I refute this concept. Right now I could either write this or I could get up and take a piss. That choice could be considered a 50-50 shot. However whether or not I get up and take a piss is entirely reliant on things around me. If I were to hear running water I could probably have to get up and run to the bathroom. On the contrary if I were to instead bear witness to a marvelous pair of double-D’s I would completely forget I have to take a piss at all. Clearly even my most basic reactions are completely out of my control (whatever control really is) and so the spontaneity of life as we see it is the product of a chain reaction that started 4.6 billion years ago.
With that in mind I would now like to address the illusion of time. As determinism states, whatever happens (EVER happens) is completely a product of initial conditions, and reactions leading up to that particular point. With that ideology is it not reasonable to say that if everything occurs due to it’s prior events, everything occurs simultaneously? thanks to our ability to hold memories, we believe in something called time. However if life is no more than a series of instances, all predetermined and inter-reliant, than it makes perfect sense to say they occur simultaneously. Our illusion of a stream of events which we all can shift is all the more bullshit life becomes.
With these understanding the artificialities of life become obvious. I have shown that we are truly not at all in control of even our most basic actions. I have also shown that what we perceive as time is a misconception due to our ability to hold memories. And so what the fuck is life!? it is a legitimate question. Everything you experience is no more than a series of sensations. Our eyes absorb photons and our brain creates depth. Our fingers feel pressure and our brain creates texture. But is life really no more than the brain collecting and extrapolating sensations?
I ask you a final question: if life as we know it is a series of inter-reliant, predetermined events where what we experience is the illusion of a brain’s calculations, where we are unable to shape or change anything at all, where consciousness bears absolutely no significance, then is there truly any difference at all between living and dreaming?