Monday, May 5, 2014

Whatever we did, we could do differently. Or not?

Have you ever thought on the question whether we did, we could have done otherwise; or there is a plan and we are fated to do what we are doing? How many times, being late somewhere, we hate ourselves for taking shower too long or eating too much for breakfast? But could we actually manage that, did we have another choice? Or was there a certain plan how the things were to be done, and what we live, and what we choose from two or more, and all our deeds, good and bad, are foreordained? Could the history of the entire Universe be considered as a sort of a very complicated equation, where everything could be counted and predicted in the way we do not know?
I personally disagree with this point of view and think that we always make a choice, and our choice can be done and always done by us and us alone, nobody else. My main argument is the following: imagine what will happen if I'll go kill some people, rob a bank, do some more serious crime, and then just say that it's not me; it's the destiny - I was predestined to do what I did? Right, my fate is to be sent to prison forever. But for what, if I actually had no choice in the past and could not do anything different but to kill, to steal the money, or anything else terrible that your imagination can bring up. At this point, all the imprisoned are spending their time locked up without any reason, right? There is something wrong with it, and I wonder how fatalists will comment on this argument. For those of you who don't know, fatalists are the people who believe in fate, and that is where the word "fatalist" itself comes from. They believe that there is no choice.
But I do disagree and I think that we always make choices, all the time. We can do good as long as bad. We can help somebody or decline it. We can donate money from charity or we can steal the same money. We can kill and we can give life back. We can give and take. We can decide, and we always do.
But that was all about the big, serious decisions. Let's take a look at the smaller ones. Imagine another situation: you walk along the street and accidentally step on a mouse, killing it. Let's consider that you were walking in a poor neighborhood with a lot of mice, and killed one of a thousand. From a lot of science fiction works it can be referred that this small occasion can lead to a tremendous changes in the future. But the question is: what if you didn't killed it? And was there actually such an option? What if it didn't die, ate something that the bird could eat or bring to its chicks, the bird died and, hence, its chicks, which could grow into big birds, those birds didn't do what they could, and so on, just because some barefaced rat didn't die and ate their food?
At this point, a lot of people will come up with an example of a pretty famous series, "Final Destination". Bad example.
I invoke you to think logically. You probably all know what the movies are about, but there is one problem with them, which is lack of logic. Honestly, it is completely missed. According to them, the survivors of some cataqulisme, whether natural or artificial, after avoiding it thanks to deja-vu, are fated to die anyway, but somewhen. Not necessarily when exactly, tomorrow, the day after, in a month, in a year, in ninety years, somewhen. But I am calling you to think of some things. First, all living organisms including cells and bacteria are fated to die. Second, if we will follow the logic (if we can call it "logic" of the series, the survivors are fated to die, okay, but at this point they should have died at the moment of disaster, not somewhen after. Just after they escaped plane, bus, whatever, they should have died altogether with those who didn't. Honestly, the only thing I and likely you all enjoyed about the movie are those wonderful deaths. Beautiful, aren't they? Just face it: we are people and we can't enjoy anything more than watching scenes of complicated mechanisms and ways of killing somebody. I know you're smiling reading this.
There is another motion picture that illustrates the situation I am trying to explain in a very good and understandable way. The film is called "Run, Lola, run" (which original title should have been correctly translated from German as "Lola runs"). The picture is, obviously, about some Lola who runs. But it's not that simple. She has three identical runs during the film, which she always reconsiders trying to stop on the one which would be the best, when finally stops on the third one. The idea is the following: Lola receives a call from her beloved that he left the bag with a lot of money in subway where some homeless, and most likely very smelly guy happily picked it up. Her beloved, however, carried the money in a bag not for a simple reason just because he felt like; he owed them to some very unfriendly guy from mafia who didn't like to mince. At this point, Lola had to run in twenty minutes from her home to the place where her fancy was about to meet the mafia, and on her way to him get the required amount of money, otherwise the beloved will be... won't be anymore at all. So after hanging up the phone, she makes it to him in three different ways: in the first run she is killed by a policeman, on the second he is hit by a van, and on the third run she wins the exact amount of money in a casino (just right the amount she (I mean, he) needed), while he finds the smelly guy and returns his money, so at the end they meet and go away happily with a lot of money in a bag.
But it's not the movie review. Let's return to the rat. What if it wasn't impudent enough to thrust under your foot, or clever enough to avoid it, or not in such a rush to notice it, or you were more careful not to step on it (usually such situations occur when both run somewhere not paying attention on what happens around). Was it fated to die, or it was just an occasion? I believe in the second of two, but what arguments do I have? Actually, not a lot, and those which I do have are not convincing enough. But if I believed the opposite, were my arguments strong? Not at all. I just believe that there is no fated scenario for my life, and everything else, because I just want to think that I always make my choice myself: that's all. I don't blame fatalists, they can be understood. But returning to the very beginning, how many prisoners there are spending their time under the lock in terrible conditions - for different crimes. At this point, my main argument against fatalists is, why are they sitting there if they had no other choice than to commit a crime, if they were fated to do what they did? The answer is - all, well, most of them, did it consciously, in other words, made a choice. They knew that what they were going to do is a crime, and they chose to did it.
We came to a dilemma. A talk about the imprisoned, or about the mouse in both dead and alive scenarios, can continue without an end or even glimpse of it. The truth seems never to come, and the time spent in a debate just thrown away into the basket at the door over there. We will probably never know, but the majority don't feel uncomfortable about this. Unless we live in matrix (well, who knows), making a choice, or at least the illusion of making a choice affects the mind in a good way. I stopped thinking on this topic at this point, but it's not solving it. I suggest you to just live with it, coming to the goals only you choose for yourself.

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