Existentially Threatening Questions

What if there’s no free will?

  • That would mean that everything we do could be determined before we do it.
  • But there’s no reason to get all ape shit over the epiphany. For if you realize that you have no free will now, yet you didn’t go ape shit all your prior years of life, obviously you’re not a “bad egg”.
  • Although it would probably make you feel as though your ambitions, desires, dreams, hopes for the world, and what not are merely the result of automation; you don’t actually want these things, your brain’s just hard-wired in such a way to make you think so.
  • A common way to reconcile this is nihilism. “Why dwell on that which is ultimately meaningless?”

What it all boils down to. There’s really only three ways of looking at the concept of “free will”.

  • Determinism – the complete rejection of free will altogether, and often taxonomic introspection upon every future life milestone. Instead of being proud of their achievements, they tend to question for the rest of their lives why they strive to obtain them.
  • Fatalism – sudden callousness towards life in the face of determinism, ironically demonstrating volition. Some people aren’t ready to hear the things Sam Harris and company say on a regular basis. They’re usually weak individuals that never learned to develop proper coping mechanisms for uncomfortable situations. Instead of accepting the premise and moving on, as determinists would, they break down; their proper mannerisms, ambitions, plans for the future begin to dissipate, and what is left is a bitter, resentful, nihilistic savage.
    • If we ever found out that free will wasn’t real, by more than just mere axiomatic assertion—would spreading the gospel be dangerous? I mean, just many weak-minded souls are out there waiting to end up like this, once they receive this apparently intoxicating red pill?
    • The results of fatalism make some wonder, is it better for people to just live in ignorance? If so, that would mean that our entire civilization, hell the reason 100 people in a stadium don’t get naked and beat the hell out of each other is—because they all believe in free will. Good luck sleeping tonight, knowing Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and like-minded motherfuckers are working round-the-clock to undo all of that.
  • Compatibilism – the belief that you’re free to self-determine so long as you accept the plethora of day-to-day, short, and long term factors that play into your decision-making. “A puppet is free as long as it loves its strings.”

 

What if we’re in a simulation?

  • Well, firstly. If we are indeed in a simulation, then our simulators are undoubtedly in a simulation as well. I mean if our universe with all its seeming “realness” isn’t the “real one”, who the hell’s to say there’s is? For that matter, there would have to be an infinite chain of simulators making simulations of people that simulate stuff.
  • But this also leads to a somewhat religious idea for some people. If we are in a simulation, surely then our consciousness probably simply gets “shifted” to another person in another simulation perhaps, without our knowledge. Which if that is indeed the case, that’s indubitably happened to you already, if not for the umteen trillionth time.

What if we’re in a multiverse?

  • The multiverse is the idea that since the Big Bang, an entirely different and separate universe has emerged out of each situation where a variable could have gone one way or another. Thus, every possible universe exists and is somewhere in the multiverse.
  • If this is the case, you’re probably thinking, “So that means there’s a universe out there where everything’s the same, except that we have a green sky?” Which would be true yes. But think about the fact that in some other universe, someone somewhere is asking the same question about our universe. Is that not mind fucking?
  • Another fascinating question that comes up is: if every possible universe does exist, how many of them are habitable to life? My guess is probably very few. In fact our’s probably isn’t even the best universe for lifeconsidering how mostly uninhabitable it appears to be.
  • One existentially threatening thing about this idea in particular though could perhaps be: does it really matter what I do? I mean, even if I end up a heroin-shooting, toothless tenant of a bridge somewhere, does it really matter? I mean, there’s universes out there where I’m not, right? There’s a universe out there where I’m the emperor of Earth, even. All of us. So really, who gives a shit? The people in this universe? Fuck ’em. Everyone and everything in this universe is like .0000000000001% of what’s out there.

What about the fact that solipsism hasn’t been disproven yet?

  • Solipsism is the belief that only oneself is sure to be real; that everything in terms of perception could be a hoax perpetrated by their brain for all they know. People who believe in this basically believe that they live in the Matrix. That there’s no way to be certain anything’s real, and therefore no reason to feel attached to it or obligated to sustain good relations with it.
  • The thing about solipsism is that science hasn’t disproven it. Any attempts to demonstrate to you that solipsism isn’t true can be refuted (validly, but annoyingly) by simply saying, “oh it was sure nice of my brain to show me you showing me that.”
  • On a slightly unrelated note, color does not exist, independent of our perceptions. If we could see everything in our vision without the filters of human cognition, pattern recognition, and all that goodness, we would probably see nothing but atoms. Tons of spread out ones flying through out the air. Nice, orderly stationary ones making up the solids, and of course slightly energetic, also somewhat orderly ones in any liquids.
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