Pandora’s Tower: Forces of Choices

Am I destined to write this article or was this an individual decision that I made through my own sheer will. Hello fellow earthlings of Gaia, today is another day for philosophical ramblings, as I will be talking about the concepts of free will and destiny. These two concepts are extremely controversial topics ever since the dawn of time. Many believe we do possess a form of free will that enables us to carry out activities that we determine in our daily lives, while on the other side of the argument, destiny is believed to be the reason we all exist and do whatever we do, it dictates that our lives have been ordained to carry out our thoughts and actions already. Free will in simpler terms is the notion that we have the conscious ability to manipulate our future while destiny is a sum total of things that would happen to a person in his or her entire life. Personally I am on the fence in regards to this argument as I believe there is a grey area that links both concepts. I shall digress a little and talk about two other philosophical concepts that have been influenced by the original concepts mentioned prior and that is determinism and compatibilism. The former is of the notion that whatever is taking place right now is directly caused by prior events possibly dating back to the Big Bang while the former states that free will and determinism are compatible ideas. I won’t focus on these other two concepts for this post but will refer to them, for more information on them check out the arguments between Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett. The reason I bring these other two concepts up is because of their similarities to the original concepts. Now back to the original argument, do we possess free will or are we destined to our fates.

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Firstly its easy to spout that we all possess free will defiantly, that whenever you feel like say, ordering pizza and you change your mind to order Chinese takeout that one has exhibited free will, but then an argument can be made, albeit questionable, that the person was always destined to order the Chinese takeout. The idea of free will is refreshing to us because it makes us feel in control of the situations around us and the very fact that we are self aware enough to think of the idea of free will seems to strengthen the notion. I personally am more of a fan of the idea of free will over destiny and here’s why. The idea of destiny has been bastardized and exploited, for example if a person breaks a valuable glassware, they could easily say ”Oops I guess I was destined to do that”. Now of course I’m not saying that acquits the troublemaker, but that frame of thought could lead to nihilism and apathy, cause I have witnessed people who happened to find themselves in unfortunate circumstances like failing a crucial exam and then simply chucking their failure to destiny. These thought process is very dangerous and damaging. However I understand the appeal to the idea of destiny, the fact that once you are born, your life history has been written out and determined and its up to you to embark on a existential journey to uncover what destiny lies in wait.

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Moreover looking back at determinism which is like a reverse form of destiny, we can see how the idea of free will is also negated, for example if a kid is riding his bicycle, trips over and falls and it is then determined that he fell cause he rode his bike over a loose rock which tripped the spokes of his bike causing him to fall over, there we can see the causality which functions like clockwork i.e. because this was here, this happened. Furthermore it could be discovered or determined that the loose rock was placed there due to water erosion from rainfall, and the rainfall was created due to the heavy clouds which manifested due to the high evaporation in the area which is attributed to the heavy domestic activities in that vicinity, we could keep going further backwards. Yah crazy right? I know, that in a nutshell is determinism and the reason why it negates free will is because of its logical pathway, just like I described from the heavy domestic activities to the loose rock. This notion paints the world to be a huge mechanical clockwork with cogs and screws ever turning and yielding various results.

However now that I have set up the ideas behind the concepts,I would like to propose mine, it is a hypothesis a couple of friends and I usually argued on. As I had mentioned before, I believe there is a grey area that connects free will and destiny. Just like levels in video games or chapters in the title menu of a Blu-Ray dvd, I believe that once an individual is born, multiple destined paths open up with multiple different endings(unlike Mass Effect 3). It is then up to the individual to decide which path he would take, now these paths are displayed like tributaries from a large river, where some linked destines collide and separate. For example, during this individual’s course of living, lets say he is trying to decide whether to buy a car or a moped, there at the point of his decision making, I propose that both destines are simultaneously existing at this time and which ever decision he makes collapses the other destiny not chosen much similarly to the Schrodinger’s cat theory. Now this is were the ideas of destiny and free will interact, at the point the man is making the decision, he is walking the path of his destinies, but once he decides on which vehicle to buy, he has exhibited free will, albeit within the realms of his destinies. Furthermore, lets say the man picks a moped and collapses the timeline with the car, that closure is however dormant not lost, cause if the man experiences an accident in the moped, and then decides to buy a car for safety, now his destiny is intertwining with a previous timeline, but bear in mind now that as he decides to buy a car, further timelines and destinies unravel, like a timeline where he goes to buy the original car when he was initially deciding to buy either the car or moped and other timelines that now feature other potential cars he could buy for his needs. This is a wild thought experiment I developed on my own, it has no merit but just simply my own suggestion.

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What do you think about this frame of thought. Are you pro-free will or do you believe in destiny or both or some other form of philosophical concept. Sound off in the comment section and don’t forget to like and subscribe for more deep topics like this. Now are you destined to read and like this article or did you do so by your own free will. Ponder on that and till next time. Szia.

Pandora’s Tower: Piety for a Deity

Once again we find ourselves trying to unravel life’s mysteries, why are we on this earth? Where do we come from? What is the meaning to our living? and so on, no one has a definite and tangible answer to this existential questions. Hello readers, today I will be uploading a new post from a relatively new segment that I added a couple of months back titled Pandora’s Tower, you can follow this link here to find out the meaning and purpose of this new segment in its initial post: https://hybridbooks.wordpress.com/2016/08/27/pandoras-tower-a-fresh-start/

I plan on posting a new topic under this segment every Sunday(hopefully with ample consistency and focus this will be achieved). In my previous post, linked above, I stated that this segment is reserved for me to spout my own personal thoughts and opinions about certain topics and aspects of life. Today I want to talk on the presence and effect of religion in our society. Sit back, absorb this words and feel free to air your own opinions.

Religion, a practice evident in human society that incorporates elements of faith and belief and granting enlightenment and spiritual nourishment to its believers. I myself am a practicing believer of the Christian faith ever since I was a little child. I grew up on the doctrine and teachings of Christianity, but I would be lying if I say I never doubted my faith and the religion itself. Even as I write this, I am in a constant turmoil within myself concerning the validity of my own faith and belief. In relation to the questions that I posted above and due to the lack of specific answers to this ambiguous queries, most people turn to religion for solace, which in itself is not a bad thing after all, a five year old kid behaves during the Christmas season cause he is told Santa Claus is going to reward him for his good behavior. The reason I use this analogy is not to compare the idea of religion to programmed superstitions, but to highlight the close similarities. Most people believe in their certain deity cause they stand by the belief that by practicing their religion and following its doctrines, they would be rewarded bountifully.

Like I said earlier, I have my constant doubts about my christian faith, but that doesn’t mean I neglect its teachings. The bible is a wonderful book with epic stories of battle, wisdom, love, obedience and many more. However in some major parts of the world, Christianity as been used as a tool of mass control, certain individuals with firm knowledge of its doctrine pose as demagogues, indoctrinating several ignorant or illiterate people and manipulating their beliefs. I remember an old saying that a teacher from my high school usually uttered.

”If you control one’s belief, you control their lives”

That saying stuck to my mind like glue. In my country, i have witnessed groups of people who have been convinced to by their pastors or priests to give enormous amounts of money or their personal assets for the glory of God only to be hoodwinked and exploited. This example is one of the reasons of my constant doubt. I will share one instance that made me extremely apprehensive of my faith.

This happened when I was still a very little lad(love this word), my family had to go for a deliverance service, which is an event in most churches were ‘possessed’ people are brought for exorcisms. Typical each ‘possessed’ person is brought to the center of the church while we members all gather around in a circle, praying and rebuking the demons. On this fateful deliverance, as a young kid I remember the pastor coordinating the service would always demand that we keep our eyes closed cause it could be dangerous to stare while the demons are been cast out, lest they possess anyone whose eyes were open. As we stood around this particular young ‘possessed’ girl and the prayer session started, my youthful exuberant mind got curious and wondered.

”How cool would it be to see a demon live”

So while the pastor kept leading the prayer, I took a peek and behold I saw something, just not what I was expecting, cause while the entire congregation had their eyes closed, the pastor’s assistant, holding a jar of strange vicious liquid, probably a heterogeneous mixture of water and oil, poured this strange liquid to the floor which prompted the pastor to exclaim and declare that the demon had left the girl in a hurried mess. I was perplexed and dumbfounded, I felt like Dorothy when she found out the great Oz was a fraud, I felt conned that I didn’t get to see any demons, worse of all, the poor girl who had just been exorcised was also too confused to speak, wondering if she actually puked out this hideous quagmire that now laid on the floor. This was just an example of one of the things I witnessed that made me question my faith.

But on the contrary, I have also witnessed certain events that also made me understand the importance and advantages of religion in our society, I had a friend in college, who was having a really difficult time coping with the university life, he was always homesick and depressed and couldn’t focus on anything, especially his school work. One momentous day, as we all prepared for an upcoming calculus exam that scared us all, this boy, who had been trying his hardest to understand the school work lost his mind, the stress cobbled with the homesickness and depression that had been building up over time exploded in a fury of raw and incoherent emotions as he went nuts, renting his clothes off his body and running naked on the street. It was truly a sad and disheartening sight. Thankfully, his parents heard about his mental breakdown and flew in to take him home, and after a couple of months he was back to school, his mental state healthy, his resolve solid and his confidence bolstered. While he was home he had converted into the christian faith and had found solace in its axiom. He was a changed man, he became more focused and driven, it was like watching Two Face revert back to Harvey Dent. Seeing this guy’s total rehabilitation really touched me and made me understand the importance of religion as a coping mechanism for some people.

My point is religion, much like many other concepts in society is a tool for healthy living and societal relationship but it can also be weaponized into a tool of manipulation and subordination. I used to have thought provoking arguments with an atheistic friend of mine who believed that religion was the major cause of most of the problems on earth, while he isn’t entirely wrong, that argument can be used for a myriad of other things in society like education, entertainment, technology etc. But I recall on particular day when he asked me a really intriguing question. He said

”What will I do if I found out with empirical and factual evidence that there was no God”

He wanted to know if I would tell as many people I knew, would be angry or renounce my religion. I thought about it and told him, I simply won’t tell anyone, and my reason was simple. If anyone was to reveal indisputable evidence of the non existence of God, that would lead to chaos and apostasy worldwide similar to the season finale of Preacher. People who had been in their faith for a large amount of their life would probably be vexed and decide to indulge in their deepest worldly proclivities that they have been harboring for years. What I am trying to say is just like the five year old who believes that doing right will earn him benefits during the Christmas period, an individual believing in his own faith to do good can be a positive thing. Of course there are moralistic people who don’t believe in any deity and yet still live good and inspirational lives(cause basic common sense is enough to discern what is right and wrong). Over the years I have come to think of myself as a believer in henotheism which is the belief in one’s own deity while accepting the existence and doctrines of others. I view myself as a child of the world, learning everyday and implementing my found knowledge into my personal life, I may be a Christian, but I’ve read on the concepts of other religions and mythologies like Hindu, Greek, Norse etc and each and every one of these other beliefs have their own stories and teachings which can be beautiful. I just wish the world would learn to accept other people for their beliefs and religions without prejudice cause after everything we are humans first before anything else and it shouldn’t matter what one’s religion, race, tribe or belief is. I will leave you with a maxim I came across recently from an unknown source.

Humanity should be the only race and charity should be the true religion.

That’s all I have to talk about today, please don’t forget to like and subscribe for more musings like this and feel free to comment below, do you agree or disagree with my post? Kindly air your opinions below and till next time. Szia.

Pandora’s Tower: A Fresh Start

I don’t even know where to begin, I am not gonna make excuses for my lackluster and total drab approach to my blogging in these past months. I simply lost the spark that I once had in me when I started this blog over two years ago. Over this course of time, I have been able to reflect and experience a lot from the world and life as a whole. I had a brief identity crisis(not in the universal sense) but more in the social sense, I wasn’t sure exactly which group or faction or demographic I actually belonged to. I’ve had friends from all over the world but only a meager handful can I actually consider to be close associates. Don’t get me wrong, most of these acquaintances I am talking about are just regular people with their own ideals and beliefs, I just never found a certain group of people that i could relate to on a very personal and intimate level. I eventually realized that that was one of my biggest errors, expecting people to change or bend to suite my conjecture. Over these past months I have learnt that the best way to deal with people in general is to accept them for who they are, now I know that sounds like a maxim from an Oscar bait Paul Haggis movie but I assure you that the similarities end there. It took me a while to realize that the reason why I could never really fit with a certain clique was because I myself am a  chaotic concoction of various conflicting ideologies and philosophies, much similar to every other Tom, Dick and Harry on this giant blue ball of existence we call Earth.

Hence, I have decided to continue blogging like I used to, this particular segment will be called Pandora’s Tower as eponymously suggested above and the reason is this. Over time I have read various articles online about different topics from politics to sports to religion to entertainment etc, and it dawned on me that much like the Greek philosophies and mythology(which I am a huge fan of) our world is very reminiscent of what our forefathers perceived in their superstitions and myths, the only difference is that we have evolved over time to understand certain phenomenons around us instead of just chucking it to a grand design or ploy from a being of intelligent design. I chose Pandora’s Tower because I see the world as a huge fort of secrets and hard truths veiled in exquisite deception and alluring lies. Now one can choose to bask in these lies and actually live a false but happy life(who am I to judge) or one could boldly go and unravel or dare say unbox the container of deceit to see the world for what it truly is, wherein opening themselves to the harsh reality just like what happened to Pandora. I also refer to it as Pandora’s Tower rather than box cause the world ain’t just one large box but a towering castle of secrets and unfathomable truths concealed in layers. This is what i will talk about for the next couple of days, until I get a proper idea of where i want to take the rest of my blog to. In the mean time, I think i will upload more of the short stories that I have written over time and get back to expressing my love for movies like I once did. SO in a nutshell, from tomorrow I plan on writing about my past experiences, my ideologies and beliefs, my convictions and so more. I will use this blog as a platform to air my views like I’ve never done, I am done bottling up all my thoughts out of fear or a lack of understanding. It seems recently that every one with an internet access now can voice their opinions no matter how egregious it may seem, and even if I don’t agree with most of what I see or read, I do commend the bravery of whoever has the gonads to voice their opinions, however popular or unpopular, because the world doesn’t owe us anything and morality is not a universal obligation. Not every one will agree with my views but that’s a risk I’m willing to take. I won’t kowtow to social pressure or pander to societal norms.

This is a reintroduction of sorts and I intend to make this a new habit and hobby of mine as that is something I have a great deal of problem maintaining, consistency. I look forward to writing more and hearing from anyone out there in the ether with an opinion or two. Please feel free to air your thoughts and no views will be looked down upon. Please also bear with me and my writing skills, I’ve been out of the game for a significantly long time and would like to get back into it by practicing. Till next time. Szia.