Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Destiny

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” ― William Shakespeare

Destiny.

I don't much like the idea. After all, if everything is predetermined, what is even the point? I mean, why even bother?

Then again, if I didn't know that all was destined, I don't suppose I'd care either way. I imagine it's more the control that I crave. The illusion of freedom would do just as well.

Speaking of illusions, have you heard of the Experience Machine? Imagine if instead of some other entity programming your entire life, you could do it yourself. Think of the life you'd want to lead, pick up your bucket list, and program the machine to experience whatever you choose. And it'd feel real! You would have no way of distinguishing reality from the virtual experience.

The pinnacle of virtual reality, your entire life is practically a video game, or perhaps a movie would be a better analogy. And you wrote the script. It's the ultimate escape. Talk about control!

This idea eliminates risk and maximizes pleasure (for the hedonists out there). Of course, it also eliminates the possibility of surprises, and you never know...your actual life may have turned out to be better than fiction. Then again, it's probably unlikely that you were born on Krypton, or got accepted into Hogwarts. But remember, you will have no real impact on your surroundings (unless you consider that inaction, too, is an action and will have its own impact, but I don't think it could ever have any useful impact in any case)...you'd never change the world, or do anything that hasn't been done or thought of before.

So, which would you pick? Reality with all its uncertainties and repercussions, or a dream- a self-destined, virtual reality? If you choose the latter, what would your program be?

P.S. How do you know you're not in the machine right now? :)

And here's a quote from Gossip Girl: (I know... I'm full of surprises!):

“Destiny is for losers. It’s just a stupid excuse to wait for things to happen instead of making them happen.”

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