Monday, January 29, 2007

Fatalism



A chess players forum I frequent recently had a poll on whether there is such a thing as free will. A slight majority seemed to think so. I know of only one famous player, long dead now, who thought there was no free will. Oddly enough, he was a bundle of nerves. Strange, since if one is fated to win or lose a game, what's there to be nervous about? It's all been preordained since the beginning of time. Were you preordained to make your fractal art?

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4 Comments:

Blogger Kerry said...

Maybe he was pre-ordained to worry about such things. That's the beauty of destiny--anything that happens was destined to happen. Of course, free will isn't much better--everyone chose to do what they did. Either way, what has happened has happened and no one has any greater understanding of why, just convenient labels with which to describe the events.

Less pedantically, I do feel that fractal art is a good fit for me, so if there is any sense of destiny or pre-ordination, perhaps I'm working within mine.

1/30/2007 2:50 PM

 
Blogger Tim said...

"if one is fated to win or lose a game, what's there to be nervous about?"

The fight afterwards. Gettin' a chair broken over your back. That makes me nervous. And I always lose at chess. But the fight afterwards is anyone's guess.

1/31/2007 12:05 AM

 
Blogger David Makin said...

Personally I believe in free will (within fated limitations) - in other words a limited infinity.
Actually I'd go so far as to say that my belief in free will is my only true faith (as it has to be taken on faith).
Occaissionally I daydream about finding a scientific or philosophical argument (preferably scientific) that proves free will is possible or indeed inevitable - to me it's probably the most fundamental question one can frame.

2/02/2007 10:42 PM

 
Blogger Philip Northover said...

Thank you all for the replies. :-)

I was further musing that if everything is fated to be, how does one account for different fates? What makes person A's fate different from person B's? Was a decision made somewhere to make the fates different?!?! Then free will exists!?!?!. Tah-dah! ;-)

Remember that old TV show, Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In? They had a running gag called, "The Fickle Finger of Fate Award". It was a trophy with a disembodied hand mounted on it, pointing its finger, as though to say, "You!" Usually awarded to some person who succeeded in spite of himself, or who somehow screwed up spectacularly.

2/06/2007 12:46 PM

 

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