I have recently been listening to the 60 hour long audiobook “Jerusalem” by legend Alan Moore of Watchmen and V for Vendetta fame, plus many moore.
I am loving the afterlife theme, has a lot in common with my Astral Projects universe, one interesting recurring idea is that of predeterminism, a striking passage describes that we are still moving in the explosion from the Big Bang, and so are just ongoing effects of that Cause, we lack free will but may be given an illusion of it to be sane etc.
I am close to the end of this epic book, after a long tome, but am not sure what it will conclude, perhaps there will be a final twist (of fate?).
I had recently written the non-duality blog post which also teaches we don’t really make choices, that even muscle movements can be proven to have been set in motion before our minds think they have made the conscious decision, and that we are just along for the ride really, or immersed in some sort of 5D entertainment perhaps where we are made to think we are choosing.
Which would mean nobody is to blame for, or can take credit for their actions. Which would be mindblowing. If Fate decrees your mind is to be blown by it, of course. I thought perhaps this needed to be looked into more deeply!
Fatalism generally refers to any of the following ideas:
1. The view that we are powerless to do anything other than what we actually do. Included in this is that man has no power to influence the future, or indeed, his own actions. This belief is very similar to predeterminism.
2. An attitude of resignation in the face of some future event or events which are thought to be inevitable. Friedrich Nietzsche named this idea with “Turkish fatalism” in his book The Wanderer and His Shadow.
3. That acceptance is appropriate, rather than resistance against inevitability. This belief is very similar to defeatism.
Determinists generally agree that human actions affect the future but that human action is itself determined by a causal chain of prior events. Their view does not accentuate a “submission” to fate or destiny, whereas fatalists stress an acceptance of future events as inevitable.
Determinists believe the future is fixed specifically due to causality; fatalists and predeterminists believe that some or all aspects of the future are inescapable, but, for fatalists, not necessarily due to causality.
Fatalism is a looser term than determinism. The presence of historical “indeterminisms” or chances, i.e. events that could not be predicted by sole knowledge of other events, is an idea still compatible with fatalism. Necessity (such as a law of nature) will happen just as inevitably as a chance—both can be imagined as sovereign.
Likewise, determinism is a broader term than predeterminism. Predeterminists, as a specific type of determinists, believe that every single event or effect is caused by an uninterrupted chain of events that goes back to the origin of the universe.
Determinists, holding a more generic view, meanwhile, believe that each event is at least caused by recent prior events, if not also by such far-extending and unbroken events as those going back in time to the universe’s very origins.
Fatalism, by referring to the personal “fate” or to “predestined events” strongly imply the existence of a someone or something that has set the “predestination.” This is usually interpreted to mean a conscious, omniscient being or force who has personally planned—and therefore knows at all times—the exact succession of every event in the past, present, and future, none of which can be altered.
One famous ancient argument regarding fatalism was the so-called Idle Argument.
It argues that if something is fated, then it would be pointless or futile to make any effort to bring it about. The Idle Argument was described by Origen and Cicero and it went like this:
* If it is fated for you to recover from this illness, then you will recover whether you call a doctor or not.
* Likewise, if you are fated not to recover, you will not do so whether you call a doctor or not.
* But either it is fated that you will recover from this illness, or it is fated that you will not recover.
* Therefore, it is futile to consult a doctor.
(As a doctor, I really ought to dispute that in case any bosses are reading…)
The Idle Argument was anticipated by Aristotle in his De Interpretatione chapter 9.
The Stoics considered it to be a sophism and the Stoic Chrysippus attempted to refute it by pointing out that consulting the doctor would be as much fated as recovering. He seems to have introduced the idea that in cases like that at issue two events can be co-fated, so that one cannot occur without the other. It is, however, a false argument because it fails to consider that those fated to recover may be those fated to consult a doctor.
Another famous argument for fatalism that goes back to antiquity is one that depends not on causation or physical circumstances but rather is based on presumed logical truths. There are numerous versions of this argument, including those by Aristotle and Richard Taylor. But it sounds a bit naff, so I have left it out.
Famous fatalists in fiction:-
Donnie Darko, Morpheus from The Matrix and the ethos of Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.
Now we have some related philosophies:-
Existentialism is the belief that through a combination of awareness, free will, and personal responsibility, one can construct their own meaning within a world that intrinsically has none of its own.
Søren Kierkegaard, Jean-Paul Sartre, Martin Heidegger, Simone de Beauvoir, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Otto Rank, Viktor Frankl, Michel Foucault, Franz Kafka, Jack Kerouac, H.P. Lovecraft, Philip K. Dick, Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, the prolific writer Colin Wilson, Stanley Kubrick, Orson Welles, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Fight Club, Toy Story, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, A Clockwork Orange, Groundhog Day, Blade Runner, The Shawshank Redemption all form part of the Pantheon of existentialism inspired people and works.
Nihilism is the belief that not only is there no intrinsic meaning in the universe, but that it’s pointless to try to construct our own as a substitute.
Nietzsche, beloved of students, anarchists and radicals, straddled both existentialism and nihilism.
Its ideas can be seen in Buddhism, Dada, Chekhov, the Marquis de Sade, The Big Lebowski and The Dark Knight, to name but a diverse and very few.
“I think my boyfriend’s a nihilist…”
Absurdism is the belief that a search for meaning is inherently in conflict with the actual lack of meaning, but that one should both accept this and simultaneously rebel against it by embracing what life has to offer. Well, how absurd.
Albert Camus is the groovy philosopher of choice for this one. Influencing my favourite author Haruki Marukami, Thomas Pynchon, Catch-22, Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, Ingmar Bergman, The Coen Brothers and many more.
All I can conclude is that I can have that extra glass of red wine. It was Fate what made me do it, Guv!
The Fatalism Diet
Fat to slim? Will this diet save your sanity or kill you? So-called experts assume people can lose weight through will power, but what if there is no such thing as free will?
All the bullying would be all the more unfair! This book explores the philosophies of fatalism, existentialism, nihilism and absurdism and finds a solution to weight loss that solves the age old debate as to whether we have free will…