• Benj96
    611
    A self fulfilling prophecy is one where the actions or thoughts of an individual have effects or change the behaviour of others such as to reinforce or prove the initial acts or thoughts ie the outcome is the same as the input.
    For example if one worries about being an insomniac - the anxiety can become so great that they cannot sleep and thus the outcome confirms their initial belief.

    However let’s take a hypothetical situation: what if someone could lace multiple self fulfilling cycles into one continuous sequence of events for an extended period of time, how would they go about this?
    The key would be in accurate anticipation, which when dealing with people is easiest at the extremes where the most basic instincts are at work - protection, safety vs. danger/ threat. When love and hatred as human behaviours are at their most potent and predictable interactions with one another.

    Consider the following: a man says they are god. They say they are all loving and know what is to come in the future, but knows also that those who truly care for him will do their best to help him.
    They tell their family “it stings a bit I know but isn’t as bad as it seems and not to worry. Worse is to come.”
    He goes about preaching and most ignore him but one devout religious man with a temper is so enraged by the blasphemy that he punches the man square in the face on the street. He comes home bloodied and a family member immediately tends to his injury he says “it stings a bit I know but isn’t as bad as it seems and not to worry” - the sibling or whoever is shocked by recalling he said this only a matter of a day or two ago.

    He then says when they take me you will visit as much as you can so that you can understand more of what is to happen next. I’m not crazy they just don’t understand yet. You mustn’t blame eachother for the rift growing between the family. The feud is only temporary you will all forgive eachother.

    His father comes in with the general family physician which he called assess him out of concern for his son, the doctor sends him to the emergency psychiatric department immediately.

    That night there is a huge row amongst family. There’s yelling and insults and storming out. Some believe he shouldn’t have been sent to the psychiatric ward yet whilst some hold firm that it was the right thing to do, that things are out of control.

    They visit him as much as they can. By now he’s made three of four predictions that came true. Skepticism is slowly replaced by cooperation amongst friends and family and their friends through here say and a fascination with something completely out of the ordinary, the amount of people implicated in the cycles of self fullfilling prophecy increases. Belief in what the man says grows steadily and so too does his notoriety in his local city. The number of people demanding he be discharged from the psychiatric ward causes a huge fuss which grabs the attention of the media.

    Once he has an interview with the papers or radio he can begin cycles of extreme anticipations on a societal level which no doubt forces him into conflict with law and public order... he predicts his own jail time and court hearing and uses the belief grown from this to impact the volatility of the economy and trade urging believers who have basically witnessed someone consistently predict the future to be compassionate and spend their wealth for the impoverished etc. This has a domino effect on stock markets and inflation. Etc etc the final step in the self fulfilling prophecy is to declare that he will be assassinated. He claims he knew this would happen from the beginning but it is for all people to understand that they must love eachother more and take care of the planet after he’s gone. That only god himself would sacrifice his life for all.

    Sure enough the sociopathic/ psychopathic and power mad CEOs of many corporations haemorrhaging money conspire to get rid of him. And like many of the historical leaders who caused too many waves in society and threaten the status quo his is eventually assassinated.

    The situation above is summarised as a man who knew he would be punished to spread a message of hope, love and compassion by establishing cycles of inevitability based on the simple premise that a). People would act either because they cared for him or hated him and b). His cycles encompassed these decisions and therefore came to fruition further propagating both belief/ care and rejection/ disgust.
  • Benj96
    611
    Oedipus Rex?Agent Smith

    Yeah there are some interesting corollaries in parallel between this situation outlined above and Oedipus Rex. In that a). Both feature self fulfilling prophecies b). It deals with the fate verses free will interplay and c). In an effort of the characters involved to avoid harm, they inadvertently place the main person in harms way.

    But the difference being them is that in the scenario described above the man has preemptively anticipated/ ie in foresight made his decisions knowing the implications whilst his family did not while Oedipus Rex only elicited the true nature of his situation and its consequences in the end whilst his family and the oracles between them knew the truth. It’s a bit of a role reversal.

    Thus above is a man willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good whilst Oedipus Rex is a man who inevitably sacrificed his perfectly good life in pursuit of the greater good.
  • Agent Smith
    4.4k


    Fate: If it's x that's your destiny then no matter what you do, it's gonna be x.

    Self-fulfilling prophecy: A person predicts x, and x happens because, this is important, the person's belief (that x will happen) influences his actions which become the set of causes that has x as an effect.

    I wonder if we could use this in planning at much larger scales (local, global). It seems to, in some sense, guarantee success, oui? :chin:

    If life gives you lemons, make lemonade! :chin:
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    WW3: a self fulfilling prophecy, hence our inevitable fate.
  • Agent Smith
    4.4k
    WW3: a self fulfilling prophecy, hence our inevitable fate. — Hillary

    Most interesting! — Ms. Marple
  • Agent Smith
    4.4k
    Yuval Noah Harari, in his book (a pageturner) Sapiens talks about a government who hires a firm to predict the nation's future. One of the forecasts is a major riot in the capital. The government deploys the police and the army on the day the riot is supposed to take place. No riot. The government sues the firm for the false prognostication. The firm explains that because the nation knew about the prediction, not to mention the cops and soldiers patrolling the streets, the people acted differently and hence, there was no incident. This, it seems, is the opposite effect to self-fulfilling prophecy. Harari calls such fortunetelling second order predictions.
  • Jackson
    938
    Oedipus Rex is a man who inevitably sacrificed his perfectly good life in pursuit of the greater good.Benj96

    Oedipus was the king and therefore obligated to seek justice. But no matter what he did or did not do fate determined the outcome.
  • Benj96
    611
    It seems to, in some sense, guarantee success, oui? :chin:Agent Smith

    Yes it has the potential to guarantee the outcome you were looking for, the major component being to either a). establish a set of circumstances in which there is no other logical choice but to react/ behave a certain defined way or b). A circumstance in which it doesn’t matter how you act - that all possible options are anticipated and lead back to the same outcome ie. a false sense of free will within a circular system.
  • Benj96
    611
    Oedipus was the king and therefore obligated to seek justice. But no matter what he did or did not do fate determined the outcome.Jackson

    To tie this back to the OP, could it be said that many historical figures were subject to this “Oedipus Rex syndrome” in that their goal or personal moral obligation to upturn the status quo or greatly shift social beliefs inadvertently placed them in the gravest of dangers? It seems no matter what they did their mere being and what they stood for was symbolic of such a great threat to the current powers that they had to be terminated.

    Mahatma Gandhi, Lincoln, JFK, Martin Luther king, Joan of arc, Jesus Christ etc - all martyrs.
  • Agent Smith
    4.4k
    Yes it has the potential to guarantee the outcome you were looking for, the major component being to either a). establish a set of circumstances in which there is no other logical choice but to react/ behave a certain defined way or b). A circumstance in which it doesn’t matter how you act - that all possible options are anticipated and lead back to the same outcome ie. a false sense of free will within a circular system.Benj96

    I see! According to some sources...the idea is to surrender one's freedom (free will). Islam translates as "surrender" your will to Allah!
  • Hillary
    1.9k
    Mahatma Gandhi, Lincoln, JFK, Martin Luther king, Joan of arc, Jesus Christ etc - all martyrs.Benj96

    True, they all got killed and are the opposite of the tyrant, I saw once wisely observed. The tyrant rules when alive, the martyr when dead. Everybody loves you when your dead. Your fans will love when you're alive but wreaths are laid by the rest instead.


    I see! According to some sources...the idea is to surrender one's freedom (free will). Islam translates as "surrender" your will to Allah!Agent Smith

    Most interesting! Will the will remain free after you waved the white flag to logica?
  • Jackson
    938
    To tie this back to the OP, could it be said that many historical figures were subject to this “Oedipus Rex syndrome” in that their goal or personal moral obligation to upturn the status quo or greatly shift social beliefs inadvertently placed them in the gravest of dangers?Benj96

    Good observation, something to consider. However, Oedipus was himself the cause of the problem.
  • Benj96
    611
    However, Oedipus was himself the cause of the problem.Jackson

    True he was a bit more involved in the outcome. However some food for thought on the matter, it’s often said that the only difference between the “trouble maker/ terrorist” and the “freedom fighter/ righteous rebel” is who holds the pen when all is said and done - “history is written by the victors”.
    Depends on which side you ask. To the villain - the good are the enemy.
  • Jackson
    938
    True he was a bit more involved in the outcome.Benj96

    Oedipus was solely responsible. But your other comments are welcome and worth discussing.
  • Benj96
    611
    But your other comments are welcome and worth discussing.Jackson

    I like your approachability and curiosity. I sometimes think the philosophers here are most jaded and set in their beliefs/ not willing to entertain much outside their own line of thinking
  • Jackson
    938
    I like your approachability and curiosity. I sometimes think the philosophers here are most jaded and set in their beliefs/ not willing to entertain much outside their own line of thinkingBenj96

    Philosophy is about learning, not proving one is right.
  • Benj96
    611
    Philosophy is about learning, not proving one is right.Jackson

    Absolutely agree. I refer to Aristotle for this one: “it is the mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought without accepting it”.
  • Jackson
    938
    Absolutely agree. I refer to Aristotle for this one: “it is the mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought without accepting it”.Benj96

    Brilliant. I love Aristotle.
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