• Jacob-B
    77
    My Non-Existence in the Deterministic Universe

    Does my existence make any difference to the world at large? Considering my lack of impact on anything beyond my family, a few friends, and immediate surroundings, the answer is likely to be a resounding No. Likely, but not definitely. One cannot rule out some obscure action of mine which in the tangled mesh of causes and effects, and unknown to me resulted in some serious outcome beyond my immediate circle.

    So far, I speculated on the effect of my existence in the world at large, but what would be the effect of my not existence? According to pure deterministic point of view my existence that isn’t possible. My existence is inevitable. It is the result of a chain of events which go back right to the Big Bang. One might suggest that I would not exist if my parent did not meet, but in a deterministic world, their meeting was also inevitable. One might say that it was, like everything in the universe down to the microscopic level ‘pre-ordained’ at the moment of creation. My non-existence is not possible in a deterministic universe

    Even more intriguing is the thought of creating a universe which is identical to ours apart from my non-existence in it. I consider such a universe to be impossible. The chain of events required to get such an outcome would rule out a universal having my non-existence and at the same time being identical in all other respects to the present one. A universe in which I or any other bit of matter present in our universe does not exist would have to be a different universe with its own unique causal chain.

    In conclusion, I cannot be edited out of the current cosmic script and there cannot be a universe identical to ours in which I do not exist.

    As a footnote, I should mention that - even if ignoring quanta effects - I do not believe in pure determinism. The way I see it, it implies a universe which was pre-ordained in the moment of creation and whose evolution is ruled by sort of a cosmic DNA.
  • Lida Rose
    32
    It's interesting that after bemoaning the nature of a deterministic universe you end up saying,

    ". . . I do not believe in pure determinism. The way I see it, it implies a universe which was pre-ordained in the moment of creation and whose evolution is ruled by sort of a cosmic DNA. "

    It's as if because you don't like the implication it can't be true. Liking or not liking something because it does not sit well with a person is hardly justification to dismiss it, unless, that is, one feels their feelings should trump reason and evidence.

    As for one's existence not making any difference to the world at large, on average this will forever remain an unknown. For some like Dr. Martin Luther King, Joseph Stalin, and Donald Trump there's no doubt that their existence was destined to make an impact on the world, but so too was the illicit sexual conduct of Maria Anna Schicklgruber that resulted in the birth of Alois Hitler Sr., Adolph's father. As you've hinted, one simply never knows the role one will play in history. You may have already made an enormous difference to the world, OR perhaps none at all, But for sure, as just an average Joe you can't conclude you haven't or won't.
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