Thursday, February 17, 2011

Definitions: Nothing Is True, Everything is permitted

Sorry for the video game quote, but even before I played assassin's creed I've always had an idea similar to that. What this post is about is something that's important and that I think allot of people should understand. In a way it's the definition of definition.

When the universe was created it was just a pile of particles and energy. Everything was just guided by mathematics, maybe just a handful of equations, or maybe just one. Nothing really meant anything particles whizing about doing their thing. Eventually the universe cooled allowing particles to come together to form subatomic particles, electron, protons, etc. Then they came together forming hydrogen atoms, and then they in turn came together form stars allowing heavier atoms to form (I'm pretty sure I know where I'm going with this). After a few generations enough heavy elements where made to form rocky planets around the stars. At least on one of these planets molecules came together in such a way that they could make reproductions of themselves. Sometimes the molecules would make a mistake when copying themselves often making the molecule to be unable to continue on it's path, but ever so rarely the mistakes allowed it to have more complexity and reproduce it self better(trust me just hold tight). Eventually molecules banded together forming single cell bacteria, and as they evolved bacteria came together each one performing a specific job to help the whole. After millions of years later the complexity kept on building on it self and a plethora of different types of species formed. One of the species found it's evolutionary edge being intelligence, having excellent memory, problem solving skills, and creativity. Eventually this species found it helpful and necessary to pass it's ideas, tricks, skills to live. Luckily enough they had a dexterous mouth able to form many types of sounds. Soon they started linking certain sounds to certain objects, "la" means sky, "hui" means ground, "jup" means sun, so on and so forth(this is actually what the first humans spoke, trust me). In a parallel with the evolution of life language also evolved in complexity and over different geographical areas into different languages, not necessarily evolving onto the one path to perfection or that there even is a perfect language, but just in random unique paths like life.

So why the whole universe's life history just to lead up to that. Well I guess I just want to emphasize that as life, consciousness, humans, or languages, came to be nothing really changed in the universe. Some heap of plasma didn't suddenly become "STAR" some positively charged particles didn't become "PROTON", the universe is still just some unknown stuff that follows the laws of physics.

The laws of the universe doesn't state anywhere that a pattern of vibrations in the air means a set of matter composed in some way, or that the squiggles on your screen mean anything. Words, letters, and language is just an attempt to bring one human's ideas to another's. All these patterns that we are trained to recognize don't really mean anything just what each human has associated to those words. And a key feature is that what each human associates with those words. A language is just an attempt to regulate the meaning and the association of words but any one can see that languages are truly true. If I'm talking to someone who doesn't understand English he won't get my Ideas and meanings even though I'm speaking perfectly clear. He doesn't have any associations of the patterns I'm giving him. And even in the same language I have some trouble trying to understand what British people mean (those buggers). Slang comes up, words die away, definitions change, languages are far from perfect.

Each person has there own definition to a word. To some "a couple" could mean 2-4 while to others it's just two. Each person doesn't necessarily have the same exact definition to each word. And of course with metaphors, similes, innuendos, and other literary devices languages get even more complicated. Everybody interprets every word uniquely, especially when it comes to sentences and story's. Two people can read a book and come up with two completely different meanings. What a book means is nowhere defined in the universe, and if there was a definition made by humans then that would also be up to interpretation it self.

I guess that was a simple concept but I come up against a few problems with other people where that wouldn't have if more people would understand what I'm trying to say now, can't think of any examples now but trust me. Oh I got one although it's not really a problem. When I talk to somebody sometimes I skip a word or miss pronounce one and people annoy me about that even though they know what I'm trying to say and in that case since I was saying earlier there is no perfect way to explain something with arbitrary patterns, it doesn't really matter how I say it as long as my point gets across (logic can also be applied to Grammer Nazi's not needed to being so Grammer Nazi-ish(not real english but you get my point (get it?)) and why I don't really care to spell check my blogs).

An a similar note, just like how the words don't really exist but neither there definitions. To elaborate if you get the color yellow, most everybody would call it yellow. Now add a little bit of blue so that you cant humanly notice, most people will still call it yellow. But if you keep on adding blue eventually it will be green. Where is the magic line between yellow and green? Answer there is none just a matter of opinion. A solution however could be to add more classifications to colors. Add a yellow-green between yellow and green, but then when is it no longer yellow and now yellow-green, well we'll add yellow-yellow-green and so fourth. The letters Y,E,L,L,O,W in that sequence don't truly mean yellow, and there is no such thing as yellow. And this can really be applied to much any term in the world. First off lets agree that a proton is not a pancake right, come on just agree with me for now, if you want to you can but lets stay within the Webster's definitions for now. Well what if I split a pancake into to two? If a half a pancake still a pancake, well no one's really determined that, much less what the size or volume a full pancake is. Well if we keep splitting a pancake it'll be a crumb, is that still a pancake, I can so yes it is you can say no, neither are right nor wrong. Well either way if you keep splitting a crumb you come down to a molecule, maybe water, maybe sugar, i don't know, is that still a pancake? Well if you split that you get atoms and then a proton. But earlier we agreed that that is not a pancake? Well where is the line? Well hopefully no more examples are needed and I hope you get the point. Everything description made by human's is just some made up thing, maybe at the fundamental level there are fundamental particles, but even protons and neutrons are things we made up to describe something, but they don't truly exist.

The biggest point I'll make in this post which is just a special case of my above point is the non-existence of good and evil. I first realized this pretty early whilst watching cartoons and movies of good guys versus the bad guys and realized it's really us versus them. Good and evil in this scenario was dependent on what side your on. Then I switched my definitions of good to someone who helps others without helping themselves and evil as someone who hurts others without helping them selves. But then later I looked at human interactions in another way. No one in the world does anything without good reason. Every person acts on their personal definitions of good or evil, maybe they don't do things they think are good, but no one does anything they truly think is evil. The people we consider evil either have a completely different definitions of good or evil, like in the movie "Rampage" where a guy kills everybody in this small American town to lower population levels, or we don't truly understand the situation like in "Fable III" where the king oppressed the people through taxes and child labor to make an army to defend his people from an unknown imminent attack. Even the Nazi's (not that I'm defending anyone and I'm sorry if I'm offending anyone, but they are history's de facto evil) thought they were helping the world by spreading the German glory and eliminating what they though were lesser humans weighing the rest of the world down. Any act that can be considered evil can be broken down into lesser neutral parts. No one can consider my finger muscles contracting muscles contracting evil, nor a small gunpowder exploding, nor a piece of lead flying at several hundred meters per second, body tissues being torn evil. The appearance of evil only appears in complicated circuits.

Another way of thinking of things is again just pieces of matter and energy obeying the laws of physics. Some rock falling because of gravity onto a person isn't evil by anyones standards(I hope) since it has no control over how it falls it's just falling due to it's attraction to the earth, even a lion eating a person because it's its nature to kill and eat for survival. So why a human killing another evil? Because humans have  intelligence choice, and consciousness? Once again evil appears out of a complicated system.  The mans decisions come out of a neural network of a billion braincells. Which cell is sending evil signals to other ones and to muscles out of pure malice, which electron is evil as it fly's down the nerves to signal the muscles? The brain is just full of particles whizzing about with no control on their own. Decision and choice is just an illusion we see. I, in fact, have to type this blog right now due to chemical reactions in my brain that no one can predict.

All actions in the world are just between bits of matter interacting with each other, no one can be seen as evil or good, only their collection of actions that we so loosely try to term.

However I myself have my one perception of good and evil which I try to follow when it doesn't harm myself interests to much (one can be good to ones self!). Humanity has worked hard on our civilization and I liked what we have done as a whole so far, not that I like every single aspect of human civilization. So my definitions of good and evil a based around what would best help or hurt my community as a whole in the longterm, which will hopefully help progress our civilization to wherever it may go.

You may not agree with my opinions of definitions, but I at least hope that you understand my view and maybe open your mind with some possibilities of the world. I've always wanted to say these things to somebody for most of my life so it's really nice to finally have a place to voice my mind about these sort of things that I've been thinking about for years by myself. Of course don't hesitate to leave any comments or opinions in the comments section once some people start following me!

1 comment:

  1. Deep...and insightful. I so agree with you on your assessment of "good and evil" - this is only a human concept. The universe is indifferent to our needs.

    Anyways, keep up the good blogging lad.

    Tommy R.