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Does it really matter?

mgz24's picture

 From our conversation Thursday on randomness and it's impact on life, I'm still not convinced that it really matters.  Regardless of whether or not our lives are completely determined, we'll never know, so why even talk about it?  We can answer this by saying that it's more comfortable to know that we have a purpose or that we don't have a purpose, but the thing is that we'll never know.  Why not just drop the conversation all together.  For those who want to think they have control then that's what they'll believe and those who like things determined will believe that.  Then you will have the group of people who don't really think about it, and they won't be forced into a conversation.  It seems to me that asking the question just brings about more unrest rather than coming up with any profound answers.  


ckosarek's picture

The existence of agency is immaterial

 After our class discussion today, I find myself agreeing with mgz24. I don't think it matters whether or not "agency" really exists because we can never know. But what does matter is whether or not we believe in agency. We live in a world in which civil laws presuppose agency and in which we, therefore, must take responsibility for ourselves. Believing in agency makes it easier to live within the boundaries of society without getting exiled or imprisoned - if we believe, then why wouldn't we take responsibility for ourselves and see ourselves as having the opportunity to make good decisions? The fact is that that it doesn't matter whether or not agency exists, but believing in agency will make it easier for us to exist. And, of course, whether we believe or not, we will be held accountable for our "decisions". So you can "disbelieve" in agency all you want, but the fact remains that if you murder someone and get caught, telling the judge that you have no personal control over your own actions (except in insanity cases, I guess) isn't going to fly. 

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