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The Stories We Choose to Believe

tangerines's picture

 At the very end of our discussion on Thursday, a question was raised as to whether believing in a “divine script” absolved humans of accountability for their actions. I don't think that this is true. Even if one believes in a divine being, and even if one believes that that diving being has a “script” for the universe, personal responsibility definitely still exists. One can only claim that an even or action was “God's will” if one understands the entire plan, or has the whole script. This idea relates to our dialogue on ignorance – our ignorance of the underlying patterns causes us to believe that everything is merely chance. In the same way, our ignorance of the existing plan will very likely cause us to misinterpret the events we experience.

Naturally, not everyone believes in a divine being or a script for the universe. But I think that it there is a human tendency to ascribe events in life to some force beyond human control – and I consider chance to be just such a force. The divide between foundational and non-foundational stories we talked about seems to be yet another binary that doesn't serve a purpose. Whether it is a foundational system or it isn't, whether it is science or God, or some amalgamation of the two, whether you believe in fate or chance, we all believe in something. Quibbling over what story to believe seems irrelevant. Professor Grobstein pointed out on the first day that science itself only amounts to a really good story. And as Victoria stated, the stories themselves are not as important as the ways in which the stories are interpreted. 

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