Thread: Pondering the Imponderable:
03-16-2005, 12:10 PM #1
Pondering the Imponderable:
Some years ago the term "butterfly effect" was popularized by using the example of a butterfly that flaps its wings in the Amazon Rainforest, generating an air current the generates a larger air current that generates still larger air currents that culminates in a meteorological event precipitating an electrical storm in New York City's Central park that produces a ligtening bolk that topples a tree.
Few people however really stop to think about how the same sort of adventitious relationships unfold in their own lives day after day after day. For example, imagine John is walking down the street one morning when a gust of wind blows his hat off. He runs to retrieve it when, by chance, he notices a book on display in the window of a store that piques his interest. On impulse he decides to go in and purchase it. As he heads towards the cashier he notices [again by chance] a woman who is wearing a tee shirt with the image of some obscure musical act on it. It is one of his favorite bands. He walks over and strikes up a conversation with her. They become good friends. Then over time they fall in love. But the woman is engaged to be married to another man. When she decides to break the engagment, the man she is engaged to is devastated by the news and he commits suicide. So we go from a gust of wind to a dead man. The tiniest of interactions can percolate into events that produce enormous consequences. How much control do we really have over these things? Where does it all fit into a "philosophy of life?"
In fact, what makes a discussion like this even more intriguing is that it is always embedded in a particular context. And this context is embedded in another larger context. And that context is embedded in still another even larger context. And the ultimate context revolves around the most primordial questions of all. These:
* why does anything exist at all?
* why this particular existence and not another?
* is existence infinite?
* if infinite, what can that possibly mean?
* or was existence created instead?
* if created, by what or by whom?
* if created, out of what?
* out of nothing at all?
* if out of nothing at all what can that possibly mean?
* is there a teleology "behind" existence?
* if so, where do you and I fit into it?
Or consider this:
It is estimated that if you put but one grain of sand in the world's largest cathedral there would be more volume of sand in that church than there are stars in the known universe. A photon of light traveling at 186,000 miles a second would take billions of years to reach us from objects out at the "edge" of the known universe. NASA recently released a Hubble space telescope photograph of two immense galaxies colliding into each other. Billions and and billions of stars. And yet there is so much empty space in the universe it was conjectured there may not have been even one collision.
In that mind-boggling cosmological context what does it mean to speak of "reality"? In fact, the farther out you go on this peculiar metaphysical limb of primordial speculation the more you come to realize that rational thought itself begins to break down. It implodes into the philosophical equivalent of a black hole. Nothing gets out that seems to make any comprehensive sense at all. In fact, it is so profoundly mysterious that thinking about it is as close as some will ever get to God. Out that far if you don't feel something analogous to a "religous" sense of reality you just aren't going out far enough. It is simply breathtaking in its sublime inscrutability.
How then do we go about pondering the imponderable?
03-16-2005, 12:21 PM #2Senior Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2005
- Your Mom's House
Thats very interesting.
If you want some folks to help you ponder the imponderable post it in politics/war/religion. There are alot of threads like this in there.
03-16-2005, 12:36 PM #3
Ah yes, parrallel universes. Cause and effect, change of events
03-16-2005, 12:55 PM #4
So if we somehow could rid this planet of wind gusts, we would all be a whole lot better off.
I aways come back to basics after an analysis paralysis. Just watching my small son and daughter grow is sometimes all I need to know...
03-16-2005, 03:14 PM #5
If only i had a flux capacitor
03-16-2005, 03:59 PM #6Originally Posted by jon rock
03-16-2005, 04:43 PM #7
This stuff has always peaked my interest... reminds me of the simpsons when homer gets the time machine and steps on the fish crawling out of the ocean, and when he goes back to the present, Flanders is president of the USA..
03-16-2005, 04:49 PM #8Retired Vet
- Join Date
- Feb 2004
Interesting read ........
BTW, good to see you here Patrick.... welcome.
03-16-2005, 04:56 PM #9Originally Posted by jon rock
03-16-2005, 05:01 PM #10Registered User
- Join Date
- Apr 2004
I just farted.............
bum bum BUMMMMMMMMMMMM
03-16-2005, 05:03 PM #11Originally Posted by Blown_SC
03-16-2005, 06:35 PM #12
bateman haha i see youve joined a new site. mm.com bro here.
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