TAUTOLOGY TUESDAY IS BACK!

I don’t watch TV. That is, I RARELY watch TV. I now have “basic cable” but the only time I have actually USED my television set has to turn on football games for my cat to watch (he honestly does love watching “ball games!”) It’s actually kind of funny because I haven’t really had cable (that is, while living “alone”) since I had a “roommate” in Pittsburgh. I had basic cable up until the time I got so sick and had to come “home” and the basic cable in Pittsburgh “turned me on” to so many “old” shows, both old favorites and “new finds,” from Night Court to WKRP Cincinnati to the Munsters and SCTV (SCTV = the best show of ALL TIME … perhaps with the exception of Cheers….). With that being said, I do have an affinity for watching “older” reruns of series – I “watch” reruns of shows while I am taking my meds or while I am cleaning or otherwise occupied (I really cannot – figuratively AND literally – sit and just watch TV unless I’m DEATHLY ILL – right now, just typing this is causing me to have horrific pain in my hip). At any rate, my most recent “show of choice” has been “Medium.”

There was an interesting episode that reminded me to write these “Tautology Tuesday” posts; I didn’t “mark” down which episode it was, but one of the topics in this particular episode dealt with the discussion of whether or not “life is a foregone conclusion; that we are ‘hurdling down a predetermined path toward our deaths.'” There are many major topics within this one “discussion,” including the idea of free will – something that could, theoretically, occur within a chaotic Universe. It is interesting that in this episode, Joe (the husband character, an engineer) is the voice speaking FOR choice (again, perhaps alongside chaos) – that either we DO have choices between our births and deaths or that so many seemingly “random” events occur during any given interval of time that there is no way for “us” to predict what SEEMS to be a “foregone conclusion.” As I have mentioned here before, the idea of “free will” is intriguing to me but it is not one into which I like to delve too deeply; as far as I know, science has all but proven that we absolutely do not “need” free will to function the way we function (there are some fascinating “documentaries” out there about this idea). That kind of thinking or truth, if it were the truth, essentially means the words I have just chosen to delete in my first “edit” of this post were never really constituted by MY choice at all.

At any rate, this discussion occurs around the idea of marriage and that the child with whom the main character (the “medium,” Allison … AAAALLLLISONNNN! Pixies reference, heh.) is pregnant, The “medium” has a dream that the child will die if the couple does get married and so she postpones the ceremony out of fear. “Joe” advocates the idea that there are so many events that occur between the “now” and the “then” (here the marriage and “then” the death of the child) that there is no way to know what will happen and what choices or even events would necessarily lead up to the death of said child.

Where is the “tautology” here? It is basically along the same lines of many of the things I have posted here already – that is, that regardless of the choices we make and the actions we take, we do not necessarily have control over the outcome. That IS VERY DIFFERENT from assuming that procrastinating and failing to do things out of fear is the same as “action.” Although saying “no” to something constitutes at least a hypothetical choice and necessarily an action, there is a difference between the “default state” of “failure” (failing to choose or to act) and between acting and having the outcome present itself in an unintended manner. If we COULD predict the death of loved ones in the future, if that outcome is guaranteed or if that outcome is not guaranteed, does it really matter? Life ultimately ends in death. Right now, that is just about all we know and all we can predict with 100% certainty (again, right now!). So if the outcome, death, remains the constant, doesn’t that reinforce the NECESSITY of living life to “the fullest?” Doesn’t it make the things we construe as “failures” (i.e., the things we act upon whose consequences are antithetical to the ones we wanted / worked toward) minute in proportion to “reality?” If we can know only ONE certain outcome, death, it makes us see how important it is to ACT in every situation in which we CAN do so. Looking at “life” from that kind of perspective kind of puts EVERYTHING IN LIFE into perspective – it does for me, at least! Essentially, the bottom line is that it really doesn’t matter whether our “actions” are “choices” or if they are made with or without “free will” or agency – just that we do ACT.

I hope that was coherent and I conveyed my point! I do love these “Tautology Tuesday” posts and it seems that others do as well (from the metrics I get from WordPress). I was recently putting away some of my books on my wall of bookshelves (photos to come!) and I found some of my textbooks / recommended reading for “Logic Camp” – a program into which I was accepted MANY years ago along with about 20-25 other students from around the world. I do mean to brush up on all of “my” “Philosophy” and especially “Formal Logic;” I hope these posts will continue and new ideas will keep coming to me as I go back and “re-learn” the many things I seem to have forgotten. Thank you for taking the time to read this post and I hope you are all having a happy and healthy day and week wherever you are in the world! I am having a difficult time physically and I really don’t know if I am dealing with a virus or a flare or steroid withdrawal or dental problems or some combination of all of them but my mind is very fuzzy and I just feel terribly unwell and I am in quite a bit of pain – please forgive me if me posts are not terribly clear! At any rate, I hope you are all doing well and PLEASE remember, my heart is always with YOU….

❤ Always, Beth

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