User Tag List

View Poll Results: Are you significant? (see OP for question)

Voters
32. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, I am significant, my existence is not pure chance

    13 40.63%
  • No - My creation was not pure chance, but I am still insignificant

    5 15.63%
  • No - I am the result of chaos theory at work

    11 34.38%
  • I do not exist

    4 12.50%
  • Other (please post)

    4 12.50%
Multiple Choice Poll.
123 Last

Results 1 to 10 of 28

  1. #1
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INXP
    Posts
    5,584

    Default Is your existence significant or not? (read first post for question detail)

    Think for a moment of the inverted pyramid that sits behind you.

    You are here, and behind you are thousands of generations of your ancestors. Each one strove to find someone (or thing) to mate with, and each time succeeded despite the odds, to do so before dying.

    Each time, one of your ancestral sperm outswam all the others, mated, and survived childbirth, childhood and an uncaring universe.

    Every generation behind you succeeded, right back to crawling out of the ocean. Millions of ancestors in a pyramid, and right at the bottom : you.

    To even start this process, the right soup had to be created, the right molecules bang together in the right circumstances to kickstart life. Yes, this is all arguable.

    Think of all this. Are you as a result significant? Or is this simply emergence/chaos theory at work? Are you simply the emergence out of the chaos of a million billion striving organisms in random effect? Does your existence despite all the odds signify something?

    My answer : I must be. All those cumulative generations created me, I must be significant. Surely. Aren't I?

  2. #2
    mrs disregard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INFP
    Posts
    7,855

    Default

    I am significant because I will be significant to the future generations of me. They will say, gee thanks for having sex, Dana. I really appreciate being alive.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Langrenus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    358

    Default

    I've voted now so it's too late, but can you clarify what you mean by 'chaos theory' (since I've not come across it in this context before)...I took it to mean 'random events'

  4. #4
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INXP
    Posts
    5,584

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Langrenus View Post
    I've voted now so it's too late, but can you clarify what you mean by 'chaos theory' (since I've not come across it in this context before)...I took it to mean 'random events'
    Sure :

    Jumble up any sufficiently large set of variables, and a pattern will emerge. A butterfly flaps its wings and a storm hits Florida etc.

    The human mind/personality can be seen to be the emergent result of the chaos within the human brain... neurones, chemicals and external stimuli.

    In this instance, the billions of organisms can be seen to be the set, and your existence along with other humans an emergent property of its chaotic nature.

    Edit : this is fairly helpful, in places Emergence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    -Geoff

  5. #5
    Senior Member Langrenus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    358

    Default

    So not random events then Thanks for the clarification, I'll stick with my choice.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    ISTP
    Posts
    4,474

    Default

    The exact being that I am is one of an infinite amount of potential people, and as I am defined as merely one among infinite, my individual value is 1/infinite. This makes me insignificant.

    As for the chaos theory, which I voted for - it assumes too much for me to agree. We don't know what the odds of life are here, nevermind in the trillions of stars, or if the universe is even random. But I took it to mean that you were referring to the interactions since the start of life to create exactly who I am - and yes, that would be exactly what we all are. Random occurances with only one ending to not make any of the potential endings significant... No more than rolling a dice and getting a "6" makes the number "6" significant.

  7. #7
    mrs disregard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INFP
    Posts
    7,855

    Default

    but other than what i posted already, my existence is insignificant.

    sure.. the chaos theory.. being alive and mobile will undoubtedly have an effect on my environment, but that doesn't mean i'm significant.

    history is everything. talking to someone is a part of history. brushing your hair is a part of history. observing a sunrise is a part of history. each and every one of those events were significant to you and have molded you to be the person you are, but that does not mean they are significant. meaning is not synonymous to significance. significance is subjective, meaning... i'd think is not.

  8. #8
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INXP
    Posts
    5,584

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Langrenus View Post
    So not random events then Thanks for the clarification, I'll stick with my choice.
    Ha. OK. An end result/pattern resulting from a very large set of largely random events.

    Edit : I have a purpose to this thread. We have a lot of types here on MBTIC and I want to see if there is a difference on personal significance (particularly where religion is involved).

    Edit 2 : given Ptgatsby comments, I have added to the question, so that it is significant that life started, too.

    -Geoff

  9. #9
    Senior Member Langrenus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    358

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    Ha. OK. An end result/pattern resulting from a very large set of largely random events.
    Now I'm confused. The butterfly effect is deterministic rather than random, surely? Events are interlinked, and although the cause/effect relationship may sometimes be obscure this doesn't mean events are random?

    This reminds me of an argument I had with someone many years ago. If a computer were ever powerful enough to be programmed with the location and velocity of every particle in the universe, could it predict the future with 100% accuracy? Or would Quantum theory make this impossible? Are our thoughts random or just predictable (but complicated) chemical and electrical impulses? Please don't respond, this will completely de-rail Geoff's thread (but Geoff, any clarity on Chaos theory would be grand...I love Friday evenings)
    Last edited by Langrenus; 05-11-2007 at 11:33 AM. Reason: Clarity
    January has April's showers
    And 2 and 2 always makes a 5

  10. #10
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    ISTP
    Posts
    4,474

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Langrenus View Post
    This reminds me of an argument I had with someone many years ago. If a computer were ever powerful enough to be programmed with the location and velocity of every particle in the universe, could it predict the future with 100% accuracy? Or would Quantum theory make this impossible?
    From what I understand, if a computer knew already - then it could predict the outcome. The only problem is that the only way it can know something is by observing it... which changes what it is (making absolute knowledge impossible).

    A chaos system states that while an outcome can be expected from initial conditions, any error that exists will become exponentially bigger. (It's a lot more than that, but that's the short answer Hillberspace could explain it, I'm sure - I'd PM him if you really want a painful... I mean... complete answer.)

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 45
    Last Post: 12-17-2009, 04:31 AM
  2. [NF] NFs, have you fulfilled your parents' expectations, or not?
    By niki in forum The NF Idyllic (ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, INFJ)
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 12-01-2009, 02:33 AM
  3. What is your chief strength or virtue in one word?
    By Synarch in forum The Bonfire
    Replies: 94
    Last Post: 02-17-2009, 05:17 AM
  4. [NF] NFs: What Is Your Opinion of "What Not to Wear"?
    By kiddykat in forum The NF Idyllic (ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, INFJ)
    Replies: 45
    Last Post: 12-07-2008, 06:42 PM
  5. Type description in your own words...or not
    By zarita in forum Myers-Briggs and Jungian Cognitive Functions
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-11-2008, 01:27 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO