virus: Re:freely determined

Ken Pantheists (
Fri, 27 Dec 1996 17:37:05 +0000

Eva wrote:

I believe in both free will and determinism.

>From an omniscient perspective (God, or a time traveler, or whatever),
everything is in a sense established 'already'. Time, taken as another
dimension, makes no difference, just as space makes no difference.

>From a human perspective, we each make decisions that change our perceived
futures. Even though these decisions consist of memes duking it out in
our individual minds which provide variously welcoming or unwelcoming
environments for them, and someone who knew *all* the variables could
perhaps figure out exactly what we would do, or at the very least
calculate the probabilities.

I, being a mere human, work from the human and thus free-will
because it is not useful to me to think that all my acts are
'predetermined', and I cannot know them until I've decided on them in


What an eloquent thought.

That is the paradox of theatre-- Spontaneous human action within a
determined narrative.

I suppose it is the paradox of storytelling in general.

How many times have we thrilled to a story or a film that we have
seen/heard many times and, knowing the outcome, watch as the hero shows
his or her stuff in the climb to success or the fall from grace.

May I share an idea with you?

(And I am already putting out XYZ disinfectant by saying this idea is
not for him or her to call A fad, the product of a gullible mind or
illogical. So do not bother posting if you response is going to be

The Movie "The Princess Bride" was written by same screenwriting genius
who brought us "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." The film is about a
granfather who tells a story to hisa grandson.

The story phases between expectation and outcome in such a way that he
child often interupts saying (No, that can't be right-- the GOOD guy is
supposed to do "whatever"...) So the movie both acknowledges and plays
with cultural truths in story telling-- strong memes.

Would anyone like to watch the movie and discuss?

(We've tried directing discussions on books before, to no avail.
Everyone is either busy or too focussed to read some of the
suggestions-- I'm guilty too- but a movie is fun, easily digested and
can provide all kinds of meme-material.)

Another person who cannot be ignored is Unbertyo Ecco, novelist, screen
writer and professor of semiotics. His most well known work "The name of
the rose" contains an an interesting look at Aristotle's Theory of
Comedy. That would make good study as well.

Does anyone else have any suggestions for a movie-night?

  Ken Pantheists