Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Light & Learning Limit Liberty

Do you believe in liberty and free will?  Perhaps you think everything is pre-determined to a plan?  Maybe you think there is a mixture of the two?  No matter your views, we have limits to our actions, chosen or fated.  If we CAN choose, then liberty demands we choose well.

One way to think about time is as a line.  We are on a point on the line in the time we call Now.

Our now is constantly moving toward the Future and away from the Past.  This kind of describes our everyday of experience of time.

The distance between things is space.

We can collapse space into a map of east/west and north/south and put it on the time line as our shared experience of Space Now.

With this imagined view, space looks like a map moving through time.

Some argue that the future and past are is fixed and we move from the past into the future with no choices.

A determined existence suggests that time and free will are but illusions experienced as we move down the line of time.


Many accept that there is free will; that we have some ability to make choices.  We can say we have the liberty of our choices.

Free will means that of all the possible pasts, our choices collapsed into the now that we have.

 A cone is used to represent our collective choices that bring us to this moment.

Each choice made by each individual limits the possible now we can experience.

Once the now moves on from the past, we are unable to go back and change it.

Our experience past is gone.  The choices that collapsed into the now are no longer available to us.

Free will also implies we have a range of possible futures.

Each choice we make in the now limits the possibilities of the future.

This would make the free will time line and its possibilities look more like two cones, one of past and one of future, connected to the now.

Our past collapses into the now limiting the potential of our futures.

Light Limits Liberty

Nothing has ever been detected that moves faster than the speed of light.

The best we know the speed of light places hard and fast limits on what we can do.  

Light speed places a plausible limit onto the future we can choose.

There are still choices we can make that take us to the limits of the possible, but they may not lead to the future we prefer.

When we fail to make choices about our actions in the now, we limit ourselves as if there is no choice at all.   Without choices being made in the now, the future is limited to the probable.

Setting goals, imagining possible futures, and acting in the now, we can move from the probable to the preferable.

This is harder to do and often takes repeated changes as there is a tendency to return to the probable rather than the preferable.

Knowledge Limits Liberty

Our knowledge also places a plausible limit on what we can become.  The more we as a species know, the great the range of opportunities we have for our future.

When we decide not to learn, we decide to limit our possible futures.

Each choice we make limits what is learn-able by us as individuals and as a group.

There are something’s we will never know.  Our brains are small and the universe so large.

Choose Learning

The choices made by our ancestors have brought us to where we are now.

If we believe in liberty, then there is an awesome responsibility on our shoulders.

The more we learn, the greater our potential futures can be.

When we fail to learn, we limit our children’s possibilities.   We even limit all future generation’s possibilities.

There are some potential futures we can already never realize.

Within our ability we should stretch for the edges of the possible to find a preferable future for our species.

No comments:

Post a Comment