Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The idea of eternal recurrence is fascinating. It seems logical that in an infinite span of time - with finite amount of ways for matter to exist and for actions to take place - anything that has happened will happen again, in the same chronological order. However, I don't think that this is necessarily good or bad news, or that it makes our lives any more or less meaningful. Even if our lives will be relived some time bazillions of years from now, there doesn't seem to be a reason to believe that our consciousness will accompany the new bodies that look exactly like us, or even exist at all (from a non-religious point of view). Of course, it is silly to read too much into such a metaphysical concept with the intention of proving it with tangible facts, but even if eternal recurrence is taking place in the universe, we would only live once anyways, for that it is not the material that builds our bodies or the chemical activities that make up our thoughts that matters, but the consciousness or "soul" so to speak.

4 comments:

Ashley Bossier said...

I think the idea of eternal recurrence is a terrifying one. The fact that this could be my 200,000th time living this same exact life scares me to death. I enjoy exercising control in everything that I do, so when I think about my life being replayed over and over again I realize I do not have control. If we knew, for example, that this was our 7th life then we could fix our mistakes and eventually have a perfect life; but who wants that? Life without a little excitement isn't fun so why would we want to live our same life over and over again? It's like seeing a scary movie more than once, all the fun is ruined the third time around because you know when everything pops out.

Jack Zheng said...

I agree that it would be terrifying to live in an endless cycle. However, if your consciousness doesn't carry on to the next cycle, it makes no difference that it repeats since you would only live once and the next cycle would be another person just built exactly like you and sent through a life exactly like yours. Meanwhile, we don't know where your consciousness goes after death without resorting to religion and other systems of beliefs.

Madison Cummings said...

While I do believe that it would be awful for our souls to relive ours lives over and over again in a never-ending cycle, I have to agree with the fact that, even if our lives do repeat, our souls would not be involved in that repetition. In my opinion, eternal recurrence is not the same as reincarnation, or the “rebirth of a soul in a new body”. Eternal recurrence solely involves the chemical activities that make up the universe, as Jack points out. Even if another being has an identical composition as yours, I do not believe that you could go as far to say that your souls are identical. To say that our lives “repeat” is to say that they reoccur over and over again, but at different points in time. Therefore, unless these instances all occurred at the same exact time (which they would not) I do not think they can ever be truly identical.

Antonio Imbornone said...

Honestly, the idea of eternal recurrence shouldn't cause too much insight within our minds. Insight on whether or not we have relieved our current life or any life at all should be dilatory. We have no insight on what will come later on in our lives even if it is our 30th time living it. I think discovering the truth behind eternal return would cause madness throughout the people of the world. Frankly I'd rather not know the truth behind the idea of eternal return.