Published on June 15, 2007
CHANCE AND PREDISPOSITION: CHANCE AND PREDISPOSITION What is the power of chance occurrences? The chance occurrence is absorbed by a certain predisposition. The outcome depends on the potential of the system or object with which the chance occurrence interacts. The Structure of The Potential: The Structure of The Potential One’s physical and intellectual abilities, including cleverness; The type of vision, namely, local/global, comprehensive/disjointed; The use of certain methods (reflexive and selective), styles (positional and combinational), and ways of connectivity of elements (programming predispositioning, and randomness); The ability to develop The ability to set a goal, to choose a direction, and to elaborate a strategy; Presence/absence of will and inner energy required for achieving a goal; Experience; Knowledge; Values; Background. METHODS : METHODS OUTER&INNER FORCES: OUTERandamp;INNER FORCES FATE AND FREE WILL: FATE AND FREE WILL In Greek mythology there exists such hierarchy: Goddess of fate – Moiras – spin the universal yarn (the metaphor for a program). Gods are subjugated to the goddess of fate. Gods don’t know their fate. Sometimes they can change their fate, though. Later, the goddess of chance appears – Tyche and Fortune. The idea was to violate a program, to give it a chance to develop freely. FATE AND FREE WILL: FATE AND FREE WILL 'Anake and Tyche On the frieze of an ancient Greek temple we see Anake chasing a man, who is on his turn pursuing Tyche. Anake -the Goddess of necessity, fate and destiny- chases mankind who is, in turn, chasing Tyche –the Goddess of chance, the unexpected, luck. The Greek viewed this scene as a metaphor of life: Escaping the necessity of pursuing luck.' FREE WILL: FREE WILL Katsenelinboigen approaches the problem of free will within the framework of different types of programs and their various levels. He distinguishes between biological and cognitive programs; the former are innate, the later are 'acquired by the individual throughout his life.' He discusses the relationships between the zero-level program (behavioral program) and the first-level program. 'A first-level program is a program that changes the zero-level program, the second-level program is a program that which changes the first-level program, etc.' If the first-level program can alter a zero-level program, then one can speak of the indeterministic zero-level program. But in what cases one cannot speak of free will? FREE WILL: FREE WILL 'Free will means that man can vary his will power in pursuing life's objectives. A lack of free will means that will power is fixed, so that any change in man's behavior is categorically ruled out.' (Katsenelinboigen) FATE IN GREEK TRAGEDY : FATE IN GREEK TRAGEDY In Greek tragedy the role of Fate is not that simple as it may seem. On the one hand, it manages characters' lives. This is actually, the first stage of the plot development. Here the Fate may appear in different representations. FATE IN GREEK TRAGEDY:EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL DETERMINATION : FATE IN GREEK TRAGEDY: EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL DETERMINATION It may determine the character from either inside or outside. For instance, it may form such inner values which will not allow the character to change easily his behavior. The external determination of human lives links to either a particular malicious intent of Fate, or to a general promise of misfortune which a character can hardly avoid. In most of the cases, the external determination is combined with the type of a character. FATE IN GREEK TRAGEDY:EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL DETERMINATION: FATE IN GREEK TRAGEDY: EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL DETERMINATION Another way of determining the character from the inside is to paralyze his will, in making him mentally or physically ill. Then the character becomes not responsible for his actions. The tragic hero could be a victim of the explosive combination of his predisposition and circumstances but still have the willpower to change his own program of behavior. A serious stroke is required to change the behavioral program of one whose greatness is high, and such a situation is typical not only of Greek tragedy. FATE & FREE WILL: FATE andamp; FREE WILL Outer forces in Greek tragedy are usually revealed through gods and prophecies. Since prophecies are usually very general, one may say that they are mostly based on characters’ predispositions and subjective probability, as is the prophecy in Oedipus the King. FATE AND FREE WILL: FATE AND FREE WILL Even if prophecies come true, they are nevertheless unable to determine characters’ future development. Even in a seemingly deterministic type of tragedy the Greeks remained believers of free will. FATE & FREE WILL: FATE andamp; FREE WILL R. P. Winnington-Ingram writes: The gods—and particularly Zeus who is supreme among the gods—are so powerful that the decrees of fate are naturally regarded as decrees of the gods; and yet there are times when a feeling comes to the surface that even the gods cannot—or must not—abrogate the decrees of fate, particularly where the death of a man is concerned. . . . There are two differences indeed between a vague destiny and an operative god. In the first place, destiny is inexorable, whereas gods, it is hoped, can be moved by prayer and sacrifice. (152) FATE & FREE WILL: FATE andamp; FREE WILL The vague moira can be interpreted as a very general representation of the laws of nature—the 'ruling principle' that is linked to some very basic, unchangeable mechanisms, such as birth and death, inherent in all stages of life. Although these laws are fundamental and global and no one can escape them, they may not be fixed forever—nothing precludes them from change, which could be a slow-going process of development of new mechanisms of life. Everything else can be changed and altered in a shorter period of time in accordance with a predisposition of the world, and the gods’ interference is a great example of such a changeableness of the primary 'doom.' FATE & FREE WILL: FATE andamp; FREE WILL In this sense, the 'operative god' can be interpreted as a metaphor for a changing world; if the protagonist is willing to reconsider his or her behavior (confession), the world will 'change' (via the malleable gods). For instance, Antigone is aware of her destiny, but only in very vague, nonspecific terms. Unlike Oedipus, who knew the specifics of his tragic destiny, she is aware only of the fact that she will die someday (very general, common knowledge that fits anyone). OEDIPUS THE KIND: OEDIPUS THE KIND antistrophe 1 God is my help and hope, on him I wait. strophe 2 But the proud sinner, or in word or deed, That will not Justice heed, Nor reverence the shrine Of images divine, Perdition seize his vain imaginings, If, urged by greed profane, He grasps at ill-got gain, And lays an impious hand on holiest things. Who when such deeds are done Can hope heaven's bolts to shun? If sin like this to honor can aspire, Why dance I still and lead the sacred choir?