Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ignorance of Choice

The choices we make are made in ignorance (and we’re ignorant of even that much), and as a result of our choices made in ignorance things happen, some that we never expected, some for which we are completely unprepared. And when they happen we’re lost, we flounder around looking for answers and we expend all of our energy trying to find the solution only to ultimately come to the conclusion that there is no solution, or rather no solution over which we ourselves have any control.

Unfortunately we oftentimes empty our tank in the process of trying to find solutions to problems that presented themselves in response to our choices made in ignorance and so we’re left to somehow make it through the rest of our lives running on empty.

What a dilemma.


  1. Some believe in Free Will, some don't, but the discussion has gotten so tangled and fraught with religious overtones that I find it hard to even talk about it anymore. On the other hand, I look back on some big decisions in my life that turned out disastrous, and I wonder how much freedom I really enjoyed. I think highlighting our ignorance makes a lot of sense. Can we really make free choices when we operate in such darkness? I'm trying to forgive myself for what I see as big mistakes, and it helps to put myself back into the time in question, and remember how confused I was. I knew so little about myself and even less about the potential effects of my actions.

  2. Hi Will, I absolutely believe that we have free will. It is the application of that free will that prompts my contemplation on the matter. Even in our hindsight we can see that we enjoyed the freedom and oftentimes carried the burden of our choices however what we don't know are the unconscious forces to a) propel us into those situations in the first place and b) propel us into decisions that our hindsight sometimes reveal to be not the best.

    And so therefore it is our responsibility to know ourselves as deeply as we can in order that we're ultimately making decisions that better serve our lives. You said it yourself; "I knew so little about myself and even less about the potential effects of my actions.". Our art, poetry, music, painting, speaks so eloguently of human tragedy this to me is the greatest of human tragedies.

    Thanks for the comment.