Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Dream Worlds, Astral Planes, God is Dead, and Something Controls Our Every Move – Lyle Hendriks

The discussion was a weird meld of what I would describe as tinfoil hat level conspiracy, psychedelic drug level insight and paranoia, peak breakdown level existentialism, and ego death level self-awareness.

My discussions in Block 2 philosophy were added to by such minds as Jamie Fajber, Ashlee Ann, Emma Jeurgensen, Jason Forster, Martin Norman, Claire Lundin, Ben Mendes and others.

We discussed everyone’s topics, some more confounding than others. Horrible, mutated examples of the English language came up, such as Martin’s question: “How do we know that we know what we know?” Who knows? Jamie asked a question looking to disprove Descartes’ syllogism supposedly proving the existence of a god. As an atheist, Jamie was infuriated by this supposedly irrefutable argument, and I was curious about his reaction. A purely theoretical syllogism that has no real bearing on anyone’s life totally shook Jamie’s theology, which tied in partially to my own question of destiny.

Throughout an exploration of destiny and it’s impact on humans, I have gotten a clearer idea of what I believe human decision making to look like. I described this to the second group I was in, and I got even more clarity because of it. I see a human life as a dichotomous key, a series of yes or no choices with several branches cascading down from the point of birth towards the point of death. This tree has billions upon billions of potential ways it could go, with some tree branches potentially leading to a much later or earlier death. Some key decisions could totally alter later events, who you become as a person, or when you die. However, only one tree branch is explored fully. Your tree can be augmented by the trees of others, as branches combine and overlap, your choices may be influenced by external forces, such as other people or inanimate objects.

I explained that I believe that inanimate objects have some kind of destiny. In the book 127 Hours, the story of a climber and hiker who becomes trapped in a canyon when a boulder rolls down and pins his arm to the canyon wall. On the third day or so, with almost no water and no food, he has a vivid dream/hallucination where he has an epiphany about his situation. He sees the rock coming down to earth as a meteor millions of years ago, he sees every choice he has ever made in his life to become the type of person to be a hiker, to be the type of person to enter that canyon, to be the type of person to do it without supplies. Every choice in his life leads to this moment – and he faces one more choice. Just a few hours after his epiphany he makes the choice to break his arm and cut it off with the blade of his multitool.


The gruesome scene of Ralston’s self amputation. Was it destiny, his own choices, or sheer bad luck that he ended up here? Courtesy of Atria Books


This idea of destiny will be explored in my ‘Phil’s Day Off’ post. Check it out next time.


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