TED Conversations

Casey Christofaris

Owner, CS3 Inc


This conversation is closed.

Is evolution/religion/everything a self fulfilling prophecy?

What separates us from the rest of species? Recognition of self right? Some will want to argue that there are other species that can recognize self. But then you need to ask well do they recognize self do to our experiments and what we have defined as self recognition or is it innately in them? So is it that we recognize self because of them through evolution or do they recognize self do to us? A bird called the magpie is self aware using the mirror test. It’s easy now to look in a mirror and say yep that’s me, but it’s a million times harder to say that this is just a visual representation of trillions of moving, living, self-replicating entities.

This is the principles that I would like to use in defining self fulfilling prophecy:
Robert Merton's concept of the self-fulfilling prophecy stems from the Thomas theorem, which states that "If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences."[2] According to Thomas, people react not only to the situations they are in, but also, and often primarily, to the way they perceive the situations and to the meaning they assign to these perceptions. This causes people to have negative viewpoints. Therefore, their behavior is determined in part by their perception and the meaning they ascribe to the situations they are in, rather than by the situations themselves. Once people convince themselves that a situation really has a certain meaning, regardless of whether it actually does, they will take very real actions in consequence.

So we are just a bunch of self replicating entities that have evolved in to a self recognizing being. Will history keep repeating its "self"?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Nov 8 2012: I love deep abstract thought,and this is some of the loftiest. I am going to assume we are pro change,somewhat hoping evolution points to facts that support our "goal". Though no one has said it,Im guessing we are wanting to retrieve lost knowledge,and meanings that were exceptional regardless,of their placement in history. It is heavily implied,there is a loss and a tragedy upcoming due to this missing truisms,....I love this debate...but tell me what are the compasses of truth ....because if you say it..if you speak it it is no longer archived..but current. As for history...whose version is the one we are enveloped in....african,native american? Say it, tell me whose script I am trapped within...This History I am doomed to repeat ,is not the best version...but do you have knowledge of a culture that had better ideas...Tell me...and these words you speak thoughfully with intent ,and caring,and d justice,and harmony,and truth and reciprocity are no longer unrepresented,they are as real as the thoughts you reload into our collective psyche with the words you type. The spell we are under(I am calling it that for many reasons) is so loosely bound,it is only your collective beliefs and speech that empowers this story. Within the question,is the answer...You are currently participating in perpetuating what you seek to be free of....unless of course this is fun for you...but not everyone is having fun as we debate ,while rarely able to disentangle ourselves,and others from the very real fallout of false prophecy.
    • thumb
      Nov 8 2012: Good day Carolyn,

      I am not sure I can fully explain all your questions via written word. However check out this ted conversation that might help make sense of the physical world that is constructed around you.


      I will start with that the only truth is perspective. Then ask how do you if you are a god become all-knowing? This can only be achieved through the gaining of knowledge which is just perspective. We are trapped in the circle of debate, because we seek what can not be seek'd but must be understood. That there are no absolutes; none. Light can not exist with out the dark and dark can not exist without the light. One can not exist without the other. Its balance


      We gain knowledge by asking questions, which leads to more questions. We talk in circles because we are all taking about the same thing but not perceiving the other persons perspective as truth, just as your perspective is truth for you. For the everything is of the mind and the mind makes it real. The best part is we can end the debates simply by trying to understand the "others" perspective. You don't have to agree with it or except it as your new truth. One just needs to realize simply that it is truth.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.