LINK: Lost is going very interesting places this season. To wit:

Whatever Happened Happened...

... So long as there's an informed army of time-cops like Hawking, Widmore, Ben Linus, Abaddon, and God knows who else, dedicating their entire lives to guiding everyone along the right paths, at exactly the right times, putting them in exactly the right places, in order to ensure that destiny "succeeds".

Are you kidding me? No, really - go back and read that again. Destiny needs a pretty spectacular A-Team in order to make sure that predetermination is, well... pre-determined? I call time out for a minute.


So then tell me: what makes all the island's protectors go to such great lengths to do the things they do, if they're truly convinced that WHH anyway? Why jump through any hoops at all? It's funny, but in all these weeks no one in the WHH camp has explained this one yet - at least not to my satisfaction. Admittedly, I first chose the Things Can Be Changed stance because I think it's just a lot more fun to believe the story will play out that way. But I think we're seeing more and more evidence, from both Hawking and now even from Daniel (the original WHH guy) that no one's destiny is truly set in stone.

This is a pretty good explanation of compatibilism (i.e. that free will and determinism are compatible theses); it's only in the ground of free choices that anything can happen like it's supposed to. (This is not unlike the old conundrum of why Marx felt the need to write anything at all: if ideology is epiphenomenal, and everything happens by the immutable laws of history, why bother with polemics? Of course, there are also theological equivalents--but this is part of the reason why I feel like compatibilism is the only defensible philosophical position).

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