A PHILOSOPHY OF THE FOUR-DIMENSIONAL SPACE-TIME
The Worldview of Relative Simultaneity
CHAPTER IV Ethics issues (The Theory of Freedom)
4. Analysis of the Subjective Concept of Freedom
(1) Is-Proposition and Ought-Proposition
This section focuses on freedom from a subjective perspective. First, I will explain the is-proposition and ought-proposition.
The is-proposition describes the fact (what seems a fact or what can be assumed or imagined) that unless you brush your teeth before going to bed at night, you are likely to get bad teeth. In the meantime, the ought-proposition describes the proposition to urge or restrict some act you commit or someone else commits, for example, you should brush your teeth before going to bed at night.
Let me introduce more complicated patterns. The proposition that you should use humanity, whether in your own persona or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end, never merely as a means(*1) is a form of ought-proposition. The proposition that if more than 30% of the population think that they should use humanity, whether in their own persona or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end, never merely as a means, society will be more stable is the is-proposition.
True or false is a critical factor of the is-proposition and right or wrong is a critical factor of the ought-proposition.
In the case of ought-proposition, whether you will follow it or not depends on your own judgment. If you do not follow the proposition, whether or not internal and external sanctions are prepared belongs to the is-proposition and does not directly belong to the ought-proposition, but both are tightly connected. (In the case of this example, things are complicated.)
Whether or not the is-proposition is true can be judged according to appropriate methods, such as a questionnaire or computer simulation. If the is-proposition is judged as false, the problem of sanctions will not immediately emerge.
In some cases, determining whether a certain statement is is-proposition or ought-proposition by just the form of the predicate results in losing touch with what is substantially expressed. Some statements with the form of ought-proposition express the is-proposition. For example, whether the expression “XX should be interpreted as YY” is valid may have little to do with whether the proposition that XX is YY is true or false. This is virtually included in the is-proposition. Conversely, there can be statements that express is-proposition in their form but express ought-proposition in their content. One example is the proposition that Heaven hopes that you will make a decision accordingly.
In the following section, the is-proposition and the ought-proposition represent substance, not their form of predicates. The proposition in which the speaker urges the listener to do or not do something in the form of compulsion, permission or prohibition expresses the ought-proposition. In contrast descriptions about the situation where compulsion, permission and prohibition are made express the is-proposition. (In this context, the term proposition refers to statements in general and the term is not strictly limited to what can be clearly judged as true or false, as propositional logics shows.)
(2) Models to Interpret the World
Now, let me review the development of my arguments in this study. Simultaneity is relative. In accordance with this reasoning, the past and the future cannot be distinguished from each other with regard to their determination and non-determination. I intend to take the basic stance that the past has been completely determined. In line with this logic, the future is also predetermined. This is the essence of space-time determinism as presented in this paper.
Four-dimensional space-time exists. Based on the assumption that the present three-dimensional space exists, all space-time representations from the past to the future exist and are also determined unless you argue for solipsism and a many-worlds interpretation. However, our consciousness and representations exist in moving three-dimensional space. They exist because consciousness scans existing four-dimensional space-time from the past to the future. This is the ontological and epistemological essence of this study.
Then, the question becomes whether we have freedom. With respect to this subject, I gave detailed descriptions in the parts leading up to Section 3 of this chapter. If you think that freedom is a mode of existence, the subject of freedom and unfreedom can be objectively examined and that does not mean we do not have freedom. I focused on the concept of power as a differential concept for existing in four-dimensional space-time and also examined the freedom theory as an objective mode.
However, this is the freedom theory of space-time from the macroscopic perspective, that is, from the perspective of God (who does not hold out his helping hand, however hard you pray). It is not the freedom theory from the perspective of individual forms of consciousness existing in time. It is not the freedom theory from the perspective of living scanners.
Objectively speaking, we exist in space-time as a four-dimensional entity that involves the modes of freedom and unfreedom. Individual forms of consciousness as scanners confirm this, depending on the condition of the individuals. Of course, their condition includes the use of free will. That also includes the use of the will to pursue ideals and a sense of justice and mission. The confirmation does not mean uncritically looking at things but involves these feelings. The condition means scanning involving sweat, heartbeat, agony and excitement. From the perspective of living scanners, it is a knowledge of unknown, and is an experience rather than a confirmation. It is like looking at a live broadcast rather than a recorded video of a game whose result you already know. In some cases, this means that you yourself are taking part in that game. Ontologically, your free will is not denied. However some people would probably counter argue that this is not a form of freedom.
The question is what is wrong with this thinking. At least, this thinking is not a logical problem if you approach this worldview only to interpret the world in a follow-up manner. Worldviews cannot exist outside of the world. Worldviews exist within the consciousness of individuals and may cause individuals to take action. They are even required to work that way. Worldviews are components of the world.
You could argue that it is predetermined in terms of four-dimensional space-time that I have such worldviews and that I write them in this paper. It is possible to interpret this fact in a totally consistent way. The question is why does the argument leave room for uncomfortable, awkward feelings.
That may just be the result of language. Fundamentally, our language was not created to interpret the world. Language in its primitive form is not peculiar to human beings. Many other animals have a communication system for sending and receiving signals. Higher order mammals use scent, as well as several types of cries and gestures with specific meanings, but they do not use these means to interpret the world. Mammals use them to control their behaviors in relation to other individuals, such as sending information about danger and games and courtship. Humans are the only species that communicate by using language to interpret the world.
Human beings have controlled the earth by acquiring an overwhelmingly higher-level information-processing capability as compared with other creatures. There are many high-level aspects and human beings are particularly outstanding in terms of creating world models and conducting simulated tests. Human beings can conceptually understand the world and even describe things that are not actually occurring in front of them. They can prepare appropriate actions by manipulating the concepts of enemies and games in the world of ideas, without those enemies and games actually being in front of them. They developed agriculture and stock farming through understanding the laws of nature, the celestial bodies and the four seasons. Language has enabled them to comprehensively communicate many individual experiences well beyond the limits of region and time.
The most important subsystem within the ethical system may be the control system of right and wrong. This is a kind of two-valued logic. It is possible to think that three-valued logic, which involves right, wrong and other elements, also exists. But this thinking can involve tensions such as in the case of the division of the three powers and is not suitable for a flexible response, although it is stable. Therefore, that system seems to be unlikely to survive. Essentially, the two-valued logic system, that is, the alternative control system, can be observed in every area of the activities of life. Both the endocrine and nervous systems maintain their balance through the antagonism between the two directions of promotion and control. The criteria of right and wrong may have worked as a signal to promote and control human behaviors in terms of the natural expansion of such a general control system into the language system. Utterances and gestures for the purposes of temporal promotion and control are information control activities that human beings and many other living things conduct. However human beings, with their extremely high-level language systems, can imagine a situation that is not actually occurring, envisage abstract and conceptualized ideas and apply logical thinking and judgments to them. In accordance with this reasoning, one bit information about behavioral promotion and control, such as right and wrong, is given as conceptual attributes. I imagine that this forms the foundation for primitive ethical systems. For this control system to develop into a high-level hierarchy at human cultural levels, it needs to unite with objective world models.
Which world model you retain affects its likelihood of survival. More objective and universal world models will lead a group to an advantageous situation. The world model leading the group to an advantageous situation will be retained by the group and will also be transmitted to other groups. In this way, good objective world models will take root in society and expand like a kind of cultural meme.
In addition, mental functions, such as self-consciousness, also develop and become more complicated through group activities. The challenge of how to position the existence of oneself and others in world models emerges and a model such as the afterlife is also considered. World models are required to work as comprehensive and systematic models, including the mental world, without remaining as models in nature. Those models will work more appropriately as tools to control human behaviors. In some cases, everything will be comprehensively modeled with spirituality like animism. Human beings are characterized by their ability to construct such ideas as previous life, hell and heaven and find meaning in their daily activities and lives on the basis of those ideas. Nascent forms of religion occur in every part of the world. Then, these forms undergo natural selection and several major religious thoughts develop while a local form is maintained in each region. Religion has worked and is currently working as a great mother body of spiritual function for human beings to interpret the world based on a systematic world model from which philosophy and science were derived.
World-interpretation models have developed as a tool to control behavior, nature and human relations. Therefore, they take undifferentiated forms with regard to the is-proposition and the ought-proposition. The essential functions of language are related to the ought-proposition. The proposition form or imperative form, “should,” “must” and “must not,” is a primary form of language. Human beings, as a species, use language primarily to live and control their own behaviors and the behaviors of others and the entire group, not to interpret the world. However, the ought-proposition is convincing only when argued on the basis of the is-proposition. Even if you are ordered to do or not do something, you will not obey the order unless there is a power behind it. If someone explains the world and the current situation (or God’s will) in detail, you will be convinced and take action. This may be based on an accumulation of successful cases in which humankind acted on the basis of world models. In this way, the is-proposition supports the ought-proposition. It is quite natural that both types of proposition are united as one in human thought. Humankind has systematized various forms of the ought-proposition into an ethical system. It is united with world-interpretation models and has developed in the form of thought including religion and philosophy. World image, worldview and religious commandments are inseparable.
In human society, everything leads to the division of labor as individuals and groups develop as an organization. Naturally, forms of thought were divided into two parts, the ought-proposition part and the is-proposition part. The ought-proposition was established as morals and ethics and the is-proposition as natural philosophy (science). The history of social science’s break from moral philosophy is still short. We may be able to say that the nature of social science prevents the is-proposition from completely separating from the ought-proposition. However, at least in natural science, the ought-proposition is basically removed (apart from scientific methodology and technological theories). The point is how the world is objectively constructed independently from the ought-proposition and the aim is construction of the world models as consistent logical systems.
World models concerning the is-proposition are not used just to interpret the world, although the roles of world models are disparate. Appropriate world models are suitable for practical human activities and if effective world models unprecedented in the history of humankind are created, they will work to change the direction of human activities. World models can work as a significant factor for the formation of human history and can also become components of the history of human society. The effect of recognition in natural science on military operations and industrial and medical activities is a typical example. Objective world models provide information-processing capability for human beings, which has resulted in providing humans with new freedom and responsibility.
In accordance with this reasoning, the technological theories of natural science are closely linked with the ought-proposition system. Of course, while they are supported by the is-proposition, technological theories are related to the demands from the historical environments behind them. Changes in the ethical system and technological challenges are tightly connected, from how to manage efficient mass production to how to coexist and harmonize with the natural environment. In addition, how you construct world models in the field of social science is complexly linked with how you intend to approach the world. You need to pay attention to the ought-proposition. However, while convincing systems are supported by the is-proposition, neutral, objective descriptions free from particular interests are also pursued.
World-interpretation models are forced to be a means by which humans can live and operate in some way or other within their society. It may be difficult for the models to just continue to interpret the world but it is quite natural because such interpretation is the result of efforts by human beings as a species.
From this perspective, total monism is difficult to address. It is difficult to handle the world model as a tool unless the world model treats the world as a composition of two opposing terms: human beings as the subject of action and nature as the object of action. Humans who think and act in the framework of world-interpretation models are required to be regarded as special independent entities, but complete monism does not perceive human will and action as special.
Four-dimensional space-time philosophy belongs to a type of complete monism in the materialistic and naturalistic senses. This thought is often considered immoral because it is incompatible with ethical systems based on the binary opposition of the subject and object. Those with monistic thinking even try to interpret their own immorality in a monistic way.
These descriptions show my interpretation of phenomena that cannot be sufficiently described by the term “consistent interpretations” alone, which may be another interpretation.
(3) World Models for Responsibility and the Ought-Proposition and Space-time Determinism
I mentioned the subject of responsibility in the previous section. Obtaining freedom based on some kind of power and capability can involve a state of responsibility. In this case, a state of responsibility refers to an objective state. This viewpoint is based on macroscopic approaches to four-dimensional space-time. From the perspective of scanning-oriented subjects and the ethical system as a control structure among those subjects, responsibility constitutes a construct of ideas and plays an important role in inducing the action subject to make deliberate or bold decisions. In addition, if any problem occurs, the responsibility of the people involved with the problem matters. This social action of pursuing one’s responsibility works to prevent similar mistakes from being made in similar situations and facilitates the stability and growth of the entire group. Like an antigen-antibody reaction inside the body, the pursuit of responsibility is a significant function in human society.
The worldview of four-dimensional space-time is another form of worldview. In the eyes of people who live and act in the world, a worldview is both a subject of interpretation and is often required to be positively incorporated into some kind of ethical system. However, it may be somewhat problematic if you directly incorporate the worldview of four-dimensional space-time, particularly the worldview of space-time determinism, into ethical systems.
In accordance with the logic of space-time determinism, if the past has been completely determined, the future also has to be totally predetermined. I take the basic stance that the past has been completely determined. Therefore, I consider that the future is also totally predetermined, but I have no idea of how. In accordance with this reasoning, can we blame people for their mistakes on the basis of the assumption that the future is completely predetermined? It might be possible to justify the logic that any mistake is predetermined and there is nothing we can do about it. Therefore, blaming individuals for their mistakes is inappropriate. In contrast, if you take the stance that the past has not been completely determined, doing so will cause another problem. The question is to which past does the responsibility to be pursued belong.
Ethical systems with which we have long been familiar are based on the world model which assumes that the past has been determined and the future is not predetermined. This world model lacks validity unless the absoluteness of simultaneity is guaranteed and is incompatible with the theory of relativity.
The question is whether you can blame someone for his or her crime under this total determinism. In accordance with this reasoning, we could consider that any crime had to happen and is inevitable that the crime would be committed. In principle, blaming the criminal makes no sense. By the same token, it is thinkable that someone who is working hard to realize his or her goals will lose his or her courage and ambition because the result is predetermined.
Suppose that someone thinks this way on the basis of space-time determinism. The idea of space-time determinism suggests that the appearance of such a person has already been determined. Or imagine that someone thinks that space-time determinism is the wrong way of thinking and threatens to destroy ethical systems and he or she cannot accept this thinking. In this case as well, space-time determinism argues that the appearance of such a person has already been determined.
In any case, the framework of space-time determinism interprets everything as being predetermined with no exceptions. I have a negative reaction to this thinking, but likes and dislikes are different from right and wrong. For example, if a coworker whom you do not like presents a good idea at a meeting, a sensible business person will consider the idea.
To put this another way, space-time determinism cannot be incorporated into ethical systems. Ethical systems can be established only from the perspective of scanning space-time. The world image presented by space-time determinism is completely specific. Our world image is based only on the past. In contrast, space-time determinism insists on the concreteness of existences in every space-time area from the past to the future, but world models required by ethical systems must have some form of abstractiveness and generality. That is, ethical systems need such world models that involve parameters and present a different modality of the world by changing the variable parts of the parameters. To put this another way, the world model based on the assumption of counterfactual definiteness, which considers that if A is B, it would also be C, is essential. (I also mentioned the assumption of counterfactual definiteness in Part 3 in Section 8 of Chapter 1.)
Ontologically, it is unthinkable that abstract variable models exist as they are. Even if you dare to argue for their existence, you can say that they exist in the form of specific cases. But when you focus on the ought-proposition, you think as if there were abstract variable models and a person puts them into practice on the basis of his or her judgment and their specific representations emerge. In this context, human judgments and actions are relatively independent from world models and are particularly represented in parameters. We have practical experience using these models. Some of those successful cases are based on experiencing failure and the top priority of trial and error targets parametric judgments and actions. The structure of these models is efficient for trial and error and the focus becomes clearer when we examine parametric factors in social judgment and action such as pursuing responsibility. Therefore, human beings as practicing subjects choose these world models, increasing efficiency through trial and error.
However space-time determinism indiscriminately handles all specific existences from the past to the future. In that context, human judgments and actions cannot be represented in parameters and are not compatible with ethical systems.
Then, the question is what I should do as long as I recognize space-time determinism. For a long period, this is the most significant problem I have faced. I live in the world as an individual being. As long as I live as an individual, I cannot avoid involvement in judging the ought-proposition. It touches on many different hierarchical levels. Examples of the ought-proposition in daily life are “you should keep the window open while cleaning your room” and “you should take out the resource garbage on Tuesday.” The ought-proposition in business includes statements such as “the XX method should be employed to design something” and “you should take advance measures if you cannot finish your work by the deadline.” Whether work is public or private, not many jobs just interpret the world, with the exception of educational jobs. We usually spend much of our time on transmitting, receiving and processing the ought-proposition. Personal interests also involve various ought-propositions. Some examples are “you need to improve your tee shot,” “you must not get involved with any crooked business,” “social disparities should be resolved,” “the corporate tax rate should be lowered to raise Japan’s international competitiveness,” “the governor should make the truth of the scandal clear” and “all nuclear tests must be banned.” The ought-proposition does not include such statements as “the galaxy should change like this” and “hydrogen atoms should be like this.” In recent years, even human genes have been discussed in light of the ought-proposition, and we are increasingly affected by this kind of ought-proposition as human beings.
I cannot avoid being involved in this type of ought-proposition as a living scanner. There may be various levels of involvement in this ought-proposition, but I can be exposed to various resistant forces and pressures during actual and specific life events and the situation does not allow me to just interpret the world. I have to judge something as right or wrong and say that you should do that or should not do that. Otherwise, I and those I am closest to (to the extent that they matter) will not be able to live or will be harmed. Because of this, the difficulty is to secure purely objective factors in handling the ought-proposition. Being involved in the ought-proposition means being absorbed into your own existence, which could potentially lose balance. This is inevitable. In addition, what is more complicated, hegemonic struggles for the ought-proposition require general, universal and objective factors in order to succeed. It is undeniable that you and other people believe in that objectivity. There are some cases in which you believe in that objectivity rather seriously. Or you search for what you can reliably believe. My thoughts are not just mine. In situations in which various social issues are reported as well as the conduct of social movements, my thoughts, judgments and actions are affected by their accidental qualities and in some cases, my thinking can affect other people.
Space-time determinism may only be the ultimate form of cynicism that gives abstract interpretations to social events, social problems and social movements in a detached manner. The question becomes if I can live my life in the world of the ought-proposition by believing in space-time determinism? (As a matter of fact, I can and I do. In contrast, there are cases in which people who have pure ideas free from cynicism commit suicide bombings.)
In a sense since Socrates, cynicism may have been a basic philosophical stance. Cynicism may work as an essential catalyst for refining critical thinking. It is certain that if this stance becomes autotelic, thoughts will become poor or comical, which was the ending for the Cynics.
Jumping to a conclusion in this context may be meaningless. Approaching cynicism by aimlessly considering logical consistency makes no substantial sense. Essentially, what is philosophy? I am not in a position to present such a serious proposition. My aim is to consider what philosophy means to me. For what reason did I seek philosophy? To interpret the world in a consistent and systematic way? To find some guideline for how I should live in the world? To find some meaning in my life? Or to actively change the world?
(4) Historical Assessment
Our understanding of history is complicated. We understand the past on the basis of historical facts. If we do not have enough information about the past, we usually make various hypotheses and examine them for consistency using as much information as is available. These efforts have for example caused contemporary people to have views different from my generation on how the dinosaurs walked. Historical views on ancient Japan have changed dramatically during the last ten or so years, but critical historical truths have yet to be sufficiently explored. In recent years, people have had new ideas about how people in the Edo period (1603–1867) lived. These changes have been caused by the acquisition of new knowledge, as well as the paradigm shift in the understanding of history.
We have only a limited ability to represent the past and therefore we cannot reproduce all past things in a realistic way. We have no other choice but to speculate and reconstruct past events to the best of our ability according to some kind of schema or historical model. That is, we understand history on the basis of historical views. As these historical views reflect some forms of ethical systems as well as political intentions concerning the ought-proposition, they are exceedingly complicated. Changes in political power relationships cause either the emperor-centered historical view or the materialistic interpretation of history to be predominant.
In this book, I do not intend to discuss which historical view is correct. That is outside of the framework of this study, but whatever historical view you have about past events, there is only one truth, and multiple or innumerable historical facts do not exist in parallel at the same time. Not only historians but also the general population has regarded this interpretation as a common-sense assumption. There is little doubt about this assumption based on common sense, but physically, the premise cannot be completely proved. However, I would like to stick to this conventional historical stance. I want to specifically share the same worldview with most other people. Therefore, I have decided to break away from the idea that the future is yet to be determined. As noted in Chapter 1, unless you choose the stance of solipsism, you cannot hold the idea that the past has been determined but the future is yet to be determined.
In accordance with this reasoning, ontologically, the assumption of counterfactual definiteness is not established. This has been accepted as true for past things. It is possible to speculate about the past on the basis of “historical if,” but history itself cannot be changed.
We learn about history in the form of lessons and evaluate what we learn through reflection and admiration. This constitutes our significant ethical subsystem for the future. If we acknowledge that ontologically, the assumption of counterfactual definiteness cannot also be established in the future, can this subsystem work? To put it simply, it is nonsense to argue that people should have done this or that with regard to past events because they were predetermined. This may be true for future events as well.
To complicate matters further, this historical assessment itself can be one factor governing future human behavior. If the idea that historical assessment is meaningless (Is this also a kind of historical view?) becomes highly dominant, it can work as one factor in constructing historical models. (Here, I consider things by unconsciously using the word if!)
“If” thinking links things that seem to be distributed in an unrelated way with multiple concepts for generality and sometimes links them with laws. Through the process, the thinking pattern in part organizes those things. Unless you accumulate past information through these processes, you cannot learn lessons. Some form of value sense shaped against the background of established social consensuses, when affected by various power relationships, is distributed unequally, but also plays an important role as an indicator for historical evaluation. The imbalance of value sense works with that of historical assessment.
Our consciousness that scans four-dimensional space-time is inevitably incorporated in this historical assessment system. To deny this means forming a way to be committed to that system. It is natural to consider approaching these historical assessment activities as a member of society.
Historical assessment processes are quite complicated. I have many ideas about this issue, but I will just present abstract discussions here within the framework of this paper.
However hard you reflect upon past events and pursue responsibility for them, the events still cannot be changed and replaced. Future events are also unchangeable. It is necessary to note that the shape of the unchangeable future will include our efforts to change it and the shape of the future will be defined by our efforts. What happens in the future will also involve our historical “if” thinking models, accumulating historical lessons by focusing on parameters that are useful for improving the future. That is, the point is that we are incorporated in four-dimensional space-time while improving our future in some way or other.
(5) The Cruelty of Space-time Determinism
In this section I will consider the idea of regretting.
We often regret something. Most people would have done something regrettable in their jobs within several months except for a few workers who are much experienced or are engaged in extremely mundane work. Inexperienced workers may do something regrettable five or six times just in one morning. (Is five or six times too frequent?) Regret is often related to going on to higher school, employment, marriage (or staying single), shopping and going to the movies. People always regret something, including small things. People seem as if they had been born to regret. (Some may argue that because they were born to regret, they do not need to have regrets about their regret.)
There are serious cases in which people want to commit suicide. There are also cases in which people regret having killed other people, having driven a company into bankruptcy or having betrayed those they loved. Regretting something is usually expressed in the past or past perfect tense. When you regret having done something, you lament that past events cannot be changed and that you can no longer do anything about them. In such a situation, you usually wish you could go back to a point of time in the past and start from that point again. Cruelly enough, space-time determinism declares that those past events were predetermined.
In other situations people sometimes become indescribably indignant about something, but space-time determinism says that past events were predetermined. Therefore, the question becomes what they should get angry about.
In addition, life often has fortune and misfortune. Some people are lucky and others are not. Some people are quite unlucky for some unknown reason. Many people have even been unlucky since birth. Unlucky since birth may be a matter of what era, country or region and circumstances you are born.
Indicating that space-time determinism declares that everything is predetermined may be exceedingly cruel. Certainly, it is cruel, but does the idea that the future is not predetermined undermine that cruelty? Is this just a postponement of cruelty? Or does it just turn your eyes away from cruelty?
Furthermore, essential to note is that we cannot recognize the level of that cruelty purely objectively. History has an enormous accumulation of cruel events. Right now, cruel things are happening everywhere in the world. People feel that the present situation around them is quite cruel. Something that is happening to those they love may also be cruel. They can calmly read a newspaper article reporting about a distant country in which terrible air strikes took a heavy toll of lives, but they break out in a cold sweat when they get the wrong appointment time and miss their meeting. That is just the way human beings are. In addition, by focusing their senses on those close to them they may contribute to something cruel happening or being left unsolved.
In accordance with this reasoning, the principle of cruelty in the world may be based on the fact that I am myself, although it also matters how the world is in an objective sense. There may be a situation in which someone wants to shout, “Why am I myself?” or, to put this another way, “Why is this person or that person not myself?”
Explaining why I am myself is extremely difficult. Science removes the specific ‘I’ from the focus and describes the world by admitting an unspecified and arbitrary ‘I.’ Scientifically, it is fundamentally impossible to explain why I am myself. Essentially, the expected answer to the question, “Why am I myself?” is mysterious. Logically, it is tautology. It constitutes a form of tautological proposition based on the principle of identity showing that humans are humans and A is A. In fact, we are sometimes put in a situation in which we are tempted to ask ourselves why we are what we are from the bottom of our heart. What is our essential existence?
I am what I am. The predicate I means the objective situation in which I am placed (it includes my body, which involves my mental functions and state of mind). It is just a form of innumerable objects existing in four-dimensional space-time. In addition, the subject I refers to myself as a living scanner who acts in space-time by using the situation as its only scaffold and orbit.
I, as a living scanner, am one of the innumerable small windows in space. The question, “Why am I such a small window?” is veiled in mystery in which even the form of the answer is difficult to imagine. I can ask questions of the other windows seen from this shabby window and also be asked by those windows to feel for the answer, and I have no other choice but to continue with this process. The least we can do as human beings is to facilitate solidarity among the small windows, aggressively act and propose actions. (At least, we can scan space-time with such intentions.)
It seems that some people can accept the destined small window called “me” and give up on life and death without hesitation. Many others agonize because they cannot do that. This may also be fate. Certainly, the world is cruel.
(*1) Immanuel Kant (1785), Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten (Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals),
"Handle so, da du die Menschheit, sowohl in deiner Person, als in der Person eines jeden andern, jederzeit zugleich als Zweck, niemals bloß als Mitte brauchest." Kants Gesammelte Schriften 4:429