Tuesday, 15 March 2016

The Wrong Decision Fallacy


The right/wrong decision paradigm ruled my early twenties to my own detriment. For instance, I was unhappy at university so I attributed my unhappiness to a 'wrong decision' hypothesis, e.g. I chose the wrong institution and/or subject. I even questioned my decision to move to the United Kingdom, on account of difficulties finding like-minded folk, having been brought up across the Channel in foreign country, i.e. France.

This habit of thought, though grown less pronounced over the years, may rear its ugly head even today. For example I had a bout of loneliness today, as my girlfriend left the premises and a yawning gap seemed to open up in my psyche, not helped by cold, unwelcoming weather. My reflex action on feeling this emotional discomfort was telling myself how I should not have opted out my university degree course, since at least I mingled with people, however shallow and unlike me in every way, overlooking all the positives of following my heart and giving up on tertiary 'education'. 

It occurred to me later that the 'wrong decision' hypothesis, always exercised in retrospect when one is feeling less (sometimes considerably less) than a 100%, is perhaps a huge fallacy, a toxic way of thinking which compounds misery as opposed to alleviating it. It is a sad but true observation to say that our Western societies place a huge emphasis on right or wrong decision templates, always linked to the accompanying success-failure couplet, as though that was the only applicable dichotomy and reason for feeling either fulfilled and happy (right decision - success) or unfulfilled and unhappy (wrong decision - failure).

With this paradigm it all seems as though we are being punished in terms of suffering for poor decision making - again always seen with the luxury of hindsight - and rewarded with joy for good decision making, as though we had done good to the gods by choosing the right path and they were rewarding us with blessings for doing so. What I have noticed though is that the alleged 'wrong' decision hypothesis always comes to play after the fact, when one has exercised a choice, and one may be erroneously attributing present unhappiness to a supposed wrong decision in the past for which we think we are now paying the price. 

How puritanical and religious, as though God punishes those who dare choose the wrong option when it is impossible always to know in advance whether what follows from a decision will be good or bad! Not only does the right-wrong decision paradigm ignore the possibility that both choices, supposing these are limited to two, can be right or, conversely, wrong, but that if one takes a bird's eye view of human affairs and history, it is ultimately a very petty and self-important concept, assuming that our choices or 'decisions' actually matter at all in the grand scheme of things and actually determine the majority of our lives as opposed to circumstances outside our control (otherwise known as chance)! 

Speaking of which, people often overlook the therapeutic qualities of conspiracy literature and of the words of those who pinpoint just actually how dysfunctional, unfair, rigged, psychopathic, pathetic the human condition actually is, with those doing the most evil seemingly reaping the most benefit and those doing the least harm actually incurring the most damage (contrary to Natural Law dogma, it might be added, however Natural Lawyers try to justify this phenomenon, e.g. by saying that the 'universe' gives priority to 'dark care' over 'no care' à la Mark Passio). 

What I'm suggesting is that truly appreciating how pathetic the human condition actually is and how full of nonsense, predation, chance it all boils down to can have a wonderfully liberating effect, in the sense of not feeling beholden anymore to the system, of having made a poor career/lifestyle choice and not falling for the trap of the 'loser/winner' dichotomy which loses (no pun intended) all force when one sees how few are those to whom the system actually brings happiness as opposed to their own thoughts, emotions and actions which are done alongside or even against that system. When one considers how rigged and staged the game called civilisation actually is, one realises that decisions play a tiny, tiny part in one's prospects, as opposed to pre-given circumstances, e.g. to whom, when and where you are born. As the subtitle to David Icke's book The Perception Deception so eloquently puts it 
"It's all bollocks - yes all of it!"
The word decision has something, in modern usage at least, of a career-type focus, as one might find on a conformist TED talk, when indecision might be a preferable way to go about things, or just letting things be and acknowledging one's tiny role in shaping one's life circumstances. Even 'successful' business owners owe their success to external factors, such as markets and people choosing to buy their product. Of course one always has to make decisions for this and that on an everyday level but what I'm arguing is that feeling unfortunate and unhappy tends to lead to a 'wrong decision' hypothesis when in fact it could be that all the decisions one could ever reach could lead to feelings of unhappiness and dissatisfaction, and this observation tends to be supported by evidence gleaned on a macro scale. 

To sum up, whenever you're feeling unhappy or doomed by circumstance, remember that that unhappiness might have been unavoidable, even if you had done all the best decisions in the world throughout your entire life, and that there is no purpose in regret, other than making you feel worse for things you did for a reason. Revel in the tragicomic nonsense of human life, enjoy its random cruelty and chance aspect, and remember that none of it will last forever, least of all you yourself! 

Nietzsche knew about the importance of not being held hostage by one’s past when he said
“All ‘it was’ is a fragment, a riddle, a dreadful chance, until the creative will says to it ‘But I will it thus, thus shall I will it.'”
In other words, reinterpret your past errors creatively so that your will be free to will itself now and tomorrow, primal being consisting in willing according to German philosopher Schelling.