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Old 21-04-2005, 06:58 AM   #11
Hkizzle
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Well I think with most people, if they never existed or were insignificant then the World will not change.

But let's say you killed Hitler or Karl Marx, or Osama Bin Ladin when they were still young.

First of all, if Hitler never existed, would the World be a better place? World war 2 might not have happened, but then again it could have happened under another leader.
If World war 2 did not happen, then many countries would still be colonies of France, U.K and other European powers.
World war 2 allowed advances in engineering, technology in general, and medicine.

Had Hitler never lived and the war never happened then the World would be very different. Maybe better, maybe worse.

The amazing thing though is that many great leaders are nobodies early on in life. Obviously some important people are born into rich or influencial families, go to top universities and then enter business and politics with a head start.
But some guys were insignificant early on in life, this includes people like Hitler, John Major (Previous British PM), the new pope......list goes on.

Therefore, if someone that is unimportant now did not make a choice then sure, it is possible that they will not become great. But statistically speaking, if none of us here make it big then history will not be significantly distorted.
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Old 21-04-2005, 08:20 AM   #12
TheSmyth
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The effects of what we choose to do in our lifetime can usually only be seen later in life. Or even long after we're dead. So while we're maybe not changing the life of everyone on the planet, the instant we make a decision, it will definitely change something in the future..................... Butterfly Effect........


But if you're tlking LONG term. Why bother doing anything. In another few million years or so, the sun will explode issed: and the whole earth will be wiped out. And even if we get off the planet, (and out of the solar system obviously!) eventually the universe will collapse, or something else would wipe out all life.

And what was the point in it all then???
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Old 21-04-2005, 10:19 AM   #13
Strobe
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as you mentioned, it depends on the position of a human being whether it is able
to affect the world on large scale.

i think there's sort of an avalanche principle to explain this.
in an early phase of life ppl are in a state of learning and exploring the world around
them. the more a character develops, the more insight he or she gains over what's
going on. skills, wisdom and ambitions increase according to the aims a person has
set for itself.

that's where the avalanche principle starts off. some ppl decide to reach a certain
aim in life, for instance getting a decent job and having a nice, little family. but
others are constantly striving for more (influence, fame, power). thus, they are
trying to acquire a higher status due to bigger efforts, and the higher their status
rises, the more they will affect the world around them. so some become famous
personalities such as scientists, politicians etc.

of course, some ppl are already born into a position, which enables them to affect
things on large scale (royalty). still they need to prove specific qualities which
certify them to be worthy of their position.

in general, the more a person affects itself by developing certain psychical (and physical) values,
the bigger grows his/her potential to get onto a position to affect the world.
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Old 21-04-2005, 11:07 AM   #14
A. J. Raffles
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hkizzle@Apr 21 2005, 05:58 AM
But let's say you killed Hitler or Karl Marx, or Osama Bin Ladin when they were still young.

First of all, if Hitler never existed, would the World be a better place? World war 2 might not have happened, but then again it could have happened under another leader.
If World war 2 did not happen, then many countries would still be colonies of France, U.K and other European powers.
World war 2 allowed advances in engineering, technology in general, and medicine.

Had Hitler never lived and the war never happened then the World would be very different. Maybe better, maybe worse.
I agree with you. Also, if you had killed Hitler while he was still young, you wouldn't really have killed Hitler, would you? You would have killed a boy who may or may not have grown up to be Hitler. And it would be very hard to justify the murder of a child as a Good Thing...

Anyway, I think we'd all like to believe our lives will have an Impact with a capital 'I', but we also know that can't possibly become true for everyone, simply because no life can be significant unless there are other insignificant lives. Remember that scene at the beginning of Dead Poets' Society?
... I'd like for you to step forward over here and peruse some of the faces from the past. You've walked past them many times, but I don't think you've really looked at them. They're not that different from you are they? Same haircuts, full of hormones just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they are destined for great things, just like many of you. Their eyes are full of hope, just like you.
Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable of? Cause you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils, but if you listen real close you can hear them whisper their legacy to you...

To be quite honest, I've always found that scene extremely depressing. No wonder one of them commits suicide in the end. LOL
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Old 21-04-2005, 11:08 AM   #15
Marek
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Great Thread!

I really don't think its possible for one person to have such a big impact on the world. No one, Ever, has ever influenced the world on his/her own.

Lets take the tired old example of Hitler.

After the extremely heavy penalties that were imposed on Germany after World War 1, Germany was ripe for the picking for the very first guy with any ambition to come along pick them up and offer them a better life.

The only way to do that was to go to refuse to pay the penalties and restrictions that were imposed after WW1 and that meant war.

Germany would have been at war with or without Hitler.

Ok its a pity that the guy who filled the spot happened to be a whacko, if he hadn't been we'd probably all be speaking German right now...

He had plenty of other folks supporting him and helping along. The world was gonna change with or without him...

Thats my opinion anyway... :whistle:
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Old 21-04-2005, 11:24 AM   #16
A. J. Raffles
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Well, yes, but then the world would have changed in a different way. And isn't that as good as saying that this one person did influence the world after all (even though perhaps not quite as radically as it's often claimed)?
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Old 21-04-2005, 11:43 AM   #17
Marek
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Where do you draw the line between affecting the world and Not?

I could have had some really bad chilly last night, now I sit here in an open plan office and I break wind.

For the rest of my co-Workers lives they remember how foul smelling it was and use it to tell as a funny story and they make people smile 50 years on...

Did I influence the world by Breaking wind?

I think not really, only two people can smell it.

What if it was ten people though, Or a hundred, or a million, or 6 million.

Where do you draw the line, and what constitutes change?

Besides we only go on about Hitler being such a bad person because he was in charge. Had he never existed we would be saying how bad a person Rommel was or any number of other potential Nazi candidates...
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Old 21-04-2005, 12:02 PM   #18
A. J. Raffles
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Quote:
Originally posted by Marek@Apr 21 2005, 10:43 AM
Did I influence the world by Breaking wind?
:blink:

Well, theoretically, you would have: you would have affected the lives of those two co-workers, who would then in turn affect the lives of others. And of course your two co-workers would theoretically have affected those other people's lives in a different way if they hadn't witnessed the outcome of your bad chili. So at least theoretically, your fart would have changed the world - even though I wouldn't venture an opinion as to whether it would have been a change for the better...
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Old 21-04-2005, 12:07 PM   #19
Marek
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Quote:
Originally posted by A. J. Raffles@Apr 21 2005, 11:02 AM
even though I wouldn't venture an opinion as to whether it would have been a change for the better...
I would agree!!!
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Old 21-04-2005, 12:27 PM   #20
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Breaking wind makes a change from a butterfly, but it's essentially the same old chaos theory - which is incompatible with quantum mechanics anyway, since the inherent random factors in the underlying structure of the universe prevent any kind of determinism (which is a good thing - welcome back, free will!), making this discussion interesting but inherently flawed. Dang.
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