Sunday, March 30, 2008

Faith in Numbers

In both Pi and We we have two protagonists who live their lives based on the logic and rationality of numbers. Yet in the both stories the characters both have faith in some unquantifiable quality that governs the world (and the universe).

In We, D-503 has unquestionable faith in the benevolent Benefactor and the One State. From D-503’s writings we get the sense that the Benefactor is the epitome of logic and rationality but in all realistic probability this probably not the case. However, D-503 and the rest of the citizens of the One State seems too blind to see it.

In Pi, Max has faith in patterns. Everything in the universe has some pattern. In his blind faith in his belief he discounts ideas of any sort of spontaneity or randomness. How can someone with such a high ability to rationalize things believe that there are no anamolies in existence? On the other hand, perhaps he is right.

To me it seems that both concepts lead to the idea of whether or not people have free will or not, a universal question that no one seems to have the answer to. If life is We and everything is ran by a system and order then people no longer become people but simply parts of a machine. Machine parts have no choice in their functions. If life is Pi then people have no free will but are simply enacting the patterns upon patterns set in motion at the beginning of time. Every person born, grow, wilt, die, born, grow, wilt, die – forever until the pattern ends.

1 comment:

Haseeb A. said...

I agree with what you are saying. Free will is definitely a topic that is being talked about in both We and Pi. Both present a very gloomy view of free will in society.