This particular idea is one that I thought up while responding to a comment on a recent Wired magazine story:
When attempting to see the larger picture, you can only zoom out so far.
Conversing with others may get you a slightly broader view, but even that is limited to the amount of interactions one can have in their lifetime. The absolute outcomes of any action are infinite and perhaps only fully comprehensible to the full collection of all life past and present into infinity. Of course, this is merely the theory of one single point of collective life.
This builds somewhat on a theory which I have been developing in my mind. In can be best explained through a photography analogy...
In photography, one technique for successful nighttime photography is to increase the exposure time for the film. However, any motion (think of a car's taillights passing by) then becomes a streak in the still photo. This streak consists of every point in which the object existed over that period of time, and it's all represented in one overall picture.
Let's suppose that our lives and the energy contained within us exists not only in the present moment, but also simultaneously in every moment past and present extending to infinity in both directions. Since we are part of the picture, we are only capable of seeing one moment of life at a time. That would explain why we need to collectively analyze our own and others' past and present experiences if we ever want to attempt to predict any future event with some accuracy. In theory, the more data points (or life points), the more accuracy. However, since this extends infinitely, only the entire collection of life or the universe itself could possibly see the "picture" which is composed of all positions of life, energy, and matter past, present, and future into infinity.
Certainly we can hypothesise and imagine all we want. I imagine that if we could see the whole picture of infinite life and energy into past and future, it would have to be an entirely blinding light of energy extending to infinity, to use the photo analogy. After all, extending to infinity would mean that all possibilities would eventually be (could this be considered similar to the concept of "superposition"). Everything would be everywhere at some point in time, whether past, present, or future. The complete view would, in my opinion, be completely useless to see as just one life occupying one moment in time. It would be incomprehensible and utterly too much "data" to be of any use (phew, I am glad I don't have to sort through all that).
So, I guess it comes down to a matter of scale and scope. As a collective, humanity will continue to share more and more experience until we have a larger more accurate picture (assuming we will lose pieces of it along the way), but it will always be an incomplete picture (which actually seems to be a good thing). I would say it is more important to remember that we are all a part of the picture and that we can't possibly know or predict everything. That is, I believe that it's much more practical to know the limits of what you think you know than to think you can know everything.
I am happy to be just one point in life itself. While we cannot see or comprehend the full collective life picture, ever little action we do changes the overall picture. So, by having societal, religious, or whatever codes to follow over a time period, this could in theory increase the predictability of life going forward over the few thousand years during which that code holds sway. This to me underlines the importance of some sort of established moral code for life. This is something that can be explored in future posts....
Comments appreciated. For now, goodnight.