Mirai Nikki 22 — Cosmology and Metaphysics

Another excellent episode of Mirai Nikki! Let’s look a bit into the show’s pseudo-religious mumbo jumbo.

Creator and Creature

If Akise is an existence created by Deus, then this seems to imply that everyone else is not. However, the winner of the survival game is supposed to create the new universe in his own image.

I assume that Deus won a past instantiation of the survival game, and became god, creating the world as he saw fit. This seems to contradict his words though, which imply Akise is unique for having been created by him. Of course, Deus could simply mean that the other humans were created indirectly by him: he created the seed humans, at the start of his universe, who then created their own descendants.

But from what occurs later, another possibility is that it is actually impossible for god to create souls. This idea is actually not all that uncommon: many native American peoples believed that the souls of both people and animals were drawn from a fixed supply of pre-existent souls, and assigned to bodies at runtime.

Free Will

Akise’s means of creation cast his discussion with Deus in a slightly different light— it isn’t a question of whether humans have free will. It’s a question of whether matter can have free will, since Akise is not a human (if we define human to include possessing a soul).

The discussion on free will was rather disappointing. To summarize— Akise: “I did this of my own free will!” Deus: “No you didn’t.” For an example of how they should have conducted this dialog, read God is a Taoist by Raymond Smullyan. It’s short and I can’t recommend it enough.

I thought they were going to go with a lame “love conquers all” conclusion, so I was glad to see they didn’t. Unfortunately they went with an even dumber conclusion: “Cell phones conquer all.” In my opinion, simply because Deus directed Akise to do what he did doesn’t mean it wasn’t of his own free will. There’s no reason the choices of men and the choices of god and fate need conflict.

Akise also becomes a bit of an absurd hero with his death. Despite knowing that his love is fake, he embraces it as his own and accepts his fate with joy.

A Breakdown of the Universe

Well, this explains why the destruction of the universe is accelerating more rapidly than anticipated. Akise’s cellphone is causing infinite recursion! It’s a wonder the place hasn’t already disappeared in a singularity.

But perhaps the existence of Akise’s new cellphone is simply another symptom of the universe’s impending destruction. Not only have the laws of time and space broken down, but the laws of logic have broken down as well.

As an aside, this is similar to the omnipotence paradox, one common version of which goes: “Can God create a rock which he can’t lift?” If yes, then God isn’t omnipotent, since he can’t lift the rock. If no, then God isn’t omnipotent, since he can’t create the rock. It’s a lose-lose scenario for God.

Of course, we’ve already established that Deus isn’t omnipotent, but let’s set that aside and assume that God is indeed omnipotent. There are two common answers to the paradox. The first is to say that our prior understanding of omnipotence is faulty. If God is all powerful, that only means he can do anything which is logically possible. Asking whether God can create a rock which he can’t lift is the same as asking if God can create a true boolean proposition that’s false. Of course he can’t! God is bound by the laws of logic just like the rest of us.

The second answer (and the one I find more interesting) is that God can create a rock he can’t lift. And God can lift the rock which he can’t lift! An omnipotent God created the laws of space, time and nature, but these laws do not bind him; only his creation. So it seems plausible to assume that God also created the laws of logic, and is not bound by them either. He’s omnipotent, after all.

Anyway, to tie this back to Mirai Nikki: perhaps Akise’s cellphone of infinite recursion is not as implausible as it seems at first glance.

Y U so Srs?

Yeah, yeah, I know, no one is watching Mirai Nikki for the metaphysics. Yuno had some great moments of craziness in this episode!

Also Yukkiteru’s love life is coming to fruition:

And Yuno is not happy.

20 thoughts on “Mirai Nikki 22 — Cosmology and Metaphysics

  1. Not only have the laws of time and space broken down, but the laws of logic have broken down as well.

    Implying Future Diary ever obeyed the laws of logic =P

  2. Draggle, thank you for this interesting analysis of Dues’ nature! I won’t comment on it for now as I expect that the next episodes will contain some further revelations.

    However, I didn’t understand how Akise’s cell phone works. Isn’t it just predicting what the other diary holders will do? Isn’t this the same as what 11th’s cell phone did?

    In any case, I didn’t like Akise at all. He is way too smug and always pulls some joker out of his a… whereas Yuno has to fight alone and without any resources besides willpower.

    1. Postscriptum: Mirai Nikki turned out to be a Nisemonogatari of sorts! At least “nisemono” was one of the words most frequently used in this ep.

    2. My understanding was that 11th’s diary could see what the other dairies said, but it simply read them and showed the contents to him. Akise’s diary predicted how the future would change after the other diary owners read their own diaries. So 11th’s diary didn’t see how the future would change based on the diaries, it only saw their contents. Although I didn’t get how Yuno defeated Akise’s diary…

      Anyway, I wasn’t particularly fond of Akise either.

    1. Awesome, glad you liked it, I love Smullyan! You might also be interested in another of his stories, called A Planet Without Laughter.

    1. Haha thank you for sharing that video. It made my day.

      I didn’t realize there were four more episodes, but it looks like you’re right. I can’t see how they’re going to do it either. Two more episodes seems like it would be perfect, but four seems like too much. I wonder if the listings are actually wrong (although of course, I have no idea).

  3. Nice blog post–I’ve been rather curious about Deus as well since the series started. The fact he was Yukiteru’s imaginary friend has always been perplexing and fascinating to me. (And Murmur too, apparently.) I kind of hope this will be addressed in some final way, though I suppose this may have been done simply to introduce Deus before the survival game started.

    While Deus was at first presented in a way rather reminiscent of Western interpretations of a god (ie singular, grand, ruler of time and space, etc), he’s turned out to have some of the characteristics more common in Eastern though (which shouldn’t be surprising–this was made in Japan). Deus is grand, but not all-powerful, and can even die. (I don’t recall if there was ever a reason given for Deus’s falling apart.) He is presented neither as good or evil, but simply an independent powerful being who has a very strong effect on the world the Mirai Nikki cast lives in. I think with this in mind, it makes sense that Deus did not create humanity–but at the same time, he does possess the power to create an agent to act as an observer for him. The deities in traditional Japanese tales often have a variety of special abilities, and it seems a lot of individuals were created from unorthodox sources (as can be found in ancient stories/religions of most cultures).

    As for Akise, his situation is rather reminiscent of the age-old “What measure is a non-human?” question delved into in many anime. (eg most anything with realistic human robots, or most anything with genetically-engineered or “unnatural” humans) I was rather sad to see him go so soon, just when he became even more interesting.

    1. In the manga they did address Deus and Yukkiteru’s friendship at the end, so I’m guessing they’ll mention it here as well. Deus did gradually switch over to a more eastern type of god, although I do think he created the current universe somehow or other. Although perhaps it wasn’t from scratch.

      I never particularly liked Akise, to be perfectly honest, but he did get much more interesting in this episode and I was sad to see him go. Not as sad as I was to see Mao go however.

  4. i think the first answer to the omnipotent paradox is wrong to me if god is bounded by logic then he is not god he is suppose to be a supreme existence that is omnipotent which mean he isn’t suppose to be bounded by logic though the second answer is rather implausible since in theory such thing isn’t suppose to be possible can god create something stronger than him?it is impossible for the something to be stronger than god and be weaker than him at the same time if he did manage to create such thing than that being would have a power stronger than omnipotent smarter than omniscience which isn’t possible since there is nothing stronger than suppose omnipotent but say he did make it it is impossible for god to be stronger than that something due to the something is more powerful and smarter than god using duality as an answer to god omnipotent paradox isn’t really the supposed answer…

    1. You restated the same question but with a different example. Can God create something more omnipotent than himself? Again, this is asking whether god supercedes or is bound by the rules of logic. One answer is no, of course not, god cannot do things which are logically impossible because such questions are meaningless to ask. The other response is that yes, god can make something more omniscient than himself and yes, god is still the most omniscient being.

      Take a deep breath and relax. 🙂

      1. I read an interesting opinion on this in a novel where one character muses that the biggest proof of god’s omniscience is in the fact that he chooses to do nothing, because in acting he reveals that even he is bound to the vagaries of fate.

          1. Well the character at that point is part of a migrant train of starving, child refugees so makes sense.

        1. Yeah, makes sense. The part I don’t really agree with is that god doesn’t act. Although obviously he doesn’t act by throwing fireballs down from the sky and crap.

          1. By the way if you do have the slightest interest in fantasy do pickup steven erikson’s book of the fallen. Not only does it have the most engrossing world in the later books it goes into a lot of discussions on religion, humanity, etc.

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