Monday, April 14, 2014
God Offers No Choice
Just before his death, Lincoln seemed to have made a choice to go to Ford's Theatre. From the President's perspective he felt he had a choice, but look at it from our perspective. Lincoln's action is an historical event which is known. Lincoln, essentially as a character in a history book, has no choice but to go to Ford's Theatre because any action on his part has been acted. Even if we went back to Lincoln's time, armed with our fore-knowledge, Lincoln would still be bound to the actions that we know he will make (providing we don't interfere, of course.) This means that Lincoln's perceived choices, and our own, are an illusion if a being is capable of viewing us as history either in the present, future, or independently of time.
Set up a camera on someone. They will do a variety of things that you probably wouldn't be able to predict in the moment if you were there. However, if you watch the video later, then watch it again, upon second watching you will be able to predict perfectly their every move. The person on camera, while acting, perceives free will from their perspective. However, the recording of the person, from the perspective of the omniscient video watcher, is not free to act. To anyone who knows our future, we are essentially a recording.
A being with all-knowledge of an event, whether it be God or a well-studied time traveler, would view the present as a history or recording. There are no surprises to this being because there is only one way for the events to unfold. Each person involved follows only one path. No choices are made because choice deals with the availability of options and there are none.
If choice is only an illusion of our limited perspective as this shows, then a god's sentence of eternal reward or eternal punishment is exacted upon helpless people with no ability to change their fate. It is exactly as fair and just as arbitrarily and immediately sending newborn babies to heaven of hell.