Without any Critique of Pure Reasoning-like preamble, I will start by stating that I believe that it is possible—perhaps probable—that our Universe is a wholly predestined, super deterministic, living Creation.
Simply put, I believe that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is omniscient—and all of those other omni attributes—and he exists in and around our 4-Dimensional Space-Time Continuum. He is not subject to the Arrow(s) of Time, Classic or Quantum Laws of Physics or Mechanics, or any other Standard Models. God is the only First Cause. He is own Material (Formal), Efficient, and Final Cause—although I personally question the “change” or “changing” aspects of these last three causes as espoused by Aquinas and almost everybody else.
Since many Christians agree with the above, why is there not a consensus as to cosmological, eschatological, and theological ramifications? A systematic theology sheds a lot of burdensome baggage when the starting point is total deference to God’s Will, and, His Plan.
If God exists around the Universe, He sees the beginning, middle, and the end. In fact, I’m assuming apriori that He created the whole mess. That super piece of something-or-another which exploded into…well, everything, had a pretty amazing design and fabrication process. The DNA of the Universe did, is, and will determine each and every event, right up until the final curtain.
If all of this is true, Free Will must be an illusion, right? My answer: Yes! And, no.
You see, the thing is, it cannot be denied that Man enjoys choices every waking moment. However, it is possible—probable, in my opinion—that God so precisely designed this Big Bang bundle of joy that even human nature was/is mapped. Characters in this unique “living” novel are never going to actually surprise the Author and change themselves, much less the ending. Like an alcoholic who tells himself every morning that he will not take a drink tonight, it is a futile fantasy. However, if God chose to program some means of intervention and (hopefully successful) treatment, then that is exactly what will happen. If not, then it won’t happen.
“Then why should we bother trying to_____ [fill in the blank], if everything has been decided already?”
Of course I could ramble on and on about the implications and immediate questions, but I’m simply offering, as have others before me, something to think about. Maybe my/our idea is the Grand Unification Theory of Physics and Systematic Theology. This concept certainly claims an explanation for “everything.” Everything is wholly, and Holy, God’s Will (or, His Plan).
I will conclude by addressing one of those immediate questions—maybe two. Why in the world would God do that? What’s the point?
My answer is this: Because He can, first of all. Secondly, right before He does it all again, He will first gather everyone together and say, “Do you see me now? Do you understand why I only gave one commandment in the beginning? A few more wouldn’t have made any difference, would they? Do you see what is important, and what is not? So, if I give you a new-improved body, plus true free will, now, and an eternity to exercise it, what will you choose? How will you live? Or, would you prefer, because of your obstinate pride and anger, to not be a part of My Kingdom? Would you rather take the second death? This time, you really get to make the decision.”
Human nature is never changed by Humans. Never.
Before you get all huffy and make your list of examples which say otherwise, think about whether or not any one item can be said to have surprised God. Also, for those who rely heavily on God’s ability to “foresee” or “predict,” both imply “not really knowing.” In Mark 3:14, Jesus didn’t just predict that Peter was going to really mess up. He stated the hour of the day, the number of times Peter would deny Him, and the exact number of times that rooster would crow. That is “knowing” and “seeing” that hour, not predicting what could happen. Jesus didn’t arrange for an angel to go kick the rooster at 9:45 A.M. on Friday morning, or, as soon as Peter denied Jesus three times.
Wait! Then again, maybe He did. But, if He did, he arranged it before the Big Bang.
Just my opinion. And, I was predestined to give it.
Addendum: To hopefully appease a friend(s), I’ve realized that I need to speak more about this post.
Heck, I don’t know. My Super-Deterministic Predestination sounds cruel. I can dig that. The number one, two, and infinite questions: 1 – Then what good is Prayer?
Well, what good is eating broccoli if you might die in a head-on crash with some Liberty Mutual auto insurance customer? What good is taking a shower if you ain’t goin’ anywhere? My stupid dog don’t care–I think. The point is, there are a whole bunch of things God tells us to do because He knows they are good for us, and, he knows we need guidance. So what if He already knows who, which of us will listen?
My reason for positing this theory of mine, and of many Christian scholars, is simple. Either God is transcendent of Time or he isn’t. Either He is is Omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent, or He isn’t. If He is stuck in our Arrow of Time, watching His Creation develop, and having to periodically nudge the bowling ball back onto the lane, then please be advised that He must not “know” how many pins we are going to knock down. [“But He is in control! He’ll knock down how ever many pins He desires.”] Or, [“We have Free Will. It’s our game. When He gets tired of our poor bowling skills, He will turn off the lights.”] Nope, and nope.
Biblical and Divine prophesy isn’t like Madam Marie Deveaux’s crystal ball or tarot cards. It isn’t like Washington, D.C. and MSM pundits predicting a Hillary victory, or a stock market crash if Trump wins.
If God exists outside and around Time, then He sees the beginning, middle, and end. Moreover, He created all of it/them. It’s a done deal. God isn’t constantly checking His watch to see how much longer He has to put up with this nonsense. He doesn’t have a watch.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
And that whole Jacob and Esau thing, before they were born. My JW friends told me that it was because God could look into and at their DNA and predict everything they would do. Really? Predict? He created their DNA. He also designed and created their entire lives. He sees the end of their lives at the same time He sees them in the womb–before that, actually.
Lastly, scientists say that there is no evidence of spirits, souls, angels, demons, or anything that can’t be explained by natural processes. I believe them, up to a point.
However, they, and me and we, live in a 4-D Space-Time Continuum. It’s a pretty incredible and really Yuge place. “Science” continues to do an amazing job of mapping it all out-almost all of it. There is still some dispute as to what happens in the end.
I think God doesn’t need to predict. He knows. He wrote the Book. That’s Predestination, I think. I don’t know.
The working title of my next novel-a direct sequel to #3-is Proof of God. I have two ideas. The first is related to all of those ontological, teleological, and Aquinas’ Five Ways-kind of stuff. But the second will be a plain old logic sort of premise. If anyone has any suggestions (positive, kind, serious, non-profane), I’d be happy for help.