Arguments for predestination will long have weight – be they bolstered by a limited grasp of science, popular occult services, or established religious doctrines.
If an all-knowing God is assumed, or psychological explanations accepted for every instance of human behavior operating under precisely formulated laws of physical reality, how could the future be anything other than predetermined?
. . including the un-numbered gazillion acts of observation that boggle imagination. This prospect must be argued to counter the implications of an uncertainty principle that guides understanding of nature’s most minute components. Not only does the very act of looking closely at these entities alter essential aspects of their states, uncertainty characterizes them regardless, because if it didn’t the hard laws of physics would have individual atoms – and the structure of the cosmos – collapsing. If basic parameters can’t be determined in the present, surely they can’t be predicted in advance, notwithstanding Albert Einstein’s famous statement: “God does not play dice with the universe.”
But quantum mechanics have repeatedly confirmed uncertainty principle phenomena over the past century, or at least not found any way to get around it. The picture of God as gambler is not awe-inspiring, but an interesting notion arises from the analogy applied to cosmic development: contrary to the flawless symmetry expected from the spherical expansion of a singular dimensionless point following the beginning of time, the observed lumpiness in the explosion hints at an element of disruption in which the paradoxical uncertainty of a big bang center evokes a primal act of observation.
To grasp how our ultimate environment can be viewed as a cosmic disaster area first requires that a fundamental scientific tenet admit some qualification. That tenet, that nothing is created or destroyed but only changes form, begs one key exception because evidence and reason applied to the tenet’s extrapolation into the deepest past – where time began – demands it. For me, a most compelling explanation for this exception is found in one Creator performing the scientifically impossible act of creating – out of nothing – the whole universe.
If this explanation is neither provable nor disprovable by either logic or observation, and is at least regarded as plausible, it doesn’t Seem right for such an unfathomable being to indulge in endless admiration of his work as it gazes blankly back. Any narcissistic temptation would have necessarily been over-ruled by the same attribute that willed creation into existence in the first place – the overarching passion for an other to be. If such desire be the essence of what St. Augustine defined as love, it follows that its reciprocation from that other requires independence of will, acting freely.
To bring about this scenario, original creation – the Creator’a mirror image – shatters explosively under the epic strain between love and pride as time begins, and about 14 billion years later by our best current assessment, the simultaneously expanding and coalescing universe in all its wild terrifying beauty evolves self-replicating strains of un-self conscious life on one sphere’s most highly specialized environment to the eventual advent of Creator and then self-conscious beings.
Foreknowledge that life would not only perceive its ultimate Creator, but satisfy His hopes for it can logically be argued as something He lacked and continues to lack – not because of some trait of ignorance. On the contrary, foreknowledge would have had to have been intentionally forfeited because if any response from the created be known in advance, free will could not have characterized it and hollow would ring the prospect of some grand circuit being completed by reciprocating wills. Conversely, the reward for Creator and created alike is necessarily obtained though freedom and the faith inferred by it as most utterly fulfilled by the act of one soul – voluntarily sacrificing self in the face of excruciating agony to seal the deal.
Which future? Perhaps almost all is predicable in the wide spectrum of events and advents ranging from common observations to sublime prophecy, but the tiny bit that isn’t is the most important of all – and for all concerned.