Wednesday, August 29, 2007


God and Free Will

It is desirable to believe in "Free Will" if you want to use science, because if we don't have free will there is no point to doing experimentation. Free will expands the history of the universe in a transverse direction: at any decision point we will have an assortment of responses that are consequent to a particular stimulus, and each of those will act as a stimulus to the environment, producing an assortment of behavioral events that act as stimuli for the next opportunity to show free will. We only observe one trajectory in behavior space because we cannot perceive any events that happen in the future, and we can only observe one sequence that came from the past to the present. We know, however, that there are a large number of possible paths leading from the present into the future, and a large number of paths that might have arrived at the present but started from pasts that we don't remember as "our" past.

There is no reason why God should have the same limits of perception as an ordinary human being. There is no reason why God couldn't perceive all the possible futures that spring from a particular decision point, and all the possible pasts that might have led up to it. There is also no reason why God shouldn't be able to perceive that kind of mega-trajectory associated with every decision point. We can call those bundles of trajectories "The Meta-History Of The Universe". All that requires is for God to be omniscient.

Is God omnipotent? God already perceives every behavioral event that has happened, will happen, might have happened in the past or might happen in the future. There is no point in God changing the outcome of any particular event because that event already exists somewhere on the Meta-History of the Universe as God perceives it. So an omniscient God has no need for omnipotence because what we might ask God to do with that omnipotence has already been done, in God's perception.

Conversely, if we create a God in our imaginations who can be bribed or pursuaded to make some change in the Meta-History of the Universe, that God has a limited perception and is just an idol with clay feet. The reason that we still have Gods like that around is that Gods were invented in the Neolithic, and many of us have not progressed in our imagination since then.

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?