One of the hardest things for a skeptic to accept about the Christian Faith is that it seems to go against reality. What kind of god would allow war, famine, infant mortality, rape, cancer, or suffering? While there is much beauty in this world, it seems to have an element of Chaos.
I’ll first say that I’m not a believer. Just a thinker and a rambler. I’m always chewing on life’s gristle. And every now and then I get to a meaty bit, and I compulsively chew through it.
That’s what happened to me tonight. I’ve got an idea in my head that has taken hold and I’ve found that without constraining myself to a single train of thought, the way that only writing something down can do for me, I’m flowing in 800 directions and never reach my intended destination.
Tonight, the meaty bit is Fate.
Imagine you’re God. But not just any god, you are The God. Omnipotent, Omniscient, OmniOmni. Maybe you’ve created races. You can create anything. You can see the entire course of history, and from the direction the atoms right now are headed, you can envision their entire future. Like a well setup pool shot, the races you create do exactly what you choose to have them do. Everything is good. If there is strife, or suffering, it’s because you willed it. This is fate. You can do anything. Which means, that no matter how you create the little people, they end up boring you. The domino’s always fall exactly the way you intend, and since being all knowing means there is no chaos, nothing you can’t predict, nothing you can’t control, you get bored.
One time, someone asked me the question, “Can god create a boulder so big, that even he could not move it”. I immediately thought this was a dumb question. The hypothetical is that God is an all powerful being, and therefore, in creating a rock that he couldn’t move then he wouldn’t be all powerful, and if he can’t create the rock, then he also isn’t all powerful. This is logically false, and is makes the mistake of assuming that an all powerful being, must stay that way. God could easily create a rock that he couldn’t move (if he were All-Powerful), however the moment that he did, he would cease to be All-Powerful, and would become All-Powerful-Except-For-That-Damn-Rock.
What if… You’re god. You’re all powerful. You’re bored of knowing the future, how the dominos will fall. You can see eternity stretching out before you and rather then marveling you sigh. It holds no surprises.
So you create a rock you can’t move. You make a planet, you put things on it, and animals, and free-thinking creatures. Creatures that while they may think freely, can only do so if you don’t have anything to do with their operation, because if you meddle, you will see their fate (all seeing right?). And maybe, on that 7th day, you set the rules. The rock you can’t move. You close your eyes and create chaos. And you wing it at the rock.
Now, floating there in the middle of space, is a rock. One you can’t change, because in your all powerful position you’ve made it so you can’t change it. You are now All-Powerful-Except-Can’t-Interfere-With-Chaotic-Blue-Ball God. You can save the predictable stuff for other parts of the universe. You’ve made it so your all-seeing has a blind spot for this little world. You don’t know the directions the electrons are headed, you can’t tell what people will do. And you can’t interfere.
And the people? Maybe they don’t have complete freedom of choice (or they’d all choose to be rich and happy)… but they make their own choices instead of following some path you put them on, and their fate is determined by those choices (and the interactions around them). And you cease to be bored. You can watch every one of them in their day to day lives, like a “Grey’s Anatomy” ant farm. You might make guesses as to what they’ll do next, but you can’t be sure. You’ve prevented yourself from seeing that. Suddenly, eternity seems much more interesting. You are constantly surprised.
But there is a downside. You have to watch your little ant farm suffer. You’d have never set it up that way, but the dominos fall how they will. Chaos has taken root on your little rock, and you are powerless to stop it.
But then… Dr. Sam Becket creates a machine that causes him to leap off the rock into your space. Suddenly there is one of the creatures on the little blue ball that you can bend to your will, and by specifically putting him in to certain places and times, you can right the wrongs. For 4 whole seasons you are able to relieve the suffering of your little ant farm, and “It is Good”.
Maybe I shouldn’t watch Quantum Leap before bedtime.