Thursday, July 21, 2005

Tackling the Big One

Elf's DH kicks off a new blog and takes on the big questions:

In the end, though, if the concept of God is to have any meaning, He must be able to have some influence over the physical world. At one point, I (and, I assume others) posited that if God exists beyond space and time, He could know all possible outcomes of both seemingly random events and active decisions. Note that this position solves the predestination-free will problem. By knowing all possible futures, God knows the future, and free will is not challenged at all. But, that still leaves the question of how God influences events in the physical world. At the time, I answered that maybe a God who knows all possible futures could make small manipulations that sum up to the result He wanted. I no longer like my answer. It poses a testable (but very difficult to test!) hypothesis, and, may this degenerate into the “god of the gaps” position. According to our understandings of physics, even quantum events that are not deterministic should obey certain probability relations. If God manipulated the probabilities, then the understood physics would be contradicted by experiment.

I've also neglected to mention another possibility: that God does not influence events in the physical world, but that humans should serve Him in order to earn a place in a World To Come. This position begs the question of why we bother making requests that God influence the physical universe in the first place.

I can only make feeble attempts in answering what is essentially the question of the ages.