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March 8, 2017 / Congau

Written in the Stars

If everything were written in the stars, would it really matter for us? Suppose the course of our lives were predestined and filed in a database on a distant planet or inscribed in hidden scrolls kept by the gods on Mount Olympus. Would it matter? It wouldn’t.

As long as we don’t know about the future, even if it is predestined, we are perfectly free to act. We can’t see the future, so for all practical purposes it is open and can be filled with anything.

Imagine you could meet your future self – you, a year older; that person could tell you everything that will happen to you the next year. And you know what? you will in fact meet him – next year. That person is predestined to exist and he will know the future for a fact. So next year you can ask him. You could even ask him now – you just have to wait a year for the answer, but it will still be the truth. Write down on a piece of paper a prediction for the next year. The statement you make is either true or false and next year you will know. Your future self will be able to say: My past self was right when he wrote that last year (or he was wrong). When he wrote it, at that moment, he was right (or wrong).

Any statement we make, also about the past or the present, is either true or false even if we are not able to obtain the evidence the moment we say it.

Now, suppose there exists an authority who is at least as knowledgable as your future self. A Sibylle is sitting on the planet of Delphi and she just knows what will happen to you. So what? She is as inaccessible to you as your future self is at the moment. Whether she exists or not, she is irrelevant to you. Your action is not dependent on her any more than your present is dependent on your future.

Now enjoy your freedom!

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