So, I put Predestination in quotes because I feel that there are many views of predestination out there, and I wanted a blanket term…
Some people believe that Predestination means that regardless of what we do, it has already been pre-recorded and filed away. In cases of after-life/soul salvation, it can mean that only a certain number of people have been called to “fill” heaven. Predestination can also mean that we, as humans, are mere puppets, never quite being in control of anything and following the course of our fate, much like a plastic bag floats on the current of a river. There are many different views to be taken into account. Can all of them be essentially right? Could only one of them be essentially right?
Who knows? I surely don’t. And to be honest, why should I question that? I’ll never discover the answer until either I find that I’m right, or I find that I’m wrong. There is no possible way to be sure that Predestination is or is not the right thing ahead of Death.
Continuing on the topic of the Power of Choice, I would like to point out (as I have done in the past several times) that we CHOOSE. This said, I must be clear that I find total Predestination a little hard to stomach. Maybe I’m an optimist–wait, who am I kidding? Of course I’m an optimist!!–but the fact that I make a Choice causes me to think that perhaps Predestination is like gravity: it can be bent.
If by the term Predestination, we mean that all of any given human’s actions have already been pre-determined, then we must conclude that any given human has no choice over his actions that have already been forseen; he is merely following his Fate.
However, if we allow that any given human has the ability to take his situation/mood/happenstance into account and choose how he will act/react to it, then we must conclude that any given human also has the ability to control some small part of his life.
Therefore, Predestination could be true so long as it allows for Choice. In my opinion, anyway.
In direct relation to views of Faith, it makes sense that any Being who created a universe would invariably know all about the universe, its inhabitants, their nature, and their choices. Simply put: Even though God knows how I will act/react to any situation/mood/happenstance, he still gives me the Choice to act/react that way. I do not have to act any certain way. I can Choose it for myself. The idea that God already knows my action does not mean that I have no control over it.
Think of Greek legends and myths, for example. There are many legends where a prophecy was made to one or more of the main characters, who (upon hearing this prophecy) interpret it in their own way and act/react accordingly. The prophecies come true because the character was seeking to avoid or help or whatever. Had the main character chosen to act differently, would the prophecy still have come true? Maybe it still would have. The best example I have of this topic is a famous Greek tragedy called Oedipus Rex, to which I have posted the link here. Long story short, the King and the Queen have a son born to them, so they take the son to an oracle so she can tell them the son’s future. The oracle predicts that the son (Oedipus) will grow up to kill his father and marry his mother. In fear the king and queen send Oedipus to live with a poor family and forbid contact with him. Oedipus grows up not knowing his real parents. He leads a revolt with the people against the king and queen, and upon victory, kills the king and takes the queen for his wife. He finds out later, though, that it is his mother he has just married. Which is disgusting. But the motif is clear: Fate vs. Freewill. Was Oedipus required to kill the king and marry the queen? That depends on the context: as an overthrower of the established government, yes, this was a very common thing to do. However, if he had known his true identity, one can surmise that he would not have killed the king and married the queen, already knowing them to be his father and mother. He was even made aware of his prophecy foretold at his birth, and believing his adopted parents to be his true parents, moved away so as not to fulfill this prophecy.
What a thought, huh? The tale of Oedipus Rex shows that even though Oedipus tried to fight against what was his Fate, he was still slave to it. He even made choices that contributed to the fulfillment of such a prophecy. In the end, he couldn’t escape himself.
Maybe stuff is just going to happen. And maybe by trying to make my own choices I contribute to that which I cannot control. However, I still can make choices, even if they have a hand in my Fate.
And with that, I take my leave because this post is long enough.