I’m watching a little ant on the bathroom tile floor, thinking about deism, and that, purely for the purposes of human understanding, I’m sure that an omnipotent being wouldn’t even fall within any of the limitations our most liberal definition of omnipotence would grant him. Imagine though that you are the god looking at the ant, you can compel all of its movements, you can kill it at any time you wish in any variety of ways, you can make it stop, you can trap it, you can create a specific path for it, you can put any kind of obstacle, punishment, reward… you can’t control its decisions, but to you they don’t even seem like decisions anyways, it doesn’t frustrate you that they’re not going to your plan because you really don’t have a plan for this ant, it’s not so much a being, it’s representation of life is about as abstract as a little robot that’s just there to hold your curiosity while you’re taking a shit. Now imagine that you have the cognitive capacity to monitor entire hills of ants, you could control each of their destinies without controlling any of their decisions. That may tell us something about how predestination and free will coincide, you have some limited range of choices within this rigorously set guide, but we’d like to think that things are a little more complicated than that, as our brains are slightly more complicated than an ant’s, and God’s presumably astronomically moreso than ours. But then I was thinking, I don’t sit and look at ants or anthills often, usually I see them by chance and I may flick one off of me or sit and monitor its movements like I just have. If I stand up, I won’t see it anymore, if I move or turn my head for a moment it could be gone. It is unimportant to me. If one catches my attention, that’s one thing, but I don’t go out of my way looking for them, and I certainly don’t busy myself with their lives and decisions and goals, tiny and abstract as their concept of life may be to mine in comparison. I think that I’m a deist, then, because whatever definition we have for God, he has much more important things to do than set his rigid laws and judgements for us. On a large scale, none of us can pretend to understand or theorize what his decisions may be or why he does them. But if he’s there and we’re giving him, by definition, the ability to do anything limited only by that which he won’t do, well, what wouldn’t he do or couldn’t he do, or shouldn’t, and I though, I am much more interested in whether or not the decisions of God are predestined than whether or not the options of man are. Because if God has to make a decision a certain way, what’s that say for the rest of the universe?
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