135. Fate Versus Free Will. Part two
We were discussing the two causes of belief in fate
Prophecy or prediction of future events is a strong argument in destiny, and also God, as I have discussed in great detail in blog 102. If the future exists somewhere, then somebody wrote it, and that somebody can only be God. Nobody else is so powerful. How could Swami Vivekananda predict 43 years in advance that Mr Dickenson will receive a silver cup from his guru (blogs 79-81)? I have described 13 such prophecies in blogs 102-3. Events happened just as they were predicted years in advance. The ability of Chandi Das to go blank for few minutes and then tell Paul Brunton (blog 91) what was going to happen to him, strongly supports the notion that a scene of future was brought to the inner eye of Chandi Das, just as the scene of Sri Yogananda eating strawberries in America, years later, was brought to the mind’s eye of Sri Yukteswar.
One may say, that it would really add to our knowledge, if instead of guessing what transpires, we would know for certain what happens. In other words the person who has the ability to see future, shares it with others. This mote has the privilege of having this knowledge, because the seer shared it with me.
A seer wanted to test whether he can see the future in advance. There was a lottery which had live drawing of the numbers, on TV, next day. He used some spiritual procedure, after following its stipulations. After some time, like a flash, one number came. He wrote it down. He concentrated again, and the next number came, in a similar flash. The lottery had seven numbers. One by one, he got all the seven numbers. Next day he watched the live drawing on TV. His seven numbers were correct. He never repeated it, due to the following reasons:
a. He became quite sick. These practices take a lot out of a person.
b. He was strongly warned by higher powers, never to do it again. God’s laws, such as hiding the future, are for important reasons. To look into future, without God’s permission, is against God’s plans
You may argue that these prophecies do not necessarily prove that God willed all events to happen as they actually happened; he just knows them in advance. In other words, due to his infinite mind, he has foreknowledge of everything, but he does not make it happen. Events happen by free will and chance.
This is a valid point; we will discuss it when we discuss free will.
Now, let us discuss the arguments against fate:
1. It does not explain evil
2. It does not explain injustice
3. Makes God, indifferent, cruel and unjust
4. Why is God hidden?
5. If everything is preordained by God, then what is the purpose of creation by God?
6. It flies against our daily experience of events happening due to free will.
7. Does not explain the cruelty of predator animals to prey.
8. All human effort is completely useless.
Let us discuss each point.
1.It does not explain evil in this world. Everybody has heard of Holocaust. There is no greater example of pure evil, on a large scale, in modern human history. If God is responsible for all events then He is responsible for Holocaust. This mote has never in all his life, for even a moment, thought that my beloved God is responsible for any evil. We ourselves ( Nazi Germans in the case of Holocaust) and an indifferent, neutral Nature is responsible. However, my sentiments are not a substitute of argument. The argument is that God could not have created Holocaust because an infinite, limitlessly powerful mind would neither have the need nor derive any pleasure from the slow sufferings of millions of persons. It has to be the system which created such evil philosophy. Since human beings ( Hitler ) created that philosophy, so human beings are responsible. If humans are responsible then they acted by their free will. If that is the case then hypothesis one ( Fate ) is wrong and hypothesis two ( Free will ) is right, as we will discuss later when we examine hypothesis two.
2. It does not explain injustice in this world. We all have seen examples of injustice. Powerful, cruel, and selfish people thrive, while weak and righteous suffer. One sees hordes of professional beggars in India and Pakistan, their bodies distorted from poverty and disease. Some are born blind or crippled and their whole life passes in grief. Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Khan led lives of power and comfort. All of them died without suffering. Beating and cruelty to slaves was common in the past. I quote Darwin (1):
“I feel glad that this happened in the land of the Brazilians, for I bear them no good will - a land also of slavery, and therefore of moral debasement...On the 19th of August we finally left the shores of Brazil, I thank God, I shall never again visit a slave-country. To this day, if I hear a distant scream, it recalls with painful vividness my feelings, when passing a house near Pernambuco, I heard the most pitiable moans, and could not but suspect that some poor slave was being tortured, yet knew that I was as powerless as a child even to remonstrate. I suspected that these moans were from a tortured slave, for I was told that this was the case in another instance. Near Rio de Janeiro I lived opposite to an old lady, who kept screws to crush the fingers of her female slaves. I have stayed in a house where a young household mulatto, daily and hourly, was reviled, beaten, and persecuted enough to break the spirit of the lowest animal. I have seen a little boy, six or seven years old, struck thrice with a horse-whip (before I could interfere) on his naked head, for having handed me a glass of water not quite clean; I saw his father tremble at a mere glance from his master's eye. These latter cruelties were witnessed by me in a Spanish colony, in which it has always been said, that slaves are better treated than by the Portuguese, English, or other European nations. I have seen at Rio de Janeiro a powerful negro afraid to ward off a blow directed, as he thought, at his face. I was present when a kind-hearted man was on the point of separating forever the men, women, and little children of a large number of families who had long lived together ”
_____________________________________________________________________________________(1) Voyage of the beagle by Charles Darwin (1839), chapter V
To be continued