Just a few hours ago, I was riding my Indian to the pub a few blocks away to get my usual Sunday afternoon drinking started, and on the way something seemingly insignificant happened that started me on a long train of thought. While blasting through a neighborhood at a speed of approximately 40mph, an acorn fell from a very large tree on the edge of the street and hit me directly in the leg. It hurt like a motherfucker. I started thinking, what were the odds of that single acorn, falling at that precise moment, with me traveling at that exact speed and hitting me directly on the leg? Then I started thinking about predestination. That tree had to grow over the past several years, produce branches, leaves and acorns, and then produce the single acorn that met its fate with me. I had to be traveling at an exact time, and at an exact speed for the encounter to occur. Now, I will admit that I am by no means an expert in physics or any other science for that matter. But it’s interesting to consider that for that particular event to take place, it had to have been years in the making.
Taking this and applying it to a much larger scale, is this the story of the universe as we know it? Think of a billiard table. We rack the balls into a triangle, then someone places the cue ball on the table, lines up their shot, and breaks, sending the balls scattering around the table. If someone well versed in physics were able to know the speed, trajectory, velocity and other such information prior to the break, they could calculate exactly where each ball on the table would end up after the break. The end destination of each ball could be predetermined. Now apply this concept, on a much more infinitesimal scale, to the universe. Think of the big bang as the break and the universe as the pool table. After the big bang an incomprehensible amount of particles were set into motion, bouncing off one another and on their way through destiny. Is it possible that everything that happens in our lives is inevitable, that we and everything else in the universe is simply the result of objects set into motion? Or do we really have a will, that allows us to make decisions and change the course of history? I realize this is kind of deep for eBaum’s but I would like to get some opinions on this. Are we able to truly make decisions, or is the series of events that make up our existance already decided? Every choice and act of will you’ve ever made in your life… was it really a random choice, or was that the choice you were predestined to make anyway?