Zoom Meeting Sermon November 6 2022


Topic: Omniscience Versus Free Will

In the Book of the Path, there is an essay about the dilemma of omniscience and free will. Here is a passage from that essay:

“If there is an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent deity, then our concept of free will is an illusion.

Consider this: such a deity… knows and planned everything you will ever do, every decision you will ever make, from cradle to grave. It is impossible for you to do anything other than that which he has already seen; you cannot surprise God, you cannot do anything contrary to his plan. Nothing will ever happen that he did not know about beforehand, and in fact directly caused, as the creator/controller of the Universe.”

Now, there is nothing wrong with believing in a god who looks after you and is personally interested in your life if that is what brings you peace and comfort, provided you recognize that nobody is obligated to share your beliefs. However, I cannot bring myself to believe in a being such as that described in Christian mythology: a being who is not only omniscient, but also omnipotent and omnipresent, and this is one of the reasons why.

Most Christians do not consider the implications behind an omniscient deity. But I have to believe that we truly have free will, that our decisions and actions are our own, and that we will face the consequences of those decisions and actions in this life, not in the next. I also cannot believe in external divine punishment, but rather in the concept of Ka and the Wiccan Rule of Three. These are natural laws, based on the basic truth that you get back what you put into the world. Their effects can be observed firsthand, and understanding these concepts can make you a better person. I believe that true morality comes from Mindfully choosing the path of least harm. I believe that we alone determine the shape of our lives, through the actions we take, the decisions we make, and the relationships we choose to forge and maintain. I do believe in luck to a certain degree, mainly because where you were born and under what circumstances is completely outside your control, just like your sexual orientation and your skin color, but what our lives are like is primarily dependent on what we do with what we have. I do not believe that worshipping something in and of itself makes you a better person or brings more good fortune into your life.

Have you observed that what your life is like depends largely on your own choices and actions? When you are faced with difficult circumstances, do you believe that the outcome is partly dependent on your outlook?

 

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