Tuesday, November 21, 2006

On free will, omniscience, and baptised penguins

In his book Penguin Island, Anatole France tells the story of a bunch of penguins that get baptised accidently by a near-blind saint who mistakes them for humans. Hilarity ensues - as does a Heavenly debate about their fate. G-d makes the decision to turn them into human beings, and makes the following statement:
However, my foreknowledge must not be allowed to interfere with their free will. So as not to limit human freedom, I hereby assume ignorance of what I know, I wind tightly over my eyes the veils which I have seen through, and in my blind clairvoyance, I allow myself to be surprised by what I have foreseen.
What eloquence!


Blogger Shoshana said...

I have to think on that one some more, but it's a very interesting concept - thanks! Happy Thanksgiving!

November 22, 2006 5:29 AM  

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