Today, February 20, is the 19th anniversary of my note The Relativity Problem in Finite Geometry. Here is some related material.
In 1931, the Christian writer Charles Williams grappled with the theology of time, space, free will, and the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics (anticipating by many years the discussion of this topic by physicists beginning in the 1950's).
(Some pure mathematics — untainted by physics or theology — that is nevertheless related, if only by poetic analogy, to Williams's 1931 novel, Many Dimensions, is discussed in the above-mentioned note and in a generalization, Solomon's Cube.)
On the back cover of Williams's 1931 novel, the current publisher, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan, makes the following statement:
"Replete with rich religious imagery, Many Dimensions explores the relation between predestination and free will as it depicts different human responses to redemptive transcendence."
One possible response to such statements was recently provided in some detail by a Princeton philosophy professor. See On Bullshit, by Harry G. Frankfurt, Princeton University Press, 2005.
A more thoughtful response would take into account the following:
1. The arguments presented in favor of philosopher John Calvin, who discussed predestination, in The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought, by Marilynne Robinson
2. The physics underlying Einstein's remarks on free will, God, and dice
3. The physics underlying Rebecca Goldstein's novel Properties of Light and Paul Preuss's novels Secret Passages and Broken Symmetries
4. The physics underlying the recent so-called "free will theorem" of John Conway and Simon Kochen of Princeton University
5. The recent novel Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson, which deals not with philosophy, but with lives influenced by philosophy — indirectly, by the philosophy of the aforementioned John Calvin.
From a review of Gilead by Jane Vandenburgh:
"In The Death of Adam, Robinson shows Jean Cauvin to be the foremost prophet of humanism whose Protestant teachings against the hierarchies of the Roman church set in motion the intellectual movements that promoted widespread literacy among the middle and lower classes, led to both the American and French revolutions, and not only freed African slaves in the United States but brought about suffrage for women. It's odd then that through our culture's reverse historicism, the term 'Calvinism' has come to mean 'moralistic repression.'"
For more on what the Calvinist publishing firm Eerdmans calls "redemptive transcendence," see various July 2003 Log24.net entries. If these entries include a fair amount of what Princeton philosophers call bullshit, let the Princeton philosophers meditate on the summary of Harvard philosophy quoted here on November 5 of last year, as well as the remarks of November 5, 2003, and those of November 5, 2002.
From Many Dimensions (Eerdmans paperback, 1963, page 53):
"Lord Arglay had a suspicion that the Stone would be purely logical. Yes, he thought, but what, in that sense, were the rules of its pure logic?"
A recent answer:
"We symbolize logical necessity
with the box ()
and logical possibility
with the diamond ()."
— Keith Allen Korcz,
And what do we
symbolize by ?
"The possibilia that exist,
and out of which
the Universe arose,
are located in
a necessary being…."
— Michael Sudduth,
God, Chance, and Necessity
by Keith Ward,
Regius Professor of Divinity
at Christ Church College, Oxford
(the home of Lewis Carroll)