The Skyrim Comparison

Consider, if you will, the game of Skyrim.

It was released in 2011, nearly 6 years ago, yet people still play it as if it had been released last week. The reason for this, I’d argue, is its huge world and endless possibilities.

Today, I’m going to talk to you about how both free-will and pre-destination can exist simultaneously… using Skyrim as our catalyst for understanding.

Bear with me, I promise I’m only a little bit crazy.

Skyrim is a video game condensed onto a playable disk (I realize it can also be downloaded, but for the sake of the argument, we’re going to talk about the disc).

All possibilities within the game — every choice you’re able to make, every route you’re able to take — is accounted for and part of the disk.

This is your pre-destination.

Once you’re in the game, however, you as the player have quite a bit of freedom. You can choose to do quests in different orders and in different ways (or not at all). You can choose where you explore, what you do while you’re there, and what your intentions are in doing so. You give precedence to honing certain skills over others, determining how your character plays and what their strengths and weaknesses are and how you use those strengths and weaknesses as you progress.

This is your free will.

Reality, I argue, could be set up very similarly.

All information already exists. All possibilities and possible choices are accounted for, as well as their outcomes. All ways in which you can do and be are pre-determined.

A simplistic way of looking at it is this: You are presented with a choice for soup, a choice for salad, a choice for neither, and a choice for both.

The point at which you make this choice are where all possible outcomes are super-imposed onto each other. Once you make the choice, that is the reality in which you allow yourself to become aware, as well as all results that follow from that choice and every choice from that point onward.

What I mean by this is that any choice you could possibly make, and every result you could experience from those choices, already exists within the realm of what is possible.

This is your disk, your pre-destination.

That being said, the choice you choose to make, the one you decide to bring into your awareness, is entirely up to you.

This is you playing the game, your free-will.

Does your head hurt yet?

Believe me, I don’t blame you.

Try not to think about it too hard, I’ll even try to simplify it a bit further.

It’s like this:

All information and possible outcomes are contained within the disk (reality).

You, as the player, choose the way in which you execute those possibilities and experience their results.

We’re all playing the same game, bound by the same rules.

But how you play is, ultimately, up to you.

So choose wisely.