Based on or rather inspired by a Philip K. Dick story, The Adjustment Bureau asks if we truly have freewill and if we don’t, when we exercise our right to freewill do we destroy our destinies?The trailer features Matt Damon as Davide Norris, an up and coming politician who, through a chance encounter, meets a ballerina named Elise Sellas played by actress Emily Blunt. When he continues to run into her and falls in love strangers intervene and inform him that this love is not meant to be.
The idea of strangers showing up at your door and telling you your fate versus you choosing it is unsettling. Especially in America. We don’t let anyone tell us what we’re going to do–we’re very obstinate. The question always persists that if there was a plan, how would you know what the plan is unless someone told you? Then to add to the confusion, even if someone told what the plan was and you veered away from it–maybe that was the plan and the person who thought they knew the plan was only part of the plan. Almost seems like a bad vaudeville comedy routine.
Freewill is the excuse for God’s plan going south (literally to hell). We humans apparently chose freewill instead of the garden of perfection and it has always bothered me about apocalyptic Christians waiting for the second earth or rather the second time around–what’s to prevent freewill from interfering again? Just throwing Satan in a lake of fire? With an eternity to change one’s mind or just simply make a mistake in judgment, Christians could ruin the new eden by eating the apple again. Or maybe by accepting Christ, you lose your freewill.
If you want to obtain a nasty headache grab a book on Calvinism and a separate one on Arminianism. Then read them at the same time, alternating books for every chapter.
Despite the word wrangling, I don’t believe in predestination. I’m sure you could make a good philosophical case for it, but how would you ever know if it is right? I know director M. Shymalan likes to tie predestination into his movies–Signs (2002) is an example, but the events that lead to each other to supposedly ward off invaders are rather cruel. Does a woman have to die in a horrible car accident to provide a message to defeat the final alien? It makes for a great narrative, but also makes one feel helpless to have any control over their lives. In the final scene of Signs, why couldn’t Merrill, the former baseball player, simply figure it out for himself to smash all the glasses of water to destroy the alien intruder? Or better yet, why not make the water correlation and use a hose or bucket of water to splash the alien? Humans like to fill in the blanks for the stories in their lives with miraculous coincidences to either make them more exciting or simply not give enough credit to our own abilities to discover what it is we have to do (without interference from God or fate).
I’m free to make all of my decisions and plenty of them will get me into trouble. There isn’t such a thing as complete control or complete freewill as our environment and other people do affect us, but I can decide to go make myself a sandwich right now (and sneak a brownie and damn my diet) if I so choose to do–which I do. How’s that for “deep”?