Divine shrugs

-Human beings find themselves in the position of Buridan’s ass all the time: standing in front of a tray of Oreos you take that one and not this one, all the seats you would choose are open and you sit in that one and not one next to it, you could just as well wear this shirt as that one but you wear the one you wear… etc.

-Leibniz understood the PSR to mean that God is never confronted with Buridan’s ass decisions, telling Newton that if his account of space were true that God would have no reason to make the universe here rather than there.

Pro Leibniz: the desire for the beatific vision is to know the ultimate reasons for things, but if God makes Buridan’s ass decisions then the beatific vision is, at least sometimes, only of a divine “because I said so”.

But why couldn’t one insight into the universe be that it made no difference whether it was one way or another, and that it must sometimes have no reason beyond “because I said so”, which would mean the same thing as a divine shrug?

What view of divinity would this require? My own Buridan’s ass decisions seem to be made by subconscious mechanisms, as the Libet experiments (and all other experiments with “free will”) showed. If God finds himself in the position of someone in a Libet experiment, indifferent to making the universe here or there just as I might move my wrist now or then, what breaks the indifference for divinity?

Leibniz’s real reason, of course, is that to say there is no reason for being X rather than Y is the same as to say something wouldn’t be X rather than Y. But lo, it is X so there must be a reason. This re-raises the question whether a divine “because I said so”, which counts as the same thing as a divine shrug in the face of the question, can count as a reason.

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