Philosophically Speaking: The all knowing Supercomputer

IBM Blue Gene P supercomputer/ Wikimedia Commons
IBM Blue Gene P supercomputer/ Wikimedia Commons

WHAT about this! Imagine that in the next century we discover all the laws of nature, and we build a supercomputer which can deduce from these laws of nature and from the current state of everything in the world exactly what will be happening in the world at any future time. It can look at everything about the way the world is and predict everything about how it will be with 100% accuracy.

Now, suppose that such a supercomputer existed, and it looks at the state of the universe at a certain time on March 25th, 2150 C.E., twenty years before Jeremy Hall is born. The computer then deduces from this information and the laws of nature that Jeremy will definitely rob Fidelity Bank at 6:00 PM on January 26th, 2195.

As always, the supercomputer’s prediction is correct; Jeremy robs Fidelity Bank at 6:00 PM on January 26th, 2195.

Was Jeremy morally blameworthy? Most people answered ‘yes’. What do you think?

Does fate play a role here? If so, does it matter – in that he still did it? I mean if he wasn’t aware of his future life where he was always going to commit the crime, what – if anything – could he have done to avoid it?

There’s some food for thought.