by Isaac Asimov
Foundation Fate & Free Will Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph)
"Why put [the Foundation] out here at all if he could see in advance the break in communication lines, our isolation from the Galaxy, the threat of our neighbors—and our helplessness because of the lack of metals on Terminus?" (II.5.67)
What the people of Foundation don't understand—at first—is that Seldon did foresee those problems. In fact, he was counting on those issues to force the Foundation to fit into his plan. Does that make Seldon a jerk? Maybe. But also, no one likes a Debbie Downer.
"From now on, and into the centuries, the path you must take is inevitable. You will be faced with a series of crises, as you are now faced with the first, and in each case your freedom of action will become similarly circumscribed so that you will be forced along one, and only one, path." (II.7.18)
We get it: it isn't so much that Seldon predicts the future, he just makes sure that the free will of future generations is minimized as much as possible. Okay, we're really starting to get creeped out now.
Hardin frowned. "Force the issue, now? Before the crisis comes? It's the one thing I mustn't do. There's Hari Seldon and the Plan, you know." (III.2.60)
Seldon's plan has another consequence. Hardin willingly sets his free will aside, assuming Seldon's Plan will come through for him. Or is Hardin putting his free will aside merely him exercising his free will? Head hurting…paradox….