Kantian argument brought the same sense (of Zeno) back to the discussion room. A static universe must be a stoic universe because if everything has a particular end the all ends are definitely predetermined. Such an omniscient and omnipotent intelligibility knows what’s going to be happened. Thus free will necessarily stops working.
Bergson, however, denies the teleological character of Reality on the ground that teleology makes time unreal. According to him ‘the portals of the future must remain wide open to Reality’. Otherwise, it will not be free and creative. No doubt, if teleology means the working out of a plan in view of a predetermined end or goal, it does make time unreal.
It reduces the universe to a mere temporal reproduction of a pre-existing eternal scheme or structure in which individual events have already found their proper places, waiting, as it were, for their respective turns to enter into the temporal sweep of history. All is already given somewhere in eternity; the temporal order of events is nothing more than a mere imitation of the eternal mould. Such a view is hardly distinguishable from mechanism which we have already rejected.
In fact, it is a kind of veiled materialism in which fate or destiny takes the place of rigid determinism, leaving no scope for human or even Divine freedom. The world regarded as a process realizing a preordained goal is not a world of free, responsible moral agents; it is only a stage on which puppets are made to move by a kind of pull from behind. There is, however, another sense of teleology. From our conscious experience we have seen that to live is to shape and change ends and purposes and to be governed by them.
Mental life is teleological in the sense that, while there is no far-off distant goal towards which we are moving, there is a progressive formation of fresh ends, purposes, and ideal scales of value as the process of life grows and expands. We become by ceasing to be what we are. Life is a passage through a series of deaths. But there is a system in the continuity of this passage.
Its various stages, in spite of the apparently abrupt changes in our evaluation of things, are organically related to one another. The life-history of the individual is, on the whole, a unity and not a mere series of mutually ill-adapted events. The world-process, or the movement of the universe in time, is certainly devoid of purpose, if by purpose we mean a foreseen end – a far-off fixed destination to which the whole creation moves. To endow the world-process with purpose in this sense is to rob it of its originality and its creative character. Its ends are terminations of a career;
they are ends to come and not necessarily premeditated. A time-process cannot be conceived as a line already drawn. It is a line in the drawing – an actualization of open possibilities. It is purposive only in this sense that it is selective in character, and brings itself to some sort of a present fulfillment by actively preserving and supplementing the past. To my mind nothing is more alien to the Quranic outlook than the idea that the universe is the temporal working out of a preconceived plan. As I have already pointed out, the universe, according to the Quran, is liable to increase.
It is a growing universe and not an already completed product which left the hand of its maker ages ago, and is now lying stretched in space as a dead mass of matter to which time does nothing, and consequently is nothing.