Knuth on free will

I was interested by this compilation of quotes from Donald Knuth (who is 70 today) about god and his religious/philosophical ideas.  I didn’t know he believed in god – that or he likes the idea enough to write about it.

I can design a program that never crashes if I don’t give the user any options. And if I allow the user to choose from only a small number of options, limited to things that appear on a menu, I can be sure that nothing anomalous will happen, because each option can be foreseen in advance and its effects can be checked. But if I give the user the ability to write programs that will combine with my own program, all hell might break loose. (In this sense the users of Emacs have much more free will than the users of Microsoft Word.) … I suppose we could even regard Figure 5 [a binary tree representing someone’s choices] as the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

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