The ancient pagan astrologers regarded solar eclipses as bad omens.
So, too, did the rabbis of the Talmud, who warned in Tractate Sukkah, page 29a, that solar eclipses forecast ill fortune.
But by that time, eclipses could be predicted. That raised a fundamental question about free will: how can eclipses be bad signs if we can predict them?
The question the rabbis wrestled with was also familiar to St. Augustine, as well as other Christian philosophers. Continue reading