Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H
Gormley


Is Determinism - the denial of free will dangerous and soul destroying?

People assume we somehow own and create our actions so that we are the cause as persons. This is the doctrine of free will. Its opposite is determinism - the notion that we only imagine we are in control.
 
Determinism says we have a will but we only feel free. It is programming. We do not truly own our actions and choices.
 
If it is true and simplicity says it is then our souls are not destroyed so why should believing it be soul-destroying?
 
Determinism gets its strength from showing there is no need to believe in free will. 
 
FORCE MY VALUES MY FAITH IN FREE WILL ON OTHERS?

If I see others as another me and think they should think what I think or feel what I feel then if I treat them as knowing they have free will then I am forcing my values on them and bullying them. So I cannot pretend to love the person I punish. When a person is good, I am looking at them as needing rewarding or punishing. I still see them as something I must impose my values on. I imply they are thought criminals if they doubt or deny free will. There is a big difference between telling a person to stand up for a policy and telling them what to think. The latter is bigoted and oppressive and that is how the free will believer is being to other people. 
 
ARE WE ANIMALS THAT THROUGH LUCK HAVE A NICER WAY OF BEING ANIMALS?
 
People fear that if you deny free will or argue that the will we have is the same as what animals have though the consequences are better that you degrade human beings and thus will just pave the way for grave evil to happen and be considered just a natural unavoidable displeasure that has no moral aspect.
 
If you are nice and caring then there is no reason you should be that as opposed to being a savage.
 
It is about the should. You can't talk about what we should do if we are just mechanical things thinking we are not and have no responsibility. That seems obvious doesn't it?
 
You can still talk about whatever we should be. Should can be about morality or it can be about the way even blind forces should be. It makes sense to us to say the earthquake should not happen. We are not saying earthquakes are immoral and need punishment. It is not that kind of should.
 
What we should be matters more than what we should be if we had a choice. If nature makes you cancer free that is better than you making yourself cancer free. Choice is over-rated. A choice is pointless if you are not a creature that has a good enough chance of being and becoming what you should be.
 
Nature is brutal and cruel and if we are not then we are just in a bubble but in something that is overall vicious.
 
Dolphins gang rape.
 
Some monkeys who hate other monkeys will try to steal their babies and will cruelly kill them.
 
Cats torment mice for fun.
 
The examples are endless and many are too horrific to contemplate.
 
Survival of the fittest really simply means survival of the most adaptable to change. Or more accurately again it is TEMPORARY survival of the most adaptable to change. We are only the most adaptable now but that is changing and won't be true much longer. The struggle entails hostility of some form.
 
ANOTHER THOUGHT
 
What about creatures horrifically inflicting things on each other?
 
Because these creatures cannot think of rights and respect we consider them blameless.
 
Because these creatures therefore cannot understand rights and respect we consider them blameless.
 
They cannot have a moral responsibility because they cannot have a conscience.
 
Even if they had their will is under the control of their biology not them so they cannot exercise that responsibility.
 
It is argued that as they have no moral responsibility, for that reason we cannot regard them as important or as worthy of consideration and respect as we would a human being. They cannot have the same rights as us and what rights they have they do not have them for the same reasons.
 
Let us read between the lines.
 
Animals might have a conscience but it never gets past the animal's biology.
 
If having human rights involves knowing
 
THERE IS MORE
 
Denying free will does not make the word should obsolete because even if we are machines the word should still applies. We say a printer should print a letter neatly.

A person should do what they want to do for there is no need for anybody running anybodyís life and there should be as little external compulsion as possible.

People only do evil because they are unhappy. Determinism, the denial of free will makes them more understanding of others and themselves so they can press the right buttons in people to make society a better place. To be happy we should rejoice in people and not in material things and in simple things. It is not true that we canít live a good life without belief in free will. Nobody can prove it anyway, it is blind faith, and still we are okay.

Determinism does say that what will happen will happen. But the determinist cannot say that they should do evil for they will do it anyway for they can just as easily say they should do good for they will do good anyway.

It is commonly presumed that determinism, and we know determinism is true, denies the validity of reason. If we were produced without the agency of an all-truthful God and are programmed by chance it seems that our reason might be unreliable.   It seems it might not have been programmed or set right. But no matter what we do we are still assuming that our reason is right anyway. We know by experience that reason works. For instance, reason says that if I step into a hole I will fall and experience verifies this so I donít need circles and assumptions.

It is said that if we were programmed by our past we would make no progress. But in fact the programming might have planted the power to do better than before in us which lies latent until then. A computer that always performs at the same level of efficiency can contain an element waiting to work that makes it improve. The computer is not free so progress does not refute the denial of free will.

It is evil to believe in free will because we can live without believing in it and it rouses hatred and grudges and condemnation and revenge so it is an unnecessary evil and should not be believed even if we could be free. Why condemn hate when you sow the seeds for it by teaching that free will is real? It is evil for anybody to tell me I have free will when I am most sure of my own existence for I have no experience that proves I have free will.

Will denial of free will take away guilt feelings? But guilt should not be stopping us from doing evil and then we would still be evil for if it were not for the guilt we would be doing it so we still want to do it. Even if we are free we are only rewarded for things we got through chance so we can deny free will and still give out rewards. We are rewarded for success not merit which is why you cannot take a gold medal off an Olympic medallist who doesnít have the right attitude to deserve what she or he gets.

As for punishment nobody knows how guilty a person really is or what kind of pressures and disorders led them to commit anti-social acts. All agree that there is something wrong with a person who does evil but they cannot say for sure how guilty this makes them because it could be that since the disorder is forced on us it might force us without us even realising it. Even free will cannot justify the legalised revenge that is one of its attractions.

If you believe in free will just so that you can reward that means that you are doing it because you can punish as well - a punishment is a reward in reverse! If that is what you want the doctrine for them that is spiteful.

If you assume that reason is right for a God of total truth exists and made us and it and that God exists for reason says so then you are using circular reasoning. It is akin to saying that the Devil is God because I feel he is and that my feeling is right for the Devil is God. You could prove anything with that kind of thinking. Its called circular reasoning.  Circular reasoning denies the authority of reason. You are still assuming with circular reasoning that reason is set correctly. So you might as well assume it without bringing God into it. The argument of the religionists is making reason depend on the assumption that there is a God. If you say God exists therefore reason is true it gets interesting. You are just assuming that reason is true because you are assuming God. You are saying that God exists without reason which is irrational. It would be more reasonable to simply assume that reason is right without bringing a God into it for the God hypothesis is only a guess itself anyway.

If we suppose determinism is true, its being true has not stopped it doing a lot of good. Bear that in mind above all things.