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?

 


DOES PSYCHOLOGY SUPPORT AND SHOULD IT SUPPORT THE IDEA THAT WE FEEL FREE SO WE HAVE FREE WILL?

Free will means that if you act now and do x you could just as easily do an alternative.  You are responsible for x for you didn't have to do x but you did.  You were not forced or programmed.

Do psychology and philosophy work in different systems?  Is free will a question for philosophy or psychology or both?

What matters most then if either has an input?

What if it had to be one or the other?

In other words, if philosophy shows free will is just logic then that comes first.  You cannot argue with the truth.  It is certain.

But philosophy may settle for saying free will is incapable of proof but we should assume it for it has explanation power that nothing else has.  Philosophy then logically finds the best explanation.  It is proven the explanation is the best though it cannot be proven true.  This is the second runner up.  If logic cannot prove free will then the explanatory power is enough.

Psychology will only go by talking to people but that does not prove free will or even suggest free will for there is something random in human nature and we can feel free when we are in fact not free.

Psychology is using philosophy not psychology when it speaks of free will being real.  If it cannot show if free will is true then maybe it can show if it is false.

EXPERIMENT REFUTING FREE WILL
 
A brain experiment apparently showed that the motor cortex is active 300 milliseconds before we think we have decided to move. In other words, what we call a decision is made before we think we make it. An objection to this experiment is that the motor cortex may simply be going on standby because a decision is about to be made. The cortex is active and ready for a decision but it does not follow that it knows what the decision is going to be. Sam Harris cited the experiment in his book Free Will as indicating that we are assuming we have free will when we don't and what we mistake for our decisions is simply pre-coded preferences. We could not have decided any different and so our decisions are only seeming decisions - they are not real.
 
Some argue that evolution is based on what experiments say. Some believers in free will say that if free will is an illusion, then its hard to explain what evolution has inflicted the illusion on us for. Evolution is not perfect. Its not an intelligence. Talk of evolution's purposes is really more poetic than anything else. An apple does not have a purpose when it falls off the tree. Is free will an illusion? It may not be most of the time. We mostly get on with doing things without thinking about free will or even about feeling free. It is an illusion when we look inside to check that we are free.

FREE WILL AND THOUGHTS
 
We feel free because we are not aware of the subliminal thoughts and feelings and all the mental processes that are working behind the scenes when we make a choice. Its just like when you wave to somebody. You just do it but are not even thinking of what causes you to do it. Simon Blackburn says that we are not aware of those processes. But he denies that it means we are aware of there being no such processes. (That is to say, just because you are not conscious of the processes that produce your actions does not mean there are no processes. A computer can still carry out tasks despite its not knowing what processes are behind these tasks. For example, a computer has a hard drive but doesn't know its there - its only a machine.) What he is saying is that there are processes which produce our actions but we are not aware of them completely and sometimes we are not aware of them at all. He says there is no such thing as being conscious of your freedom. The feeling of freedom is just a feeling and so has nothing do with whether we have free will or not.
 
Thoughts can convey intentions - or we can think what we think on purpose. We can choose what we think so thoughts and intention can work together.
 
We only have one thought at a time and this thought is caused by what we think or what happens in the previous moment. In fact, when you understand the argument that we canít be free because we only have one thought at a time you see that the feeling free stops. Then you feel that you are not free. Feeling free happens only when you forget that your decision is caused by one thought and you recall the thought and the process of thoughts and the motions of the will that led to the thought that caused the decision. If you assume for a time that you are not free and become aware of each moment your will moves as an individual moment and wave your arms about you will experience the sensation that everything you are doing is mechanical and is just happening according to some program and the feeling of freedom disappears.
 
When the sensation is so changeable how can you be free? You will feel free and some times and not at others. If you have free will, you will find that there are times you are free but don't feel free.
 
Experience seems to show that we are free until you see through it and then you start to see past the feeling of freedom. You can sense that you have no free will. 
 
A chain of unconscious and mechanical processes cause my consciousness and make me see what options I have. I do not really choose what I choose. A choice that appears in a backdrop of non-choice is not a choice. Ultimate control is necessary to choose and I do not have that.
 
We are not really the owners and masters of our thoughts. Free will requires forethought. It is more important for your thoughts to be free than your will for you cannot freely choose anything unless you can freely think. Free will over our thoughts cannot exist so free will over anything else cannot exist either. See this and feeling free will no longer seem to make a case for free will.

THE ROLE OF SOCIETAL AND MEDIA CONDITIONING
 
Feelings happen whether we want them or not and do not care what we want. They just surface. Programming and our biology do that. Where is the logic in saying you have free will when it is feeling that tells you it is there when feeling is so programmable? It is more likely than not wrong for when it is programmed by blind nature it cannot have any definite hope of being reliable. It does not make sense to argue that programmable feeling can or should tell you anything about your feeling free being correct or otherwise.
 
Even that aside, it is more likely than not that feeling is not telling you the truth when it is not about truth. It is more likely than not that feeling is wrong for by experience it often is. It is more likely than not.
 
Is the feeling really from free will or you or conditioned into you by society which act like it believes in free will and says it exists? Many of our feelings are put in us by our community and upbringing. It could be that the feeling comes from within and from conditioning as well. We can be sure that conditioning explains it all or most of it because no society sees free will as trivial doctrine. It is held to be pivotal to what human nature is and how it lives Ė for example, it cannot be right to accuse a murderer of being responsible if he is not for that subjects him to hatred from many. Not deliberately but it does and you are still a cause.
 
WHY WE WANT TO BELIEVE OTHERS HAVE FREE WILL
 
Our desire for people to have free will is part of the reason why we are conditioned to feel free and believe we are free. But it is the present moment that matters. We like to believe people could have avoided doing the evil they did - that they did it freely and were not programmed. It consoles us to think they might have done differently of their own free will. It makes us less afraid of what our programming might have us doing next. But surely if we should fear the unknown we should fear it the same whether we are programmed or whether we have free will?
 
Free will or not, the evil that is done in the past cannot be changed. If we are comforted by the notion that evil people could have done good instead of evilly abusing their free will, that makes no sense as far as the past is concerned. Belief in free will should only be comforting if you are doing something to help as many as possible use their free will better. So why do many do nothing and still like the doctrine? The liking and comforting is an illusion. We delude ourselves to relish the notion that we have free will.
 
Feeling free is a necessary evil. How? Because if you feel free and reason that means you are free that does not give you the right to assume that others are free as well. It does not give you the right to judge them. But in fact you donít really care much about feeling free just for yourself but because you want to accuse others of having free will so that if they do bad they will suffer pangs of conscience or retribution. The evil of feeling free is a necessary evil and is not something to be celebrated. Just because you have to use something bad does not make it right to revel.
 
The worship of God is inseparable from this necessary evil of feeling free. Believers want to consecrate their feeling of freedom to God and give God free worship. The worship of God then is gravely misguided and bad.

GRATIFYING THE EGO

Thinking and feeling form the process from which the decision is made but all these things have the one motive: gratification of the self. We know that we can't possibly be in bliss all the time and sometimes we want to suffer so that we can later enjoy life better. If you are in pain and get better, you end up in euphoria with the relief. Until we get the relief we can get the gratification that comes from fulfilling our desire to suffer. Gratification accompanies all that we consciously do. It is the reason we think we feel free or that we do what we want. It is not evidence that we are free because it has to do with pleasure not with the will though it drives the will. It is not the will. We like to feel as if we are in control even if we are not. The thinking and feeling do not prove that we produce the decision but they are just the way the programming that will result in the decision works.
 
Everything we do consciously and unconsciously, is accompanied by a sense of gratification. It satisfies our will. This feeling is the reason we think we feel free or that we do what we want. It is not evidence that we are free because it has to do with pleasure not with the will though it drives the will. It is not the will. We do not care about good and evil but only about self-gratification so that does away with free will in any meaningful sense though religion lies saying God made us free to decide if we would be evil or good.  

We know that we can see and we cannot deny that. We can sense the will but its freeness is not something that can be sensed so the freeness can be denied. We have no mechanism for sensing it apart from feelings and feelings can be wrong. Religion says that free will is a certain fact. It is forced to say that because if it is just an assumption then it cannot claim that there is any evidence for God for that hypothesis requires that free will exists. So it has to be positing some psychic sixth sense that tells you that the will is free. It has to fall back on psychic powers, a concept it frequently regards as abominable and satanic.  

FINALLY

Too much theology, religion, law and politics has been built on the shaky foundation of free will.  It is not enough to carry all that.  So we see we don't just want to believe in free will.  We want to believe in a free will that does certain things!  Its exploitive.
 
BIBLE QUOTATIONS FROM:
The Amplified Bible
 
BOOKS CONSULTED
 
A CONCISE INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY, William H Halverson, Random House, N.Y. 1967
BASIC PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS, Charles C Reid, Dickenson, CA, 1971
BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL, Friedrich Nietzsche, Penguin, London, 1990
CONTROVERSY: THE HUMANIST CHRISTIAN ENCOUNTER Hector Hawton, Pemberton Books, London, 1971
DOING AWAY WITH GOD? Russell Stannard, Marshall Pickering, London, 1993
ETHICS, KEY CONCEPTS IN PHILOSOPHY, Dwight Furrow, Continuum, New York, 2005 chapter 7
FREE TO DO RIGHT, David Field IVP London, 1973
GOD A GUIDE FOR THE PERPLEXED Keith Ward, OneWorld, Oxford, 2003
GOD AND THE NEW PHYSICS, Paul Davies, Penguin Books, London, 1990
HANDBOOK OF CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS, Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli, Monarch, East Sussex, 1995
MORAL PHILOSOPHY Joseph Rickaby SJ, Stonyhurst Philosophy Series, Longmans, Green and Co, London, 1912
MORTAL QUESTIONS, Thomas Nagel, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1979
ON THE TRUTH OF THE CATHOLIC FAITH, BOOK ONE, GOD, St Thomas Aquinas, Image Doubleday and Co, New York, 1961
PHILOSOPHICAL PROBLEMS AND ARGUMENTS, James W. Cornman and Keith Lehrer, 2nd Edition, Macmillan Network, 1974
PHILOSOPHY Ė THE PURSUIT OF WISDOM, Louis P Pojman, Wadsworth, California, 1994
RADIO REPLIES VOL 1, Frs Rumble & Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1938
RADIO REPLIES VOL 2, Frs Rumble & Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1940
RADIO REPLIES VOL 3, Frs Rumble & Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1942
REASON AND RELIGION, Anthony Kenny, Basil Blackwell Ltd, Oxford, 1987
RELIGION IS REASONABLE, Thomas Corbishley SJ, Burns & Oates Ltd, London, 1960
THE BIG QUESTIONS, Simon Blackburn, Quercus Books, London, 2009
THE END OF FAITH, RELIGION, TERROR AND THE FUTURE OF REASON, Sam Harris, Free Press, London, 2005
THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS OF PHILOSOPHY, AC Ewing, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1985
THE REALITY OF GOD AND THE PROBLEM OF EVIL, Brian Davies, Continuum, London-New York, 2006
THE SATANIC BIBLE, Anton Szandor LaVey, Avon Books, New York, 1969