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?

 


FREE WILL IS NOT THE GIFT OF FREEDOM FROM CONTROL IF THERE IS A GOD

Nobody likes having all the praise and trappings and good things of this world even if it is almost totally benevolent control. There is no such thing as purely benevolent control. Why control if you are really that kind? A being who can't help controlling is still controlling you. It does not matter if God is forced to control for creating goes with control.

God is creator and that means that every thought, every gesture and every move is given to you and controlled by him. He does not need to go into a rage if you go against him for strictly speaking you cannot do that. No matter what you say it is still what he wants to hear under the circumstances. No matter what you do it is what he wants you to do under the circumstances.

Free will is given and then maintained by God. Giving it and maintaining it are two forms of control. The fact that an action is really his will than ours is a third. God lets me have the temptation to murder and the resources to give in and the justification is that it is supposed to be for a purpose where he draws good from evil.

He never forgets anything ever. That he cannot help that is not the point for you can forgive somebody and the memory will not leave. But the not forgetting makes you feel controlled and watched.

Do you want to love God and be loved by God as well? God goes with the rating game. I rate God as perfect and God as that which alone matters and I feel I am nothing. Rating denies that I am valuable whether there is a God or not. Thus it is destructive and degrading. If it is bad to compare yourself to Mr x or Mx Y or Ms z that is worse. God is with you all the time and bigger than them.

When you are treated badly by others, you feel that this should not happen. You feel that life should be fair. That only makes sense if you think the creator God is fair and is sustaining and running all things. That only makes sense if people can let God in so that they can be fair today where they were only unfair before. You may blame yourself and think you are letting them treat you unjustly and you end up feeling useless and stupid and worthless for letting that happen. You feel you should then be judged badly by others. They should look down on you as a person and on what you do.

Free will is a big lie and no lie, the bigger the lie the more this is true, is an innocent bystander.

BUT GOD IS ALL IN CONTROL
 
God is all-powerful and the maker of all things. So even when we are free we are not free.
 
Religionists sometimes argue that God has freely chosen to self-limit his control in order that we may really be independent of him.
 
They say that it is because God is all-powerful that he is able to impose a limitation on himself so that we can make our decisions freely. This limitation is about God serving his own plan. He does his will by restricting it.
 
But this contradicts the view that nothing exists without God's input. He cannot restrict. Even if he does restrict he is still all-powerful so he is not really restricting.
 
To understand what we mean by creation it is helpful to see the doctrine as saying that God has more to do with what we are and do than we do. Creation being distant enough from God to diminish his responsibility for what happens in it is out. I may choose to hit a ball with a stick but God enables me to do it and choose it and enables the influences that cause me to do it. My own part if any is not even worth thinking bout. And if I make a choice I make it because of Godís assistance and creative power and not against it. God as creator does not diminish his involvement when we sin. It deepens it.
 
MY WILL OR GOD'S?
 
God by definition is all good so he comes first. He opposes sin. If free will is about devotion to God then it is given that we might please him. It must be about that if there is a God.
 
God has the right to be free from people who sin. I do not mean they trap him. I mean he wants a universe of good people. Godís freedom matters and mine does not. Thus if God gives me the free will which can lead to sin, he is putting my will before his.
 
Religion will answer that he is not for he asks us to use free will to love him and that entails the risk of us not loving him. But that is actually a reason not to give us free will. A universe with a being with a perfect will is better than one with a being who sins or might sin.
 
But you may say that God cannot really literally have free will anyway. But you could make a case for saying that you still have to regard him as free though he is not and act accordingly. Believers talk about God's free will but they contradict this by saying he cannot sin. They say free will makes love possible and that God loves us though he cannot have free will. But let us for the purpose of argument assume they really believe God is free.
 
Believers in fact worship free will rather than God! They worship God for degrading himself in order that we might feel special and free! That is not a God but a mess.

WHY YOU NEED TO TAKE ALL THE CREDIT
 
You need to feel you are dependent on yourself to make yourself reasonably happy. There are things that will happen that you have little or no control over. But you are dependent on yourself to be able to face up to them. Take charge of your own life and do not feel that God controls all things or that you are dependent on him or anybody. Remember that free will does not solve the God problem. Do not say, "God has given me free will and that means I am independent." That is merely contradicting yourself. We would be free because God lets us be and enables us to be. We are still as unfree as budgies put into bigger cages. The owner still has all the control he wants over the birds. But it is worse than that. Religion says that we are free because of God and not in spite of him. Our freedom is wholly dependent on God. Without God you cannot choose. Your battery has power but gets it from another power. So its power is not really its power. Your freedom then is not your freedom. But to be really free it has to be yours and yours alone.
 
If you cannot move your arm and you want to murder and somebody else moves the arm for you your freedom is dependent on them but is not your freedom at all. Religion will answer that we are talking about the will and nobody else can choose something for you and only you can choose. It says the will is different and not like somebody moving your arm for you. But the will is itself an action and so is moving the arm. God moving your will is the same as God moving your arm. Unless atheism is true, there can be no free will. The Church accuses people of abusing their freedom when in fact it is freedom in name only. Freedom means you make your freedom yourself. You make your own freedom. You cause your free will. Religion says God gives you free will but in fact it is only using words. It does not really believe in free will. Freedom would be a contradiction if there is a God. We are unfreely free and freely unfree. Our independence is itself dependence. Feeling really independent is fundamentally atheistic. So feel that. Failing to feel that it is up to you shows you think deep down that your life is safer if you let others take responsibility for you and the world. You do not feel you can make yourself feel safe or that you can trust yourself. You like to think you trust God for that is a diversion from the truth that you do not trust yourself to co-operate with others implying your trust in them is far too weak. You are trying to protect yourself from rejection by others and from feeling that you are really useless. It is not really about God. It can never be. It is about you.
 
Free will means you declare yourself to be your own God. An almighty God cannot give you free will as if you could use it in spite of him! That would imply that there is something he hasn't created - namely your choices. And if you use your free will and abuse it because of him then it follows that it cannot be real abuse for he is in control and has most of the responsibility. Sin must be good if God assists the will to abuse him.
 
Religionists sometimes admit that atheists can be strong in the face of great trouble. Some will lie that those people must be closet believers in God and getting strength from him. Others say that the atheists do have strength but because they depend on themselves the strength will burn out. So they advise the atheists to turn to God who will provide an endless supply of support that cannot burn out. But experience shows that believers can and do burn out. Then religion argues that it is God's plan that he knows what he is doing! And what about the atheists who get blow after blow but never burn out?

FINALLY

Religion thinks it needs God in order to explain how free will is possible but in fact this explanation seems to forget that if he creates all then he has be controlling us even if we feel we are not being controlled.  The control is actually deeper than how you control your puppet with the strings.  He creates the strings.

BOOKS CONSULTED
 
AN INTELLIGENT PERSONS GUIDE TO CATHOLICISM, Alban McCoy, Continuum, London and New York, 1997
AN INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHICAL ANALYSIS, John Hospers, Routledge, London, 1992
APOLOGETICS AND CATHOLIC DOCTRINE, Most Rev M Sheehan DD, MH Gill & Co, Dublin, 1954
ARGUING WITH GOD, Hugh Sylvester IVP, London, 1971
CONTROVERSY: THE HUMANIST CHRISTIAN ENCOUNTER Hector Hawton, Pemberton Books, London, 1971
EVIL AND THE GOD OF LOVE, John Hicks, Fontana, London, 1977
FREE INQUIRY, Do We have Free Will? Article by Lewis Vaughn and Theodore Schick JR, Spring 1998. Vol 18 No 2, Council for Secular Humanism, Amherst, New York
GOD AND EVIL, Brian Davies OP, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1984
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
PHILOSOPHICAL DICTIONARY, Voltaire, Translated by Theodore Besterman, Penguin, London, 1972
RELIGION IS REASONABLE, Thomas Corbishley SJ, Burns & Oates, London, 1960
THE CASE AGAINST GOD, Gerald Priestland, Collins, Fount Paperbacks, London, 1984
THE LIFE OF ALL LIVING, Fulton J Sheen, Image Books, New York, 1979
THE PUZZLE OF GOD, Peter Vardy, Collins, London, 1990
THE REALITY OF GOD AND THE PROBLEM OF EVIL, Brian Davies, Continuum, London-New York, 2006
THE TEACHING OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, Ed. Canon George D Smith, Ph.D. Burns and Oates and Washbourne, London, 1952
THE TRUTH OF CHRISTIANITY, WH Turton, Wells Gardner, Darton & Co Ltd, London, 1905
UNBLIND FAITH, Michael J Langford, SCM, London, 1982
WHY DOES GOD? Domenico Grasso SJ, St Paul's, Bucks, 1970

BIBLE QUOTATIONS FROM:
The Amplified Bible