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, THE HARMFUL DOCTRINE AND DEADLY DELUSION

We might have free will, the power to do good or evil. Or we might be programmed to feel free and not be free at all. We might be programmed machines which are endowed with consciousness. There is no way you can prove that the latter is not true. There is no evidence for free will.

 

Libertarian free will means you can act despite all the causes and forces getting you to do something.  An alcoholic who suddenly stops would be an example of a libertarian.  He overrides the demons that force him to self-destruct with drink.  Those who claim to believe in free will as the power to do something totally unpredictable and which say this happens for the only cause is you and nothing else are espousing libertarian free will.  Many who say they believe in free will reject that account - they redefine free will as something that is not truly free will.  But the fact remains that many of them do believe in libertarian free will but don't want to admit it or are confused.  The vast majority of believers in free will are in fact libertarian as Richard Swinburne tells us in his book Faith and Reason.  If the doctrine is bad then this badness is very rife indeed!  If it is not true that you simply just cannot change just like that then libertarian is a bad slanderous belief.
 
The Unspeakable Slander
 
Everybody admits that they cannot pin down what free will is like or how it works showing that there is no way we can be sure we have responsibility for our actions in the free willist sense (page 36,37,198, Mortal Questions).
 
Some say that it is also a fact that even if we can refute determinism we still havenít succeeded in proving free will because we still donít know if we cause our actions by the use of free will or whether some force that mimics free will and is perhaps free from determinism and is indeterministic is the cause (ibid, page 38).
 
They mean that if we donít have free will some other kind of being might have it. Perhaps there is a force that gives us enough free will to escape the deterministic forces than control us? With such an idea we have no freedom of our own though we think we have.

But neither determinism or indeterminism really teach free will. Determinism says we are programmed by our environment and past and present to do what we do and indeterminism makes no sense for it cannot explain how a loving mother is unable to kill her baby.
 
When there is no proof that we have free will how could it be right to teach it? How can it be good to teach it? It is like a neighbour doing something bad on the strength of prejudice. It is slanderous. How could the doctrine of free will give benefits when its voice is the voice of calumny and spite? Now you see how caring the free willists really are.

The supporters of free will condition people to accept their doctrine without making absolutely sure they are right. This should be stopped.
 
Free Will-ism Justifies Hate

Most people keep up the lie that we are free agents because it gives them an excuse for wanting their pound of flesh and relishing the delights of hatred towards evildoers Ė we all suffer from the conditioning of society that makes us that vicious. People are eager to imagine themselves to be morally superior to others through their own free effort. To say that we are determined is to say we are all equal in value and worth.
 
Free will believers argue that even if we disbelieve in free will we will still find ourselves hating people we see as obnoxious and evil so free will must be true. This argument is an admission that belief in free will causes hate. To argue that we must believe in free will for we will always hate people as if they are free is accusing deniers of free will of believing in free will but pretending they do not. To argue that we must believe in free will for we will always hate people as if they are free is saying that we should increase our hate by accusing them of free will. Even if you hated somebody you believed was not free at least you would be trying to get the right attitude towards them and stop hating them for denial of free will is incompatible with hating them.
 
Their argument fails because most of our emotions are prejudiced and irrational so free will deniers hating has nothing to do with disproving free will or showing that they believe in free will. We know puppies donít have free will but if one kills your kitten you will hate it. We do not say that disbelievers in free will will not hate but we do say that they should not hate at all because hating while believing the person could not help being hateful is totally illogical. The denial of free will should mean we hate nobody. Free will is an assumption that makes hate more likely. Free will is not a rational belief but an emotional one. In other words it is something you say is true not because you think it is true but because you wish that it were true. It is an entirely egotistic (egotism is nasty selfishness while egoism is selfishness that makes you of benefit to others and yourself) assumption. The free willists want their doctrine even if it does great harm and all that matters to them is that they like the doctrine. They do not mind if believing in free will creates more hate than there would be if less believed in it. They put the doctrine before goodness. They do not mind having a doctrine that causes many to hate when they could have a doctrine that gives nobody even a partial excuse or reason for hating. The free will hypothesis plainly suggests that beliefs matter more than people. No wonder many religious cults are nasty pieces of work when they regard free will as a cornerstone of their theology.

When you do evil it is the good in it that you are really after. Therefore good and evil are not opposites but cousins. They are too close to justify revenge or harsh punishments. They are too close to justify a God sending you to Hell forever or you believing that God will do that to some people which is the same as willing him to do it if he wills. There is no point then in believing in free will unless you want to justify cruel punishments but even it cannot do that. So you may as well scrap the doctrine altogether.

Some say that it canít be wrong to hate a person who will never die or who will not be harmed by your hate. If you like hating it seems you should. It might be that you are valuing yourself instead of that person which you should do for you are most sure you exist but that is only true if you believe in free will. You will not be able to hate a person unless you believe in free will. God implies free will so God is an evil doctrine. The person who denies free will hates what a person does but not the person and wishes the imbalance was fixed. Humanists say you should hate nobody in case they are good persons who are just disordered and not free.

If you believe you have free will so that you might love everybody then remember that you cannot love everybody.  You are indifferent towards nearly everybody on earth and indifference is worse than hate and the true opposite of love.  If free will is about telling yourself that you are to love everybody then it is a bad joke and will only wreck your self-regard.  If you do not love most others and think you should then you will inevitably but perhaps secretly end up being very bad.
 
The believers in free will claim that God gave us free will so that we could decide between good and evil. Since we donít like evil at all but we do sometimes like to do not what is good but what is less good it follows that they are lying. We choose not between good and evil but between good and less good. We only do evil because we see some good in it. It is the good we want not the evil. Believers in free will know fine well we donít choose between good and evil but they slander us and themselves. It is impossible for us to love evil for its own sake. To say that when we do wrong we do evil is to say that we are evil. That being the case to love us is to love evil. Nobody can do that. They sweetly claim you must hate the evil a person does but love the person but that is to hide this. They are inciting to hatred and that is that. If Christians really believe that sinners are not completely worthless they wouldnít be able to believe that they go to Hell to sin and suffer forever if they happen to die.
 
The idea that free will is a choice between being good and less good has the following difficulty. If God gave us free will so that we could love and because love is a voluntary thing then the problem turns into us having the choice between being loving and less loving. We always love something. The person who commits suicide does so often because they feel that its more loving to die and stop burdening the family and friends and society. So we canít stop loving so we have no choice to stop loving. We have no free will at all. All we have is the power to put the love in the wrong direction. To say that when we are forced to love and that love is voluntary is to be totally incoherent. It is to contradict oneself.
 
Free will to mean anything must mean the choice to be lovable or despicable. But if we are to love our enemies and to love the wicked then we are denying them their choice. We are not respecting their free will at all. What we are doing is making their freedom to do evil or to be despicable pretty pointless. It is like giving somebody the freedom to steal and not thinking of them as a thief but as somebody to be loved. You canít give somebody this freedom unless you are willing to think of them as a thief. Sinners must have the right to love themselves as well no matter what they do if we are to love them. What kind of free will is this that doesnít allow the despicable to be despised? Itís nonsense. They are being treated as if their evil doesnít matter. How can evil matter unless you hate the producer of the evil?
 
If you canít treat evil or sin as something that people do and that people create freely then how can you judge when you have to focus on the person being lovable when they are not? Is a mother a good judge when the child who is the apple of her eye does wrong? And you need to judge if you are seriously a hater of sin or an opponent of evil or wrongdoing.

 
The Threat of Free Will-ism

If we have free will then we have all willed terrible things. If we could not act out our evil desires, we willed it. If the act of will alone could have done the evil thing we would have willed it still. This gives people the right to treat us as badly as they please for we deserve it whether we repent or not. Repenting is not undoing the crime. Forgiving is not removing the guilt but acting as if the guilt is not there anymore. The law would have to put some constraint on us not because we deserve to be protected but because those who behave the best would have to be enabled to live and have some comforts. When a person commits any crime there would be no reason why people could not be permitted to go all the way in brutality with them and abuse them horrifically. To forbid it would be unjust to the people who want to hurt them.

Anything bad that happens a person who deserves to suffer or die must be treated as punishment if we believe in God who is ultimately responsible for all good and evil. Why? Because it is worse to hurt or intend somebody innocent to be hurt for a good reason than it is to hurt or want to hurt somebody and make it punishment for the same good reason. In other words, the suffering influenced should be intended to be punishment if necessary. It would be unjust to condemn a person for killing another if the other person deserves it even if the guilty party is as bad himself or herself for then her or his fault lies only in what he or she wonít do to themselves not in what he or she has done to the victim.

The freedom doctrine opens the floodgates to allowing people to go all the way in brutality but up to a point for whatever we have done we have to get living. So only the most dangerous would be allowed to be lynched and then the number would have to be restricted. Some would say that justice is overridden by the fact that happiness is best so free will is no excuse for attacking anybody and that it is best for legal justice to concern itself with violations of justice that affect society. This creates the problem of what to do when people want to sue for a violation of a law that isn't really fair. The law has crimes that will be punished and there will be no exceptions but much room is left for the individual to take others to the law if they want to for any reason that flouts justice. Perhaps if I have enough money then to make the law let me torture somebody I donít like to death it has no right to stop me. Free will would allow us to abuse some people who have unusually anti-social and criminal ways to our hearts content. It also implies that the only thing wrong in illegally attacking others is not making sure you donít get caught.
 
The evil we do no matter what it is or what it is like is caused by one motive, the relief of fear. That is because we have two basic emotions, love and fear. So the desire to stop being afraid is the cause of the evil we do meaning that when you murder or steal ten pence you have the same motive. The bigger the crime the more afraid you are at some level. (Religion increases fear so that tells you what it is good for!) From this it follows that the person taking the ten pence is worse than the person who murders for the fear was weaker in the former. Free will implies then that small crimes are the worst. The Humanist answer is that we should not be interested in giving people what they supposedly earn, in other words, to hell with free will, but in averting further anti-social actions so we can oppose big crimes the most.

If we have free will then any wrong we do, we do it knowing the risk that we could suffer terribly for it. For example, stealing an apple could lead to a person hating you forever and the hatred could increase to the degree that the person does something horrible to you. If you are free then it is true to say that you have consented to whatever bad results come from your action merely by doing it. Thus you deserve what you get no matter what it is. It would be evil to hate or punish the person who cuts off your hand for stealing a sweet as long as the person does not do it just for that but also because you willed it before. One person has to come first and it is not the one who chose the evil. Incidentally, this proves that the Catholic doctrine of venial sin - sin that is not bad enough to cost you Godís friendship Ė is an absurdity. Nobody can mean to commit a mere venial sin. The answer to those who say that you cannot punish everyone who sins as you please for we will all be dead is again answered by saying that the people must vote and legislate for the limits.

The notion that we have free will now is bad therefore belief in God is evil. It is a crime against decency to propagate it.
 
God would not want us to believe in free will if he existed and he would not have made us if he did. So the wickedness of subscribing to the doctrine proves that there is no God.
 
Knowledge and Persecution

Religion maintains that if there is no free will we cannot know if anything is true or false because we are just programmed and unless there is a God we cannot know if we were programmed right. The sceptic must be unable to use his free will for he does not believe and think that he is programmed. This scepticism must be the biggest crime of the lot if there is no love without free will as the believers say. Thus the doctrine of free will sanctions the destruction or the incarceration of the sceptic. It is better for a sceptic to be killed than for him to make a convert even if life is the ultimate right for if life is the ultimate right then anybody who teaches determinism is preventing people from knowing this and that is evil. The determinist is a threat to morality and everything else and even to science and for the sake of life being the ultimate value he has to be eliminated. But despite our being determined we know that fire burns us. The fact that we had no intelligent programmer does not mean we know nothing but only think we do. We learn from experience not from programming. It is interaction with reality that produces the programming for heavenís sake.
 
Indirect Responsibility?
 
Would believing that we chose what we were going to be like before we came into this world even if we donít have free will now improve the doctrine? That way we would be indirectly responsible for the evil we do. But still as much responsible as we would be directly. It makes it no better.

You could act as if we are (or at least were) free.
You could act as if we are determined.
You could do both and meet them both half way all the time.
 
You could act as if we are all free when somebody murders or does something terrible and the rest of the time act as if we are not free. You could use the third option in neutral situations when it does not matter which you choose to follow. But to mix and match like that is dishonest. If it is right to punish murderers as if they were free agents then it is right to punish them for other crimes as well. Only 1 and 2 is an option.

If you compromise between the first two options and go for 3 then you would send a person to jail to pay for their crime as in retribution but make them pay half of that and the rest of the sentence would be for some other reason that a determinist can agree with such as rehabilitation. You would have to half-forgive people. You would be treating them as victims of fate and the other half of you would be treating them as wicked.

When belief in free will is bad and free will is bad then it follows that God was bad for having given it to us for we cannot love with it and we should be trying to eliminate it.

Free will does not exist if the religious idea that we sin all the time is true so they are calling God cruel and condoning that cruelty.