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?

 


Right and Wrong - is there more to it than mere choice?

It seems obvious that an act is not made morally right just by choosing it. Choosing to do x has nothing to do with making x right.

Many act as if it does.

There was a controversy in 2017 about a baby boy who was circumcised on religious grounds without the clear consent of his parents. One would think that if circumcision were not a huge violation or a huge matter then the lack of consent would not be a big thing either. The fact that it was so important is because circumcision for religious reasons amounts to an assault on the child whether parents consent or not.

A choice is an action. The will acts even if only internally. It is an action you do a further action with. It involves intention.

Religion says a choice should not made for the sake of making a choice. It is choosing for something. It is choosing love, justice to give two components of morality. It is choosing what ignores or rejects them. Choice for philosophers and for Catholics, among other religions, needs to go somewhere. People say choice and purpose are inseparable. Choice is for purpose. It needs to be for something, for a purpose. It needs to be about what you do be it good or bad. Too often we hear about choice, especially as in transgender treatment, abortion and euthanasia, but no moral link is mentioned. It is just choice for the sake of choice. People say that something which is the least evil may be done if there is no other way to avoid doing something worse. You are forced to act so you are not willingly evil. But if you are glad you have to do it then you are as bad as if you did it freely. You could be evil for choosing the worst evil. If you do so you are saying you are choosing it for not other reason than that you decide to.

Back to choice being about purpose. Whose purpose? For religion it is God's purpose that matters. You make his purpose your own by consent. To make it about you then is abusing choice. It has to be about him. To make a choice as a choice means that if you miss the mark and choose without thinking of God and for God then it can count as a choice but really as a proper choice. It is a motion made in error not a proper choice.

If you can choose moral or immoral things that does not mean choice is about them.

It is one of the many contradictions of morality that it is immoral to interfere with anybody’s choice. Yet society feels it has to do it.

If choice alone matters then it is because nobody looks after me but me and others looking after me only do so for I let them so even that is down to me. I am the product of my own decisions. I am made by my choices. I make myself for further choices. So I am therefore made by and for my choices. To attack them is to attack me.

The choice I may be condemned for is one of many choices I make. I am still being attacked in so far as I make that choice so anybody saying, “I am not saying it is all about that choice. You choose many good things”, is thin and hypocritical.

Having the power to choose is one thing. But what if you are merely simulating the power to choose and there is no real choice? We ignore that for social reasons. We are talking about what we do and what it says about us not if choice is real. We just treat simulated choice the same as the real thing for we have to.

Choice is made out to be a great thing. It is great because it is about freedom. How does this fit the belief that if you love somebody and they love you then both of you have to give up independence? It shows that choice is not really for morality. You have to abuse yourself in order to love.

God supposedly gave us free will so we could make choices for him. It is not like he just gave us freedom and it is us who makes the purpose of it to be about God. He gave us freedom for connecting to him so choice is meant to be for God whether we like it or not.

If God is to be God then he has to ensure we can be all about him and unite to him completely in love. In reality that does not happen. It cannot. We are condemned as sinful for the way we are, for what we cannot do. The picture of free will that comes from religion and God is totally unacceptable.

Morally speaking ought implies can. Ought implies ownership - if you own your choice and its your choice then you are responsible. A person ought to make others happy if that is his or her goal. Bacteria cannot be said to ought to make you healthy - they do not know what they are doing. You make the ought. The fact that you can ought does not mean you should or must.

Religion says ought means what some God or moral standard wants you to do and it is not about what you want or decree ought to be done.

Whether it is ought as in a higher standard or ought as in what you want it to be, action is the most important part of ought. An ought is no good if nobody can act on it. You need two actions - the action as in choosing and then what you make with that power to choose. The first one as in how choice is action in itself is the most important. The second is the less important one for it is the action you do with the choice action. It cannot be as important for it cannot happen without it.

Can and ought go together inseparably. Can is not about ought but there can be no ought without can. Can matters more then than the ought. This is not what you would expect if we are really children of a moral God who has stamped his image of morality into us.

If we have free will do we just have it? If so it has no purpose in itself. Giving it a purpose is only confirming that you have to give it a purpose for it has no purpose. Free will despite having no purpose can take one. A stick lying on the road can take a purpose by being treated as a walking stick.

Wanting choice and asserting your right to choose can mean, “I know what I will do so I don’t need to hear you or listen to you.” “I choose to listen to you” is just another way of making it all about you.

Disapproval means that you regard somebody's action as intolerable. You do not respect their freedom to commit the act. You seek to remove their freedom by disapproving of it and using this disapproval to pressure them to stop it.

If an evil act deserves no respect as an act, it follows that God who can prevent the act or take away free will has no right to allow it.

If we really have received the power to choose from God, then he is giving us the power to fend for ourselves. But though we can do that with the power, it does not follow that we are given it for that reason. God by definition deserves devotion and if our power to choose is about us then he cannot give it to us. It is about him.

The reason belief in God is so popular is because people imagine there is a moral force or God who will help you be moral. That presupposes you are not able to be without faith in God (even if there is no God). That is a dangerous view for it involves becoming unable to see that you can do it without faith. The idea that God helps is not the same for that cannot be proven. So it is back to faith.

Choice is enough. There is no need to bring God into it. Why not just start with the fact that we can choose if we indeed can choose?

Choice by definition is your own power. It is atheistic in the sense that it is not about God but about me doing what I choose. If free will exists then it refutes God. The power to choose is just about choosing and respecting the power to choose is about respecting you as you do what you want with the power.

Free will is about power if it exists. It is not about love or unlove or hate. It is not about choosing right or wrong. It is not about love and not about God. Electricity just exists. It is not about lighting up your bulbs or supplying your PC though it can be used for these purposes.

People mostly believe that love is a choice. Surely then if that is true, the choice matters most. It matters more than love or God. There would be no love or devotion to God unless choice existed. God then cannot be that important. It would be evil to say he is. No wonder Christianity and God-based religion are such failures and simmer with passive-aggression. They give God all the importance.

Religion says that God gave us free will to choose him or reject him. He wants us to love him and love is voluntary. This doctrine of the divine motivation for giving us free will contradicts the fact that the power to choose matters more than what we do with it.

Is free will really that great?

Choice is about control first and foremost. The person who opens the floodgate is taking power over the flood. In a real sense that person makes herself/himself stronger than the flood. To choose God is to become the real God. To choose to be moral is to make morality your servant. Free will is useless for you always choose a situation to control that is not as controllable to you as you think. And it’s a leap into what you think will happen not what you know will happen. So even if we have free will it is not very useful. Thus it is undeserving of the high pedestal religion puts it on. It is a core principle for religion for it uses it as an excuse for saying God cannot be to blame for evil and suffering. The idea is that man causes evil not God. And it is deployed to ground the idea of moral responsibility. If we don’t have free will or much of it we cannot be accused of being to blame for what we do. The power of choice leads to fear and fear is part of the reason we won't choose good every time. We often refuse to choose good for we see more power in choosing evil. As choice is power what else could you expect? It invites you to evil as well as to good for it truly cares about neither.

Finally

When see what choice is really about and what morality is really about we see that the argument: "Choosing x has nothing to do with making it right" is simplistic. Choice has a lot to do with it or everything to do with it.

It is really character that matters to us not choice. We don't think about what a person chooses so much as what they are like as a person. What about the indeterminist (free will) notion that your character is your choice for you make it from nothing? Creating from nothing does not mean its random style once-offs all the time. It can be creating choice over time or creating a character framework. Choice means doing one-offs or something more structured. In other words a choice can be instant or prolonged. A choice made slowly over time is still a choice. We fear the idea that somebody can change just like that. We like the idea of character being formed by an extended choice. It is really about what we want to think not what we should think or what is true. In reality if character could exist without any input from free will we would be ecstatic.
You might agree that there is more to life and/or morality than just choice. But you can say, "It is not up to me to decide that x should not have an abortion, have a divorce or have an assisted suicide." I hope they won't choose those things but I legalise that choice. It is up to them to do the right things. That argument means you may as well think that only choice matters. Choice matters not using it for love or justice. It just matters.