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?

 


ARE WE PROGRAMMED BUT NEED A TINY BIT OF FREEDOM AND THAT IS ENOUGH TO MAKE US FREE?
 
The printer if it were a person is not responsible for the page it prints when interference forces it to print one line only. Thus a little free will is only a faculty but not a useful one. It is sitting there and we have no free will. We cannot be held responsible if there is a lot of interference in our decision making.
 
Yet some people argue that we are morally accountable for the actions we take as long as even a tiny bit of us is the creator of the action and it is not just down to the determinism or programming and the causation that trap us.
 
They might call themselves compatibilists but in fact they hold we are determined and part of us is not. That is not compatibilism but holding to both determinism and free will at the same time. Compatibilism is saying all we do is written in the stars and we are free as long as no outside force compels us and our brains do the work. The computer is free as long as nobody forces it to do things. There is no way to tell if you are both programmed and not which side is doing the action so accepting both determinism and free will is of no value.
 
This confuses feeling free with being free.
 
Compatibilism teaches that as long as your action is not down to outside strong influence or coercion then it is your action even if you are programmed by your inner nature to do it and nothing else. But logically you are still being forced by your past and your computer brain. A computer that is programmed to feel free is as much programmed and controlled as one that is not. In fact this statement needs clarification. It is more programmed when it feels free for that is an additional programme to the programming it has.

If God has anything to do with how you act then no good action is fully yours. Compatibilism says God can give grace that works with you but that is nonsense. No evil act is fully yours either for he is either not giving you grace which is the same as bad grace for everything is a coin with two sides or he is just giving bad grace.
 
Compatibilism says that we become the decisions we make even if they are not technically decisions. The decision if that is the right word starts with what we want to be and then the action shows what we are and we become more and more identified with them and identify ourselves with them. We get identified with them by others.

If compatibilism is true then do decisions really matter? If so how much? How responsible are you? Nobody claims to know. But we do. Remember the printer?
 
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
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 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 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