Free will - a necessary evil?

Free will means you own what you do and it's not down to programming or anybody else. The essential versions are that we choose and it's not about doing right and wrong though it can be. Others say it is about doing right or wrong as in mistake. The rest say it is about doing right or doing evil.

If free will is a necessary evil then we need the minimalist version. That is the one that will be the necessary evil. Anything more than that is just evil.

For this essay we will treat the choosing between good and evil as the necessary evil.

Free will is the power to choose to do good or evil. The power to do good is seen as good while the power to do evil is seen as a necessary side-effect - a necessary evil. It is evil in the way a risk is evil.

So the necessary evil is needed before voluntary good is possible.

What does that make the good?

Is it just good?

Is it both good and a necessary evil? In other word grey?

It is the latter for there is no voluntary good without the risk of evil. Religion says that free will is from God and thus it will be worth all the harm done when a person does evil.

Voluntary good always has a but. This good is necessarily imperfect. The greyness scares people - it gives them too much freedom to pass off evil as good or to make the good masquerade as the best. It takes away their hope in the prayer, "Deliver us from evil", for that prayer is based on lies and false hope.

We are told that free will is good even though it can be abused because it does not have to be abused. It does not have to be used to produce evil. But evil is one thing we cannot avoid creating. Even when we do good there is some evil in that. Evil and good are not separable - all you can do is decide what is best and do it. The best contains both elements. There is no free will to do anything that is all-good.

Free will is a necessary evil if you consider voluntary good to be worth it. Religion claims that free will is needed to maximise good. If so, the problem is that it cannot give us perfect good. Free will is a necessary evil for it is a pity that we cannot freely choose good without having the power to choose evil. Celebrating free will is celebrating the evil it risks. It makes no sense to be against the evil it actually does! Why celebrate one evil and not another especially when they are related?

Anyone who fails to accept that free will is a necessary evil and who seeks perfect good is condemning their own nature.

If God is perfect then only God can be perfectly good. We will never have a full relationship with him for our goodness is imperfect. Notice that if God is perfect his free will has no element of risk. He cannot sin or do wrong. That is not free will at all. Believers in God though they deny it actually do imagine God as free agent. It shows that people tend to invent a God in their heads who seems human and they deny that they do this.

Free will is not a necessary evil if there is no God to give it to us. If it arose just by chance, then we just have free will and that is that. If free will is a necessary evil and if we have the choice to believe it came from God and was given to us or to believe it appeared by luck which belief is the lesser evil or the best? It is better to say a necessary evil came by chance than to hold that a loving God created it. If it came by chance we are not condoning or even slightly condoning the evil or risking condoning. But we are if we say there is a God for we show that we are willing to take the risk that we are actually honouring evil. We are willing to condone even if we don't condone.

Free will as a necessary evil is dark in principle and not just because it can be used to do evil with. To say luck is behind our free will does not give the darkness the same sanctity or sanction as saying God is behind it.


Is choice good in itself or good because you can choose good with it?

If there was a contest, which one should it be?

Obviously choice in itself. You cannot choose to do good without it anyway.

If good does not matter as much as choosing in itself then choice comes first for there is nothing else to put first. Let us make that clear. Choice is good and better than any moral qualities such as love and kindness and justice! Got that? Choice matters more than morality. We have proven that objective morality is not everything.

Choice is not for morality even if it can do morality so free will is not a gift from God. It is atheistic in its overtones and undertones.

Doing evil would be choosing an unnecessary evil. But good is a necessary evil because we are so imperfect. So, you are choosing between a necessary evil and an unnecessary one. You even call the necessary evil good! Evil wins. Evil is stronger than good and even our good is evil. The triumph of good over evil is really the triumph of dark over darker. It is the triumph of the hypocrite who loves to be called good.

Evil is banal and ordinary which is why a functional world can still be evil. It does not have to be a literal hellhole.

The Risk

Free will, if we have it, seems great if we do good but what if we do evil?

Free will is a risk. It might make things better or worse. Is it therefore an evil?

Some say no for it is not right to condemn something just because it is abused.

True but it is not the thing we are condemning but the risk it poses.

So free will is a risk and therefore that side of it is bad.

A knife is a necessary evil in the sense that we need it though it can be used to stab somebody.

Is that how free will would be a necessary evil too?

Not in the following way. If we need to feel free, we could be puppets and feel free. So free will is not about benefiting us but about benefiting a moral God who is more concerned about principles than our happiness. Free will then if there is a God is not a necessary evil. It is just evil.

Religious people say that we would be puppets without free will and God has given us free will so that we might choose good or evil.

That implies that if there are entities or people like us who lack free will then they are puppets. It's a nasty doctrine. The religious actually don't believe it at all for they don't think of babies as mere dolls made of flesh. If your mother didn't have free will but seemed to would you regard her as a puppet? The religious won't take responsibility for their lies. Their lies are quite nasty. Free will is simply not a good doctrine in its implications. Religion takes advantage of the fact that most people are not very good at assessing implications.

Not responsible for being free

You are not responsible for being free but for how you use your freedom. That does not amount to much for you do not choose the circumstances that will come to demand a choice. Proper free will means you have to self-create your free will. The notion of God creating your free will and the notion that you are free because of God's grace and creative power denies this truth. Free will though exploited to defend God letting evil happen is in fact pro-atheist and anti-theist.

God cannot be perfect if he gives you the freedom to harm. It makes no sense to give a person a gun when you know that they will probably shoot somebody with it and call yourself good. Suppose free will is good. Then it is good only because it can be put to use. It is not good in the sense that we do not cause it. Our being free then is a necessary evil. Our use of it is a separate matter.

The wanton misuse of free will would be an unnecessary evil it would seem. But does it make sense to say it is? Individual evil actions would be unnecessary evils. But that does not mean the principle that we need to be able to abuse it and allowed to is wrong. The individual is not the general. If you need the freedom generally it does not make your individual and evil deeds needed. If we need to have free will even if we will abuse it a lot, then the abuse is a necessary evil in general terms. The abuse of free will is generally a necessary evil.

Though the power to choose evil in itself is a necessary evil the specific uses of it are unnecessary evils. But is murder really that bad if that is true? The general and the specific are two separate things but if we call evil a necessary evil at all we lose the right to forbid any other evil. If you are forced by some crisis to start executing everybody above 60 what is the point of refraining from killing somebody of 59 on moral grounds? If there is a point it hardly matters.

There is no free will to be totally good or absolutely good. In fact, there is no real free will at all. There is no free will in the sense that free speech that is even a little censored is not free speech at all and forces people to doubt the truth when they hear it.

There is no free will to be totally good all the time. It cannot be done. Thus free will is really more a necessary evil than a great good. It is not something to be revelled in. It is not something to be praised as a gift from God as twisted Christianity does.

Free will cannot be given so that you might be good

Free will is defined as the power to do good or bad without being programmed. You do it by choice.

But is free will about doing good or evil, being good or evil or both?

Free will is about being your own person. But if all you have comes from God then this cannot be. You are never your own person. Believers then say that God who is perfect goodness gave us free will and we misused it and that is why there is evil. This is a smokescreen. God is simply worse than what we are for he gave us a gift of non-independence that we pretend is independence. Free will should be about you being you more than about you being a good person.

If free will is about being evil, we take on evil as part of our nature or what we are. This implies we should be hated in so far as we are evil. And to say it is not about an evil nature, is to hypocritically say that sinners and sins are totally separate and that a sinner is a saint and it is the sin that is bad. Free will would go with incitement to hatred.

The best person

The free will doctrine implies that: "The best person can give their heart to great evil but does not."

Sorry but in the real world who cares? In life, the best person can do what they want with their hearts as long as they avoid doing great evil and even better, do great good.

The focus is on intention

The free will doctrine states that what you intend is all that matters. Good or evil actions are really almost side-effects of your intentions. That doctrine needs to be seen for the manipulative tosh it really is.

Free will not a necessary evil. It's just an evil.


The notion of God makes the free will doctrine worse. It is really endorsed for the sake of God. Religion says we are to blame for evil and not God. So much for the notion that proper use of free will is about recognising justice that one is innocent until proven guilty.

If we need free will it is more important to have it than to believe in it. The slander is unjustified.


Free will is a necessary evil at best. Believing in it is another necessary evil at best.

Do not be charmed by the doctrine of free will. It is an adder in the grass.

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