Determinism says my choices are made for me not by me but by my past. They are made by my past which is why they feel like my choice. My past is part of me. The alternative is that choices are independent of that.  This is the notion of free will.

For the Determinist side, choice is not about really being able to pick one thing and not another.  For the other side it is. Feeling independent is prone to illusion for you never feel freer as when you are under the bondage of drugs.  The feeling shows its bad side then.  Don't forget that feeling free is passed off as a great thing but it really has another side.  While you enjoy the feeling it destroys somebody else.

Now a question arises that nobody asks. What do we mean by independent?

Well first say that our past make me go for what I go for is to say I mean:

My past brain chemistry

My past body chemistry including what I eat

My past external environment

My genetic makeup

My fixations

My notions about what I know and what I don’t know

My memory which always is sure to change a lot of what I think I remember

My being susceptible to divine and demonic or psychic [or whatever you can think of] forces that implant ideas in me as if they are my own

When you have the list you feel less confident that your free will is really independent.

Being independent in one thing is not being independent in the other.  Any one of them makes your choice less of a choice no matter how much you feel it does not affect anything.

What you remember is not the event but a mental reconstruction of it which will have serious accuracy and detail problems.  The fact that memory is polluted and you do mistake untruths for truths means that the main thing, “Informed choice” is not there. Even those who affirm that choice happens for real would tell us, "A part of what we call choice is really reaction – you feel you have to go for it and do something.  Plus many choices are just reactions full stop.  How much of choice is not choice but reaction?  How many choices are really reactions?  It could be a very high number."

Free will would be too limited to justify treating a person as the proper cause of the good they do or the harm. The murderer might need to go to jail for a year for all we know. Life sentences would be out.

And you need to have all the data and know yourself properly to make a real choice. If what you “choose” is ten percent choice and ninety per cent reaction then what use is that?

All the things we listed from what we mean by your choice being caused by your past block you from making an informed choice. If there is a lack of information or some kind of stoppage, either way, there is no proper choice. The word is not choice but reaction.

It is going too far to say that free will is useful enough for God to justify letting us do such great harm.  It is demeaning to ask God to forgive your sin when even you have no measure of how much your sin was you and not just a reaction.

If free will is real then how real?  Is it limited in the sense that it is an

Ability to regulate my behaviours as a natural being?


As a child of god or a spiritual being?

The difference is, "Am I acting as a person who has only myself and other humans to consider?"  Or "Am I acting as the instrument of God and the conduit of his influence and holy spirit in society?"

As I overrule God by deciding if he is influencing or not, it is clearly about me.  I am pretending to know more than I do and pretending to be a God myself for I can assess what God is doing in me.

If there is a limit, the limit on real spirituality could be an example of it.

If God gives you free will then it is about him even if you don’t know it. It is about how you work for him and relate to him or not.  This is not fair.  It is about God worrying about what you do not about you enjoying a relationship with him.  Would you accept a wizard making Joan think her love for her husband was about her husband when it is really about the wizard?  That does not even make any sense.

Christianity and Judaism teach an absolute morality.  Idolatry for example is never right.  With the religious version of free will you have God turning you into an idolater and manipulating you.

Another issue of relevance to the free will debate is that if two absolute moral bans come up against each other one of them will be broken. That is enough to start the train.

A God who forces you to break one rule is not a good God and is not about respecting your free will. He can arrange things so that you can keep the rule. For example, if you are forced to decide whether to commit the sin of burning an empty consecrated church down and murder you are faced with a choice that is going to be harmful and unfair no matter what you do. If you are forced to sin that means God is the real sinner. This is hypothetical for you cannot be really forced to sin.  But the hypothetical is good for showing up lies and errors and contradictions in our attitudes.  It still shows what is in us.  Sin is intentional.  But a rule is still broken.  If you are forced to break the rule then he is responsible.  If you force somebody to break a rule the real breaker is yourself and so sin applies to you not them.  So it would be with God.  It is wrong that the person has to break a good rule but that does not change who the person is or affect their good heart. It does change the heart of the being that made the situation, you.  Even if you are God that remains the case.  And if you refuse to confess that believer, then we know what is in your heart.  You are the kind of person who wants evil to be in something else not yourself so that you can have a virtuous image.

Let us be clear, we may say the person is forced to choose one of two iron rules.  The correct expression is that they are forced to react and go for one of them.  They are forced to do what they want to do under the circumstances and you might call that choosing but reacting makes it clearer.  Whether you are forced to sin hypothetically or forced to react God is to blame.

Socrates and others who say that wrongdoing as in immorality is a mistake and down to ignorance and nobody aims for evil but only aims for good come too close to excusing. It is playing on our tendency to see minor wrongs as mistakes. But to hold that somebody can kidnap one and torment one for a week and call that a mistake is terribly cold and insulting. The empathy is with the perpetrator. The victim is dismissed for calling it evil. Now if there is a God and it is true we should not fear evil for God’s love rules not evil then we are saying that we should see things the way god does meaning even genocide is nothing. If evil is just a mistake that we don’t want to make then God should be helping us better instead of hiding behind, “I need to let them have free will”. That is not respect for free will. Socrates view redefines evil as harm and error. But people think of evil as more than that. It is something they judge and condemn.

Now what if you say that part of it is a mistake but part of it is just evil. So immoral behaviour is a mixture of both. That takes us back to the point we made, an informed choice is a choice and one based on bad information processing is not. It is a reaction and not a proper choice.  And if part of your terrible deed is evil or a mistake then what part?  What if you intend malice by it and only think you really do?  Or what if the malice is a mistake?

With this only a clairvoyant or a god can judge anybody to any degree.

We conclude that free will is not a very useful model for dealing with bad people and therefore not with the good either.  What is called your choice is validated as that by many who have ulterior motives.  It is more likely to be reaction not choice. 

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