HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!



Religion says that love is voluntary. Only a being with free will to do extreme evil can give love. So they say God gave us all this freedom we have but we abused it of our own volition and so he is not to blame for evil. This reasoning is called the free will defence or the freedom defence. It is meant to clear God of the blame for evil. 


It is just an excuse for we believe that an act does not have to be totally voluntary but just voluntary enough so there is no excuse for how bad God lets us be.
Clearing God of the blame does not automatically mean that God is good or worthy of being loved. So man is blamed for evil in order to make it possible to hold that God is good. It is evil to blame man when all you get at the end of it is a God who might be good not who definitely is good.
Nobody has the right to accuse humanity of being to blame for all the suffering that happens. If humanity causes the suffering it does not follow that it is to blame. Religion does not worry about innocent until proven guilty as much as it pretends.
If we have to do this evil to people in order to defend God, it makes no sense to say that God gives us the gift of free will so that we might use it to love.
The problem?
Many feel that considering how much torment man has inflicted on the innocent that there is too much free will.
It could be that having too much free will is a bigger problem for belief in God than any other.
Necessary evil
Suppose God did have to respect our free will and not his own. That would make this respect a necessary evil and not something to be celebrated.
Let us put aside the fact that by default any free will is too much. Let us pretend there can be enough free will - that there should not be too much.
The doctrine that we have free will to use it to be good is not as sweet as it seems. It gives the doctrine its false sheen of beauty. We do not have free will to avoid necessary evil but only unnecessary evil. If you have to endure the dentist's drill to save your tooth you do not have free will to get it done another way. Everything involves some unnecessary evil. Free will might not be intentionally bad in any sense but in so far as it involves necessary evil it is evil. There is no free will to get completely away from evil.
Responsibility makes free will super-restricted
If you have free will, you did whatever you did in the past using it. You were responsible then but not now. You are not responsible for the past now. You are only responsible for the present and the future. You are not responsible for what anybody else does unless you force them to do it. So we are not very free at all. If you want to call that freedom it means free will only covers a few seconds at a time. You are still in a framework over which you have barely any control. Your feeling of control is delusion.
You fear admitting that a murder is no longer the murderer's fault. You use free will as an excuse for punishing him. Both free will and the denial of free will still do not give you the right to judge that you crave so badly.
Reason and free will
Believers say that free will and belief in logic go together. They presume you need free will before you can reason and trust what you think. But free will is full of mystery and contradictions and nobody is able to explain how it works. Nobody is able to prove it actually exists. Feeling free does not mean you really are free. One function of free will is to enable you to use your reason and logic. To many, the problem of knowing if free will is really logical or makes sense hinders your use of free will. They suppose that if you have free will then it is limited by default. In fact the news is worse than that. Rather than limiting free will, it debunks it.
If we have free will and free will does not make any sense to us and seems to be full of contradictions and paradoxes then what? People believe that reason is only of any value if you believe in free will because you need free will to exercise it. In other words, what you think is doubtful if you are programmed. This overlooks the fact that a computer can replicate reason because we program it. And it could be that reality programs us. Programming by definition has to at least try to conform to reality. If it gets it wrong its wrong but is still an attempt to fit reality. So you can believe in reason and think free will is nonsense. So you don't need to believe in free will to believe in reason or vice versa. If our being programmed means our reason and logic is untrustworthy, the reason is that nobody rational programmed us. That is to say that a rational being with free will has to program us. If that view is correct, we still cannot show how free will is logical or have any reason to imagine that it is. So there is no way to be sure free will really supports reason at all. If free will is nonsense and we believe in it and claim that our reason is based on it then our reason looks like reason and acts like reason but is not reason. We are putting reason in an irrational framework. When you do that there is no reason left for there is no self-consistency. And you are left with nothing to say when somebody says a dog created the universe.
You might think that when God gave us free will he limited our logic and therefore our free will. No - he made it impossible, that is what he did! It makes better sense to hold that free will is nonsense and an attack on reason. Clearly if there is a God he has no right to let us create so much suffering. He cannot use respect for our free choice as an excuse.
We conclude that belief in free will does more than call reason into question but is the enemy of reason.
Always freely choose good?
What is wrong with the notion that God should not design us so that we always freely choose good? 
One thing that is wrong is that God saying it is not the same as man saying it on his behalf. If man believes in God not because there is a God but because he wants to believe then whoever says, "God exists and is right to let us be so drawn to evil" is evil themselves and a hypocrite. It means man condones evil because he wants to and he wants to because he wants to believe in God.
God can say "God exists and is right to let us be so drawn to evil" but man cannot. No decent God would ask man to say this for him on his behalf. It is not something that can be delegated. You cannot use a proxy king or a substitute when you need to crown the king.
The other thing that is wrong with saying it is that it is simply wrong. Limited free will is not free will. If religion wants to say it is then it has to think about the following. God has to design us with inclinations anyway so it makes no sense to praise him for putting bad ones in us instead of good ones. It contradicts the Christian teaching that sin is bondage though it does not always feel like bondage. A person with more inclinations to be good is freer than a person who has less.
Why not give us full free will when he knows we are not about to abuse it and pull a few strings when we are so that we end up doing good? What is wrong with part-time free will? We will not notice the difference.
It is only going to be a problem if you believe that we are rarely ever really good. But if we are basically good, a tweak here and there is nothing.
No real free will if there is a God
It is said that God lets us use our freedom for his purpose. This follows from the fact that if God is creator then you exercise free will to do evil not in spite of him but because of him. So somehow our sins serve his purpose though he does not approve of them.
So whether we help people or not his plan still works. You have no free will to hurt God's plan - you only think you do. A God who lets man torment man in the name of a free will that isn't free at all or very free is an evil God. He is a God who lets us imagine we can destroy his work. He creates that stupidity in us.
If I have free will only to choose God or otherwise and if that is what free will is all about then think about the following. God by definition is all that matters so having a relationship with him is all that matters. Free will is about him according to believers. If I can go for a walk, or listen to the radio or watch the television and God forces me not to choose the first then I still have free will with the other two. When I forget about the walk I still have free will so I can still have it if God makes me forget. The only choice I should have is between resting in the divine presence or not doing it. I ought not to be free to harm other people seriously if I ought to be free to harm at all.
Hitler & those who had too much free will
Hitler disproves God. He and the Nazis should not have have their free will put before that of the millions they brutally killed. Hitler and Co had too much free will.
Religion says that to be free we have to be free all the way. We have to be free to do tremendous harm like Hitler was. That translates as:
"Who is to say if God allows too much evil to be done or to happen? How can we know? So let us respect God and assume that there is not too much. We cannot tell God where the line should be drawn. He knows best."
Theologians say, "God should not reduce our suffering because if he did we would still be complaining that he is too hard on us. God just draws the line on the amount of suffering he sends where he does for no reason for he has to put a limit somewhere".
That is dismissing our concerns. Maybe we would be complaining no matter how little evil there is. But that does not justify God choosing to allow as much evil as he does. In other words, the believers wish that we should suffer so severely for we deserve it because we would be moaning no matter what he did for us. God could have drawn his line somewhere else and lower down for suffering can be tremendous and less would do.
Believers are saying instead of being utterly disgusted at how much evil there is, they want to say God is responsible for it and has used this responsibility wisely. It is made out to be about God not people. It is an insult to the suffering. It is not the kind of thing they have the right to guess about. Would you guess that if a doctor decapitates a child that he must have had a justification for it? If you guess, what does that say about you? The argument itself is evil. To defend evil with evil is just evil. It is wrong to risk saying that some force which helps people do evil is good when it could be that it should be condemned.
Parents draw the line at how much harm they let their children do so why can't God?

Not worth it!
If any really have to be free to inflict extreme misery on other people then freedom is not worth it. Also, it takes a few seconds of "free will" to take away a lifetime of "free will" from others.
The free will defence implies that it is perfect love for God to let us do what we want for it is respecting our autonomy which suggests he loves people like Hitler more than us. It is bad enough to say that it is love but to say that it is perfect love is worse.
The will of many good people is overridden by the will of some evil people and that is unfair. God just had to kill Hitler with a heart attack to put the will of the majority first and it was not done for God is bad news or does not exist. Believers will say he did come to a bad end and so God did deal with him and stop him. So they admit God should have stopped him but they don't care that he waited until the worst damage was done first and that is very offensive to us. If all people cannot be equally free then it follows that God has to allow what will ensure that most people have as much freedom as possible. So it is madness for a few to be allowed to take away the freedom of many by shutting them up in concentration camps. To disagree is to be callous. It is claiming that it is more important and valuable for the few to be able to do what they want. This is the philosophy not that the meek will inherit the earth but the aggressive.
To tell yourself that God did deal with Hitler is about comforting yourself or it is about defending God. What is wrong with these?
Comforting yourself about the horrors that happen to others is just selfish. It is not about you but about the reality.
Is it about defending God then? Given how much the Christian religion warns that we are selfish and sinful you can be sceptical about those who claim to be all about God.
Unless you show how good God is for people and how good it is for them to believe defending God is just callous. But the problem is that if God exists then it is wrong to defend him for the sake of man. You have to defend him for his own sake.
Defending God is not going to help most of the victims. You are defending God to yourself not to them. Defending God to their faces would make them feel even worse.
Also, you cannot know there is a God in the way you know those people have suffered. A God who exists in your opinion is just your opinion. God is not an opinion. There is a lack of proportion there. You have no right to say evil is worth it and to sake it for the sake of a religious opinion or belief. If you have religious knowledge of the existence of God it is different but you do not have this knowledge.
It makes no sense to say that the goodness of respecting an evil Hitler's freedom is worth all the suffering and anger and despair that he inflicts and is downright callous. You shouldn't even want to say it. Even if it is true, saying it should be agonising for you fear being too unfeeling or uncaring.
You cannot know the evil was worth it. It is the kind of thing you would need to know before you can have the right to say it. What does claiming that evil is worth it without you having evidence that it is say about you? To say evil is worth it when it is not shows your true colours up.
Good outweighing evil
Many think that God would still be good if he let us be free all the way as long as all the evil that ever happened will outweigh the good on the last day. God giving people something as dangerous as free will could only be justified if there is going to be more good than evil.
Some do think that it is worth while having everybody doing evil and suffering even if there is only a few who are the loving exception. To say the love is worth the excess of evil is to insult sufferers. The assertion that we should be free to do evil all the way is then an extremely evil statement considering that nobody will know until God reveals the overall analysis on the last day to show if holiness really did manage to be stronger than sin. This proves that Christians should not be using free will to prove that belief in God is rational for when we cannot prove that holiness will win how can we prove that the defence is true?  We cannot.
You do not say we have free will from God and therefore having it means good has been stronger than evil and always will overcome. That is a circular argument. To justify all the evil and suffering that has ever happened with a circular argument is shamelessly trying to make evil look good and to excuse it. You require as much proof as you need to secure a murder conviction as you do to have the right to tell sufferers they should be suffering for God's purpose. Even if you help them a lot you are still saying the suffering you cannot do anything about is part of God's plan and ultimately a good thing. If you feel empathy for sufferers you will be so upset that it will be difficult for you to find an answer. Christians are too flippant. Many arrogantly think that God admires their virtue so much that he sends torment to others so that they can help them and show off their holiness. Their deeds look good but their hearts are as black as the pits of hell.
It is not all about my free will...
If God is good he is supposed to tolerate evil for the sake of overcoming it and bringing a greater good out of it. Everything we do affects others. At times people are more free than others. So why can't he tamper with the free will of x for the purpose of maximising the freedom of others? If nobody can be perfectly happy all the time why should we all be perfectly free all the time?
Nobody then should be allowed to do too much harm. To say that is against free will is nonsense for the alternative is far more against it. Remember how many people Stalin robbed of free will?
If you are a Hitler do you really want to tell yourself that your free will is that special?
Christianity pretends to believe
Christianity says that we must have the power to choose evil or good. But it does not really believe it. Christianity says that we are all sinners meaning that we do not have the free will to live a sinless life. So we only have choice in relation to what sins we want to commit. We have no choice about being sinners or not. This implies that God doesn't give us enough free will. A God who refuses to give you the power to live a sinless life but you gives you rein to commit whatever evil you wish after making sure you will sin is a God of evil. The freedom to live a sinless life is not as important to him as making people inclined to commit any sin even extreme ones. The worship of God is the worship of evil.
If God wanted us to have a lot of free will he would have given us the power to live without sin.
He lets us have a bias towards sin that we will give in to and then lets us become Hitlers if we can. So he gives us too much free will of the wrong kind. The free will argument that evil is compatible with God's love is wrong. To worship God is to close our eyes and hearts to his evil.
What if we only think, not know, we have free will?
We should not be saying that God is faultless for giving us free will just because we think we have free will. What you should do is work out if having it even if it can be abused or is abused is for the best in the full picture. This means you have to see the good results and work your way back to free will. You look at the good. Then you decide if free will despite its misuse and the risk of evil would have been worth it in order to cause this good. Then and only then can you argue that we have free will AND then you can also argue that it gets God off the hook. Only then can you call yourself decent in heart.
All about God?

If God exists he deserves all our love for being perfect he would do infinite good for us. Now, that means we must love him for his own sake and love others entirely for his sake. This means that goodness is one thing only, loving God and nothing else. Religion claims that you can do that in mental prayer, being aware of the presence of God. If so, then it is better than helping others for the latter is distracting. If all we are here for is to love God then nobody should be suffering. Though it is true that love is sacrifice, I can love without sacrifice if I cannot sacrifice and it is not my fault. You are good if you would go among the poor to feed them and give your life for them even if you are locked up in a dungeon. Even if love is sacrifice, God should do without demanding sacrificial love from us. He should refrain in order for us to love by focusing on his presence instead.
If God made us to love him alone or pick him then he does not need to enable us to do harm as in causing people to suffer. But isn't love sacrifice? Yes, but what use is sacrifice when its pain distracts from God? God would prefer you to be aware of him and will only good to him than to have you unable to do this in suffering though he will allow enough of pain for you to make sacrifices and do good. The worse the suffering the less it can do to bring you to God in selflessness. The Christian answer to this is that as long as you try and would think of God despite the distraction the distraction does not prevent you pleasing God for effort is what counts when you can't be successful. It is impossible to believe that a child could love his mother if he gave her a pill that stopped her thinking of him! She would love if she could but what use would that be?
Fear and sin

If fear is the root of all sin/evil like all agree these days then why has God made us so vulnerable with the result that fear and evil increase? He could let us hurt one another while building us in such a way that killing would be very difficult if not impossible. Things could be less frightening than they are. When the person is the absolute value, it follows that human life is more precious even than virtue yet this God has enabled us to kill each other. Killing shows that any attempt to justify God and his lousy plan is doomed to failure.
What if all sins are equal?

All sin is equally bad if there is a God who hates sin infinitely and therefore the same for he is infinitely good. If there is a God then it follows that it is as morally bad to commit murder as it is to wish some small evil on somebody. When the two are the same, God should not let us do any harm for he does not need to. Or at least he should not let us be capable of so much harm.

Compassionate people contend that God should not let us go too far in working evil. They say the most important thing is that we choose between evil and good which we can do if God will only let us do the less harmful things. They are right - if it is true that we need to inflict evil at all.
Whether I choose to commit murder or to steal a sweet I am choosing evil. The murder and the theft are only the form of what I am choosing - another reason why it makes no sense to say that if I can sin there are different degrees of sin. There are different degrees of damage that I do, but there are no degrees where what evil says about me is concerned. So it does not matter if God forces me to be unable to choose murder as long as he lets me be able to choose the almost harmless sin for I am choosing evil. God can limit free will and still let us make our own decision about if we are going to be on the side of good or evil. There is another reason why a "small" sin is all we need to be able to commit if we need it at all. To choose one small evil is to will all evil that could be for it is telling evil that it should exist and be availed of. And there is another. All sin is infinite in malice for God despises it as much. These two points show that there is no reason why sin cannot be limited to acts that harm no person on earth.
What about God's will?
Blaming man's free will not God's does not work for God is more important than us and is perfectly good and if he has free will it comes first. To say God who can stop evil should not because it would be tampering with our free will is saying that though there is a choice between our free will and his his does not come first. This is a foolish doctrine. We are told that he cannot use his free will when he has to let us use ours. It is not an equal contest. It is either the best will or the not so best that has to be put first and so it should be the best. It should be God's. It is not that God won't respect our free will - it is just not possible and even God cannot do the impossible.
God does not need our goodness
If God is infinite good then what does he want us to freely do good for?
He loves good. If he gives us free will it is so that we can be good freely. It is about the good.
He has all the good he needs when he has infinite good in himself. Religion says that it is because goodness is so valuable that it is something that should be freely chosen (page 84, The Truth of Christianity) which makes no sense. Why? Because it really says that good + some evil (good that is partly evil) is the best good instead of having people who are the same as us and think they are free but are not and who cannot do anything other than be happy and be good.
Religion implies that goodness is not happiness because if God made us instinctively see that goodness is in our best interest we would do it better. Most of the time we mistake the good for the best. We even mistake the worst for the best.
If God wants goodness then he shouldn't because he has infinite goodness of his own so he has no business looking for ours.
Evil is not worth the chance we will be good for our goodness is not that important if there is a God!
Free will argument opposes equal dignity for all
It is absurd and inhuman to say that a person has the right to be allowed to try to take away the free will of another by killing them for the sake of his or her own free will. That is really saying the killer is more precious than the killed for the killer's will is more important.
The Christians may even declare that a person without the ability to do wrong is inferior to one that has this power (page 8, 84, The Truth of Christianity) which is an outrageous, and some would add bigoted, thing to say. They are compelled to take that stance when they say God is right to let us sin. This automatically says that you should prefer the murder of a baby rather than the murder of an adult for the adult has free will and the baby has not. And that you should prefer to see a person in the final stages of Alzheimer's Disease killed than a person who has their faculties. We have to be fascists to support this dreadful conception of God.  
To suggest that we should have the free will to do the evil that we do even when it is evil of such great proportion that millions die horribly is callous. It is implying that the paralytic who cannot do harm is less of a valuable person than the person who can do harm or has less rights than an ordinary person for the freedom to carry out evil is more limited in a paralysed person.
The argument that we should be so free that we can torture millions to death makes no sense unless you presuppose that we cannot have our full or proper dignity as persons unless we are free to do terrible things. But only a few of us are that free even if we can go about well. It insinuates that the likes of Hitler are better than any of us for they have the power to be totally free to do terrible evil. They are the ones to be treated as superior beings and sort of worshipped. How a God could possibly expect anybody to love with free will is such a mistaken thought that there could not possibly be a God and who in their right mind would want one to exist? A philosophy that claims we should be able to hurt others terribly is just inhuman and could not possibly expect anybody to take morality or right and wrong seriously.
Those who hold that human beings are just conscious but programmed entities are accused of reducing them to machines. They are accused of refusing to admit the full dignity of human beings as free agents. The critics say they have a higher view of human beings than us who deny free will. This is all untrue. If we are programmed then there is nothing wrong with saying we are and we are not smearing human beings. Where no smearing takes place no degradation of dignity takes place. What is degrading is to give people a higher dignity than they have which is what the free willists are trying to do. It is not dignified to tell a pauper he is the king. And yet the free willists fail for free will does not enhance dignity but detracts from it. We are not reducing human beings to machines - they are not for they are conscious beings and deserve all the happiness we can give them.
We feel we have dignity and that is enough for us. We feel that dignity whether we have free will or not. If we have free will and do not have that sense of dignity then free will is good for nothing.
Religion cares more about saying, "Okay we feel dignified. But we want to hold that a person has dignity if they have free will. It is about theory. That is what matters." That is twisted.

When we do harm, God says he lets us do it so that compassion may be awakened for the victim. Compassion is suffering with sufferers and working to help them. It makes your crime worse for it makes it more harmful and unpleasant by demanding that people face the pain of compassion for the victim.
If sin is worse than suffering as religion says, then compassion is a sin for it makes the sin of the sinner far worse. If there were no compassion but just painlessly helping people, nobody would be able to sin by making us feel the pain of compassion. But what if compassion is a necessary evil and not a sin? It highlights how religion cannot be pro-happiness. If compassion is a necessary evil you cannot rejoice in your compassion.
If free will to do good is not about increasing suffering then why does God decree and make it necessary that we must suffer with those who suffer which adds to the evil? When his free will gift is granted for tormenting us he is evil and his morality is fake. His "gift" seeks to make his servants turn into sweetness and light clad terrorists.
The need for love is supposed by theists to explain why we can suffer and why suffering in some way is a gift but the need for compassion is supposed to explain why we should overcome suffering which is a complete contradiction. Love and compassion cannot be the same thing for compassion desires to destroy evil which is necessary for love so compassion works against love.
If compassion is right then pleasure is wrong. All free will is too much free will. The Humanist solution is to deny free will exists and to say that we need to feel compassion to spur ourselves on to making the world a better place. But belief in God infers that that solution is an abomination though it is clearly right.

Suppose you believe in God and free will and therefore that persons are responsible for the evil they do. They suffer. You will accept that it is possible that God is punishing them. If you don't believe in God you will believe that these people do not deserve what they get and are not being punished. So if you believe in God you are surer that they may be getting punished. It is a stronger possibility. Thus belief in God lessens your sympathy for them. Belief in God is bad news. And saying things like people should be allowed to take away the free will of others does not help. It worsens it.
Pointing to the compassion shown by religious people means nothing for perhaps they would be more compassionate without faith.
If a woman starts a serious relationship with a shallow man it would seem that if he abandons her when she gets cancer that she cannot condemn him for she consented to a relationship with him and had to accept that he might do that. This is absolutely correct if we have free will. You cannot argue that he has contravened her rights. You cannot argue that he did wrong. But you can if you deny free will. Not believing in free will does not alter our sense that some acts are wrong. And there is no doubt that the free will defence agrees with the lack of compassion because it says we consented to all the sin and suffering in the world. It is our responsibility. That is the whole point of the defence. People say that when they tell the woman she must take some responsibility they are trying to help her see so that she can watch out for herself better in future. No way! It is up to her to decide that and nothing is simple. They are judging her and that is not concern but sanctimony. There is no point in believing in free will then if you cannot judge so let us be nice to one another and forget the doctrine.
Encourages suffering
Everybody says these days that we should not will suffering or to suffer but only use suffering when it is the only way to achieve a good end and when we have done all we can about it. We see it as random and as misfortune and not as part of a plan. If it happens we deal with it. We do not say it should happen. We say it should not. People say we should see the evil as necessary in the sense that randomly terrible things happen but not as part of God's scheme.
People say that anybody who suffers for suffering's own sake is abnormal. They do not believe in a God who wants us to suffer. If we have free will then we have too much free will to suffer and cause suffering.
We see how the Church has conditioned people to accept a theory, the free will defence, that is unnatural to their way of thinking. Religion is deadly and toxic when it gets you to override your proper reaction to evil. Instead of seeing evil as vile and intolerable you see it as part of good plan.
If evil is intolerable and God won't deal with it and asks you to and leaves it up to you then it is not intolerable at all. That is the bottom line.
To say it is right that some get too much free will so that they can murder millions is an insane thing to say.  It backfires on the love for it says victims should be glad that their oppressors had free will and that much of it.  If free will is so special then they have to approve.  When God allegedly prevents many of us from doing great damage he can prevent all. Am I free to starve the whole of Germany to death? If we have free will then we have too much of it. Too much free will would disprove the existence of God. To argue, "But only God can know if we have too much" is just a cop-out and nobody who truly understands the suffering of others would say such a thing. It is obvious that people have a right to be seriously offended by your argument.  Believers are really thinking of themselves when they go on about the need for free will. It is that they want to be able to intend to be good. They would say that free will is still worth it if everybody else has none and if it leads only to misery.  Saying it is a gift from God is an arrogant insult.  If God goes with the doctrine and the doctrine with God then God is implicitly bad as an idea.

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The Amplified Bible

The Free Will Argument for the Non-Existence of God by Dan Barker