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!

 

Should God let us think we are free though we are in fact programmed?
Or should he ensure we will think we are programmed when we are in fact free?

Belief in free will as in the power to deserve condemnation and punishment if you do wrong and to deserve praise and a reward if you do good is a necessary evil.  But only if it is in fact true or if denial is too ridiculous for words.  The doctrine has its dangers most of which arise from the fact that you need to prove the doctrine is true of me and equally true of you but you cannot do that.  It contradicts the doctrine of innocent until proven guilty or if you want to put it this way "don't accuse a person who shows signs of being at least partly programmable of being a complete or sufficient free agent when they did wrong." 

There are alleged benefits.

#We feel free

#We feel responsible

#We can give and take rewards

None of these benefits are big enough to justify the doctrine.  For some the last one is the only one that matters.  The dark side is that you must be willing to have a criminal put in jail for you think they deserve it.   But ultimately they are put there because you want one or more of the benefits!  Do you see how nasty that is?  How hypocritical?

Anyway, let us forget the useless benefits for the sake of argument.  Let us pretend the benefits are huge.  Should God let us have the benefits of thinking we have free will when we in fact do not?

To say God should not is to say that the use of the will matters more than happiness or human dignity.  Christians say God made us to become virtuous inside and you need free will to be truly virtuous.  A person programmed to be chaste or loving or fair is not really chaste or loving or fair but only acts that way.

What we don’t know will not do us any harm and if we are programmed to be good and happy all the time we will not be complaining. To deny this is to say that deception is wrong even when there is no choice - a view that is dangerous. Surely when God tolerates evil he has to deceive not willingly but because he has no choice?  It is not morally wrong when you have no choice.  Even if lies are wrong we cannot live without telling some lies and when the need is big enough it is not our fault. And secrets work against truth like lies do and usually do a more effective job. If we cannot have secrets life will not be worth living.  If God has secrets and they are countless then God has to be unreliable at times.  He has to be a liar.

Free will could be a trick played by God whether God intentionally fools us or does not.  Christians give you a God who must fool you and they see it but they still keep saying he never misleads.  They lie because they don't want you to ever doubt what they say God has told them.  It is about their wish for power and influence not God. 

It would not be right to accuse somebody of abusing their free will when God might be honest but forced to distort the truth and trick.

Free will is supposed to be the reason evil exists not God.  God's creatures made evil not God. So we are told by servants of that doctrine which is known as the free will defence.  The doctrine that God has in his goodness given us free will certainly puts the will before happiness.

Whether our experience of life is real or not, God demands virtue of us.  In that case, all that matters is the experience not the reality.

The whole point of the Christian version of God giving us a will is to have moral feelings that we freely respond to or ignore. Feelings then matter more than the will and the will is only a tool for engaging with them. When feelings matter more than will and the will should be a means to good feelings it follows that if there is a shortcut to good feelings without the will then it should be taken.

To deny this is to say that religion should be about making people’s life a misery in the name of morality. Religion has always being prone to adopting a barbaric morality.

The doctrine that God made us to be virtuous puts God before the person because the person is called to reconcile with God though the dying person may find God so repulsive that he or she would rather die without thinking about that.

If the person matters more than his or her will then it follows that only people who would use it for good should have free will. The free will defence implies that man was made for virtue and not virtue for man which further implies that whatever God commands it is right and good even if it is the needless and savage murder of a child. God is a threat to all we hold dear – but we will not allow him to be.  Through many sweet people he is an implied threat.  But still a threat.

If we have free will then should God should programme us to think we do not or programme us to be agnostic?  Perhaps most of us or all of us are agnostic and do not realise.  If God should programme that is assuming you don't need to be aware you have free will in order to use it.  It would save us from the bad consequences of believing in free will.  It is obvious that the person who thinks we are programmed and who has dangerous people put in luxury prisons is far better than the person who wants to hurt them in the name of protecting society and who says they deserve the hurt.

We conclude that if we have no free will God can be good and let us think or programme us to think we have it.  That way we can have any benefits from thinking we are free there are.  But at the same time he is pulling our strings.  The proof that he is not pulling our strings is simple: we hurt and hinder and if God causes us to do it and programmes us then he is not good.