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!

 

IS FREE WILL FULL FREEDOM OR PARTIAL?
 
Is evil insanity?
 
Religion says it is but bizarrely claims that it is no less free.
 
Evil is insanity for it is mistaking what is not good for good or what looks good for real good. Since you need to be able to do evil to be able to do good according to the freedom defence, it follows either that evil is sanity or that there is no free will and that God is punishing and condemning sinners as bad and should not be for they are sick. Either way the doctrine commands the destruction of morality and decency. Therefore any freedom to do evil is too much. If evil is sanity then it follows there is no way of telling the difference between good and evil. The free will defence implies that morality is just superstition and how could it work when it is so anti-good?
 
Even if you think evil is sane one way and insane the other, ie that it is not totally mad that means you may endorse the notion that free will limited by some insanity is really free will. It is not.
 
Duty
 
To have a duty to do anything, implies that you must be free to do it. You cannot tell somebody it is their duty to go out and save ten people from drowning tomorrow. It is not their duty for their hopes of obeying are small.
 
Now, you can't tell a free agent it is their duty.
 
You can't tell a person who has 90% free will it is their duty. They have even less free will than the above so it is sillier to tell them.
 
It is even sillier if the person has 10% free will!
 
The duty monger is a bully unless he or she can prove you have free will. And just because she proves she has it does not mean you do or have it to the same extent.
 
Free will and Knowledge: limited because we are never fully informed
If you are drugged and do something, people say it is the drugs that did it not you for you didn't know what you were doing. If you marry a fraudster without knowing you will be told that the marriage was not real for you didn't choose the person but what you wrongly thought the person was. Knowledge is necessary to make a choice or a semi-choice.
 
Knowledge matters. The will matters less. Why? Because without knowledge the will would be one dangerous useless thing. And there is no real will without the desire or change to apply knowledge. Even if you do what you think is right, you are making the best of the fact that you don't know. You are still paying homage to knowledge for you want it but cannot have it and have to hope that what you do is the right thing - the thing you would do if you knew.
 
So if you have to choose either knowledge or the will you have to choose knowledge.
 
To choose something properly you need to know what you are choosing. Respect for choice is often not so much about choice but to facilitate the formation of society. For example, a man and woman marry. They choose each other for life. So we are told. But in so far as they do not know how time will change the other person it is not a choice. In so far as they only think they know the other person it is not a choice. And we may have a strong belief that we are not dreaming or hallucinating our lives but that is not certainty. That imposes another limitation on choice. What we call choice is more about having to act than about making a proper choice. We have to do something - and doing nothing is doing something too. Society cannot function if we don't treat what people do consciously as a choice even though it is not really a choice or much of a choice. The system works well enough. It works despite the fact that limited free will is not free will at all but is a good substitute.
 
We do not bring our whole selves to our free will. You cannot know all the choices available or all about any choices on offer. You cannot know all about why you might make a choice or all about what you are choosing or not choosing. You would not severely condemn a person who had to make a choice in a dash even if it turned out to be an awfully bad choice. You are understanding towards them because they did the best they could do under the circumstances and did not make a proper and informed choice. In reality, all our choices are never fully informed. We cannot condemn anybody's actions. We cannot condemn the person. We cannot accuse the person of fully misusing their free will. The bigger the harm they do the less you can accuse. If the free will doctrine is supposed to help us do good better then it fails.
 
What if your decisions are partly caused by things outside of your control? That is no freedom at all. You will never know if you really chose anything. You can only believe but you know you could be wrong. And nobody - not even you - would have the right to accuse you of having meant to commit murder or some serious evil. And nobody would have the right to be sure that the heroic good you did was really from you.
 
There is no such thing as knowing when you are fully informed. You can be sure you are but still be wrong. Thus there is no free will in the full sense. And as limited free will is not really free will there is no free will at all.
 
Is limited free will really free will?
 
Free will is supposed to be about having the power to choose different options. The more options and abilities you have the freer you are. If our free will is limited or should be limited then God has given us too much free will if he exists.
 
Many philosophers hold that even if free will has limits we are still fully responsible and accountable for what we do. They say that if there is a free human creature that by her nature can hardly move about, she is just as free as us though it looks like her free will is limited. If she deliberately kills another person, the fact that she has less freedom or free will than others will be considered irrelevant. All that will matter is the will to commit murder. The philosophers say she has all the free will she needs so there is no limitation as such. They contend that she is to blame if she does bad and to be rewarded if she does good. With that logic a creature that can do nothing but will to eat has free will!

You cannot use your will to go on a world cruise if you don't have the money. Religion may respond that you can still choose to go but you are unable to put your choice into action. Some philosophers say, "But a choice is more of a choice when it can be put into action. We have to test our intentions by acting on them - it is the only thing that helps show they are our real intentions."
 
Those philosophers assert that you have free will to intend anything at all but you may not have the resources to cause what you intend. For example, you may choose death for your husband but you may be locked up in the bedroom and unable to kill him, to make him die. Free will and freedom to act are two distinct things. But if you choose to do something and you can't carry it out you cannot be sure that you really chose it. We have all experienced times when we determined to do something awful and then when the chance came we didn't do it and we saw that we didn't really mean it when we chose it. So we didn't make a real choice. So you can be convinced you have chosen something when you actually haven't! You cannot choose to fly if you don't have wings. You can think you choose but you don't.
 
Nobody has full control over anything. You can kill but you are still killing within a framework and over that framework you have no control. If you are going to kill X tomorrow at 9 pm, you cannot guarantee that you will kill him exactly as planned and at that time. What if he dies at 8:56 pm of a heart attack?
 
God does nothing about those who sit at the television instead of preventing the evil man does to man. He as good as asks us to do nothing. If God were good he would limit the freedom to carry out our evil desires instead of virtually asking us to further evil by sitting on our backsides.
 
The sense of being a free agent might only be in our heads. You would need to see when you are free in order to be really free. If you think you are jailed, and don't know the door is open, you are still not free. The more limitations you have on your freedom to act the less free will you have.
 
It is obvious that God could limit our free will. It is limited anyway by our feelings and what we can remember and what we can think of. In short, it is limited by our mental powers.  It is limited by our circumstances.

If what we have is free will then God should limit it for he does so anyway.
 
But that aside, is limited free will really free will?
 
What if your decisions are partly caused by things outside of your control? That is no freedom at all. You will never know if you really chose anything. You can only believe but you know you could be wrong. And nobody - not even you - would have the right to accuse you of having meant to commit murder or some serious evil. And nobody would have the right to be sure that the heroic good you did was really from you.
 
A university that would let people learn anything but not 2=2=4 cannot say it lets its students freely learn. They will not know if what they learned really was learning. They will not know if the university was right about anything. It has proven itself more interested in being arbitrary than in being mathematical.
 
It does not matter if the university lets you learn anything but ten thousand other equations or just one. It is not learning.  
 
Limited free will is not proper free will just like education like the above is not education. Limited free will is not free will. It is like it but it is not it. A pop song passed off as Madonna's and which sounds exactly like her is not a Madonna song.