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!

 

ARGUMENT FOR FREE WILL FROM DESIRE FOR REVENGE
 
Maybe we are accountable for what we do or maybe we only feel we are but are actually programmed by our brains/environment/genes or whatever. Free will is the notion that what we do makes us bad or good people who are to blame for what we do. Free will is important to believers in God for they have to blame man and not God for evil.  Seeking to blame is compatible with knowing the person really is to blame.  The proper approach is not to seek to blame but to have to do it.  If free will is about blaming then it is no wonder if it leads to passive aggressive revenge.

 

Revenge and justice are hard to tell apart.  Some see getting some murderer put away for life as revenge.  Some see being too lenient as some form of passive aggressive revenge on society - the act of do-gooders who do not really want to protect the innocent.  We are told that revenge is personal but justice is impersonal.  But you can use justice to get revenge - it depends on the motive.  Nobody really sees if justice really is about being fair. Many feel that if people take revenge then it is personal and at least their hate and anger and violence will be tempered by seeing the target as a person.  If justice is impersonal then does it really see a person as a person or just as an object that you apply punitive rules on?  The moral is that the justice people and the revenge people cannot afford to be smug and righteous.  Neither camp is as good as they pretend.
 
Those who say free will is nonsense are called determinists. They may use free will in another sense (to describe what happens when people do not force us to do things) but they do not believe in real free will. Others say that we have a bit of free will but are more robots than free. Others say we have free will but it is partly controlled by forces we cannot understand so it is not completely free. All these feel like taking revenge say against those who sexually molest their children - they rage as if they believe the monster is totally responsible and no ifs or buts. For many, this feeling is their main or only argument in favour of the reality of free will! What a disgusting foundation! A doctrine based on a vengeful foundation is itself vengeful no matter how well this is hidden. And it is even worse when the crave for revenge is not a valid argument for the reality of free will.
 
The argument that free will must exist for even if we deny it we still get much the same feelings as when we believed in it such as when some evil person attacks us, we still want revenge is mistaken. We can't believe in free will just because we don't like the consequences of denying it. We have loads of feelings that are inclined towards things that are not real or possible or sensible. Feelings of revenge are not based on logic but on feeling and have to be controlled by logic and logic is what counts most for it is given for our development and protection. Consequentially, if logic does not say we have free will then emotion is an inferior testimony and too unreliable. The cause of them is our desire to be safe not our belief in free will. To say that our nasty feelings are proof or evidence of free will is to advocate hate and evil because evidence and proof for free will are so important that it would be worth causing hate and evil for to get the evidence or proof. Another fact is that when such a serious doctrine like free will is defended by such plainly lame arguments the doctrine itself expresses hatred towards wrongdoers for the same reason that lame arguments to incriminate a defendant in court are expressions of hatred and a desire to blacken the defendant. In the case of free will the argument is not just lame it is plain useless and biased.
 
Free willists hold that it is worse to deny that free will exists than to believe in revenge. Even when they condemn revenge their doctrinal preference leans towards revenge even as it apparently or seemingly condemns it!
 
The desire for revenge is sowed and nourished by our desire to protect the innocent and ourselves by making laws to create intolerance of harmful actions by other people. When a person harms the damage is done, so the nearest we can get to forcing them to behave good is by punishing them. If we were able we would stop the harm happening but if it happens all we can do is bully them with punishment. We attempt to force the harm not to happen when it is too late by punishing. So people do not believe in respecting free will when it is used to harm the innocent. They believe free will to do evil is bad. Punishment implies that free will when used to do evil is evil and intolerable and should be stopped by force. This would be okay if free will is not a gift from God. To condemn free will would imply condemnation of God for he gives free will meaning that he is as responsible as you are for what you do for he not only gives but maintains it in you. Also, point-blanked, if free will means people should force you not to do evil then God has no excuse. If God has an excuse, only God himself can know that excuse and we should not be making excuses for him. It is up to God to excuse himself and not us to make excuses for him. It is not our place and if we really have empathy for suffering we will not want to make excuses.
 
The doctrine of free will is not really as glorious as it is made to appear. It is replete with hypocrisy and spite.