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!

 

Influence, God & Free Will
 
The most popular and simplest definition of free will is doing what you want. Even those who believe we are programmed - determinists - teach free will in that sense. They do not believe that this freedom means being in full control of yourself. That is how the determinist who tells you to be free (while believing you don't really have free will and that your choices are not really choices) can tell you. He just means free will as in wanting not as in free choice.
 
Influence is when you freely adopt an insight by another as your own. A God cannot be influenced for he would know all things and be infinitely wise.
 
When you do something you want to do, you will face pain to some degree if you don't do it. You will have a frustrated desire. That's not nice. So wanting to do something is pressure. Pressure makes you less free than you would be without it. Thus doing what you want or feel like doing is not a proof of free will. In fact, it asserts that our free will is weakened.
 
A manipulative influence is supposed to reduce your responsibility and therefore your free will. But influence is influence. What matters is that influence has taken place. Whether its manipulative or not has no bearing on it. So it follows that if manipulative influence reduces or removes your responsibility then any influence does!
 
The doctrine of God's grace implies that he influences us. That does not sit well with the notion that he gives us free will so that we may love him or turn away from him. It would imply that God is wicked for letting evil happen. He is a hypocritical God.
 
You can also manipulate yourself. You do that all the time.
 
Is influence always manipulation? It is if influence necessarily blocks us from having full responsibility for our choices.
 
Catholics understand the saints as intercessors with God. They therefore influence him to do good where he planned to do nothing or to do harm by not getting involved.
 
If God is influenced by the saints then they are better gods than he is. They are manipulating him. They remove his freedom. Catholicism is a polytheistic faith.