Blog break 10: Free will


Fellow sufferers, especially those who have followed us for sometime know my position on the free will debate. Today, I decided to see what other people have written on the matter and for the most part, I honestly was disappointed and I will show you why in a bit. However, before we get going, yours truly requires that whoever decides to invoke a god or gods in the comments to be kind to define what they mean by the word god and why they think the being they have described exists.

In they had a choice, the author basically gives god, whatever that is, a free pass in the matter of a decision by Adam and Eve to eat some fruit and invoke Satan, the one scapegoat christians have used time immemorial to excuse their god from all responsibility. It would be a sad day for us if this god really existed!

The author of Free will and free choice again tells us nothing substantive why we have free will and choice. Maybe they had no intention to tell us anything useful.

Then, I thought now we have someone who has a grasp of what they are writing in Free will vs Determinism only to be left very disappointed. Am interested in his explanation of hwy he thinks he has control over his actions.

The author of sovereignty and free will had no intention to make sense. However, to their credit, we must say they take their belief in god seriously, believing there is an Antichrist and also believes that he should follow god’s will. To rephrase some quote I read a while back, most people believe it is the will of god if it is in line with what they desire, and this I think must be the case here too.

We have in the problem of free will an apologist who believes the problem is really not with free will itself but how it is used, how this makes sense is beyond me though. He tells us his god gave everyone free will so that we could not feel like dolls, seriously! Can’t this apologists tell us something else or do they all consult with WLC and Plantinga before they write their articles?

The author ofย of free will and redemption sets out by calling BS on those who say they are this or that way because of how they were born and ends up writing a BS post to show why she doesn’t understand the question really. I am interested in knowing at what point in her life she decided she wanted to be a christian and as you already know, am very patient.

The author of free will believes that Jesus[god] died so he could have free will. Don’t you just love this people ๐Ÿ˜›

And finally in having had my run of free will, who apart from the good prose tells us nothing much, I end this post and ask to hear your thoughts on the matter, maybe someone may just persuade me to change my outlook.

 

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

26 thoughts on “Blog break 10: Free will

  1. Mordanicus says:

    If god created free will, and people have abused their free will to do evil, then is still god responsible for all evil, because he allowed evil to exist in the first place.

    Like

  2. niquesdawson says:

    I have none much to say on the matter if free will. For one, denying there ain’t free is, is tantamount to saying you yourself don’t exist… But do I say….

    Like

  3. violetwisp says:

    Nothing created us, nothing is tracking us and nothing is making us do things against the will of our bodies. We choose what our bodies want to do, we are one with our decisions. The fact that these decisions could be determined under impossible or strictly controlled conditions doesn’t in any way undermine the issue of choice. Free will is red herring created by over thinkers! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

    • john zande says:

      The Zoroastrians invented the concept because they had to explain human behaviour in light that their god, Ahura Mazda, is not omnipresent.

      Like

      • violetwisp says:

        Do you know if it comes up in many societies? I’d imagine it’s a natural question to have if your belief system tells you an all-powerful deity made you. But I’m sure most of the over-thinking history on the topic must have come from religions like Christianity that claim humans are created, the god has a plan and the god knows everything. It leads to tricky conclusions. I don’t see how it has any effect on atheists, given that we accept ourselves as one material being with no defined purpose.

        Like

        • john zande says:

          Haven’t looked into it. You are spot on saying “Over-thinking.” Give people enough free time and they’re come up with all sorts of wild explanations for things.

          Like

        • makagutu says:

          There is an article I was reading recently where the author argues that in some cultures, there is no word for creation out of nothing as christians want us to believe. And as such to talk of creation or being created is in most cases a western idea.

          Like

      • makagutu says:

        For the time I started to consider this issue of free will, my working conclusion is that it is a religious idea until I will have reasons to revise it.

        Like

    • makagutu says:

      Our actions are our will objectified and in this sense, we are our will, whether we choose to act in a certain way is the question to be settled. But if you say that we act as we do and couldn’t have acted other than we did in the given scenario, then we are in full agreement. We should collect this over thinkers in one room and sort them out ๐Ÿ˜› or what say yeah my friend?

      Like

  4. john zande says:

    OK, i left this for the last girl:

    “I am a Christian because I chose Christ as my savior. I was given the choice. I was told that it was my decision.”

    Out of interest, are your parents Christians, and did you ever research any other religions before making this choice? If so, why didn’t these other belief systems appeal to you. How did you decide they were in error and Christianity was correct?

    Like

  5. Allallt says:

    The interesting question, to me, isn’t whether we have freewill. The real question is how we should re-organise our justice system in the understanding that we don’t have freewill.
    http://allallt.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/freewill-and-crime-and-punishment/
    My ideas have changed a little since I wrote this. But still, a good conversation starter, no?
    No? Looks more like shameless self-promotion? Sorry. Maybe read it anyway. Just trying to open the dialogue.

    Like

    • john zande says:

      I like your observation that we incarcerate people more for societies sake than as punishment. Its an important distinction.

      Like

      • Allallt says:

        I started studying law a while back. I gave up pretty quickly; it’s not my cup of tea. But not before I was taught that retribution, rehabilitation, protection and deterrence are the four reasons we arrest people. Since then, I’ve got on my philosophy bent (but never formally studied it) and I realised that retribution doesn’t fit in with what I think about freewill. But the rest fit in with my ideas of protecting people’s experience on their hitchhike through life.

        Like

      • Allallt says:

        Well, long long ago (in a galaxy far far away) I started studying law. I didn’t do it for long; it’s not my cup of tea. But I didn’t leave before I was taught that our legal system is justified by four basic ideas: retribution, rehabilitation, protection and deterrence.
        Considerably more recently (and in a galaxy much closer) I’m gone on my philosophical bent–no formal learning, of course, and I think that comes across quite clearly when I write–and what I believe simply jars against the ‘retribution’ side of our justice system.
        Don’t get me wrong, I can see why people do the retribution thing: it’s intuitive (hence why we invented Hell) and it’s satisfying. But my understanding of justice is dispassionate. Retribution only makes sense on the assumption that people are free to behave otherwise. I don’t think they are. So retribution is defunkt.
        However, the remaining three pillars of justification are all good. Regardless of whether we are the authors of our future or the pens that write it, the story and the experience matter. So protecting people’s experience is important.

        Like

        • john zande says:

          “Regardless of whether we are the authors of our future or the pens that write it, the story and the experience matter.”

          What a beautifully crafted sentence.

          Like

        • makagutu says:

          I have a problem with deterrence, for I doubt, that punishing someone will stop a different person moved differently from committing a crime. Besides, I don’t think we would be doing society punishing someone so that others can learn from his mistake if we are going to do nothing to help him become a useful member of society.

          Like

          • Allallt says:

            That’s a fair comment. Deterrence is the most superficial and vague of the three pillars left standing. But I do think that knowing a punishment may follow is an influence.
            Deterrence works, perhaps, for the mild criminals where a mild nudge in the right direction is sufficient, but the element of deterrence is inherent there being rehabilitation (i.e. if you commit a crime you become obligated to do -something-)

            Like

          • Allallt says:

            That’s a fair comment; deterrence is the most vague and superficial of the pillars left standing. However, I think there is something to say for knowing that there are responses to inappropriate behaviour.
            Deterrence may be the tikka massala (i.e. mildest) of the three pillars, but it is the only one that prevents (as opposed to responds to or manages) crime.
            Other things manage crime, of course. Narrowing wealth gaps and civil liberty and easing social tensions and our basic morality and compassion… etc. But as you say, these are education and politics. (The lines between politics and justice and education blur a lot if we delve any deeper. I know, I’ve just been sat here trying it.)

            Like

    • makagutu says:

      Hello mate, I agree with you that we ought to to rethink our justice system. I like your post too and I agree that society has to protect itself and I have suggested before that the first step is education and working towards a healthy society where everyone has an opportunity to a life of dignity. And no problem with self promotion, so no need to apologise.

      Like

  6. Above Allallt said, “Retribution only makes sense on the assumption that people are free to behave otherwise.” Exactly. The punishment or destruction that God will bring on sinners will be just because they have chosen to believe and act as they did. The saved will also be rewarded because they have chosen to believe and act as they did. On the other hand, God would not be loving if he had not done everything he could to save the unsaved, so there must be some form of determinism at work. Likewise, the saved will not be able to claim credit for achieving their salvation because God is the one who has brought it about. Sorry, makagutu, you have to have it two ways for any of it to make sense. Yes, that way it remains a logical mystery, but otherwise you have to make God out to be unjust, a liar, unloving, impotent, or inept, and maybe more. Who ever said spiritual reality was logical?

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      Are you sure you read and understood the comment by Allallt? There is nowhere in his comment he supports retribution and for you to think that there is a god, whatever that is, and that this god is waiting to punish some people speaks volumes about you, that you would find joy if your son or daughter or wife, assuming you have any, were to be in hell. Thank goodness, heaven and hell exist only in the mind of believers like you, and for that matter only you need salvation.

      I don’t know why you are sorry for me, there is nowhere am trying to have it two ways. My position is more than clear on the matter. And yes spiritual reality is both illogical and irrational. You are free to tell me what you understand by god, spirituality so that I can show you why you hold irrational and illogical beliefs!

      Like

We sure would love to hear your comments, compliments and thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s