as a justification for punishment.

First, I know you have six minutes, well maybe not, but just listen to this fellow

I have argued before, and I will say so again, that most of the defenders of freewill do so to justify being horrible people. They don’t see how else they could justify revenge, capital punishment among others while at the same time pretend to believe their god is love and they have been commanded to go and love.

Secondly, the speaker, J. Warner Wallace is mixing things up. Atheism and determinism are not synonyms. There are atheists like Marvin who is a compatibilist. There are many others who are working on the matter and are not decided one way or the other. Unless he wants to mislead his listeners, I cannot, for the life of me, see why he mixes the two issues.

His argument that a judge said a fellow who had committed a felony had a choice cannot be cited as evidence. Judges are not usually philosophers and say absurd things. Scalia, for example believes the devil walks among us. Only superstitious people believe such. And Scalia’s saying so doesn’t make it true.

He then says it can’t be called love, unless it is freely chosen. Is this true for hate too? Or to hate, one must have a reason to? We can’t feel empathy unless we have freewill. I want to know who, just woke up from slumber and chose to love their neighbour who they don’t know. I will wait, I am patient.

It is only with determinism that rehabilitation is possible. It is only in determinism that we hold that the environment, training and genetic makeup[ temperance] affect the expression of the will. What would be the point of rehabilitation if all we need is just a little more freewill? Maybe we could have stores to buy more freewill whenever one’s supply went down?

Even if it were demonstrated that we had freewill, this wouldn’t be evidence for a god.


Does John Lennon’s imagine offer any answers

The lyrics first

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

And this author writes

Lennon was blind to the implications of this humanistic worldview he was promoting. If there is no heaven or hell, that means there is no ultimate reward or punishment for anything you do while living on this earth.

And me asks whether such a person has any intelligence greater than mushroom soup. We can safely say the fellows who attacked Paris believed in a world after this. The belief that this world is not only stained but also a training ground makes it possible for idiots to kill others thinking they have dispatched them either to heaven or hell. And it is this that Lennon speaks against.

When they write

What does a world look like with no moral constraints from God?

I think they haven’t read their bibles. The commands not to kill, steal were all thrown out of the window, if there were any, when god is reported to have drowned the world, when Jacob went a killing, stopping the sun in its course or when the sons and daughters of Israel went a repine before they left Egypt. Christians have gone to war to kill each other while still believing their god commands do not kill.

Only a person ignorant of the inquisitions and the crusades would write

The simple fact is, the true morality of the Bible looks absolutely nothing like the actions taken by militant Islamists.

maybe this report from the capture of Jerusalem in 1099 will do as a brief lesson

No barbarian, no infidel, no Saracen, ever perpetrated incidents of such wanton and cold-blooded atrocities of  cruelty as the wearers of the Cross of Christ (who, it is said, had fallen on their knees and burst into a pious hymn at the first view of the Holy City), on the capture of that city. Murder was mercy, rape tenderness, simple plunder the mere assertion of the conqueror’s right. Children were seized by their legs, some of them plucked from their mothers’ breasts and dashed against the walls, or whirled from the battlements. Others were obliged to leap from the walls; some tortured, roasted by slow fires. They ripped up prisoners to see if they had swallowed gold. Of 70,000 Saracens there were not left enough to bury the dead; poor Christians were hired to perform the office. Every one surprised in the Temple was slaughtered, till the reek from the dead bodies drove away the slayers. The Jews were burned alive in their synagogue. Even the day after, all who had taken refuge on the roofs, notwithstanding Tancred’s resistance, were hewn to pieces. Still later the few Saracens who had escaped (not excepting babes of a year old) were put to death to avenge the insults to the dead, and lest they should swell the numbers of the advancing Egyptian army. The ghost of Bishop Adhemar de Puy, the Legate (he had died of the plague at Antioch) was seen in his sacerdotal habits partaking in the triumph, and it appears, not arresting the carnage.

I think the song of John Lennon apart from dreaming up Utopia, beats any prospects proposed by all religious texts put together.