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.


About makagutu

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

22 thoughts on “Freewill

  1. Arkenaten says:

    Wallace is the Dickhead who wrote Cold Case Christianity.
    Sorry , Mak but I won’t watch this ignorant disingenuous twat who simply vomits worn out apologetic tripe.


  2. ladysighs says:

    I watched all 6 minutes. Didn’t have a choice. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  3. fojap says:

    One very large problem with his argument is that he ignores the fact that our laws, theories of crime, punishment and law enforcement exist in an historical context. He seems to wonder how, without free will, we can justify our correctional system. He appears to take the system itself as a given rather than seeing it as the result of our understanding of human nature and society at the time an in the place that a particular system exists.

    De Toqueville famously came to the U.S. to review our penitentiary system which was, at the time, seen as more advanced and humane than those in France. The prisons he visited were intended for rehabilitation, not punishment. They have long since been closed because they came to be seen as inhumane as our ideas about psychology have changed. Experience, also showed that the prisons did not work as intended. So, as we learn more about human nature, we change our ideas of “correction.” The correctional system is not static.

    I, myself, believe retribution is pointless and consequences for criminal behavior should all be directed at rehabilitation and prevention. I should probably add, that I am not at all “soft” on crime. Explaining why someone committed a crime, even being sympathetic to that person, doesn’t relieve us of the responsibility of protecting the vulnerable people in our society. I know people who live in high crime urban areas in the U.S. who have been victims and I’m very serious about the need to reduce crime in those areas. Children should not have to fear getting robbed on their way to school. That is a horrific way to grow up and that our country allows that is a shame. But the point to me is to end the cycle of crime, not to punish the perpetrator. Any “punishment” is only a means to an end, which is a peaceful society.

    By the way, my sister works with former felons. She’s on vacation now, but if you want me to ask her her opinion on these things I can tell you in two weeks.

    Liked by 3 people

    • makagutu says:

      I would love to hear what she has to say and I can wait.
      Retribution is pointless.
      I think that is what most people miss, they think if we worked towards understanding why crime happens means we are lax or soft on those who offend.
      Given he is a christian, one can only think he uses freewill as a way to justify hell

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m currently awaiting trial because I was caught stealing freewill from the freewill store down the block. My defense will be I was lacking freewill and thought by stealing some I’d have it and could then use it to make amends for the freewill I stole. If no one buys that defense, I’ll simply say Jesus made me do it because, to Jesus, walking around without a freewill is like walking around without pants.

    The guy in this video is, without question, an a-hole. He’s proof freewill doesn’t exist. If it did, he would certainly use it to NOT be the dick he is. Determinism at its finest here, ladies and gents.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Scottie says:

    I guess I feel the same as the others, the guy in the video is an idiot. I mean that he either is deliberately misleading people or he is too blinded by his faith to admit the truth. I disagree with the guy in the video totally. I do love the post. I see free will as something we all have, but it is with in the parameters of the physical world. Like we must obey the laws of the universe. However we have choices at every point in our life. Hugs


  6. pinkagendist says:

    The problem with the freewill discussion is I think it’s not explained in a way people can understand.
    One has to explain it in mathematical terms with each experience representing (in very basic terms) a number- or in more complex terms, equations. Once all of those numbers are “added up”, you can’t get varying results. You’ll get a precise result. So what looks like freewill is actually a very long mathematical problem. That doesn’t mean there are no variables along the way, but ultimately variables will also have a determined value 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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