It is my lunchtime and I am overcome with the urge to write. I only have twenty minutes so I’ll be terse. Today’s topic is the Christian idea of free will, and I will show it for the ball and chain it really is.
Of course, this is one of those overused arguments whenever an atheist and a believe enter a debate. I thus have the burden on my shoulders to give this old argument a polish.
To make sense of the christian version of free will, you have to understand something about the christian religion (I like how this is already named appropriately: it is a religion and nothing more) and also the gross human rights violation that is slavery.
While analyzing the christian version of free will, it became blindingly clear to me that it was thought up and written down somewhere under a tree in the otherwise desolate deserts of the middle east. Now, of course, just because an idea has a humble beginning, does not mean that it also is errant: one of the best ideas (gravity) was thought up under an Apple tree in Britain, however, luckily that person did not consider his limited ponderings on the matter final when he stood up from under the tree and went on his way.
god makes everything, every rule, and every conscious being. god, being all knowing and infallible, sees the fate of everything she creates. she, in her wisdom, and in what must be like watching a movie where you know absolutely every single fucking line and scene that is coming, chooses to sit out the wait and still get angry at her creation only doing what she foresaw they would.
Conveniently, she calls this free will, and believers are quick to defend this ‘round with four corners’ type of argument. Believers like to say that we are the ones that choose to either walk next to the road or sit in the middle of it, if we choose to sit in the middle of the road and get hit by a passing truck, we only have ourselves to blame.
The problem with this argument is that it dismisses the ‘reality’ that the believer claims, that god, in her infallible wisdom and infinite nature, is all-knowing, all-seeing, and somehow still able to be suspenseful about the inevitable.
We thus know that the truck that drives over us is driven by god, and she has an advantage no other truck driver has, she knows who will sit in the road and when but does nothing to swerve out of the way. It seems she is on some psychotic race through time because knowing everything that ever was and will be would drive me similarly mad and make me want to seek the ends of infinity as well.
Of course, we should also question god’s character if she feels herself moral and just for telling us to do as we please, but if we don’t do as she says, we are in for a world of hurt; and even though she made hell, she really dress any of us going there, but she must obey her own nature because being all-powerful indeed has its limitations.
Now look, if you can live your life with that idea of freedom and morality, then I seriously doubt you have the capacity for reason and morality.
As an atheist, I may not have a purpose given to me by some fictitious being on a cosmic throne, but that just means I can seek out any purpose I desire. That is free will! It seems that we can only have free will by not having a creator that has predestined us for some eventual fate, regardless if that is a positive or negative end for some of us.
But like we saw with slavery in our own recent history, some people just need to serve. For them the masters lashings and insults are the sweetest expression of love and concern. For them the depravity of their conditions is the master simply giving in accordance to their needs / worth. Even if these slaves were to have the shackles removed, they would bend down and fasten them around their ankles again.
To be a slave in one’s own mind and be content with that condition is to have been conquered by the most powerful enemy in the most thorough way possible.
How can a moral person such as me (let us disregard my atheistic nature for a moment) ever take seriously anything said by a person who is so enslaved and whose sole purpose in this life is to see me and everyone else reduced to the same state of ‘salvation.’
I’m not joking when I say, you can never trust the religious to champion freedom, morality, and reason. When they are true believers, they are nothing more than slaves and, thankfully for us all, to nothing more than superstition.