People may say they want to do good and that is why they believe in free will as in the power to choose it rather than to do harm or to sit idle.

First of all, there is no good action only necessary evil/harm whitewashed up. Every breath you take causes harm that will one day make the world uninhabitable and you would not be here unless most people were taking the lives of animals and who gave them the right? They have no answer.

Second, the wanting is selfish for you do a good work here and there but not enough. There is not enough value in your want to justify saying, “I have to have free will when I want to have it to do good with it.” The want is like pity. Pity is about indulging a feeling while compassion is about more than that, it is about taking action.

Third, it is wrong to say x is true for I want it to be true.  Genuine free will would not ask you to come up with such an irrational case for holding it is real.

Fourth, maybe you don't want to have free will when you feel the temptation to do harm?

Fifth, if you are satisfied you have free will you have no right to tell another why they have free will or to impose your perception of your free will on them.  If they say they don't see any reason why to affirm free will then you have to just live with that.  John has eyes and Mary has eyes.  That does not mean they have the same eyes.  They may see but the structure despite appearances is radically different.  I have nothing to say if somebody claims their free will is wired up differently to mine.  The fact that one person can see a late abortion as a noble deed and the other sees it as heinous might point to that.

We conclude that those who say they believe in free will for they want to do good with it have to be talking about others more than themselves.  If the want means so much to us then the argument, "Free will is a gift from God who is pure love.  He is not the cause of evil.  We are for we abuse his gift" is not what drives them.  They just use it for cover.  The real argument is, "This is about what I want".  If want is all they really care about, then what about the God who they connect to our free will?  To believe in free will for you want it or think you want it means that if you argue free will shows there is a God then it follows that God comes back to what you want too.  You may go as far as to think he is just about what he wants.  It makes us feel better about being like that too.

This nonsense about wanting to be free to do good meaning free will is a valid if not convincing concept not only applies to believers in free will but also believers in God.  If God has free will, despite the fact that it does not seem possible to call a being who cannot sin or do wrong free, then he must be free for he wants to be good.  And the Bible says we are reflections of God, made in his divine image, so the link is there.  We are told to believe free will is real for we want to do good with it and that is because God is like that too.

If God wants to wipe out evil but does not or cannot, then is he evil?  Is he rather unable or amoral? Religion focuses on this wants and concludes that he wants to help but keeps out of it for sometimes it is best for us if he lets us be responsible adults. But what is responsible about simply guessing that he wants to help when you see terrible things around you? You cannot argue that the problem is us not him.

Notice too that if we want safety and protection, what any being wants for us does not matter if he or she is not going to help. This is all about the want.  His.

If that is all they care about, then they cannot talk about responsibility.  If you are truly about being empowered by a God to make real positive change that is one thing.  That is what you think believers in God would want. But if you love God you will love him even if out of respect for free will we end up with a perpetually terrible universe that will keep getting worse.

And Christianity admits it would still say God has good will towards us even if the whole universe were a pit of permanent agony for its creatures.  It argues that without God you have no reason to call anything evil.  So all they care about is validating good. It is about validating good in principle not validating good in action.  It is only luck that we can do more than just know good really is good and not just a matter of opinion.  It just happens that we are able to put the principle into significant action.

Our finding is that calling God good is not really about the good we see around us for religion says he would be as good as ever if the universe were a pure hell. It is about praising him for having a want to help and that is not about whether he can help or not. 

Should we talk about taking responsibility for saying people are responsible? YES.

What would that entail?

Believers in God want you to feel God has made you responsible but they don’t admit that they need to take responsibility for that stance.

Now if you give somebody responsibility and declare them responsible, then that means you are the one with the real responsibility if you are misleading them.

You need to have responsibility as big as God’s, to do that in his name.  If there is no God then the responsibility falls on you.

That is why no matter what excuses religion gives, unless it has a high level of evidence and probability that it has the mandate of a real God, it is cheating us and is intellectually vacant.

You simply cannot say that free will is a gift from God and lie like that over it.  Free will is not truly a gift or about doing good if it needs lies and liars.  It is about doing something, and if that is good or bad that does not matter as long as something is done.  Free will then would not be about our moral opportunities. 

How sincere are we when we say that God is right to let evil and suffering happen because this is respect for us as free agents?  They say the reason why something blocks us at times from doing the evil we choose and why we can do it easily other times is because God has a plan and only lets us harm when it fits a greater good.

The believers are dismissing the fact that the good is often the enemy of the best. In principle, what is good might seem to be for the best and not be. And the other problem is us. It is how our vision is too limited so it is impossible for us to be really sure the best has been selected. There can be a very thin line between good and best. The good and the best depend on the circumstances. It is best for us to all have our feet fall off if a disease emerges that will target our feet and kill us in agony.

Our bias wants to believe that something that happens is more than just good but also the best. Believing anything different scares us too much.

God's aimed for result could be centuries away but we act as if the good that harm and evil will give in to is rather imminent.

What about the lived experience of those who say that suffering is an experience that tells them they are on their own and that if God loves them he has allowed that loved to be blocked or he does not exist? To say that person is wrong is erasing what they are. And you are attacking their strength if they feel they are on their own and that drives them to defy their suffering with every breath they have. Your experience is a deep part of you. It is who you are. In order to connect with that person you need to be ready to believe them as they see it and not how you imagine their experience to be. That proves the good God works for, is not for the best.

We conclude that God's wish to help us is not very inspiring at all.

Today we have negative atheism which says, "I do not affirm that there is no God.  I simply have no belief.  Atheism is not a claim.  If you claim something you take on the burden of showing why your claim is probably right.  I have no such burden for I am not asserting the non-existence of God."

Now we can use this instead,

"I do not affirm that there is no God who has an actual desire to help me.  I simply have no belief.  Atheism is not a claim.  If you claim something you take on the burden of showing why your claim is probably right.  I have no such burden for I am not asserting the non-existence of such a God."

In fact this new version is very specific.  It denies that God has a morally relevant attitude towards us.

We are told that this, “I do not have any belief in the existence of a divine being” should not be seen as small.  They say it is not just the absence of belief in God but the tip of an iceberg, the tip of very wide worldview.  This assumes that most people have the time to make sure their belief or non-belief tells them a huge number of things and even if the universe has meaning or not.

And to fail to believe in God simply says,

Miracles are irrelevant to all of us at least 23.55 hours of the day.

God or not, we try to feel meaning by having families and friends.

Now if you believe people have told God to go away by their sin as Christianity would say, you are like the negative atheist who just lives as if the world is a closed system and there is no God involved.

And as for God's moral code, the Christian and the atheist alike will abort a baby to save the life of a mother for example.  The only difference is that the Christian does not like to admit that their absolute moral rules are looser than they claim.

You don't need a huge world view for any of that.  And we are in those core points much the same as the Christians.

You can make it simpler by concentrating your negative atheism on God's want.  Just deny that he is capable of caring even if he can seem to act in a helpful way.  A God without a want is not really a God even if he is the creator and designer and the soul of the universe. 


Religion advocates faith in the divine plan and reasons that if nothing happens it will.  But that could be centuries away.  What would you think of a cure for your cancer that does not work?  You go back to the clinic and they say you are linked with another version of you in a parallel world with cancer and that is how you are cured.  Dangerously religion also tends to argue that the good plan is there behind the ugliness and so it is not as bad as it looks.  And to argue that you reap the rewards when others who did more than you suffer and die is abhorrent.  You would expect people to seek some kind of protection in faith.  But it seems they are not admitting to this attitude, "Benefits or not, God disapproves of things such as stealing, adultery, witchcraft and that is enough for me."  If all you care about is approval and disapproval then you are rooting yourself in some form of self-righteousness.  There is a type of person that wants to think and talk moralistically and does not worry much about helping others.  Some people like that help others simply because they want to to be perceived as carriers of moral wisdom.


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