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I think im athiest


musicman867
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Im beginning to believe in only what makes me happy in life, and anything like religion, shouldnt stop me from the things i love to do. I am very spiritual and believe in love, feelings, and everything that makes me feel good. But if god really loves us, why would he send us to hell for comitting a sin or two. I also have to say, ive been listening to a band called incubus for the past few years, there views on life make me think twice about things ive never imagined. Is this healthy?

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You should believe in what you want to believe in. Don't ever try to believe something that you dont believe. But I know how you feel. I am from a christian background and recently I am beginning to wonder whether the church is correct in some of it's judgements abouts sins etc. Who is to say which religion or faith is correct? I believe that 'god' (or any other subject of faith) will respect the ideals ascociated with making you happy. Though morality is a different thing all together. I think you should strive for morality, but if that interferes with the church- then I see it perfectly reasonable to disregard church belief. You wont ever be happy unless you believe in what you wan tto believe in.

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To prince,

Music has been a huge part of my life, almost all of it ( next to friends and women ) There is one band called Incubus, maybe you have heard of them. There is a song they wrote called Favorite Things off there album S.C.I.E.N.C.E, you should check it out, it hits the nail on the head for my spiritual beliefs, if you cant listen look up the lyrics. Its awesome. See ya later, thanks for the help!

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Music Man,

 

Coming from someone who is strongly influenced by music and has spent years trying to figure out where he stands on religion, I can understand what you're going through. I was born and raised catholic, went to church every Sunday, even went to Catholic school. Today, I couldn't possibly be LESS Catholic...I couldn't even tell you when the last time I went to church was. I think the church's views on many issues are outdated, and in some cases, hateful. The church deals with pressing issues by not dealing with them at all in most cases. I live in Boston. Perhaps you've heard about our pride and joy (not), Cardinal Bernard Law. He was basically an accomplice to pedophile priests and helped them avoid charges by assigning them to different parishes after they molested young parishners. Bottom line, no church or organized religion is perfect.

 

So why on earth would you feel guilty if you practice acts of love and kindness? Those are Christian values that you should hold near forever. The lines between faith and religion can be blurred quite easily. Faith is a personal thing and it will take you a long, long time to figure out what you believe in. It doesn't have to involve an organized religion.

 

If you want to talk more, send me a PM. I could go about this for days...

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I am a Catholic. My Answer to you is that you will never be happy until you find the transcendent (the source of all happiness and all that is good). Like when St. Augustine said, "Thou hast created my soul, O God, after Thee, and it is restless until it rests in Thee." We are made for the eternal and we can never be fully happy until we find it. One thing that is for sure is that this world is not going to last. Everything that you do, everything that you love, everything that you experience, everything that you want is going to pass away. With that knowledge can you truly be happy? Can the man on death row be happy with his last meal when he knows it's his last? This is the situation that we are in without God and the only way to try to avoid it is to try to ignore the truth, to run after a 1,000 pleasures but even with this we will not be fully happy.

 

Using just natural law it is clear to see that we can not be happy without being connected to something beyond ourselves, something transcendent. The major faith traditions throughout history testify to this. The Greeks i.e. Aristotle (and latter Christian's) recognized four levels of happiness. I am quoting the following;

 

1. laetus: Happiness in a thing. Thus, "I see the linguini, I eat the linguini, it makes me feel good, I am happy." This kind of happiness is based on something external to the self, is short-lived and, on reflection, we do not consider that it is all there is to human happiness.

 

 

2. felix: The happiness of comparative advantage. "I have more of this than X." "I am better at this than X." This kind of happiness results from competition with another person. The self is seen in terms of how we measure up to others. It has been called "the comparison game." Such happiness is rather unstable and, if one fails, can lead to unhappiness and sense of worthlessness. Exclusive pursuit tends to oppress others. Most people would not imagine a world as satisfactory if it was composed of only happiness #2 type people.

 

 

3. Beatitudo: (Beatitudo = happiness or blessedness). The happiness that comes from seeing the good in others and doing the good for others. It is, in essense, other-regarding action. Happiness #3 is, in some sense, at war with happiness #2. One cannot be at the same time in competition with someone else and doing the good for and seeing the good in them. Most people would prefer a world (community, family, relationships) structured around the pursuit of happiness #3 than entirely based in happiness #2. Happiness #3 is higher than happiness #2. The problem with #3 is that it is necessarily limited. We cannot be someone else's everything. For example, we or they, will die and if our happiness is contingent upon them, it dies with them. "There must be more than this."

 

4. Sublime Beatitudo: (sublime = "to lift up or elevate"). This category, the most difficult to describe, encompasses a reach for fullness and perfection of happiness. The fullness, thereforeeee, of goodness, beauty, truth and love. So we recognize in this category, those things that are, in a sense, beyond what we are capable of doing purely on our own.

 

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So in conclusion, doing what we want (in a selfish way) does not lead to lasting happiness only connecting to the transcendent God will lead to lasting happiness. God bless

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"Everything that you do, everything that you love, everything that you experience, everything that you want is going to pass away."

 

"So in conclusion, doing what we want (in a selfish way) does not lead to lasting happiness only connecting to the transcendent God will lead to lasting happiness."

 

See, this is exactly what I'm talking about. The Catholic church tries to pressure people out of their natural instincts by making them feel guilty and, even worse, making them afraid. True happiness is indeed found in "the beyond", but who's to say that it's one particular thing. For me, it might be music, for you it might be God, for someone else it may be...well, something else. The point is YOU CAN'T TELL SOMEONE ELSE WHAT TO INVEST THEIR FAITH IN!

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See, this is exactly what I'm talking about. The Catholic church tries to pressure people out of their natural instincts...

 

 

Natural instincts are by definition irrational. So if this is the basis for you rejection of the Church then your whole position is irrational. If you are saying that the Catholic Church tries to pressure people out of irrationality then I agree. But your position is the irrational one not mine.

 

by making them feel guilty

 

Guilt to the soul is like pain to the body. It can be a bad thing if it is not in touch with reality but it has a legitimate function just like pain does. Pain tells the body when something is wrong. When something needs to change for better health. The same goes with guilt. Guilt tells us when we are hurting ourselves and others through sin. I am a caseworker and have worked with people that do not feel guilt. They call it anti-social personality. I don't think that we would what to be like these people and get ride of our guilt. I will keep my guilt thank you.

 

 

The point is YOU CAN'T TELL SOMEONE ELSE WHAT TO INVEST THEIR FAITH IN!

 

Why not?

 

The problem is you do not understand the Catholic Faith. My definition of God encompasses beauty, music and all that is good. The question is not what to invest our faith in but who. Music cannot produce lasting happiness by itself. Only the source of all good can. If you cut yourself off from this source by not comforming to the Good then you will not be happy. You really do not address my arguments from my original post. Where in the post did I put people on a guilt trip? What part of my original post is a cause for fear? That we are all going to die is a reality. If you do not face this you are not in touch with reality. What would be nice is if you addressed the points that I made, head on, instead of a attacking a caricature of my faith. God bless

 

 

 

 

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  • 6 months later...

There has been a lot of abuse of power in religion. A lot of lies. Firstly, beware of a religion that does not allow you to exercice your freedom of thought. You must feel free to explore the world with your own eyes, instead of listening blindly to many lies.

 

I was a fervent believer until a few months ago, when I decided to study the origins of religions, the origins of christianism and judaism lie in ancient Egypt. Our beliefs derive from awful ancient terrible systems of belief.

 

Here are some links that may help you:

 

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Remember that our religion and our beliefs have been imposed on us when we were absolutely vulnerable, we were kids. Now that you are an adult, you cannot believe in fairy tales, you must research on your own, find out the truth on your own. Don't be scared, you will find real freedom and confidence.

 

Good luck!

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  • 4 weeks later...
There has been a lot of abuse of power in religion.

 

Anything that has power for good can also be used for bad. Just because something can be corrupted does not mean that it should not be used. If we could not use things that have been abused in the past for power then we would not be able to use science, government, and family. All these things can be used for evil. But they are not in themselves evil.

 

 

 

Firstly, beware of a religion that does not allow you to exercise your freedom of thought. You must feel free to explore the world with your own eyes, instead of listening blindly to many lies.

 

I agree we should "test everything: retain what is good." (1 Thessalonians 5:21) My faith does not tell people to listen blindly to lies. I find it funny though that you promote free though but you discourage Catholic thought. I guess you can think what you want just as long as it not Catholic. But I do not call this freedom of thought.

 

The links that you provided suffer mostly from the "Post hoc, ergo propter hoc" fallacy. Just because one event follows another it does not always follow that it was caused by it. We can explore this if you wish.

 

I'm sorry to hear that you lost faith. God bless

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The problem with Catholicism is that it prescribes Church dogmas that the individual is supposed to believe without questioning.

 

I am not saying that Catholicism is not a good religion. However, it is quite oppressive in the way that it does not allow freedom of thought. I am not saying I don't respect Catholics, because we all have the right to adopt a system of belief that we chose freely to adopt and we all have the right to grow at our own pace.

 

I believe that Catholicism is very appropriate in less developped countries where there is a lot of Satanism and polytheism. Catholicism has the strength to fight against those major evils.

 

However, in countries like this, a less repressive religion could allow people to develop their spiritual side more deeply.

 

The problem with repression is that it buries without killing certain animal instincts and behaviours in a repressive way. That may cause a backlash: people feel guilty and guilt creates self-destruction. Instead of providing wings, a repressive religion may constitute a living prison.

 

There is no doubt anymore that sexual repression has caused a lot of bad things in the world. Just let me give you an example : sexual repression is inversely proportional to development in every country : countries where there is less sexual repression are more advanced, there is more social equality and people there are more responsible, trustworthy and compassionate. They are closer to God.

 

The more sexual repression there is in a country, the less developped the country is, there will be more hidden sexual acts, more sexual deviations and more violence and corruption. Corruption is a direct derivative from the "law of silence" the secretive attitude that is taught to children through terror, usually when they are sexually abused.

 

I must say that yes, I am against any system of belief that does not respect the individual's freedom of thought.

 

You may think that I am contradicting myself but I am not. For instance, I cannot be AT THE SAME TIME in favour of multiculturalism and in favour of human liberties. There are cultures that are very repressive with women, for instance, and I cannot at the same time respect these cultures and be in favour of human rights.

 

I believe that imposing a religion on children constitutes a trespass against their freedom of religion. When they are 18 yrs old, then they should be allowed to chose, not earlier.

 

On the other hand, I am happy to see that some people like yourself do find comfort in Catholicism. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

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The problem with Catholicism is that it prescribes Church dogmas that the individual is supposed to believe without questioning.

 

The Catholic Church does not discourage questioning.

 

Dogma's are necessary to any meaningful world view. For example, science has the dogma that the physical universe has order. If you go against this dogma then you are not doing science anymore. In the same way, Catholics have dogmas so that people can know if they are in line with Christ's Church. Boundaries give freedom because they provide safety. I am free to go crazy within the boundaries of my faith without having to worry about falling into a ditch. This is liberating.

 

 

However, in countries like this, a less repressive religion could allow people to develop their spiritual side more deeply.

 

From my experience, developed countries are less spiritual than poorer countries. From what I see, Americans care more for what type of car they drive than about trying to connection to some transcendent spiritual reality. I think it is a general rule that poorer people are more spiritual. They are more in touch with the reality of dependency on God.

 

There is no doubt anymore that sexual repression has caused a lot of bad things in the world.

 

I deny this premise. We can dive deeper into this discussion If you like.

 

I must say that yes, I am against any system of belief that does not respect the individual's freedom of thought.

 

"Merely having an open mind is nothing; the object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid." G.K. Chesterton

 

I believe that imposing a religion on children constitutes a trespass against their freedom of religion. When they are 18 yrs old, then they should be allowed to chose, not earlier.

 

Children need a wisdom tradition to help them navigate the spiritual life. Giving a child a half-truth is better than giving them no truth. And by not passing on the truth that one finds in life one is neglecting to give a gift that they have found.

 

God bless

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Ingrid, you call Satansim and polyhteism evil, and yet then you talk about how free thought is good. Satanism is not completely about worshipping satan, just as christians don't spend all their time worshipping christ. Satanism is all about having new ideas. The two religions aren't that different. Here is the founder of satanisms most quoted statement:

 

You cannot love everyone; it is ridiculous to think you can. If you love everyone and everything you lose your natural powers of selection and wind up being a pretty poor judge of character and quality. If anything is used too freely it loses its true meaning. thereforeeee, the Satanist believes you should love strongly and completely those who deserve your love, but never turn the other cheek to your enemy!" Anton LaVey

 

Here are some of the central beliefs

 

 

They do not worship a living deity.

Major emphasis is placed on the power and authority of the individual Satanist, rather than on a god or goddess.

They believe that "no redeemer liveth" - that each person is their own redeemer, fully responsible for the direction of their own life.

"Satanism respects and exalts life. Children and animals are the purest expressions of that life force, and as such are held sacred and precious..."

 

 

These are all quoted from a web site on religious tolerance, so this isn't some random made up web thing. And who are you to say that someone elses belief system is evil? The catholic church has done far more evil things than the church of satan by a long shot. Ever hear about the crusades? How about the Inquisition? That doesn't make it a bad church, those were just people. The one thing that I admire about satanism is the fact that they don't believ that you can do something terrible and be forgiven for it just by praying to god. If you kill someone, you are a f-cker, and you know it. There should be no way to be forgiven just like that for killing someone. Yuo did it, theres nothing you can do to erase that, it will be with you forever. So why should you be forgiven instantly for it? You should have to pay for what you have done. Okay, now Cure of ars, you need to seriously think about something. "Boundaries give freedom because they provide safety. I am free to go crazy within the boundaries of my faith without having to worry about falling into a ditch. This is liberating. " That is the biggest load of BS I have ever heard, and trust me, I hear a lot of it. You can have your dogmas and restrictions, but NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY, a restriction will always be a restriction. Nothing about a restriction is liberating. How could it be? It is restricting you, This is a pretty fundamental concept. Now comes a new fresh heap of BS at the end of your post. This one, has some truth to it, so I cannot give it the #1 award.

"Children need a wisdom tradition to help them navigate the spiritual life. Giving a child a half-truth is better than giving them no truth. And by not passing on the truth that one finds in life one is neglecting to give a gift that they have found. "

 

Dammit man, you sound like, well ! Giving a child a half truth is better than no truth?!?!? So they can live their lives thinking that and never be told anything true? Some people never hear truth, so why give them something to lean on that isn't really there? If I were to tell you that in a certain book, and you believed it, how would you feel if when you died, it was only 1/2 true! Like, the story told about Jesus dying for us so we could go to heaven. Wouldn't it be funny if it was only 1/2 true? So Jesus died for us, but surprise! There's no heaven! Think about that a little bit. Sorry I have been so rude, but what you said made me so angry.

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"Boundaries give freedom because they provide safety. I am free to go crazy within the boundaries of my faith without having to worry about falling into a ditch. This is liberating. " That is the biggest load of BS I have ever heard, and trust me, I hear a lot of it. You can have your dogmas and restrictions, but NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY, a restriction will always be a restriction. Nothing about a restriction is liberating. How could it be? It is restricting you, This is a pretty fundamental concept. Now comes a new fresh heap of BS at the end of your post. This one, has some truth to it, so I cannot give it the #1 award.

 

Let me ask you a question. There are two people. The first is in a strange country in a busy city and the street is full of cars. He is trying to drive somewhere but there are no rules or regulations on how to drive. Everyone is just trying to get where they want to go without following any set rules. Another person is in the U.S. in a busy city and the street is full of cars but everyone is following the law. Who is freer to get to where he wants to go?

 

Here are some quotes to show my point.

 

"Art consists of limitation. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame. " ~G.K. Chesterton

 

"Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere." ~G.K. Chesterton

 

"If you draw a giraffe, you must draw him with a long neck. If, in your

bold creative way, you hold yourself free to draw a giraffe with a

short neck, you will really find that you are not free to draw a

giraffe." -- G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

 

 

"Some people never hear truth…"

 

Speak for yourself and good luck with that Satan thing.

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First things first, in case you haven't noticed, all those quotes are by the same guy. So you are just saying one guys views on the subject. I can get a bunch of quotes too, quotes don't really mean anything, it is all in how you interpret them.

 

About the satanism thingy, I am not a satanist, I was just pointing out that they aren't evil, like most people think. Their religion is pretty much on par with christianity for evilness. They just don't have the same focus on helping people as christians do. The point I was trying to make about that was that you cant call what other people believe in "evil". People put down satanism, but thats the same as putting down any other religion. Do you see people talking about how buddhism is evil? How about catholics? A lot more people have slaughtered innocents in those religions than in satanism. That doesn't make them bad, it was just how the followers decided to live.

 

Now I am going to talk about the car thingy. You can design instances to fit any occasion. What if that guy in the other country thought up a really good system of driving, and then decided to follow it? He could do it if he wanted and nobody would care. If you made up a system of driving in the US, you would either get arrested, or you would get hit by a speeding truck.

 

Rules make life generally more efficient. That doesn't mean you have more freedom, just better efficiency. More rules make you have less rights, you cannot have a rule that grants more rights than you would have if there were no rules.

 

You might fall down a litle bit more if there are no rules, but how do you think they made up the rules in the first place. Somebody tripped and fell into something painful, and we don't want that. So we do whatever we can in order to make it so it doesn't happen again. The rule was made so that people cannot do things to hurt themselves. But it doesn't mean you have freedom. It means that all you can do is what you have been told you can do. As soon as you find a new way to hurt yourself, a rule is placed. So your rights get slowly shrunk, and eventually, we'll have none left. Everything has to start somewhere, and while the rules are for a good cause, it eventually becomes a chain which we are caught up in. Every single rule that we have is one link of the chain, and eventually, there will be so many we have tied oursleves up in them, and we won't be able to do anything. Saving lives becomes more important than indivdual rights. Lives are extremely important, but so is the freedom to choose. It is up to you to decide which is more important. Freedom affects us all, and so does a life. But lives will all ultimately end, but freedom can go on forever.

 

If you don't understand any of what I said, it's ok. I don't understand most of it completely either. All I really get is the key concepts of what I am trying to say, sorry I can't be more specific. I am going to post a new topic about what freedom and choices are, so if you want to talk more, move to there. Sorry if I have offended you.

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Beliving in God will come down to personal preference.

 

Why Thiests shouldn't critize the Athiests

The problem truth

 

 

It comes down to the simple question

 

Why do you even bother living your life?

 

Some athiests say,

I have meaning in my life. I get meaning when I watch a beautiful sunset, when I compose a poem, when I read a good books or accomplishing something great. I see meaning when I love my wife. I don't need anymore meaning. I have a million sources of it.

 

And this is COMPLETELY fine to me. They place ultimate value on these things. But I don't.

 

when I see sunsets I see the scattering of blue wavelengths out of sunlight via Rayleigh scattering. When I read good books and watch good movies, I too enjoy them, but I also know that these feelings are products of psychological connections that I make with the movie. When I accomplish something great I realize the joy is derived from my ego and a psychological fact about male autonomy. When I love someone it?s due to serotonin, endorphin, dopamine, and many other chemicals.

 

So like Kierkegaard I need something "I can live and die for". And there is nothing in this world that I can live and die for. In the end we are just quarks, leptons, and messenger particles--that's it. I PERSONALLY need something more than that. But I don't expect an athiest to by this reasoning. (I'd like to think that she would be disturbed by this reduction to just particles, but I respect someone that places values in things like dopamine levels.)

 

But heres a neat little catch. Why would it even matter if I believe in God or not. Some athiests are almost as bad as fundamentalist Christians. We are just quarks, leptons,and force carriers--that's it. So what if I was wrong about god. People seem to think that truth is the ultimate thing out there. Because if I'm wrong. It really didn't matter if I believed in God or not. (This is not Pascal's wager.)

 

Why Thieists shouldn't get on the athiests

The problem will

 

This is one of the hardest problems in philosophy. There isn't any free will really. Who you are is constrained by:

 

You're parents, genetics and external factors. Why do you think blacks are more likely to go to jail? Why do you think those who are bipolar are more likely to kill themselves? It has nothing to do with free will.

 

Everything thing that has happened to you in the past up until this point. The athiests will be athiests, the theists will be theists only because they saw the world in this special way. Take an athiest and put her in a thiests body from birth. Do you really think that after having all the experiences of a theist that they would actually "choose" to be an atheist.

 

Free will is the hardest thing to defend. The scariest thing is it MAY go deeper than that. Quantum Mechanics perdicts a probabilistic future, it's not all predetermined. But it may very well be that what you do--which is what goes on in your brain--is COMPLETELY DEPENDENT on what happens at the quantum level (or at least physical laws). So what you do is determined by these laws, but not by you. (Sorry I didn't explain that well)

 

But the catch is that. How can God hold an atheist blameworthy for somehting that was out of his control. The black man killed becasue he grew up in such a horrible environment. The guy killed himself because he was bipolar. The

 

And the atheist didn't believe in God because he had no choice. Everything in his past told him that this was the right thing to believe in. How could God hold someone like that guilty? He was only believing in what he thought was true. Humans make mistakes. But why would he deserve to go to Hell? He didn't do anything wrong.

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Beliving in God will come down to personal preference.

 

Why Thiests shouldn't critize the Athiests

The problem truth

 

 

It comes down to the simple question

 

Why do you even bother living your life?

 

Some athiests say,

I have meaning in my life. I get meaning when I watch a beautiful sunset, when I compose a poem, when I read a good books or accomplishing something great. I see meaning when I love my wife. I don't need anymore meaning. I have a million sources of it.

 

And this is COMPLETELY fine to me. They place ultimate value on these things. But I don't.

 

when I see sunsets I see the scattering of blue wavelengths out of sunlight via Rayleigh scattering. When I read good books and watch good movies, I too enjoy them, but I also know that these feelings are products of psychological connections that I make with the movie. When I accomplish something great I realize the joy is derived from my ego and a psychological fact about male autonomy. When I love someone it?s due to serotonin, endorphin, dopamine, and many other chemicals.

 

So like Kierkegaard I need something "I can live and die for". And there is nothing in this world that I can live and die for. In the end we are just quarks, leptons, and messenger particles--that's it. I PERSONALLY need something more than that. But I don't expect an athiest to by this reasoning. (I'd like to think that she would be disturbed by this reduction to just particles, but I respect someone that places values in things like dopamine levels.)

 

But heres a neat little catch. Why would it even matter if I believe in God or not. Some athiests are almost as bad as fundamentalist Christians. We are just quarks, leptons,and force carriers--that's it. So what if I was wrong about god. People seem to think that truth is the ultimate thing out there. Because if I'm wrong. It really didn't matter if I believed in God or not. (This is not Pascal's wager.)

 

Why Thieists shouldn't get on the athiests

The problem will

 

This is one of the hardest problems in philosophy. There isn't any free will really. Who you are is constrained by:

 

You're parents, genetics and external factors. Why do you think blacks are more likely to go to jail? Why do you think those who are bipolar are more likely to kill themselves? It has nothing to do with free will.

 

Everything thing that has happened to you in the past up until this point. The athiests will be athiests, the theists will be theists only because they saw the world in this special way. Take an athiest and put her in a thiests body from birth. Do you really think that after having all the experiences of a theist that they would actually "choose" to be an atheist.

 

Free will is the hardest thing to defend. The scariest thing is it MAY go deeper than that. Quantum Mechanics perdicts a probabilistic future, it's not all predetermined. But it may very well be that what you do--which is what goes on in your brain--is COMPLETELY DEPENDENT on what happens at the quantum level (or at least physical laws). So what you do is determined by these laws, but not by you. (Sorry I didn't explain that well)

 

But the catch is that. How can God hold an atheist blameworthy for somehting that was out of his control. The black man killed becasue he grew up in such a horrible environment. The guy killed himself because he was bipolar. The

 

And the atheist didn't believe in God because he had no choice. Everything in his past told him that this was the right thing to believe in. How could God hold someone like that guilty? He was only believing in what he thought was true. Humans make mistakes. But why would he deserve to go to Hell? He didn't do anything wrong.

 

 

 

Do you agree with this statement and if not where is it wrong.

 

 

If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true...and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms." (Possible Worlds, p. 209)

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Well, heaven and hell, if you think about it, you can never really know if they exist. Even if you die and go to heaven, you aren't really "you" anymore, because the real "you" is dead, either in a coffin or on a street or wherever you died. So whether there is a heaven or a hell doesn't really matter, since your mind is inside your brain, and nothing leaves your body when you die. We know your mind is in your brain because we do things to alter your brain, and it changes your mind. So even if there is a heaven, when you go there you will be someone else, maybe really similar, but you won't be you.

 

Now I am going to try and defend free will. Free will isn't what most people think it is, the freedom to make your own future. It doesn't matter if a theory or higher being knows what you will do next, it is all based on the choice you have been given. You are given choices everyday, and free will is the ability of human beings to make a choice. In the bible, God doesn't say what hell is but he says it is seperation from him. So if the guy is separated from God his whole life, then how will he even notice if he goes to what hell might be.

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Do you agree with this statement and if not where is it wrong.

 

If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true...and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms." (Possible Worlds, p. 209)

 

Well how do you justify (provide reason for) anything really? Rational argumentation is my guess, although I don't know much epistemology. But the idea is this: yes mental processes are determined, but this doesn't mean we have lost all justifications of beliefs. Take the case where atoms govern our beliefs, and the case where they don't and we have free will (I don't know where free will would come from--you tell me.) In both cases I can still provide rational argumentation (justification) for my beliefs. Sure in one case they are beyond my control--they are determined--but that doesn't mean that I've lost all justification.

 

Someone might say, how do you KNOW that you're right though because both your beliefs and their justification are beyond your control. I mean even what I'm writing here is called into doubt. Well certainty was never a necessary condition to knowledge according to modern epistemology. You're right, I really am not CERTAIN at all, but

 

I still have beliefs

I still can justify them (even with doubt)

and in the end they still maybe true.

 

And this is the epistemological definition of knowledge. And all three can occur whether or not atoms determine my mental processes.

 

But I might just bite the bullet and say, you know you're right. We have no grounds to believe anything anymore, even that sentence right there. But I still could believe in it, and I can't see how god could hold me culpable.

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It doesn't matter if a theory or higher being knows what you will do next, it is all based on the choice you have been given. You are given choices everyday, and free will is the ability of human beings to make a choice.

 

I think you got something with this. But I think it leads to something that many would be reluctant to accept.

 

First off you'll need to define choice. Because clearly you do THINK you have a CHOICE. Will you wake up tomorrow at 8 or 9 o'clock? I'm sure you think that's a choice. "I can do either one," you'll say. But if you're actions are predetermined on the subatomic level, then how do you call this a choice. Run the universe through a thousands times over and over and over again, you'll still make the same decision. There was no choice there, only a sembelance of one.

 

Secondly, if god knows everything about your future then some say that this also means you didn't have a choice. God knew what you were going to do before hand. If you did anything other than that, then god was wrong (and fallacy is not usually something we attribute to god) but if god is always right, then you don't really have a choice do you. Joe killed Bill, but it wasn't Joe's fault. God knew Joe was going to kill Bill thus Joe had to kill Bill. There's no way around it.

 

Actually there maybe a way, but I'll let you figure it out.

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See the one big problem is, no matter what happens in the end, you still are given a list of decisions. You can choose any of them, and regardless of whether someone else knows what you are going to do, you still made the decision. So while they may know exactly what you are going to do, they can't change it, thereby giving you free will. Of course, if they could change it, then you would never notice, because it would be what you did. So they could be changing what happens every second, and we would never notice. We couldn't notice, because it would already have happened. So if free will exists, we will never know. But then again if you think about it, whatever time travel has happened, already did, so they aren't really changing anything. It's not fate, it's is what already happened.

 

If God knew what decision Joe would make, then he obviously respected Joes choice. He didn't change it, thus Bill is dead. Imagine this : Your sibling and you go out for ice cream. Your brother / sister always orders strawberry, without fail. You know she is going to choose strawberry, and lo and behold, when you order your ice creams, she chooses strawberry. You knew, or thought you knew what was going to happen, and it did. Did you give her a choice? Yes you did, she could have had chocolate, or vanilla, but she chose strawberry. How do you know that God knows everything anyway? Yo are just listening to what other people have said. They tell you to have faith, but did you hear God say have faith? No. You didn't. You can tell yourself you heard him, but you know you didn't. Since God never says anything, then he is always right. When you never say anything wrong, there is only one alternative. Plus when people say they heard God tell them something, and it was true, everybody says "look theres proof!" But what about when they hear voices, and it turns out to be BS? Do you hear them say it was God then? No you don't So basically, for him it's a win-win situation.

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See the one big problem is, no matter what happens in the end, you still are given a list of decisions. You can choose any of them, and regardless of whether someone else knows what you are going to do, you still made the decision.

 

But don't you see that these list of decisions mean nothing. People want choice. Having a choice means having both options are possible. Not having a choice means that in no way would you have chosen one of the options.

 

So I don't deny you have decisions. But it doesn't matter much does it? So you gave the OPTIONS of chocolate or strawberry under the semblance of free will. But your sister HAD to choose strawberry, for the reasons I gave (god's foreknowledge/physical determinism). So we have different notions of choice. But clearly a choice that is predetermined is not much of a choice at all

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Well, it is, but only as long as you don't know the outcome. So if you don't know what will happen, then it is as much of a choice as anything. This is a very delicate subject we are dealing with, one that is open to much debate. So I guess, whatever you do is what your choice was, happened, and whatever choices you make in the future will happen as well. I guess it;s like playing a video game for the first time. You don't really know how to play, and whatever you do effects how you will play the game. The person who made the game knows everything about it, and exactly what will happen no matter what you do. But since you don't know whats happening, everything you do seems like you are influencing what will happen. Except you aren't. The game has a storyline, and you have no choice but to follow it. The designer knows exactly what you will do, just not how you are going to do it. It still will be fun, you will still think you are uncovering secrets or hidden bugs, but the person who made it knows exactly what will happen. I guess that's just what I imagine God as. The giant video game designer in the sky! You are welcome to your own belief, but I guess mine just simplifies it a little.

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See I think you're trying to sugar coat it. I agree completely with what you just said. But you're not simplifing anything.

 

The problem is: Any determinism means that there's no free will and you can't be guilty for "sinning". You just admited that "you have no choice but to follow it", i.e. there is no free will.

 

You're not "simplifying" anything. You're accepting the fact that there is no free will and living life anyways. That's COMPLETELY ok, but don't make it sound like your video game analogy removes the above problem, just say:

 

"There is no free will, but I'm still going to live my life."

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