By Timothy George - Cross-Examined
Every time I turn around I find someone else denying that humans have free will. From scientists to philosophers to theologians, it’s the cool new trend. We aren’t actually making free choices. We have been programmed either by God or our DNA to act in a certain way and have no choice but to follow it.
To be perfectly clear, we deny all types of determinism, whether it’s physical or divine. Free will is what puts the free in Freethinking Ministries and our cornerstone is the Freethinking Argument. Yet many people still don’t understand the consequences of denying free will.
But first, what is determinism? Basically, it means there is no free will. All of our beliefs, thoughts, actions, etc. are “decided” for us, either by internal or external forces: our DNA, the laws of physics, or a deity. You’re a train on a fixed track with no control whatsoever. Even if you think that you really deliberated about what color socks you were going to wear this morning, you wore what you wore and you were completely unable to do otherwise.
So before you join all the cool kids, you need to know the price of admission. This is what it will cost you to deny free will:
No free will = no moral responsibility
If every one of our actions have been predetermined for us, how can we be held accountable for them? Or how can a divine puppet master condemn you for performing evil actions if he’s the one pulling your strings? The murderer has no choice but to murder. The rapist has no choice but to rape. Whether you are loving and kind or an intolerant, sexist, racist, bigot, you have no control over it. You were born that way, just like everyone else. Nothing you do is your fault.
But do we honestly believe that?
To read the rest of the article by Timothy George click here; The Price of Denying Free Will