Day of comments #3: …Free will?

Here’s another one from Rebekah.  I’m not sure what to say.

That is true but only if one attributes all types of “bad” things to God. Instead of trying to comprehend the value of free volition. Your right to choose of which you obviously hold highly. The only issue is does “God” do all of these horrible things or are they a result of something else all together? The right to choose can only exist when there is something to choose from. In this case the “christian God” (theologically) created something good and gave it free choice. The idea is that this being choose itself over God. Which was deemed wrong and thus a series of events occured with God sending His son Christ to save people from that force. It is out of goodness and love that this was arranged. That is what Christians believe. I don’t see where the problem with that is unless you confuse the ideas and make assumptions from a bias point of view. The only “bad” thing that God did was create freedom of choice if you look at it from a humanist point of veiw. To choose between good and evil…
What is good to God is obvious in the teaching of CHrist which completed the picture of God who is assumed to be perfect and so can not abide evil. In laying down His life Christ did not join forces with “Satan” he redeemed mankind from the power of Satan and the power of death which was a result of sin which derived from the choice to choose to relate to Satan who hates mankind and all good things instead of God who created and loves mankind and is all things good. From another perspective and a “theological” basis. (whatever that means) It is not necessary for Christians to accept all evil things by “because God is good”… that is just stupid. The one thing is not related to the other. Bad things happen as a result of people choosing badly but God did not force them to choose that way he simply gave them the right to choose. The one thing does not negate or make the other evil.

I understand what all the words she uses mean, but when she puts them together in sentences I just…gah.  This looks like the free will argument, but I’m not really sure.

The right to choose can only exist when there is something to choose from.

Well, yes.  But we don’t need ALL choices in order to have free will – we just need choices.  For instance, you can’t grow a third arm.  It’s just not an option you have.  Do you not have free will on account of it?  Well, no, because you have other choices.

So we do have something to choose from, so why do we need malicious options?

Here’s an analogy.  Imagine our palette of choices as four fruits: an apple, a pear, a watermelon, and a grape.  We can choose to eat any of them.  We don’t need to add a kiwi or a banana, because we have free choice within out set of options.  Now, none of these fruits is inherently sinful.  It’s not like the moral rules exist and god is bound by them.  God determines the moral rules (based mostly on what caters to his jealousy).  So one day, for whatever reason, god decides, say, the apple is sinful, and he’s going to burn us for eternity if we eat it.  Rather than remove the apple, which would leave us free will (since we’d still have choices), he leaves it there.  Why?  What’s more, he makes the apple fucking delicious/tempting to us.  Why unless he wants to see some people burn?

And you’re alluding to the idea that I need to “choose” to believe in Jesus, but that’s impossible.  I can’t choose to believe someone rose from the dead without any evidence any more than I can choose to believe gravity doesn’t work or that my neighbor has the power fart gold nuggets.  I can’t just choose to believe the absurd.  I could be lied to, coerced, or mistaken and wind up believing in the absurd, but I cannot choose to believe something that evaporates when it clashes with reality.  If god exists, he made me with that brain and then made belief in the absurd the means to escape eternal torture.  What’s more, he seems to be dead set on sending me followers who saturate my blog with a bunch of incoherent nonsense and bad arguments rather than believers with one shred of evidence to help make the story of Jesus less unbelievable.  And you want to act like this is somehow my fault?

Of course, the whole thing is so uproariously bizarre that any adult, and most children, should be able to realize it’s not true.  You’re just as bad as Icy Cantu: you are fully aware that you’re writing to atheists, people who don’t believe your god exists, and yet you don’t lift a finger to try and convince us that he exists.  You just go on rattling through the mythology as though we all believe it and the atheists just reject god anyway.  Try this: stop focusing purely on what you believe and start focusing on why you (and presumably why we should) believe it.

Here’s what it boils down to: people rising from the dead is silly.  The idea of hell is laughable.  If you’re not going to try and explain why you are justified in believing such goofy things, you’re not going to make any traction here.

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