4 thoughts on “A new page of Hate Mail! The Jack Stargel files

  1. Atheist Named Jeff

    Note on the sidebar: I also have had that opportunity to meet P&T. They were *awesome*!! In fact, my wife got picked as one of the “volunteers” to go on stage during the show! :D

    They can give me the freedom to do or not do something, but they cannot give me the free will that allows me to decide how to use that freedom. Freedom and free will are not synonymous.

    “Free will” has nothing to do with the concept of what you are and aren’t “allowed” to do (which is the other word: “freedom”). It is a teleological argument that either you were predestined to do everything in your life (by the invisible sky-daddy in the sky), or you are an independent person and have the ability (*cough* “free will”) to make your own decisions – directly implying that you can “choose” things that the Sky-Daddy Does Not Want You To Choose.

    Now that we have all that straightened out, I have a better question: if I have free will, how can god be omniscient? I mean, obviously I can make a choice that makes god sad/angry/irate/whatever , so obviously I wasn’t designed to do it – so how can everything in the past, present, and future be omnisciently planned then? I can make arbitrary choices that mess up the plan!

    … But if I don’t have free will, and I get sent to hell for not believing in god, then isn’t god malevolent? If everything is in a divine plan, and there is any percentage of people that ‘suffer forever’, then clearly god is malevolent.

    Quite the conundrum!

  2. normalbob Post author

    I understand where you’re coming from, but I think the threat of eternal suffering (when actually considered as absolute truth) has the potential to bend free will. It encourages the programed robot mentality. We’ve all encountered people who’re victims of this, and listened to the lunacy they verbalize because their free will has been compromised.

    Is it possible for the free will we’re each born with to be taken away with the proper tools? Can someone be so broken by the elements, fear, torture, mind control, or basic miseducation to actually manipulate and/or remove ones own free will? My answer is yes. Watch a little Darren Brown and you’ll come to realize we’re all quite susceptible.

    The tools needed to bend ones will are almost common knowledge at this point. This is why cults are dangerous, and the people involved with them are considered victims. Here’s a funny video that illustrates my point…

    Am I wrong? Am I misdefining “free will?”

  3. Apostate Lois

    I notice that, in all his ramblings, Jack refuses to answer the question, “How can you enjoy eternal happiness in heaven while knowing that your loved ones are suffering eternal torments in hell?” I have asked Christians this question, and not one of them dares to answer it. The closest they come is to say that they trust God to save their loved ones, too. But what if he doesn’t? The Bible says that the only way to get to God is through Jesus. What if you have friends who don’t believe in Jesus? Not just agnostics or atheists, but Hindus, pagans, Wiccans, etc. I have known many people of many different religious beliefs, and never met one that I thought worthy of an eternity in a place of misery, pain, and torture. I do not want to worship a God who thinks anyone deserves such a place, no matter how horrible they were in life. Eternity is a long time to punish someone for a few decades of being bad.

  4. Atheist Named Jeff

    Am I wrong? Am I misdefining “free will?”

    Free will (in my definition) is the ability to choose against pre-destiny. The example of belonging to a cult is more a question of “free choice” – do the people involved in the cult still have the free choice to walk away? Or does belonging to the cult take that free choice away (via threat of mental or physical harm)?

    I agree – outside influences can take away our “free choice” (threat, imprisonment, etc.) but the question of if we ever had the choice to begin with is “free will.”

    Also… hilarious video. :D

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