Free will: The power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one’s own discretion.Watched the BBC's The Big Questions this morning. Today's question was, do we have free will? I'm none the wiser. One of the speakers, an evangelical Christian, said something about those who don't accept Christ going to hell. I've been told by a Muslim that atheists will go to hell. The more I hear about it, the more attractive hell sounds, if it's free from the clamour of religionists all trying to impose their beliefs on everyone else. Free will? Not if the theists' God has anything to do with it. The Big Questions doesn't do religious believers any favours. By herding a bunch of them all together, arguing about who's right (they all think they are), they appear collectively silly.
Yesterday I watched the second part of Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch's series on Sex and the Church on BBC Two. Fascinating stuff about Christian history, and how attitudes to sex have been shaped by various Christian saints, all male, with sexual hang-ups of one sort or another, determined that free will and spontaneity would be strongly discouraged in matters sexual.
God is generally an authority figure invented by a succession of control freaks as a mouthpiece for their messages. The same is true of the various believers who take part in The Big Questions. They may be recycling someone else's messages, but they've all originated in the minds of men (mostly men, not women), not in some supernatural sphere. If you were looking for a religion, which one would you choose? The one that most closely reflected your attitudes and values? A majority of people, worldwide, don't enjoy the privilege of choosing. Their religion is chosen for them by the control freaks in their community, mostly male. No free will for them.
I'll stick to freethinking. The Big Questions' participants could benefit from trying it for a while.