5 ARGUMENTS FOR THE EXISTENCE OF FREE WILL

By Evan Minton

Free Will is a topic debated among Christians and even some non-Christians. The Christians who affirm that men have free will in the libertarian sense are Arminians, Molinists, and Open Theists. Christians who deny free will in the libertarian sense generally fall into the Calvinist camp. I have argued elsewhere that libertarian free will is the only true kind of free will that there is. Compatibilism, despite what the name suggests, doesn’t reconcile free will and determinism. Compatibilism, at most, would explain why we feel like we’re free when we make our actions even though we’re determined. Compatibilism would explain why I feel like a free creature despite being the puppet of God, my sinful nature, my desires, or the molecules in my brain ((depending on what kind of determinist you are)). But it doesn’t actually let us affirm the two propositions; (A) Man is determined, and (B) Man is free. Why? Because on compatibilism, man still cannot choose between alternatives. He can only choose what God, his sinful nature, his brain chemistry, or his desires caused him to choose. When placed with the options of choosing A or Non-A, God/Sin Nature/Neurological Processes/my desire will cause me to choose one, and I have no ability whatsoever to choose the opposite of what I chose. I fail to see how this is “free” will in any meaningful sense. Saying that “You’re free to choose what you’re determined to choose” is tantamount to telling a person who’s tied up “You’re free to stay put”.

Arguments Existence Free Will

Libertarian Free Will is the only true free will there is. If you deny that, you might as well deny that we have free will altogether. I believe we do have free will, and I have both philosophical reasons as well as scriptural reasons for holding this belief. Sometimes the philosophical reasons and biblical reasons coalesce (as you will see below). Below, I will list 3 arguments for the truth that man is a free creature. Before I do, let me make sure you understand the definition of “free will” I’ll be employing. As stated, I reject the idea of compatiblism (that determinism and free will can co-exist) because you cannot choose anything except what you were determined to choose. The Free Will that exists in man is libertarian free will.

Libertarian Free Will asserts that:

1: The Man is the origin and cause of his own actions.

2: The Man, in most cases[1] will have the ability to choose between 2 or more options. And whichever option he chooses, he did not have to make that choice. He could have chosen one of the alternatives. For example, if presented with A and Non-A, man chooses A, but he didn’t have to choose A. He could have chosen Non-A instead. It laid within his power to choose Non-A. He just didn’t exercise that power.[2]

3: The Man’s choice was undetermined. Nothing internal or external to the man causally determined the man to make the choice he did. His choice was uncaused or undetermined.

Now, what reasons might be given for believing that God has endowed human beings with this kind of free will?

1: The Argument From Moral Accountability

It seems to me that if man is determined to do what he does, then he cannot be blamed for his own actions. If God causally determined man to sin (as many Calvinists claim), then how can the man be blamed for that sin? Wouldn’t God be the one to blame? After all, God is the one who causally determined the man to do what he did? How does the human being get the blame but God magically gets off the hook? If our sinful nature causally determined us to sin, why blame us? Why not just blame the sinful nature within us? If, as on atheistic determinism, the molecules in motion inside our brains caused us to do what we did, why blame us? Why not blame our brain chemistry? “It’s not my fault! My brain chemistry made me do it!” Causes are always responsible for their effects. If God causally determines people to sin, then God is responsible for our sins. If our sinful nature causally determines us to sin, then our sinful nature is responsible for our sins. If our brain chemistry….you get the point. Whatever caused us to do what we do is ultimately responsible for what we do. This is common sense that determinists of all stripes willfully deny. If we are not the origin and ultimate cause of our actions, then we are not responsible for our actions. Whatever is the origin and ultimate cause, that thing is responsible. And it is that thing that will get the blame.

If I knock a ball off a table, is the ball to blame for falling to the floor? No! Well, who or what is? Obviously, I am. I’m responsible for the ball falling because I’m the one who caused the ball to fall.

At this point, the determinist who affirms compatibilism may respond “But Man did what he did because he wanted to. He wasn’t forced against his will. His action was in line with his will.” Okay, but why did the man want to do what he did? Many Calvinists say that God causes people to want X and the want then determines them to do X. In this case, the problem is merely kicked upstairs. Man did X because he wanted to do X, but the reason he wanted to do X was that God caused him to want to do X. So, God is still to blame. Determinist Compatibilists who are atheists will substitute the word “God” or “Neurological processes” and make the same argument, but the argument fails on naturalistic determinism for the same reason it fails on divine determinism. From here on, I will only address theological forms of determinism. I only mention naturalistic determinism to point out that it suffers from the same flaw as Calvinism’s.

Some Calvinists believe that Adam had libertarian free will (LFW) and he sinned, from then on, no one was free. Our sinful natures causally determined us all to commit sins of various kinds. In this case, God isn’t on the hook, but neither is man. You can’t blame man for sinning on this view. It’s in his nature. Just as it’s in a lion’s nature to kill gazelles. You don’t blame the lion for not choosing a vegan diet though, do you? If it is in X’s nature to do Y, we generally don’t have any moral outrage at X. We excuse X by saying “It’s in X’s nature. X can’t help it.” Why do this with animals, but not humans?

Moreover, we generally realize that if a person could not choose other than what they did, they are not culpable. If I knock you over, you don’t hold me accountable if you realized that the reason I knocked you over was that my shoe was untied unbeknownst to me, and I tripped over my shoelace while running, causing me to slam into you and knock you over. If you knew my situation, you would most likely excuse me, yes? Now, on the other hand, if I took my hands and purposefully shoved you down, that would be a different story. You would hold me accountable because you knew I had it within my power to choose otherwise, I did it on purpose, and the actions’ origin and the ultimate cause was my volition (not something external to me as in the former example).

If a man has no arms and you tell him to hug you, and he doesn’t because he has no arms, you wouldn’t penalize him, would you? No! Why not? Because the man was not able to hug you. Everyone intuitively believes that an “ought” implies a “can”, well, except for determinists who believe God penalizes man for sinning when he wasn’t able to choose otherwise, and penalizes man for not believing in Christ when they believe that man was unable to believe. But even they accept this premise in all other areas of life, just not theology. I could never accuse a Calvi of being consistent.

It seems to me that unless man is free in the libertarian sense, he cannot be held accountable for anything he does.

My argument for free will is as follows:

1: If Men Aren’t Free In A Libertarian Sense, They Cannot Be Held Responsible For Wrongdoing.

2: The Bible teaches that God will hold men accountable for wrongdoing.

3: Therefore, men have Free Will in a libertarian sense.

This is a logically valid argument. The rule of inference this argument goes by is “Modus Tollens”. So, in order for the conclusion to be reached, both premises must be true. I’ve given us good reasons to believe that premise 1 is true. In fact, premise 1 is the only premise in this argument that Calvinists will deny. No Calvinist will deny premise 2. Nevertheless, let me give some of the biblical evidence for 2 anyway.

“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.” – Revelation 20:11-13

“So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.” – Romans 14:12

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” – 2 Corinthians 5:10

These 3 passages are only a small sampling of passages stating that God will hold man accountable for his actions. Clearly, the second premise is true. It seems then that both premises are true, in which the conclusion follows: 3: Therefore, men have Free Will in a libertarian sense.

2: In Many Places, The Bible Asserts Or Implies That Man Has Free Will 

Free Will is implied throughout The Bible, but there are a few places where it is explicitly evident. For example, in 1 Corinthians 10:13, the apostle Paul wrote: “No temptation has overtaken you, except what is common to man. And God is faithful. He will not allow you to be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, will provide a way of escape also so that you will be able to endure it.” This is probably the most powerful evidence of libertarian free will, the most explicit example of libertarian free will, and the most difficult-for-determinists-to-get-around passage in the entire Bible. Paul says that the temptation that afflicts his readers isn’t anything unusual, nothing unique to them. He then goes on to say that God is faithful, and won’t allow the temptation to sin to be so overwhelming that it’s impossible for them to resist it. Instead, God will provide “a way of escape” so that they’ll endure it and ergo avoid sinning.

Paul is assuming here that his readers don’t have to sin. Sin is not inevitable. God provides a way out so that we’ll be able to avoid sin. If we do sin, it’s because we refused to take “the way of escape” that God offered. If we don’t sin, it’s because we chose “the way of escape”. This verse presupposes libertarian free will. It presupposes that the listener does not have to sin. He’s faced with A (sin) and Non-A (The Way Of Escape). He can choose either and is responsible for whichever one he chooses. The determinist cannot make sense of this verse. If humans are causally determined to do everything we do, then “the way of escape” was not a possible option for those who sin. “The way of escape” on determinism, was nothing but an illusion! Only if man truly has the power to genuinely choose between alternatives, can we say that “the way of escape” was a possible option for those who sinned.

Paul is essentially saying in 1 Corinthians 10:13 “Look, you don’t have to sin. You don’t have to. God will provide a way out so you’ll be able to endure it. If you choose not to take His way out, it’s your fault, not God’s.”

“See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” – Deuteronomy 30:15-19

In this passage, Moses was clearly giving the Israelites a choice to serve God or to serve idols. Now, if the Israelites thousands of years ago had a choice, why don’t we have a choice today? In this passage, Moses was saying “I set before you A and Non-A. I’d prefer it if you chose A”. Sounds like the libertarian free will to me!

“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:14-15

Joshua is clearly giving the Israelites a choice to serve God or to serve idols. Now, if the Israelites thousands of years ago had a choice, why don’t we have a choice today?

Moreover, on the Calvinist view, God causally determines everything, so we’d have to conclude that the apparent offer to choose between the one true God and pagan gods was insincere. Is God insincere? Surely not! The most reasonable inference is that the Israelites had the legitimate option of choosing A (worshiping the one true God), or Non-A (worshiping idols). And whichever choice they made, they didn’t have to have made and could have chosen otherwise.

Moreover, several passages in The Bible talk about “Freewill offerings” (e.g Leviticus 22:23, Numbers 29:39, Deuteronomy 12:6, Deuteronomy 16:10, Ezra 8:28). How can you give a “Freewill offering” if you have no free will!?

3: The Argument From True Love

If human beings don’t have libertarian free will, then it is impossible for love to exist. This argument for the existence of free will goes as follows

1: If man’s love isn’t given freely, it isn’t genuine.

2: Man’s love is genuine.

3: Therefore, man loves freely.

This is a logically valid argument as the syllogism takes the form modus tollens. Therefore, in order to affirm the conclusion, we’ll have to affirm that both of the premises are true. So, are the premises true or are they false? Well, let’s look at them.

Premise 1:

If our love for God and one another weren’t given of our own free will, it would be impossible for our love to be genuine. Instead, we would have an artificial love, a programmed love, a forced love. Love, in order to be genuine, must be freely given. People who give true love must have the freedom to choose not to love. To see the point: imagine it’s the year 3,000 where robotics have been perfected to the point where robots look, sound, and behave 100% identical to real human beings. You go down to “Robot Depot” to buy yourself a wife. You buy this android that looks as beautiful as a supermodel. Based on her looks, you already know she’s got the attractiveness quality. But what of her character? The manual she comes with tells you that you can program her personality anyway you desire. So, you program her to always do whatever you want, to always put your needs above hers, and to always laugh at your jokes, etc. You program her to never leave you for another man. You program her to say “I love you” 20 times a day. You program her to never bother you while watching football. In fact, you program her to be just as into football as you are. You program her to be the perfect wife.

Question: would any of this be meaningful to you? Would you feel loved? No. You would clearly recognize that her love for you is artificial. Every act of kindness, every display of affection, and every “I love you”, was your doing, not hers. You causally determined her to do these things for you. They did not originate within her. All of her acts of love and selflessness would be empty gestures because you caused her to do them, and she had no capability of doing differently.

Similarly, if God causally determined everyone to love Him, praise Him 24/7, to never disobey Him, and to always do good, our actions would be devoid of meaningfulness. The only reason we praise Him is that He programmed us to praise Him. The only reason we abstain from sin is that He programmed us to abstain from it. It would be the same for our “love” for one another. If God causally determines a man to love his wife, I don’t see how that would be any more meaningful than when a little girl causes a Ken doll to show love to a Barbie doll.

I think premise 1 is most certainly true. Even if the Calvinist denies that God causally determines everything, and wants to scribe the determination to the sinful nature or our desires alone, that doesn’t help anything. Suppose in the aforementioned robot-wife illustration that I didn’t causally determine my wife to do all those things, but one of my close friends did. He got me a robot wife and programmed her to do all those things for me because he knows what kind of wife I would like. Even though the programming didn’t come from me, I still wouldn’t feel loved by this robot woman because she was still unable to choose otherwise. So, in a similar way, if my nature, desires, or brain molecules causally determine me to love God and my neighbor, it would be just as meaningless as if God were the One pulling the strings.

Premise 2:

Why think that our love is genuine? Maybe The Calvinist can bite the bullet and say “Okay, I agree. Without libertarian free will, our love is worthless automata. But so what? Maybe our love is worthless automata?” First of all, I’d like to point out to my readers that I don’t think any Calvinist would deny premise 2. He’s more than likely to go after premise 1. Of course, that raises the question: Why would the Calvinist be reluctant to deny premise 2?

Because the Calvinist, like all Christians, realizes that God is perfect. God is a Maximally Great Being, and as such has all great making properties including omniscience. If God omniscient, then He knows what kind of world would be one where true love could exist. If premise 2 is false, we’re forced to say that God created a loveless world! No one truly loves God, no one truly loves their neighbor! But, The Bible teaches that God wants our love for Him to be genuine. This is why the two greatest commandments are to love God with all of our hearts, souls, strength, and minds, and to love our neighbors as ourselves (see Matthew 22:37-39, Mark 12:30-31, Luke 10:27). God wants us to love Him with all of our hearts, souls, strength, and minds, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. If God did not want us to obey those commands, then why did He give them in the first place? Would God really create a world where love is impossible and then command us to love? That would be a rather stupid thing to do, wouldn’t it? Since God commands us to love Him and each other, that implies that we are able to love Him and one another. Given that only a world of free will creatures is a world where fulfilling those two commandments is possible, it follows that God would prefer to actualize such a possible world, and since God would prefer such a world, it follows that He would actualize such a world.

Moreover, denial of premise 2 would entail a denial of biblical inerrancy. For The Bible implies that our love for God is real when it says “We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19). There it is, right in 1 John 4! “We love”. If you deny this premise, then you have to deny that this verse is true!

Conclusion:

Given the truth of the 2 premises, the conclusion follows logically and necessarily. Man loves freely.

4: The Appearance Of Free Will Problem

One of the problems I have with the Young Earth Creationist’s Argument that “The universe is really only 6,000 years old, God just made it look like it was billions of years old” is that it makes God out to be a deceiver. Yes, God had the freedom to make the universe in an advanced state, and He certainly made the wine at Cana in an aged state as it was the best-tasting wine (see John 4), and if the literal reading of Genesis is correct, God made Adam and Eve in adult bodies. BUT would God create Adam and Eve with an appearance of past history? There’s a difference between the appearance of age and past history. As Richard Deem wrote “”Did Adam have an appearance of history? Did he have a navel from a birth that never happened? Were his teeth worn at his creation, even though he had never eaten? Did Adam have calluses on his feet even though he had never walked? The Bible does not address these issues, and since Adam’s body is not available, we have no idea of the answers to these questions. Does the Bible compare Adam’s body to the creation? No! The analogy has no biblical basis and is based upon conjecture alone. Does the wine of Cana have an appearance of history? According to the biblical account, Jesus ordered water pots to be filled with water and, immediately, the water had become wine. Did it have an appearance of history? If the wine had been in wineskins (like the original wine) then one might say that it appeared to have been aged in the wineskins. However, the wine was still in the water pots. It had no appearance of history. Does the Bible compare the wine of Cana to the creation? No! Like Adam’s body, the wine of Cana analogy has no biblical basis and is based upon conjecture alone.”[3] For God to have created a universe like he did, He would have created an appearance of past history. History of millions of years of erosion, bombardment on the surface of the moon, erosion of the canyons on Mars, starlight reaching us from millions of light years away, but reaching us in thousands because it was created in-transit, etc. This would make God a deceiver, and The Bible teaches that God cannot lie (see Numbers 23:19, Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18). Since God cannot lie, it follows that He could not have created a universe that appears to have endured through millions of years of history.

Well, it appears the same problem affects Calvinists in the realm of free will. Even Calvinists won’t deny that we appear to have free will. We feel like we have free will. Most of us think our actions are free. It certainly seems like when we make a choice, we could have done otherwise. Calvinists will just deny that this appearance and feeling is real. They will say it’s a delusion or illusion. The problem is that this entails that God created a universe with a deceptive appearance. Everyone is a puppet of His, but He has caused us to believe that our actions are free. He pulls all the strings, but He has implanted in us belief that what we do is done of our own volition, and that we had the power to choose other than what we chose.

In fact, I would not shy away from arguing that belief in free will is a properly basic belief. I think most people innately believe that they’re free, just as they believe objective morality exists, and that the external world exists. It’s only the case that people stop believing in these things when a determinist, relativist, and solipsist respectively talk them out of it. Why would God deceptively form our minds like this? Why would he plant an innate belief in libertarian freedom if that did not reflect reality? It seems to me that if man isn’t truly free, then God is a deceiver, just as God is a deceiver if the starlight hadn’t been traveling for millions of years.

5: The FreeThinking Argument 

This argument originated with apologist Tim Stratton, head of FreeThinking Ministries. The premises of the argument demonstrate both the existence of free will as well as the existence of the soul, and it indirectly points to the existence of God. So it simultaneously slays Calvinism and Atheism, at least if all of the premises are true. Stratton’s argument goes as follows

1- If naturalism is true, the immaterial human soul does not exist.

2- If the soul does not exist, libertarian free will does not exist.

3- If libertarian free will does not exist, rationality and knowledge do not exist.

4- Rationality and knowledge exist.

5- Therefore, libertarian free will exists.

6- Therefore, the soul exists.

7- Therefore, naturalism is false.

8- The best explanation for the existence of the soul is God.

Premises 1 and 2 seems obviously true to me. If Naturalism is true, then we’re just organic robots. If atheism is true, all there is is matter, energy, space, and time. There are no “souls” or “spirits”. Most atheists would agree with premise 1. In fact, I’d be shocked if I found one who thought there was a soul inside of his body or thought spirits existed. If this is the case, if we are not souls in bodies, then it follows that we’re just “molecules in motion” as Frank Turek likes to put it. If Naturalism/Atheism is true, we are nothing but automata. All of our movements, feelings, thoughts, and opinions are causally determined by electrochemical processes in our brains, molecules, and atoms bumping about, and other physical processes. “You” are a meat machine. As geneticist Francis Crick put it “Your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.”[4]

So if atheism is true, we don’t have souls, and if we don’t have souls, we don’t have free will. We’re just “molecules in motion”. What about premise 3? Is it true that “If libertarian free will does not exist, rationality and knowledge do not exist?” I think so! Tim Stratton, in his article “The Freethinking Argument In A Nutshell”, wrote “Premise (3) is equivalent with ‘if all things are causally determined, then that includes all thoughts and beliefs.’ If our thoughts and beliefs are forced upon us, and we could not have chosen better beliefs, then we are simply left assuming that our determined beliefs are good (let alone true). Therefore, we could never rationally affirm that our beliefs are the inference to the best explanation – we can only assume it. Here is the big problem for the atheistic naturalist: it logically follows that if naturalism is true, then atheists — or anyone else for that matter — cannot possess knowledge. Knowledge is defined as ‘justified true belief.’ One can happen to have true beliefs; however, if they do not possess warrant or justification for a specific belief, their belief does not qualify as a knowledge claim. If one cannot freely infer the best explanation, then one has no justification that their belief really is the best explanation. Without justification, knowledge goes down the drain. All we are left with is question-begging assumptions.”[5]

Is Premise 4 true? Yes. I think it is. It is clear that human beings do possess rationality and knowledge. To contradict the claim that humans possess rationality and knowledge would be to affirm that humans possess rationality and knowledge. To deny the claim would be to affirm it. Why do I say this? Because the detractor of this premise would be saying that he’s giving us the knowledge to the contrary. Moreover, if one rejects knowledge, why should anyone listen to them? If one denies that he is a rational man, why should we listen to him? Why listen to someone who openly admits that he is irrational?

Given the truth of the 4 premises, steps 5-7 follow. Libertarian free will exists, therefore the soul exists, therefore naturalism is false.

As Stratton will tell you, this argument has 3 deductive conclusions and 1 inductive conclusion. The deductive conclusion is that naturalism is false, the inductive conclusion is an inference that God is the best explanation for why the human soul exists. An atheistic universe with spirits is implausible prima facie. It makes more sense to me to think that if souls exist, immaterial minds, then there was a “Mega Mind” that created all of them. Given that this article is pretty lengthy as it is, I won’t go any further into The FreeThinking Argument’s inductive conclusion than that.

This argument kills 2 birds with 1 stone. Those birds are named Atheism and Calvinism.

For a full, in depth defense of this argument, check out this 48 minute lecture by Tim Stratton. –> http://freethinkingministries.com/test-video-2/

Conclusion

For these 5 reasons, I believe human beings have libertarian free will. I cannot bring myself to embrace any form of determinism. There are too many reasons both philosophically and exegetically to believe man has free will.

 

Footnotes 

[1] When I say “most cases” I mean that there will be some instances in which only one choice will be available for us to choose from. Libertarians aren’t committed to the view that we must always in all circumstances be able to choose between alternatives. For example, if you jump off a building, clearly your only option is to fall to the ground. If a man snorts cocaine, he is addicted and now can do nothing but snort it unless either God miraculously frees him or rehab rehabilitates him. In the case of jumping off of buildings and additions, man cannot choose Non-A, but man can choose Non-A in many circumstances. Ken Keathley calls these “freedom permitting circumstances”. The circumstance before jumping off the building was a freedom permitting circumstance. The circumstance after you jumped off was not.

[2] This does not apply to salvation. I am not a Pelagian. I believe man is free to either choose to receive Christ or to reject Him, but man must be given this ability by The Holy Spirit. Man must be given what Arminian theologians call “Prevenient Grace”. To see the biblical case for the doctrine of Prevenient Grace, see my blog post “What Biblical Evidence Is There For Prevenient Grace?”  I believe man’s will must be freeD in order for him to come to Christ.

[3] Richard Deem, from the online article “Appearance Of Age — A Young Earth Problem”, http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/appearance.html

[4] Francis Crick, The Astonishing Hypothesis, 1994 cited in Mariano Artigas, The Mind of the Universe: Understanding Science and Religion, Templeton Foundation Press, 2001 p. 11.

[5] Tim Stratton, “The FreeThinking Argument In A Nutshell”, November 30th 2015, http://freethinkingministries.com/the-freethinking-argument-in-a-nutshell/

Original Blog Source: http://bit.ly/2h6DKqx

 


 

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35 replies
  1. Andy Ryan says:

    “3: The Argument From True Love”
    You can talk about ‘love freely given’ but does anyone believe they have a choice over who they love? It’s pretty much something that just happens. Many people wish they could stop loving someone they love, or regain a love they’ve lost. But in vain. So I don’t get how you connect love to free will.
    .
    ” If libertarian free will does not exist, rationality and knowledge do not exist”
    You’ve not shown or demonstrated this. Why does the latter follow from the former?
    .
    “If one cannot freely infer the best explanation”
    Why does one have to ‘freely’ infer it? Do computers require free will to make accurate calculations? Evidently not – they seem to get by just fine! Imagine giving two computers sentience. They argue between them over a particular course of action and which option is the best. What’s wrong with describing what they have as ‘knowledge’?
    .
    “If the soul does not exist, libertarian free will does not exist”
    What exactly is a soul and by what exact mechanism does it make libertarian free will possible where it is otherwise impossible? If one person has a soul and another person doesn’t, how does the soul lead to better or more informed decisions in the first person? If their brains are otherwise working exactly the same, I don’t see the difference.
    .
    “If our thoughts and beliefs are forced upon us, and we could not have chosen better beliefs”
    Who says we CHOOSE our beliefs? Can you will yourself to change a belief? You can seek out the best information, but why is ‘free will’ needed for that?

    Reply
  2. John B. Moore says:

    All five of your points are just reasons why we would like to have free will, not reasons why we actually do have free will.

    We have this whole worldview including moral accountability, Biblical authority, idealistic love, pervasive feelings about free will, and a self-congratulatory claim that we must indeed be rational. But what if we’re wrong? All five of your points merely talk about our assumption that we have free will, but they don’t give us any reason to think we really do have free will.

    Reply
  3. KR says:

    Evan Minton wrote: “My argument for free will is as follows:
    1: If Men Aren’t Free In A Libertarian Sense, They Cannot Be Held Responsible For Wrongdoing.
    2: The Bible teaches that God will hold men accountable for wrongdoing.
    3: Therefore, men have Free Will in a libertarian sense.
    This is a logically valid argument.”
    .
    I disagree. Your conclusion doesn’t follow from your premises since you haven’t established that what the Bible teaches is actually true. Your 2nd argument suffers from the same problem.
    .
    As Andy points out, The Argument From True Love clearly fails since we know (often from bitter personal experience) that we don’t have the capacity to choose to love (or to stop loving). Broken hearts would not exist if we did.
    .
    As for the appearance of free will, it may be the case that we have different experiences. While I certainly feel that I have a self and that this self performs various actions and has various thoughts, it feels to me that these actions and thouhts are always a reaction to something that happened before. I don’t feel that I decide to perform an action or have a thought “ex nihilo”.
    .
    Even if I had the experience that I’m the true originator of my thoughts and actions, this would still not convince me that I have free will. There would still be the problem of explaining how an action can be neither determined nor random. What else is there? Proponents of free will have suggested that there is a kind of “agent causality” that would solve this problem but when asked how this is supposed to work, their explanations still land on something which is either determined, random or a combination of both. This clearly doesn’t give us free will.
    .
    “If one cannot freely infer the best explanation, then one has no justification that their belief really is the best explanation.”
    .
    Andy has already addressed this, I just wanted to underline that to “freely infer the best explanation” is a contradiction in terms. If there is an objectively best explanation, then this is a fact for us to discover – we have no freedom to choose what this best explanation is. Finding the best explanation is a matter of making empirical observations, free will has nothing to do with it.

    Reply
  4. Andy Ryan says:

    The argument that we can’t punish people for crimes unless free will exists fails too. The people punishing a criminal have no more nor less free will than the criminal. If he ‘can’t help’ committing the crime then the people running the criminal justice system ‘can’t help’ punishing him either.

    Reply
  5. Clinton says:

    The idea that there is no free will is absurd. If one gets up in the morning and has a choice between eating Cheerios or frosted flakes, and one likes them both, does his dna tell him which one he will eat.
    What does a man say when he cheats on his wife? Sorry babe. My DNA made me do it.
    That’s about the same as someone saying that Satan made me do it.
    People since the beginning of time have been blaming someone else for their misdeeds.
    Furthermore, if richard Dawkins is correct, then logic wouldn’t exist. It’s all part of the DNA. So therefore we can’t trust anything anyone says because their dna told them to do it.

    Reply
    • KR says:

      “The idea that there is no free will is absurd. If one gets up in the morning and has a choice between eating Cheerios or frosted flakes, and one likes them both, does his dna tell him which one he will eat.”
      .
      We are not just the product of our DNA but also our life experiences – but that’s a sidenote. What you seem to be missing is that your choice of cereals either had a reason or it didn’t. If it had no reason, then it’s obviously not an expression of your will but basically a random occurrence lacking any intentionality. If your choice did have a reason, then this reason would have to be under your control – otherwise it would be determined. What does this mean? It means that the reason for your choice also has to be a choice – which needs a reason, which has to be a choice, a.s.o, a.s.o. ad infinitum.
      .
      As you can see, the concept of free will inevitably leads to an infinite regress of choices based on preceding choices. At some point, you’ll need to break this regress (unless you’re claiming that you’ve been making choices forever) which can only happen through an action that is not a choice (which would just continue the regress) but is still under your control. Do you see the problem? An action that is not by choice but under your control is simultaneously involuntary and voluntary – a logical impossibility. This is why I feel fairly confident in saying that free will (in the libertarian sense) cannot exist.
      .
      “What does a man say when he cheats on his wife? Sorry babe. My DNA made me do it.”
      .
      If you dissect the reason for any decision you make, you will find that it’s either random or determined – neither of which provides you with free will.
      .
      “Furthermore, if richard Dawkins is correct, then logic wouldn’t exist. It’s all part of the DNA. So therefore we can’t trust anything anyone says because their dna told them to do it.”
      .
      I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make. Are you saying that logic requires free will? That would mean that we could choose what the laws of logic should be, which doesn’t make much sense. We should trust (or distrust) what someone is saying based on how well their statements correspond with reality. The way we determine this is by empirical observations, which doesn’t require free will.

      Reply
      • Clinton says:

        It seems your arguing more for habit than choice. Every choice you make, whether involuntary or not, you can decide against it and break that cycle.
        I’ve smoked for years. Now after the first I don’t know how many, it became a habit. But I still have a choice on whether I pick that cigarette up and light it. And I made the choice not to one day. And so I don’t smoke anymore even though the craving is still there.
        I don’t think logic would exist at all if everything was determined. If it was determined, by dna or otherwise, then what you think or say is not logic, but the determination that led you there.
        And to say the least, arguing for the idea that we aren’t free to make choices, takes away any responsibility for the things done. If someone did something, and is faced with a choice of whether to lie or tell the truth, does he have a choice of whether he lies or not? Or does he like and have no responsibility for it?

        Reply
        • KR says:

          “It seems your arguing more for habit than choice. Every choice you make, whether involuntary or not, you can decide against it and break that cycle.”

          If it’s involuntary, you obviously have no control over it. This immediately disqualifies it as a free will choice.
          .
          “I’ve smoked for years. Now after the first I don’t know how many, it became a habit. But I still have a choice on whether I pick that cigarette up and light it. And I made the choice not to one day. And so I don’t smoke anymore even though the craving is still there.”
          .
          You’re not engaging with my argument. As I’ve already explained, every choice you make either has a reason or it doesn’t. If there was no reason, your choice was involuntary and therefore not a free will choice. If there was a reason, then this reason also had to be a choice or it would be determined. This inevitably leads to an infinite regress which can only be broken by an action that has to be simultaneously involuntary and voluntary, which is impossible. Ergo, libertarian free will cannot exist.
          .
          “I don’t think logic would exist at all if everything was determined.”
          .
          So you actually believe we can choose what the laws of logic should be? Theists keep telling me that not even God can do what is logically impossible. Seems pretty determined to me.
          .
          “And to say the least, arguing for the idea that we aren’t free to make choices, takes away any responsibility for the things done. If someone did something, and is faced with a choice of whether to lie or tell the truth, does he have a choice of whether he lies or not? Or does he like and have no responsibility for it?”
          .
          Firstly, you’re committing an “argument from consequences” fallacy. You’re arguing that there must be moral responsibility because you don’t like the consequences. This is clearly fallacious – your preferences have no impact on what is true. Secondly, you seem to be conflating “no moral responsibility” with “no consequences to our actions” which would be a non sequitur fallacy since one doesn’t follow from the other.
          .
          Think of a man who is infected by a deadly and very contageous virus. Do we hold this man morally responsible for being sick? I would hope not. Does this mean we’re going to let him run around and infect more people? Of course not – we’re going to keep him isolated whether he likes it or not in order to protect other people. All we need is a way to reach an agreement on what behaviour we’re willing to accept and what behaviour needs to be dealt with and how to deal with it. Moral responsiblity simply doesn’t enter into this process, it’s an irrelevant concept.

          Reply
          • Clinton says:

            I honestly don’t know how sickness ended up in the conversation.
            I never said that we can define the laws of logic. Im saying that if there’s no free will, there’s no logic. Because at this point, your DNA, determinism, or whatever you call it, told you to think that way.
            And when we say involuntary, are we using the term like an involuntary muscle spasm?
            I thought we were talking along the lines of doing something without thinking about it. That’s what habit is. You do the same thing over and over until it’s a habit. But you said it yourself, you have to make a choice to break that cycle.
            You have a choice in what you do. Except for cases like involuntary muscle spasms, or in normal cases, getting sick.
            You make the choice in whether you eat this or that. To lie or to tell the truth.
            Even if there’s a reason for a choice. You can still go against what should be done, or what has been done before.
            How responsibility doesn’t come into the mix, I don’t know. Seems to me that if you don’t have the free will to make a choice , then why would you be held responsible?After all, it wasn’t your fault.

            Oh. And by the way, there is a way to reach an agreement on what behavior is acceptable. It’s called a moral law. The reason so many countries are in the mess they’re in, is exactly because nobody wants to agree on how to behave.

          • KR says:

            “I honestly don’t know how sickness ended up in the conversation.”
            .
            It’s an analogy – apparently it went over your head.
            .
            “I never said that we can define the laws of logic. Im saying that if there’s no free will, there’s no logic.”
            .
            If we can’t choose the laws of logic, then they’re determined and free will has nothing to do with it.
            .
            “And when we say involuntary, are we using the term like an involuntary muscle spasm?”
            .
            Involuntary means without intention. If an action happens without a reason, it was clearly unintended which means it’s not a free will decision.
            .
            “I thought we were talking along the lines of doing something without thinking about it. That’s what habit is. You do the same thing over and over until it’s a habit. But you said it yourself, you have to make a choice to break that cycle.”
            .
            What I said was that the only thing that can break the infinite regress of choices based on preceding choices while still keeping your free will intact is an action that is simultaneously voluntary and involuntary, which is impossible. You’re still not addressing this argument.
            .
            “Even if there’s a reason for a choice. You can still go against what should be done, or what has been done before.”
            .
            And then the decision to “go against what should be done” would have a reason and my argument still applies. My suspicion is that you simply don’t understand the problem.
            .
            “How responsibility doesn’t come into the mix, I don’t know. Seems to me that if you don’t have the free will to make a choice , then why would you be held responsible?After all, it wasn’t your fault.”
            .
            Yes, that was my point – which should have been pretty obvious.
            .
            “Oh. And by the way, there is a way to reach an agreement on what behavior is acceptable. It’s called a moral law. The reason so many countries are in the mess they’re in, is exactly because nobody wants to agree on how to behave.”
            .
            Actually it’s just called a law. Period. That’s how we regulate our behaviour. The way we agree on these laws is called democracy.

          • Clinton says:

            It doesn’t have a reason therefore there’s no free will. Doesn’t make much sense.
            I hear this one all the time too. “it’s called democracy”
            Well, you can make that argument if you want,but the people that run the democracy are flawed Individuals just like us. And even they, most the time, can’t agree on how to behave. They have a tendency to lie and cheat too. So you get a few of these individuals that have an agenda. So what do they do? They lie, manipulate, skirt around the law. Next thing you know, you have a mess.
            And if all these laws are so great, why does people not obey them. For example, there’s a law for free speech in this country. Yet you have groups like antifa, who claims to be against fascism, but are out there rioting and beating people all to shut down free speech, because they are offended.
            Doesn’t matter what the laws passed by Congress says. Different groups of people will do whatever they want, no matter who they hurt, or what they destroy.
            And guess what? They do it out of their own free will.

            You contradict yourself a lot. You say that people shouldn’t be punished for bad behavior because they don’t have a free will to choose how to behave, and then say that we decide what is good behavior by enacting laws.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “For example, there’s a law for free speech in this country”
            .
            And yet the President is trying to get people fired for exercising their First Amendment rights. And the same free speech advocates who attack AntiFa for opposing Nazis all still support the President. So I don’t believe it’s actually free speech they support. But what’s this got to do with free will?

          • KR says:

            “It doesn’t have a reason therefore there’s no free will. Doesn’t make much sense.”
            .
            This seems to be the closest you’ve come to actually addressing my argument. Do you understand that the fact that something doesn’t make sense to you does not qualify as a refutation? You’re going to need to actually explain what’s wrong with the argument. You could start by explaining how an involuntary action can be an expression of your will.
            .
            “Well, you can make that argument if you want…[exposé of the deficiencies of democracy, completely irrelevant to my argument]…And guess what? They do it out of their own free will.”
            .
            So you say. I say that’s logically impossible. Now all you have to do is actually engage with the argument. Isn’t it about time?
            .
            “You contradict yourself a lot. You say that people shouldn’t be punished for bad behavior because they don’t have a free will to choose how to behave, and then say that we decide what is good behavior by enacting laws.”
            .
            Kindly point out where I say that people shouldn’t be punished (hint: you can’t – because I didn’t). What I said is that the concept of moral responsibility is not a necessary part of deciding what is bad behaviour and how we should deal with people who behave badly. If you disagree with this, fine – but you need to address what I’m actually saying.

          • Clinton says:

            It doesn’t make sense because you still have the choice not to do something whether or not it’s a habit or not.
            To your point Andy. The president isn’t trying to get people fired. He made a statement about the fact that people are protesting by dishonoring the national anthem. I understand why they’re protesting, but I disagree with the way they’re doing it.
            Antifa are themselves, fascist. Doesn’t matter who or what the other side was. The were white supremacists, neo Nazis or something like that. But they were there peacefully. Antifa showed up armed and ready for a fight. And then the drug an old woman around by her hair because she was holding an American flag.
            Just like they did when people were marching in support of the country they love. These guys were not Nazis. They were regular old Americans. Antifa showed up and attacked them. They have no right showing up places and attacking people just because they feel like it.
            And had you read what I was responding to, you would have seen what it had to do with it.
            ” How responsibility doesn’t come into the mix, I don’t know. Seems to me that if you don’t have the free will to make a choice, then why would you be held responsible for it. After all, it wasn’t your fault”
            Then you said, “yes. That was my point, which should be pretty obvious.”

            So argue that you shouldn’t be held responsible, then say that we should agree on how to behave.

            It still doesn’t make sense how you can argue that we have no free will.
            Every choice you make, you make it. Nobody else, or nothing else does it for you. If you’re not thinking, then it doesn’t make it any less your choice to do so.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            Clinton: “To your point Andy. The president isn’t trying to get people fired”
            .
            He specifically said the NFL should fire them, Clinton, just like his supporters are calling on ESPN to fire that presenter who criticised him. So you’re wrong, and you make yourself look bad by defending him. Trump made it very clear: White supremecists are fine folks exercising free speech, black athletes are sons of bitches who should be fired. Thanks for showing where you stand on the issue.

          • KR says:

            “It doesn’t make sense because you still have the choice not to do something whether or not it’s a habit or not.”
            .
            Again, to qualify as a free will choice the choice must have a reason and this reason has to be under your control, which means the reason for your choice also has to be a choice. This leads to an infinite regress of choices caused by previous choices which can only be broken by an action that is not a choice but still under your control. This is logically impossible.
            .
            “So argue that you shouldn’t be held responsible, then say that we should agree on how to behave.”
            .
            You seem to believe there is some conflict between these positions, which tells me you don’t understand the issue. As I’ve already stated, lack of responsibility doesn’t mean that there should be no consequences to our actions.
            .
            All of this has already been explained to you but you show zero signs of understanding the issues. If you’re unwilling or unable to actually engage with the arguments, I see little point in continuing the discussion. Having to repeatedly find new ways of saying the same thing because it doesn’t seem to penetrate gets old really fast.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            ” The were white supremacists, neo Nazis or something like that. But they were there peacefully”
            .
            These are the guys who turned up with their own armed bodyguards, who then went on to mow a car into a crowd, killing one and injuring another 19. Clinton, you’ve gone full Nazi apologist, and like KR I’m at the stage where I think it’s pointless discussing anything here with you further.

      • Tracey says:

        so reason is an organised result of, this is what Christian believe is God, and your written example of reason to choose which cereal aptly explains-God, or if no reason, just a random thing, thought et.
        And the word , experience, what is it, and how did you know you had it?

        Reply
        • KR says:

          “so reason is an organised result of, this is what Christian believe is God, and your written example of reason to choose which cereal aptly explains-God, or if no reason, just a random thing, thought et.”
          .
          Reason is the process of aligning our beliefs with reality. We do this by testing those beliefs against our empirical observations. This requires neither free will nor any deity.
          .
          “And the word , experience, what is it, and how did you know you had it?”
          .
          You might as well ask how I know I’m alive, since I definitely have the experience of being alive. Can I prove that I’m not in a simulation or a brain in a vat? No – but as long as everything seems to work as if I’m not, I’m not going to worry about it.

          Reply
  6. Charles Haddon says:

    I do agree with Turek on one thing, he has clearly stated the view that an Open Theist holds to. I just disagree with him because my definition of God is different than his Open Theist definition of God.

    Reply
  7. Tracey says:

    Free will, isn’t really free yes I agree. But neither is, judgment, regardless of the right of the decision. Hence the Ten Commandments, not One, but Ten Laws, even thought this is the most comprehensive, it is still more than One.
    And when they were in use i.e. Mathew, look at ‘how,’ they were used, and by whom, so using the Law isn’t free either, the likeliness of getting it wrong it still there.
    No I am not ridding of the law, I am writing, wise decisions,-discretion, be the order of the day.
    This is the saving Grace or He would not have come at all, why, everything would have been, perfect.
    Choice denotes more than One, to choose from, and jumping of a building, is not a choice most of us would make, preferred option, the circumstance describe the options-choices, but the freedom to choose could be limited.
    So here, if the Jumpers options are, stay and be shot or jump and be, dead with a side-order of free? does this equal free-will?
    Just as well Jesus turned up when he did.
    But yes I do agree, man must have the free will to choose God, it’s the default status that isn’t so great.

    Reply
    • KR says:

      “Free will, isn’t really free yes I agree.”
      .
      “But yes I do agree, man must have the free will to choose God, it’s the default status that isn’t so great.”
      .
      These statements seem to be contradictory.

      Reply
  8. Tracey says:

    Not one written thought I write will be acceptable by you KR, so why ask me or even feel a need to comment.
    I write to the article more often than to elicit a response.
    I have no answers for you.

    Reply
  9. Clinton says:

    Hey Andy. I heard the speech. I know what he said. I don’t agree with how he expressed it. But the fact remains that a simple statement doesn’t qualify as trying to get people fired. The people shouldn’t be boycotting the national anthem of the country that provides them with the opportunity to make millions of dollars playing a game.
    Number 2. He didn’t say the Nazis were very fine people. I heard that speech too. You listen to CNN too much. Where they take a 2 second soundbyte and then proceed to tell you what he said.
    I don’t like Nazis. I don’t like supremacists of any sort. My point is that they were there peacefully. Antifa showed up armed and ready to get a fight going. They drug an old woman around by the hair.
    They started a fight with patriotic people who were peacefully marching. What gives them the right to riot and break crap? Oh yeah. No free will.
    Call me a Nazi. Think that helps your argument.
    We Christians didn’t vote for Donald Trump because we liked him as a person. We voted for him because we had a choice.
    Either him, or Hillary Clinton.
    Clinton stood for everything we opposed.
    Abortion. Even when the baby is hanging halfway out.
    Sexual deviancy.
    Told the church that they’re going to have to change their views. Said right wing media has no right to exist.
    Open borders, unlimited immigration.
    Big government and higher taxes.
    Socialism in various forms.
    Activist judges on the supreme Court.
    When asked about bengazi, she says, ” what difference does it make?”
    People are dead. That’s the difference.
    So we picked the only other candidate who didn’t stand for all those things. One who had a conservative agenda.
    Do I agree with everything Trump does and says? NO.
    But you have to bring CNN right here where there wasn’t CNN before.
    Of course you say we’re horrible people because you agree with Hillary on everything.
    And we know, Andy, that your always right.
    I was happy just debating with you. But you bring insult after insult. You attack people’s character and intellect. It gets old.

    Reply
    • Andy Ryan says:

      “But the fact remains that a simple statement doesn’t qualify as trying to get people fired”
      So calling for people to be fired doesn’t qualify as trying to get them fired. Got you.
      .
      Let’s take stock here:
      a) White supremacists included some ‘fine people’ for marching past synagogues chanting “Jews will not replace us”.
      b) Black athletes are ‘sons of bitches’ who should be fired for kneeling to protest police brutality.
      But Trump is still your guy.
      .
      “Sexual deviancy”
      So has Mr ‘Grab Them By the P*ssy’ reduced sexual deviancy, in your view? The thrice-married guy who started alluding to yacht orgies in a speech to American boy scouts? You really think he’s a straight-up guy?
      .
      “They started a fight with patriotic people who were peacefully marching”
      How do you know they were patriotic? All we know about them is that they hate Jews and were defending a secessionist. Perhaps you view anti-semitism as patriotic, but surely secessionism is the opposite of patriotism?
      .
      “My point is that they were there peacefully”
      Again, they drove a car into a crowd, killing 19 and killing one. Clinton, face it, you’re picked the wrong side here. You know it.

      Reply
    • Andy Ryan says:

      Clinton: “When asked about bengazi, [Hillary] says, ” what difference does it make?””

      You make out she was dismissing the deaths as not important. You’ve told me off for calling you a liar – I don’t think I did call you a liar, actually, and here I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt again. I won’t do what you did either and start making guesses about where you get your information from. But I will state that this is completely misrepresenting what she actually said about Benghazi. Let’s do what you suggested we did with Trump and go to the whole of the actual quote:

      Hillary Clinton: “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided that they’d they go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?
      It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator. Now, honestly, I will do my best to answer your questions about this, but the fact is that people were trying in real time to get to the best information. The IC has a process, I understand, going with the other committees to explain how these talking points came out. But you know, to be clear, it is, from my perspective, less important today looking backwards as to why these militants decided they did it than to find them and bring them to justice, and then maybe we’ll figure out what was going on in the meantime.”

      She was saying their motivations was less important than finding them and bringing them to justice. You can disagree on whether their motivations was important, but surely you can you see it’s completely missing her point to say ‘What different does it make’ was some kind of dismissive shrug about the deaths of Americans?

      Reply
  10. Clinton says:

    See now I’ve said this before. I didn’t vote for Trump because he was a fine upstanding citizen. I voted against Hillary.
    The patriotic people I talked about, wasn’t the same incident. It was another event all together in another city at another time. You keep trying to link them together Antifa showed up and started a fight.
    There was a rally somewhere against Sharia law. Antifa showed up and threw jars of urine on them.
    Berkeley campus. Milo yionopolis, who I don’t really like, was scheduled to speak there. Guess who showed up. The broke windows. The beat people with flag poles. They set a Muslim mans limo on fire. All to stop someone whom they disagreed with from speaking.
    The white supremacists, Nazis and all that. I am in no way defending their stance or their beliefs. The point I made, was that they were there, not rioting or causing any real trouble. Antifa showed up there, started a fight. Someone got killed by one of them. Wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t got a riot going.
    I don’t care who you are, what you believe. Nobody has the right to come and beat you up if you are not causing trouble.
    If a gang is hanging out on the side of the street talking, does a rival gang have a right to go in and fight and destroy things because they don’t like each other?
    Bringing skin color into everything is what caused half this crap.
    Trump in no way mentioned skin color when he said the football players should be fired. It wasn’t only black players disrespecting the flag either.
    The speeches on the Charlottesville incident. I heard the speech. Im not as stupid as you think.
    Trump said there was blame on both sides. He said that they all had blame for the violence. He also said that not all the people there were white supremacists.
    During a press conference, he said the same thing. Someone asked a question, and while he was answering, he said that there were some very fine people. On both sides. Doesn’t sound like he said the white supremacists were fine people.
    Had he not said that, they would have said, “he’s blaming people that had nothing to do with it”. They were already freaked out because he said there’s plenty of blame to go around.
    I don’t agree with everything he says and does. I wish he hadn’t used that language while talking about football players.
    But, when fundamentally false things are said, im not going to sit around and have people bludgeon me and make it look like we’re all racist.
    Maybe you should go back and do your research and see what he actually said. The transcript is on new York times. The video of the press conference can be found too.
    The only reason I brought any of that crap up to begin with, was in response to saying we derive our morals from democracy.
    You turn it into an opportunity to parrot cnn and call me a racist.

    Reply
    • Andy Ryan says:

      I didn’t call you a racist, Clinton. Ironic that you moan about people being misrepresented. I said you were acting as apologist for neo-Nazis. Which you are, by defending the ‘many fine people’ line, which was describing a well-organised group with pre-rehearsed Nazi chants. No-one marching in that group did not know what they were doing. If you’re not a Neo-Nazi and you find yourself accidentally marching with a bunch of Neo-Nazis, you get out. So yes, Trump was defending hem and you’re defending him.
      .
      Meanwhile, Trump spends another long weekend playing golf while Puerto Rico suffers, claims everything’s going great there, and another one of his staff members quits in disgrace for spending hundreds of thousands of American tax dollars on private jets, the same thing he used to accuse Democrats of doing. Sick of winning yet?

      Reply
      • Clinton says:

        Like I said Andy. You need to do your research. Find out what Trump really said. He never once connected Nazis with the phrase very fine people. That was a political commentator that did that.
        I never once defended the Nazis. I said they have the freedom to peacably assemble. Which is what they did. If one group of people get to threaten murder, torture and destruction, and call it free speech, then the neo Nazis have the right to spew their crooked, misguided crap. I am defending their freedom of speech.
        Someone can say publicly that white people are genetic defects and need to be eradicated, and they say he has the freedom of speech, then people on the opposite side has the freedom.
        You can oppose someones ideology without becoming violent. You can oppose them without violating their freedom.
        Let me ask you a question. If a bunch of conservatives have a pro life rally, does a pro abortion crowd have a right to show up and throw bricks, urine, and spray people with pepper spray?
        What about the other way around?
        What if Muslims have a big public meeting to talk about killing infidels. Does that give a right to the opposition to Sharia to show up and beat the crap out of them?
        That is what you’re defending when you defend antifa.
        Trump may be playing golf. But apparently His administration is doing things to help Puerto Rico.
        The governor of Puerto Rico said publicly that he appreciated what Trump was doing for them.
        I read the story about the health secretary. A scandal for sure.
        If you’ve actually been paying attention, you’d figure out that the Obama administration was filled with scandal after scandal.
        Spending thousands of tax dollars on vacation every time they turned around. Took a last vacation before leaving office on tax dollars.
        Funneled millions of tax dollars to lobbyist and people like George Soros.
        Using the IRS as a weapon against conservative groups.
        His people have been caught spying on the opposition party.
        Hillary with her unsecured private server. The death of people at bengazi because she ignored them. Her pay to play in her charity. The Haitians not getting hardly any of the money that she raised that was supposedly for them.
        I bet you voted for these people more than once.
        There hasn’t been any administration, Republican or Democrat, that didn’t have scandals.
        So do me a favor, quit using the problems of Trump, against people.
        The other side is just as bad. I didn’t vote for the person of Trump. I voted for the policies he put forward. Ultimately most of them aren’t getting done anyway.
        But yeah. Shoulda voted for higher taxes, less jobs, the shut down of the coal industry, open borders, socialism and more of putting classified information at risk.
        I haven’t used any politics against anyone. I simply brought up real world problems as an illustration to the point we were discussing.
        Do me a favor, I will not bother you anymore. Don’t bother me anymore. I simply debated with you. You are constantly making assertions that I’m a liar or something else. That’s not necessary for a debate on different positions.
        Heck, as far as JCB, I like that guy. He can carry out logical, coherent, and respectful debate without either one of us attacking each other on character.

        Reply
        • Andy Ryan says:

          Clinton, you keep asserting that I’m speaking from a position of ignorance, making assumptions about what news media I consume.
          .
          Clinton: “He never once connected Nazis with the phrase very fine people”
          .
          Here’s a direct quote from Trump’s speech: “But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides”
          .
          “Hillary with her unsecured private server.”
          You’re saying this in the week we found several key staff members in the White House had private email servers
          .
          “and more of putting classified information at risk”
          And that’s aside from this White House being the leakiest in memory, and Trump himself Trump revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than US intelligence generally shares with its own allies, an act that most experts say put operatives in danger. So all this makes it pretty odd that you say events like Benghazi and private email servers influenced your decision.
          .
          “Trump may be playing golf. But apparently His administration is doing things to help Puerto Rico.”
          .
          There’s no ‘may be’ about it – he was. And that’s a pretty weak ‘apparently’. There was an eight-day delay in any response. Everyone on the ground in Puerto Rico is saying the response has been sluggish and inadequate. Trump tweets telling that the people there not to believe what’s being said on the news, making it apparently he’s not aware there’s no power there.
          .
          “I voted for the policies he put forward. Ultimately most of them aren’t getting done anyway.”
          .
          Right, because he’s a liar. There’s barely a position he advanced that he didn’t elsewhere advance the opposite of. Did you really believe him? In the past he’s been on record as being pro-choice, even pro-partial birth abortion. Direct quote: “I am very pro-choice”.

          Reply
        • Andy Ryan says:

          “Do me a favor, I will not bother you anymore. Don’t bother me anymore. I simply debated with you.”
          .
          You were never bothering me, Clinton, and I’m sorry if you’re bothered by me pointing out inconvenient truths to you. That aside, I’m genuinely interested in what you were thinking when you made your comment about Hillary saying: “What difference does it make”. Given your anger at the idea someone called you a liar, I’ll have to figure you honestly thought it was a slam dunk against her rather than dishonest talking point. So you read somewhere that she was dismissing deaths with that phrase, and without investigating any further, you just figured there was no more to it than that.
          .
          So now that I’ve pointed out she was talking about something completely different – the motivations of the killers, and how she thought figuring out those motivations was less important than catching the killers, do you feel bad? Do you feel duped by whoever fed you a lie? Does it make you question other things you read in the media? Do you not see you’ve (I’ll allow unwittingly) done EXACTLY what you accused me of – reading a single out-of-context quote and believed the spin being put on it by dishonest journalists?

          Reply

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