I went home this weekend for a funeral. I stayed with my mother. We spent one evening talking about religion. She is Mormon, and I am not. We've talked about this before, many times.

I feel like I've given many reasons to many people about why I don't believe in the Mormon faith. In a previous post, I cite various reasons along the lines of: what we know about the brain doesn't jive with what Mormonism says about the spirit; I don't want my friends to go to hell; and I can't trust my feelings, e.g. "feeling the holy spirit", so I need the religion to make sense -- which it doesn't, to me.

However, this conversation brought to light a new reason. This reason is along the lines of "I don't want my friends to go to hell". More specifically, I don't want to go to hell, or be to judged at all.

She asked why I don't want to be judged. My answer was: "because I do evil things." I see other people do evil things and think, that's not right. I don't understand how they could do that. And then later, I find myself doing one of the same evil things and think: "oh, now I understand how someone could do this." My conclusion then is not "it's ok to do this", but rather "I shouldn't judge people for doing this." And I suspect this applies to everything. I think for every evil thing, if I was in the shoes of the evil-doer, I would do the same thing. Hence, I feel like I can't judge people.

But I don't think God can judge people either. I think even if God was in an evil doer's shoes, not knowing He was God (since evil doer's generally do not know that), and having the same knowledge and emotions of the evil doer, that God would do the same things that the evil doer did.

So judging people and sending them one place or another seems bad, even for God.

Of course, another way of stating my objection is that I don't believe in free will. More specifically, I don't understand what free will is. I feel like brains have a set of desires, and they try to meet those desires, and they might make compromises between conflicting desires, and they might accidentally do something that doesn't meet their desires by mistake, but brains are not capable of deciding to do things that don't meet their desires. I feel like someone reading this might slap themselves in the face and say "Ha! I did something that didn't meet any of my desires." However, I would say to that person, "you wanted to prove me wrong -- that's the desire you were satisfying when you slapped yourself in the face, and you wanted to prove me wrong so badly that you compromised your desire to not hurt yourself."

Anyway, I don't know what it would even look like for an entity to make a "free will" decision that wasn't based on any desires. Why would they have made that decision and not some other decision? If they can't answer that question, I think the decision was random, not free. If they can answer the question, then the real question becomes, did they make a free will choice to have that value system for comparing decisions, rather than some other value system? If so, we ask "why did they chose the value system they chose?", and we apply the argument recursively. If not, then the freedom seems to end there.

I think humans are born with a set of desires that they don't chose, like wanting food and air and love. I think other desires are logically derived from those, e.g., I want to go to school, so I can get a job, so I can earn money, so I can buy food.

Incidentally, I do believe in jail. If someone does something bad, I don't believe in "judging" them in the sense of thinking "shame on you! you evil person!", but if I think they'll do it again, then I'm afraid of it happening to me, then I would like them to be prevented from doing it.

No comments:

Post a Comment