It’s strange to me that people use the word everything to mean many things or a lot of things, but rarely do they use it to literally mean everything, so one has to be very careful when listening to others and not confuse the meaning of the word everything in the literal sense versus the casual-usage sense. However, this rule breaks down when it comes to the will of god (any god christian, jewish, muslim, etc.). When people talk about the will of god, they literally mean everything, in the sense that it means EVERYTHING!
People that believe in god also say that god gave all of us free will. When asked what they mean by this, the answer they give is consistent: according to the believers, god gave us the ability to think then make-up our minds about doing something then act on it the way we envisioned it without god playing a role in our decisions and actions. By the very definition of free will, the will of god cannot exist in determining our lives.
When confronted with this inconvenient truth, most believers shrug it off and say, without saying it — mostly to be polite — “Whatever!” And, then they go on their merry way as if nothing has changed in their lives. I find this to be very bizarre and curious. How can anyone be so nonchalant about such a radical change in their paradigm?
Anyway, despite this glaring and self-evident contradiction, some of the more clever believers will argue that the two are not incongruous. Huh?! Their argument is that because god gave us free will by acting upon that free will, we are acting according to the will of god, because god wants us to exercise our free will. Am I the only one that feels that this explanation is verbal acrobatics?! I’ve had some heated arguments about this with these clever people and when asked to further explain their position, their rebuttal is universally consistent, “What don’t you understand?!” They say this as if to say at the end, “you stupid idiot!”
The fact of the matter is is that I’m not the stupid one here. When asked, “Is everything the will of god, absolutely everything?” The answer is always, “Of course!” When asked for the definition of the word everything, believers will say very annoyed, “What do you mean, everything is everything!” Again, they say this as if to say at the end, “moron!” OK. Then if everything is literally everything then by definition we can’t have free will.
If everything literally means everything then it must include mundane things like decision to go to bed, to wake up, to brush your teeth, to shower, to go to work, to go to lunch, to take a break, to go home, to watch TV, etc. However, by definition these very choices that we make could also be viewed as our exercise of free will. So, which was it: Was every decision that we make a matter of god’s will or free will? It has to be one or the other, but it can’t be both. So, the very definition of free will prohibits from being the will of god. And, if everything is the will of god then, by that definition, we don’t make any decisions at all, because god makes them all for us, which means that we don’t have free will. So, which is it? Over the many years that I’ve had debates with believers, it’s really a matter of choice as to which it is depending on what happens. If something good happens to you, all believers start saying things like, “it was god’s will and by his good graces that you have achieved ______________.” Fill in the blank. But then when something bad happens, and it was self-inflicted, the believers will say, “don’t blame god! It was your damned stupid fault for _____________.” Fill in the blank. See if I’m not right.
And, this is what drives me absolutely bonkers: Believers will choose arguments as it appeals to them and is convenient for them to use. And, this is wrong. Principles should be consistently upheld and followed, no matter the circumstance, but believers don’t seem to be able to do that. So, what should anyone conclude about religious people and their practices? Judged rationally, anyone with even a half a sane mind would have no choice but to conclude that religious believers are schizophrenic.
As for me, long ago, this reasoning and many others led me to believe that the existence of a super-being (of any kind) was impossible. As for this particular matter, I’ve come to the conclusion that free will does exit, and, by definition, there’s no such thing as god’s will. If you disagree and you can sanely and rationally dispute what I’ve written here, I’d love to hear your point of view as to where and why I’m wrong; regardless, please don’t appeal to faith, i.e., don’t say something like, “you must have faith, and you will see,” or “if you believed you’d know how both can exist.”
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