So, who is responsible?

Apologists assert that God gave us free will, and therefore God is not responsible for our free actions. As usual, they stay on the surface of the question, and this proposition sounds plausible. Of course it is totally wrong. One example will prove that they are wrong.

Suppose you have a psychopath in your custody. You know that this person has already committed some serious atrocities (murders, rapes, etc…). You also know that this person will commit more atrocities, if given half a chance. (Omniscience) You have the option to release him or not. (Creating that person) If you release him knowing full well what he will do, then you cannot “hide” behind the defense that you, personally did not do those acts, he did them out of his own volition, and you just wash your hands Pilate-style.

All his acts are the result of you opening his prison cell and setting him free. You are responsible for what he did. Can you deny it?

What psychopaths do you propose God has set free?

All of them!

What would be the point of giving us free will and then removing our ability to act on our choice?

Your analogy is faulty in that you are equate releasing a person from a prison with creating them. Thats not accurate. God created all peole but mental illness can be the result of a number of factors. God recognizes and gives us the gift of choosing behavior from the full and entire range of human behavior. God doesnt love the “psychopath” and more or less then the victim. People with mental illness are not free from the responsibility of their actions. NO ONE but God ca nknow in advance what anybody would do. But knowing something will happen is not the same as being repsonsible for making it happen

If psychopaths were born, they’d be killing family, friends and neighbors as soon as they could raise a knife.

First of all, I think that “free will” is a horrible blunder, a stupid decision on the part of the constructor. But that is a different issue, not pertinent to the thread. The point is, that if the creator knows that his creation will not work as intended, then it is a dumb idea to make the creation. Why create something that is contrary to the intention of the creator? Even if the creator considers it “worthy” to go ahead, it still does not lift the responsibility of the creator. The responsibility for the fault always rests with the creator - IF and only IF the creator knew in advance what will happen.

If the creator did not know how his creation will turn out, then he has a valid defense: “I had the best intentions, and I did not know that the creation will turn out differently from my good intentions”. The ignorance on part of the creator would be a valid and acceptable defense. But the alleged “omniscience” of God deprives him of this defense. With the allegation of omniscience the apologists painted themselves into a corner, from where there is no escape.

I think it’s more along the lines of this scenario: You’re name is Karl Benz and you’ve come up with a workable automobile. You know these things can be dangerous and even predict that accidents and deaths will occur but you also know that better transposition will improve humankind’s standard of living greatly. Do you create or not? Do we blame Karl for all the tragedies that have happened on our roadways over the years? Do we refuse to blame all drivers who’ve been involved in accidents for choosing to operate vehicles in the first place or for any wrong or dangerous judgments they may’ve made while operating them? Would it have been better for automobiles to never have been created so that such choices could never be made?

What if the huge majority of people voted and overwhelmingly decided that they wanted the option of operating motor vehicles-that they’ll take the risk? What if the people voted and decided overwhelmingly that, even in this messed up world, they’d prefer to continue to exist rather than never have the chance-if the decision were to result in the continuation or ending of their existence right then, the moment the choice is offered? IOW, what if the huge majority of people in this world at least tacitly agree that it’s still all worth it?

And what if Karl also somehow knew something the drivers may or may not have already sensed; that “all manner of things shall be well” in the end, and he even sent messengers out to tell people this and some listened while others didn’t?

Last “what if”: What if, in order for freedom to have any real meaning, to ensure any genuine means of expression, there could be no compromising, tweaking, or adjusting it-freedom must be radically free from the will of any outside agent who might otherwise be capable of interfering with it, or else it’s no freedom at all?

Why not? The principle is the same. In the first case the person is free to release the psychopath or not. In the other case God can choose to create the person or not. There is no difference in the process.

People with mental illness are supposed to be free of responsibility. They are not placed into prisons (penal institutions), rather into mental hospitals. But the person who would open the door of an insane asylum would be held resonsible for the acts of the crazy people he released. Change the example to a kennel where there are some rabid dogs isolated. If you open the door and release them, you can bet that you will be held responsible for the damage they made - and with very good reason.

Knowing that something will happen and being free not to bring it forth makes the creator responsible.

Not a bad objection at all! At least you thought it over, and gave reasons for your opinion. Where your analogy fails is simple. Benz has no control over the people who choose to operate the cars incorrectly, or driving under the influence of alcohol. That is what releases him from the responsibility. The lack of knowledge and the lack of control. And this does not apply to God.

Ok if thats how you see it.

Who said those with mental illness dont have responsibiility. They are still kpet off the streets.

Sorry pushed submit too soon but in a meeting. will return

You did in your previous post. :slight_smile: Maybe you meant the opposite, and the word “not” was not intended.

Certainly they are, as a precaution to prevent them from harming others. But the point was that IF you open their cells, and set them free, you are responsible for the results of their actions.

Yes, but control implies lack of freedom for those controlled. So then the decision becomes whether or not free will is worth giving.

Does it say more of the argument, me, or the various threads I have participated in with you that I knew absolutely that was going to be the reply?

The way you framed your OP makes “free will” pertinent to this thread.

[FONT=Verdana][FONT=Verdana][FONT=Verdana]Apologists assert that God gave us free will, and therefore God is not responsible for our free actions. As usual, they stay on the surface of the question, and this proposition sounds plausible. Of course it is totally wrong.[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT]

Why is free will a “horrible blunder”? Do you think it would be better if we had been created simply as puppets with no will of our own? Granted, that would mean that we could do no evil, but it would also mean that any good we do is not ours, it is simply what we were impelled to doing. We would have no choice.

The point is, that if the creator knows that his creation will not work as intended, then it is a dumb idea to make the creation. Why create something that is contrary to the intention of the creator? Even if the creator considers it “worthy” to go ahead, it still does not lift the responsibility of the creator. The responsibility for the fault always rests with the creator - IF and only IF the creator knew in advance what will happen.

Your assumption is incorrect, we are functioning as we were designed to. The creator knew that we could do good or do evil. It is always our decision which to do. To use an analogy, you can raise a child to be a moral person, caring of others and productive in society. If that child grows up and abandons your teaching, are you responsible?

So what exactly is free will if we do not have the capacity to exercise it?

Would you have God prevent the actions of people that act contrary to his will?

It cannot be denied.

God is implicated in all evil, most egregiously in the suffering of a soul in hell.

the only solution is that there is some greater good which is accomplished * if and only if * God makes the evil happen. I have yet to see convincing evidence of this. Souls suffering in eternal torture is a tough thing to overcome.

Not exactly. Benz has no power NOT to create those who will misuse his automobile. There is no “control” if one chooses not to create the one who can be controlled. Benz does not have that power.

Without existence there is no free will. If someone is not created, there is no way of allowing or curtailing his “free will”.

Here is what i wrote about thosewith mental illness and responsbiility for their actions:

“People with mental illness are not free from the responsibility of their actions” Notice it says they are not free from the responsibility of their actions. This means they are held accountable no matter the reason for their behavior. You seem intent on making God responsbile and if thats the case then so be it. What are you trying to gain by making God repsonsible for everyone’s behavior.

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