Is God a libertarian? Hardly!
Have you heard the line: “God is a libertarian”? Even people who are not libertarians use similar variations. “God respects your choice.” “God gave man free will.”
Personally I think this is rubbish. The very concept of an all-powerful, all-knowing being automatically precludes the very concept of free will. If God is all powerful then only what God wills can happen. Some argue that God does not predestine your choices but he knows them before hand. But if he knows what I will do before I know what I will do how do I have a choice? It’s not as if I can do anything else then. If I did it would mean God is not all-knowing. So the foreknowledge of God requires that he preordains all human action; not just human action but all action.
Every tsunami, disease, earthquake, accident, fire, and disaster is the will of God. This is scary stuff.
I think this is the reason people just assume that God must be all-loving as well. It is scary to think that one being could have all that power and be malignant. That’s why so many people simply refuse to believe George Bush is evil. With all the power he has it’s scary to think he might be malignant.
Now there are some real problems with all of this. If you have no choice how can it be said that morality or immorality exist? There is no such thing as morality without choice. All there is then is that which is the will of God. You can’t even say there are things which are not the will of God. All that is, is, because this god wills it to be. No other possibility exists.
Not only does the existence of a god who is all-knowing and all-powerful preclude free choice but his existence abolishes the concept of right and wrong. Morality goes out the window. Everything that such a god wills must be right unless he himself is evil. Which is, of course, a possibility as well but one believers don’t like to consider.
To prevent the fear that would come with such ideas the believers also invent the concept that a god must be all-loving as well. But then they can’t deal with why tsunamis or earthquakes are examples of God’s love. Now murders, etc, they blame on man since “God gave us free will”. But natural disasters, or what are called “acts of God,” are not man’s fault. We don’t choose for children to die of cancer or have entire villages wiped out in some natural disaster. If there is a God who is all-powerful and all-knowing then these disasters are the choices of God.
God is a genocidal maniac according to most of the people who believe in him. Though most of them try to avoid the logic that draws that conclusion.
Now I know some Christians who claim God is a libertarian. He supposedly gives you free will to decide whether to believe in him or not. But if they are orthodox Christians then have a problem. This god is no more a libertarian than a mugger who says: “Your money or your life.”
The God of orthodox Christian has created eternal torment. He must have if he creates all things. And if you don’t choose to believe in him then he will send you to that torment. Certainly an all-powerful god could have created a “hell” that would be a pleasant place. Or he could have just asked everyone to join him in this so-called paradise he created. There is presumably no power great enough to force him to do anything which he does not wish to do.
So the mugger gives you a “choice”. Either you give him your money or he will kill you. Now no one considers your actions to be freely chosen. You hand over the money because you are threatened with violence if you don’t. The mugger couldn’t go to court and say: “But your honor, he handed me the money voluntarily.”
So how can a Christian claim that God offers us a free choice. He does not. If you think such a being exists then you have no choice but to accept him. He will torture you if you don’t. In fact this deity is worse than the mugger.
If you are robbed the evidence of the robbery is clear and present. You can not draw a conclusion otherwise unless you are psychotic. The man with the gun is standing in your face. You see him. You hear him demanding your wealth. The evidence for his existence is overwhelming.
But some deity, on the other hand, is far less apparent. We don’t see him. We are only supposed to see the results of what he allegedly does. But all the things we see have other explanations for them as well. It is not unreasonable to draw conclusions denying the existence of such an entity.
God is very much a divine mugger. He comes along and demands your soul or eternal damnation. But you can’t see him. You can’t even hear him when he makes the demand. There is no clear cut example of his presence similar to that which you get with a normal mugger. But if you don’t notice his supposed existence he pulls the trigger anyway. At least a mugger gives you a fair chance.