And to Walker, as with the bulk of the respondents in the Sarkissian et al. study Ive mentioned several times, you cant have moral responsibility in a world without libertarian free will. Of course, without moral responsibility, you cant be held accountable by God for your sins, sins that may include choosing the wrong savior, or no savior at all. Those who deny that libertarian free will is prevalent must reckon with the vast number of believers who are true libertarians.
(Ill mention again that I believe people must be held responsible for their acts, but not morally responsible if you construe that, as I do, as meaning you could have chosen to do a different thing. But of course I still believe in reward and punishment, though I wont reiterate my reasons for the umpteenth time.)
Now you may try to tortuously parse the good Reverends words to say what he really means is a compatibilistic free will that, deep down, accept determinism of our actions. But I think youd be dead wrong, for Walker states at the outset that he clearly rejects the mathematically-based determinism of science. No, hes talking about pure libertarian free willthe kind that his sheep accept.
Im surprised that, in a country wherealthough theres a state churchChristianity is on a precipitous decline, the BBC still emits a thought for the day that is invariably religious. Seriously, my UK friends, why does this persist? Why dont you write en masseto the Beeb demanding either that it ceases dispensing this goddy pabulum or give nonbelievers a chance to say something not only substantive, but bracing andtrue? Wouldnt it be nice to hear some words that came from science, for instance?
In fact, this happened once. Richard Dawkins was invited to give the Thought for the Day. He didnt mince words: goddy explanations were the stuff of toddlers. After that, a humanistic thought was never broadcast again. Neil reported this:
Any mainstream faith may provide the piece, but humanists are excluded, apart from on one occasionwhenRichard Dawkins was allowed 3 minutes to say his piece, prior to being banned forever for saying we should be more adult in our understanding than accepting simple explanations of the world. You can read his words here:
And heres one bit of Richards talk that surely irked the BBC:
Nerve cells, too, branch like trees. They are so numerous in the teeming forest of your brain that, if you stretched them end to end they would reach right round the world 25 times.
In the face of such wonders, do you fall back, like a child, on God? Its so wonderful, so complicated, only God could have done it.
Its tempting, isnt it. But its not a real explanation. Not the kind of explanation that actually explains anything. And its nowhere near as poetic as the true explanation.
Because the beauty is that humanity has grown up. We now know the true explanation. Its gloriously simple once you get it, and more wonderful than our forefathers could ever have imagined. It makes use of yet another tree. The family tree of life. It began with something smaller than a bacterium, and it branched and branched to give all the species that have ever lived, whether extinct like the dinosaurs, or still hanging on like our own. Evolution really explains all of life, and it needs no supernatural intervention of any kind.
The adult response is to rejoice in the amazing privilege we enjoy. We have been born, and we are going to die. But before we die we have time to understand why we were ever born in the first place. Time to understand the universe into which we have been born. And with that understanding, we finally grow up and realise that there is no help for us outside our own efforts.
Humanity can leave the crybaby phase, and finally come of age.
Now theres a thought for more than just a day!
The crybabies are actually at the Beeb, which apparently cannot stand the idea that there may be no God, or at least dont want to endanger public morals by promulgating such a Dangerous Idea.
Look, I know Britain has a state religion, lacks the equivalent of our First Amendment, and that the BBC is owned and run by the government. But they seem curiously immune to religious freedom and the rising tide of secularism in their land.
If youre in the UK, have you ever complained about this daily insult to our ears and intellect? If not, why not? If a lot of people objected, would they stop it?
Here: have a libertarian free-willer:
The Right Reverend Dr. David Walker, the Bishop of Manchester
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