FATALISM - God idea accuses you of being powerless

Fatalism is the notion that it does not matter what we do or don't do for God is in control. Even our choices are programmed by him.

 

Some who deny fatalism might as well just accept it for they are so close to it it hardly matters.

Some believers say that God does not programme our choices but they believe he programmes our actions. Suppose I choose soup. He may not have programmed this choice. But he programmes my tongue to ask for it, my hands to take the soup, my mouth to consume it and so on. He pulls the strings so that my body does what I choose. The fact that I always lift up my arm when I want to only means that my system goes along with my choice not that my choice is doing it.

Those believers are still fatalists. God may not control our choices but we cannot avoid doing what he allows or enables us to do so he is controlling us in all the ways that count.  What use is choosing to kill somebody unless your limbs move? So he controls the results of our choices not us.  He moves your fist when you hit somebody.  It is not your choice that moves it.  It is not really you but all him.

The Church condemns the idea of fatalism though it believes in it itself!

Catholicism vomits at the Protestant Calvinist belief that God sets up his creation to ensure that some chosen individuals will be damned forever in Hell. And then Catholicism says that if you die in mortal sin, you are predestined to Hell forever.

The Church teaches that God is the cause of all things and nothing happens unless he consents. Our power to disobey God is not used in spite of God but because of him. The Church says that when we use free will to sin, he gives us the power to sin with. He enables us to sin but is not guilty of sin himself in doing so. Thus even when we intend to go against God we fail to do so. We sin because he empowers us to meaning that even our sins are part of his plan.

 

The nearest you can get to free will is saying that God controls all the outside but only you decide internally if you will be good or bad.  This amounts to fatalism in practice for the outside is the outside and you can only change within.  You cannot change it.

 

As free will happens because of God and not in spite of him then nothing can thwart or even damage God’s eternal decrees and plans. Thus prayer is accusing God of needing to change them! Prayer would only be right if it is about resignation and acceptance. Even then it only happens because God enabled you to and gave you all the power to do it so is really his prayer. He prays narcissistically to himself! Repentance is thin when you see it as this fatalistic or near-fatalistic step in God’s plan. 

 

The problem with free will as in having the power to create a bad deed out of nothing that is independent of God is that it makes you a God too.  You are something God cannot do anything about and thus are a real challenge.  Repentance is thin in this view too for you act like you are a God whether you do bad or good.

 

Real repentance is about how you hurt people no matter how much you tell yourself it is about God.

We may not like the thought that anything can happen be it bad or good. But we need it. We hate feeling controlled by fate. We may say we believe in fate. But the truth is we only imagine we believe in it when it suits us. Randomness is impossible if there is a God. We have been conditioned and tricked to think we need to believe in God. We do not want to.

The doctrine of God and the doctrine of fatalism go together. Fatalism makes such notions as that God tries to reason with us and help us find the truth by our own free will obsolete. Fatalism is great news for those who want to sit on their backsides and do nothing for anybody. If fatalism is true, it does not matter if we act to stop evil or if we don't bother.

GOD IDEA ACCUSES YOU OF BEING POWERLESS

Psychologists may tell people in abusive relationships that they have made themselves powerless. To describe anybody as powerless is very strong.

It is unhealthy for people to feel they will win acceptance and love not for who they are but what they do.

When you hurt your enemies, you hurt them because you fear them and not because they are enemies. If you didn’t fear them, they would still be enemies and you wouldn’t care. To hate people is saying to God that if you feared him like them you would hate him too.

They assume that when something wonderful happens to them that it is because God loves them. God might be the source of the blessing but he is not giving it to them as a favour. It might be for one of his greater purposes.

 

All that shows that the God idea accuses you of being powerless.  Believers don't really want to connect to real God.  They want the one they have in their imagination and heads and feel powerful to have him for he is merely their own creation.

 

The doctrine that God only makes good and does not make evil but that evil is just a different good or the wrong good means we have no free will to create evil or to recreate ourselves as evil.  Good is like a straitjacket.  So how good is it really?

 

A choice is not just a choice but a reaction. You need have loads of opportunities to choose from. To choose bread when there is nothing else there is not choosing at all. It is reacting. It still feels like a choice which is what we mean when we say we had to choose it under the circumstances. But it is not really one and proves that feeling free or that you have made a choice has nothing to do with making a real choice. To choose bread or cake when there is nothing else is reacting but is also choosing. The less options you face and are aware of the more your choice is not choice but reacting. Reacting is not a choice. So God is a partner in our evil if he gives us any free will. As creator he is more than partner but far more responsible for our evil than we are.

 

FATALISM AND THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF PREDESTINATION

 

The doctrine of predestination says God owes nobody anything so he chooses some to spend forever with him in Heaven and the rest go to Hell forever.  It says you have free will but not in the sense that you can ever be independent of God.  It says that you can be free but programmed.  It points out that something programmes your desires into you so you may do what you desire but you cannot desire whatever you choose to desire.  It happens or it doesn't.

 

This argues that belief in God as creator of us all from nothing requires you to accept something called compatibilism.  Determinism is the notion that your choices are in fact programmed and libertarian free will says you are free from causes and can do whatever you want.  One says we are psychological machines though we do not feel it.  The other says we can be as random as we want to be but that is not what people want to believe free will is.  Both are scary.

 

Compatibism is dubious for it tries to make out that determinism is true but free will simply means the forces are in your psychology not outside of you so in that sense you own what you do!


Compatibilism denies that your choice is really up to you. You are counted free in compatibilism if you freely want to do the action, if you could do otherwise if you had wanted otherwise. It realises that you are not free to want what you want. It says that if wants are compelling you that is fine as long as they are down to normal psychological processes.

The Christian doctrine of predestination where God stands for compatibilist free will meaning if you choose salvation and God responds by giving you salvation it is only because he has already decided you will be saved is distinguished from fatalism. Yet in both your path is laid out for you and there is nothing you can do to change it. The alleged difference is that fatalism is mechanical and impersonal and predestination is about how God relates to us and we relate to him so it’s a personal connection.

Problems – it’s a thin line between the two so predestination can lead to fatalism.

What if God is subject to fatalism? If he is then predestination does not avoid fatalism.

Compatibilism is not free will at all. It denies you truly own your choices. It turns ownership into what somebody says you own – but it is not real but a social construct that has practical value. There is no real owning. People just say you own for that is the system.

God does not really own either for he does not truly own his own choices either. If we are compatibilist then God must be too.

 

FINALLY

 

What matters is not fatalism, but the reminder that we work so much in a box that free will does not matter much.  The feeling of being free may be a psychological compensation for that.  The fact remains that when you see how unfree you are you will slip into a fatalistic mindset and leave the future for others to its own devices.