Free will, God's goodness and sociopathy.
As you probably know, I am not a believer in free will. I base this on the idea that Decartes, "Cogito ergo sum!", is WRONG because it was already implied that he existed in his first word, which is doubly, just 'implied' by the Latin.
'Cogito', means 'I think'.The 'I', implies his existence. Long boring story short, I'm sure that Decartes didn't look at a rock and imagine, "It thinks therefore it exists!"
So, I think that we need a more pragmatic 'beginning' for our philosophy. I think, therefore I am a streaming consciousness which percieves my material body and other material bodies, with my senses, through time and space etc. etc.
I have come to the conclusion that our mind is our streaming consciousness together with all the information that we have stored since we were born which makes up a model of reality which is our memory and that we operate within THAT model comparing incoming information to it.
This explains the 'buffer' between the input from eyes, ears etc. and what is actually happening in the world.("I thought I thaw a puddy tat!)
I think that my 'model' model goes a long way to explaining religion, historical ways of thinking etc. AND sociopathy which I'm going to get to in a minute.
The question whether if God is good why did he create evil, or why did HE give us the freewill to BE evil becomes moot if we don't believe that there ARE gods and we don't believe that there is such a thing as freewill.
Still, I believe that God, goodness, evil, and freewill are incorporated into the majority of people's model of reality. I think that it would be impossible to escape growing up without having to deal with these ideas.
I think that, in sociopaths, all the way from the toddler bully up to the most heinous criminals(Hitler and Stalin jump to mind) came/come to be like that, not from any inate, freewill EVIL, not from any free will 'causa sui', but because their model of reality had/has been damaged, broken, fucked up, however you want to say it.
I believe that this kind of thing is BOUND to happen and the only way to fix it is to understand what is going on.
Imagine that you're in pain. There are only so many ways to deal with it. You could take medication if it's available. You could distract yourself OR you could try to pour THAT pain all over someone else. I think that we ALL do a bit of all three sometimes. (e.g. "I'm sorry I 'bit your head off', there.." Follow up with a description of the pain you were in.)
So, you see, you can entertain a cartload of drivel in your model of reality and project YOUR "failings" and/or pain onto others as part of your EVIL freewill, you know, if you're a sociopath, or you can deny the mountain of drivel which we pick up in our experience of life, admit that there is NO FREE WILL for anyone.
This doesn't make anyone at all less culpable for any crimes that they commit or any less culpable for bullying or gassing six million Jews, but it does give us some license to view them as 'damaged goods', a little(or a lot) fucked up in the 'head'.
Hey, maybe the religious message that you ought to give your freewill over to your favorite higher power is supposed to 'work' BECAUSE you only imagine you have it in the first place, and the pastor/minister/guru/or whatever ought to know better than you what to do(give HIM your extra cash, for example.(hehe)).