Today, 05:03 AM
I would like to note in amendment to my previous post that I am speaking from a position of faith. I believe that we should choose to act morally because we do not know what we are predestined for. That is, I think we will eventually be judged by God based on our moral character.
However, in seeing this particular post by osan, I noticed that he took for granted Kant's argument that "if we are not free to choose, then it is meaningless to say we should choose to behave morally." I, however, disagree with that notion. It may appear to be a logical contradiction on the face of it, but if you consider the context, it becomes clear that the existence of an illusion separate from reality does not preclude the validity of illusory experiences. Although the illusion isn't real, per se, it does not necessarily mean that the illusion should be treated as a falsehood. Rather, it should be treated as a designated component of the overall reality. We should not simply assume that the illusion is meaningless, for it could have a purpose, and that purpose can be explained as such: We don't know what the future will hold for us because we don't know God's plan, so it follows that we cannot assume any particular outcome in reality just by virtue of knowing that we live in an illusion. Therefore, we should treat the illusion of free will as valid because, although anything we "choose" to do will have been pre-destined when we actually do it, we could not have assumed that outcome, so we are forced to behave morally even given the knowledge that our experiences are illusory.
This explanation would be incomplete, however, if it did not include the intent of God. The explanation given in the article that notes that people who read articles pro-deterministic would behave less morally than those who read neutral articles does not consider the intent angle, which is an extremely important angle to consider if one truly wants to understand the reason why the subjects reacted to the articles in such a way. It very well could be that the article, speaking from a secular point of view, instilled or somehow introduced the view that determinism is true, but left out the intent. In this way, the reader was swayed to assume that, not just determinism, but secular determinism, was favored.
Without intent, it would indeed seem that life was basically pointless and choosing to behave morally was futile, but knowing that there is intent behind the illusion created provides one with the knowledge that they have a purpose despite the fact that their life is already determined, and faced with the ultimate realization that they don't know what they are determined to be, they must choose to act morally within the illusion so that they can ensure that their experience within the illusion matches to the written intent of God so as to make sure that they do not end up rebelling and finding out that they were one of the unfortunate ones who were determined for the lesser fate come the day of judgment when they finally see what the reality was.
Note, however, that I said "lesser fate" and not "damnation" because I do not actually believe in eternal hell fire or damnation, which is another interesting topic to consider at another time, but is not necessary for the purpose of proving my point here, which is that it is most definitely possible to know you are in an illusion and still have the capacity to act morally as if the illusion were real because you know that there is intent behind the illusion and not just a vast expanse of meaningless nothingness.