What kind of a society (sans a god) do you think we would have if everyone believed they were born bad,couldn't help but to do bad--but that it didn't matter because they would never get thrown in jail.
In my opinion--it would be and IS chaos, but it IS chaos due to the influence of Christianity which holds to the above meta theory. (sin, repent, sin, repent--repeat when necessary without consequence)
So what is your view of a society that could do whatever they wanted to without consequences.
I think Cathy, based on her responses more than on the title was pointing out that since Christianity allows Jesus to suffer all the consequences for the sorrowful christian masses, that this fact could pervade a society. I happen to agree, it seems to displace guilt about doing wrong, with guilt about not attending and supporting church.
US Justices swear their oaths on the bible. Christian values pervade the US court system. Once a prisoner has served the minimum sentence, they begin eligibility for parole. There are a lot of reborn prisoners looking to get out!
I agree a society operating without consequences is not feasible, but those consequences are largely based on christian values in the US, IMHO.
Yes, the point of this discussion was to illustrate how pervasive the Christian dogma is, and how this dogma has influenced society--including atheists. The belief that humans are "born sinners" and that all our heinous deeds will be forgiven without consequences, has as the ancient philosopher Pelagius noted log ago,promotes "moral laxity."--and he was right.
Societies themselves govern their moral compasses--gods are not required.
I think a lot of these commenters are missing your point, Cathy.
I was just going through the comments--and I have to agree with you. It is unfortunate that those that consider themselves without a god--cannot see how the god or gods of whatever culture they are a part of, have influenced how they think.
Having worked the prison environment and attended parole hearings I can tell you that the members of the parole board are a little more savvy to the theatrics of those being reviewed. Convicts who attest to "finding the lord" are looked at with a suspicious eyebrow and in light of the recidivism rate with good reason.
Actually, the T-Party may have echoed it, but it was Jefferson who said it first.
I didn't say he wrote it down - it was part of a personal conversation we had --
I think if there weren't there quickly would be. People would stay together for safety then they would become a tribe or a faction then in fear of that faction others would create a group then the strongest (whoever can kill the most) would maybe even eventually become a government.
Anarchy is a stressful societal situation. Living each day like Mad Max takes it's toll on one's peace of mind. The hypothetical situation you presented is not very realistic. Organized groups of like minded individuals will not tolerate irresponsible and harmful behavior by any of it's members for obvious reasons. Thankfully we do not have to look to religion for guidance in maintaining a sane society.
Repeatedly committing crimes against your fellow man and falling back on repentance has about as much logic as the fundamentalist religious notion of "once saved, always saved."
Said society would consist of exactly one person: me.
No chaos, but kind of monotonous.
In a society consisting of two or more people, the longer the time between the sinning and the repenting, the more likely there will be consequences.
Another thought, repeatedly sinning and repenting would require a sociopath's mind. Said sociopath(s) would regard the repenting as having no more meaning than reciting the alphabet.
Hm-m, is there a correlation between easy repentance and sociopathy?
The notion of guilt requires a feeling of responsibility--but the Christian system including original sin, etc., leads to the feeling of not having responsibility because they believe they were born bad. The Christian system leads to a double bind, in that Christians feel responsible and not responsible for their actions at the same time, and as a result, the feel guilty, i.e., responsible for that act, and at the same time, they feel they are not responsible, and hence they do not feel guilty because they also believe they were born bad and cannot help but to do bad--which is why they have a tendency to repeat the same sins over and over again. It's as if they feel guilty and not guilty at the same time. It leads to neurosis--which explains a lot in our society.
For example, we often hear people say "I'm sorry, but I'm only human."--which illustrates my point. They feel bad, but they don't feel bad because they are "only human after all."
This leads to the heart of the matter. Our actions are a matter of choice, and we can choose to do what is right, i.e. be "perfect", or we can choose to do what is wrong. i.e., act on the belief we are born bad and cannot help but to do bad. I choose to be "perfect."
Cathy, people who sincerely want to do right will ask for parties they've injured or offended for forgiveness, and to whatever extent possible will work to undo that harm, and they will do so whether atheist or Christian. The Christians I knew (and know) still feel an obligation to set things aright even after their imaginary settling up with God. They also feel God expects this of them.
It's not necessary to trash Christians to be an atheist and it can be counterproductive in terms of getting Christians to give atheism an intellectual chance.