Hypothetical Question - What would society be like if there were no consequences?

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.

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Anything that's not impossible is possible, however unlikely.

It's not unlikely at all for a person who believes that human nature is not innately bad.  It's actually quite easy for a person that does not believe the aforementioned Christian doctrine, or any other doctrine that espouses those views.  See my aforementioned experimental citations below.



Again, Cathy, I agree with you - if you rear a child in the belief that he/she is inherently good, he is FAR more likely to go out into the world and do good, than one who believes they were born in sin, and are evil from birth.

Of course that doctrine was only perpetrated by priests as job security.

Objectively or subjectively perfect?

Objectively. Also, no god is required for objective morality.

As you say,  "Perception and judgment are subjective. Perception is mine. Judgment is mine. Belief is mine. Those are subjective." They are theory laden.  But as Nietzsche would say, while everything is seen  from some perspective, some interpretations, are better that others. Not only is there objectivity in this sense, but also in the sense that we can change our reality

I miswrote and it was too late to edit it. I meant to challenge Cathy Cooper on the matter of whether there is an objective morality. Whether there is an objective reality is another matter entirely. It would seem that all we have are our senses, which cannot always be trusted. Even if there is an external (to the mind) reality, our perceptions are necessarily subjective, so whether there is an "objective reality" depends upon what you mean: what we perceive (in which case the answer is no) or whatever is out there (in which case the answer is yes, because even if we have misperceptions, something would seen to have to cause them).

Are you saying that you only thought that your family was good, but since there is no objective reality that there is no bases or justification for your claim?  Or , any of your other claims?--Hmm

On the question of objective morality, I would argue that we use Normative Ethical Theories to this end. The Divine Command theory is just one of many normative ethical theories. We can compare and argue about them as to which one does a better job of explaining  moral phenomena, or even if their is such a thing as moral phenomena. It is in this realm that there is objective morality.

Theories such as Utilitarianism, which means doing what is right for the overall good--no gods required.

The Divine Command Theory, in which whatever god says is right is right, is one of the WEAKEST Normative Ethical Theories, as it has several fatal flaws, such as the epistemological problem. There is no way of telling whether a god or goddess has told anyone, including Moses and Abraham, anything at all. As an example, how do we know whether or not god told Andrea Yates to kill her children or not, when the bible tells us Yahweh told many people to kill others? Most Christians would say she is crazy, or that god did not tell her that, and at this point they are no longer using the Divine Command Theory, but are using different moral guidelines.

1. Practice - NET's are in fact used by people.
2. Best Explanation - NET's do the best job in accounting for the moral phenomena, and the competing NETs are also judged by which one does the best job in accounting for the moral phenomena.

Atheist, or anybody else, can use Normative Ethical Theories (NETS) to make specific moral judgements. These NETS provide a consistent framework for ethics. How can an  ethical system be consistently imposed beyond an individual within this framework.

We have objective morality via NETS. They provide us with the framework to make specific moral judgements.

It is at this point that we can ask about the justification of NETS. This justification takes place not within the NETS, but beyond them, the justification takes place at the meta-ethical level. The most common defense of NETS is that the theory is, in fact, used by people. This defense has been used by various philosophers such as Kant and Mill.

Yes the fact that values change in the course of time and are not fixed proves that moral absolutism is not acceptable.

On the other hand the fact that values change in the course of time does not show that we do not have "objective" moral values. One should keep in mind the central role of normative ethics on the question of objectivity. When philosophers such as Mill, Kant present a NET, they suppose it s the one true view. Each of these philosophers not only presents a NET, they usually also indicate how the correct theory is established as being correct,The most common way to argue for an ethical theory is to attempt to show that it does a better job than its rivals in explaining the moral phenomena.

The fact that absolutism fails does not undermine NETs, such as utilitarianism, in which Mill's explanation that in different locations and different times, different means are best used to reach happiness. Our specific moral judgements would be "objectively true, but only derivatively and contingently true--if things had been otherwise, quite different sorts of actions would have been right." (J.S. Mill, Utilitarianism)

The fact that we may have moral disagreements is neither here nor there as we have disagreements in science, medicine, astronomy, etc.--yet these areas are still deemed to be objective.

This is an issue that I am willing to discuss at length on a post focused on this topic at some later date.

Personally, I don't recognize perfect, as I don't recall ever having seen it.

On the other hand, if I understand Cathy correctly, she is defining "perfect" as free from sin, and since I don't recognize the concept of "sin," for me - at least under that definition - everyone is perfect.

@ Arch.  So can an atheist actually sin? *wry smile*

Only against the standards you hold for yourself.


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