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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No, actually the majority of Christians in our society hold to this view, and practice it thoroughly--the proof is in the pudding so to speak.

The rates of adultery and divorce, child abuse, rape, murder and a host of other crimes committed by "Christians" continues to rise.

If you want to change my mind you're going to have to do it with something other than the Attempted Proof By Repetition.

If—as you clearly imply—rates of adultery, divorce, child abuse, rape, murder, and a host of other crimes is higher among Christians than atheists, that is meaningless without knowing the factual cause(s). 

There are differences between atheists and Christians other than religion. Atheists, I'm sure, tend to be better educated and more affluent. We tend to hang around smarter people and we don't have to adapt to a milieu where dumb attitudes abound, We also tend more to think critically, and while some of that lack of critical thinking might be attributed to religion, most of it can be laid at the doorstep of lack of education.

Attempted Proof by Repetition--lol.  Here, let me "repeat" something a commenter made on this thread:

"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."

Follow the logic.  If someone is taught from the beginning that they are worthy and can make good choices, they are more likely to do so.  If someone is taught they are "dirty filthy sinners" then are are more likely to be "dirty filthy sinners."

I hope that clears that up for you.

In your case, the goal is not to get you to believe, because whether you believe or not does not change the fact of the matter.  In fact what John Stuart Mill pointed out long ago, is that we need people like you to prove our point--and you have done quite well at that for consistently pointing out the "double binds" within Christianity.  Thank you.

RE: "A Christian has the choice" - but what if Christians DON'T have a choice --?

Gay scientists isolate gene for Christianity

We may soon have the tools to treat this condition that seems to inexplicably make some people Christians.

We could do interventions.

It is that simple. I was raised Catholic. We were told confession "erases the black marks from your soul". For the Baptists, the concept of rebirth washes all your sins away. In the context of history, perhaps for example, the Conquistadors, the Crusaders, or the Pope would say

you still have to live your life knowing what you did and perhaps having to face up to the negative consequences you imposed on others.

but they sure didn't act like it. However, the Pope did apologize to Galileo:

Moving formally to rectify a wrong, Pope John Paul II acknowledged in a speech today that the Roman Catholic Church had erred in condemning Galileo 359 years ago for asserting that the Earth revolves around the Sun.


Give me a break...how generous of them !

The scapegoating/forgiveness procedure that Christianity provides has been used to conduct genocide for centuries. Your born a piece of crap, so while you are at it you may as well help the church with their power grab.

Exactly!  Notice how the pope said:

"...and PERHAPS having to face up to the negative consequences..."

This means of course, they only have to face the consequences if they get caught by the secular authorities--otherwise, their god lets them off scott free.

Rape a little girl?  Talk to god, he'll take the blame.  How ridiculous!

We were taught you had to go through a priest and the sacrament of confession for the bad stuff, no talking to god directly:

Confession, is one of the seven sacraments recognized by the Catholic Church. Catholics believe that all of the sacraments were instituted by Jesus Christ himself. In the case of Confession, that institution occurred on Easter Sunday, when Christ first appeared to the apostles after his Resurrection. Breathing on them, he said: “Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven

How Often Should You Go to Confession?:

While Catholics are only required to go to Confession when they are aware that they have committed a mortal sin, the Church urges the faithful to take advantage of the sacrament often. A good rule of thumb is to go once per month.


Notice the "Take Advantage" part.

Yes, Robert, the Pope did - in 1992!


  • The aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community.
  • The community of people living in a particular region and having shared customs, laws, and organizations.

You cannot define a society where the norm is anti-social.  It's a contradiction of terms.  So I assume you would substitute the word 'society' for 'bunch of people living in close proximity and having some level of interdependence'. 

But the basic need to survive would drive us into forming a society straight away.  You can see this in the animal kingdom, from great apes to ants.  Societies thrive and forming one would be an inevitability.  Along with societies, come acceptable and non-acceptable behaviours.  Mating hierarchies, aggression, feeding - these are all ordained in a society.

I understand that Christians and other religions have the offer of a pretty holiday resort after they die - and that they can put aside any moral guilt they might be carrying through the act of repentance.  But that doesn't absolve them whilst they are still alive, from what society has designated criminal behaviour.  We have laws.  They aren't secular laws or religious laws.  They are societal laws.  There are fines. There is jail.  In America, there is even a death penalty.  We have a court/judiciary system.  If we woke up one morning and it wasn't there, we would simply recreate it.  It is how a society flourishes.

It might seem frustrating that a Christian can believe he (or she) is forgiven by some higher, post-life authority, but why should we care, if we think that's all a load of twaddle?  As long as behaviour is ordered in this life, by law and consensus, the belief in a post-life judgement is irrelevant - in this life.

To describe a situation, in this life, where there are no rules and laws and consequences is to describe anarchy.  And anarchy is purely a concept, since humans have formed societies since they first stood upright, and their predecessors almost certainly did so too.  Anarchy is an anathema to survival, which is why you won't find a group of humans on this planet that have adopted it as a way of life and survived.

Do I think the concept of cyclical absolution and repentance is ridiculous?  Yes, absolutely.  But I am an atheist, I don't have to incorporate that idiocy in my life.

Here is an example of why I think it matters..

The cold-hearted killer sits in front of his parole board, clutching his precious bible, spouting dribble from jesus about forgiveness and how he is repented, blah, blah. The Christian majority on the parole board buy it all and overrule the one atheist officer. Now....

there's a killer on the road. If you give this man a ride sweet family will die

It poisons everything, even in the few countries that are "of secular government". It undermines accountability in the mind of the perpetrator.

Riders of the storm.... nice. 

If your parole boards free killers who re-offend, don't you have some kind of accounting?  The original sentence only allows parole to be sought after a minimum period of incarceration in the UK, is that the same in the USA?. 

However, although your example might be problematic (in the USA),  it isn't what the OP was asking.  I'm quite happy to sit down and thrash out a long debate on the pros and cons of a judicial system, there is certainly a lot of material there to be debated.  But the OP is asking for views on a society operating without consequences.  I think that's not feasible.


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