If there were no God


Sounds like a raw deal for those you wrongly accuse. Or perhaps you’re never wrong in your accusations? :wink:

Well, then since my and everyone else’s suffering could also be prevented by this “evil psychopath”, then it actually is perfectly relevant. But as you demonstrated, denial is usually the first of defenses.

And you still haven’t answered the concern that by preventing suffering, the greater good of free moral agency (greater, at least, the the psychopathic supposed god) would be encumbered, potentially creating an even greater existential problem than the one you fixed.

Sure. If free moral agency was limited in such a way that the moral pendulum couldn’t swing to either side with equal magnitude, then it’s not “free”, is it?

That doesn’t logically follow at all. What does follow is that if a psychopath attempts to harm my family, I can utilize my will to stop him. If he succeeds, I grieve. Such is the world today whether there’s a god or not.

It’s the explanation most western religions give. Bad stuff happens on earth because of the fall of man. If you find that absurd, fine with me. I guess you won’t adhere to a western religion. :man_shrugging:

And if free moral agency is one of the greatest goods, then a loving and omnipotent god won’t eliminate it. As I’ve told you for the hundredth time.


Judeo-Christianianity is hardly the oldest religion. There are older recorded faith systems; the Sumerian and Egyptian religions may not predate the Semetic religions (of which Yahweh is an example of a Northwest Semitic deity in Canaan), and those two religions had a pretty profound influence on what would become the Hebrew faith. Zoroastrianism, with its roots in the Proto-Indo-European faith systems, also influenced Judaism, at a later stage, but those “Oriental” faiths left their mark on the Judeo-Christian religions.


I’m afraid I missed the point of your argument…?


Unless I missed it, nobody mentioned whether or not Judeo Christianity was the oldest religion…?


Of course it would be. Freedom is never absolute.

As soon as your try to prevent him from harming your family, you admit that the well-being of your family is
more important than his “free will” - and that would make you a hypocrite.

As soon as the free will of a psychopath is considered to be a “greater” good than the well-being of the victims, then this “god” is NOT a loving god any more. He would become exactly as evil as the actual psychopath. If that is beyond your comprehension, well, that is just too bad. I wasted enough time trying to educate you.


The thing is, that’s not what the claim was. It wasn’t “there are many systems”, it was “there’s not one that’s absolute.” That’s what I’m addressing.

(After all, once we get past the initial “there can’t be an absolute system”, then we can address the claim that “even though there are many systems, that doesn’t prove that there isn’t one absolute system.” :wink:

There are many NFL teams. They all begin the season thinking that they’re Super Bowl champs. The fact that there are 32 competing belief systems _doesn’t imply that only one of them gets to hoist the Lombardi Trophy and assert that they were right, all along." If you want to print that out so I don’t have to keep repeating it, I would appreciate your courtesy. :smiley:


The problem is that there is no epistemological method to compare different ethical systems. So any order would be subjective. Unlike the order of the NFL teams, where there is the method to decide the “order”.

But if you differ, just present your argument that there IS an absolute ethical system. And while you are at it, show us “which ethical system is that absolute one”.

Do you now get the difference between “ethics” and “meta-ethics”? (And I really would appreciate if you stopped repeating my words to you. It is wearing very thin. If you have nothing else to say, just keep quiet.)


That, too, is a different answer to a different question. The assertion was a bald, unsubstantiated, “there is no absolute system.”

I do. You haven’t demostrated that you do. :wink:

Pretty effective – and, as a side effect, annoying – when someone demonstrates that your claims don’t hold up, using your own words, isn’t it? :wink:


The capacity to be evil and the capacity to be good must balance else the basis by which actions are juxtaposed and subsequently judged becomes meaningless.

If I try to stop him from harming my family, I haven’t impaired his moral agency in the least. He’s still an evil man desiring to do a very evil thing - whether he succeeds or not isn’t particularly relevant to his agency.

So I’m not a hypocrite here. You just don’t know what “free moral agency” actually means.

Again, this is all you have - a bald fiat that you can’t objectively back-up. In rejecting western religion for this, you’ve only traded one religion for another and you’re still vulnerable to the same rational and material slings and arrows you use to critique religion.

Despite your clear feelings otherwise, it’s not going to become more objectively true every time you grand-stand and repeat it.

Sorry. :cry:

He might be!


He might value free moral agency over the lives of people. As I’ve suggested for the 101st time, now.


The two questions cannot be separated. If there is no epistemological method to answer a question, then the question is irrelevant. Which “ethical system” is better, cannot be answered. And if there is no “order”, there cannot be a “best” one, or “absolute” one. But this leads to nowhere. Show me that “absolute ethical system”, and give some argument why is it “absolute”, and you have my shut up. The proof of the pudding is that it is edible. Show me your “pudding”.

Actually you did not. A meta-ethical proposition is NOT an ethical question. Your habit of repeating my words is only annoying, without any relevance.


This makes the concept of “moral agency” irrelevant. If that agent is UNABLE to perform the deeds, which he desires to perform, then he can be as “evil” as he wants to be. Why should anyone care?

It is the definition of being “good” to act in the best interest of others. If you are unaware of the basic definitions, you are even less worthy to be considered.


No, if anything is irrelevant, it’s that part of your objection - ability. The agent needs only to be able to act. When their will runs contrary to another, we have a contest. We see this every day, everywhere…

And it appears (to the the theoretical psycho-god) to be in the best interests of others to allow them to enjoy free moral agency rather than exist as safe automatons. It seems to be a “heavier” good than all the ill it subsequently generates.

It keeps working because you don’t have a counter for it… There isn’t one beyond “Well! I sincerely disagree!”.


I have seen this baloney so many times. It is boring. If all that is needed that this psychopath is able to attempt to do what he plans to do (even if that plan does not and cannot succeed), then let’s have a benevolent “god” interfere and prevent it from succeeding - each and every time. And everyone will be better off. Well, the psychopath will be disappointed (along with you - two peas in a pod), but that firmly belongs to the “who the hell cares” category.

It is NOT in the best interest of the victims. Your “psycho-god” is on the side of the psychopaths, along with you. Nothing else needs to be said. And you really need to learn the difference between “automatons” and people with limited ABILITY to put their plans into reality.

I am still on the side of the victims, while you are still in the camp of the psychopaths.

What is your title in the Ku Klux Klan? Is it “Grand Dragon”? Because I have seen this kind of attitude only in the KKK or the Gestapo or the Khmer Rouge.

<<< Need to add! >>>

Indeed. I don’t deny it. Since ethics is purely subjective, I present my “personal opinion”. (Just like you present your personal opinion - shared by all the psychopaths and sociopaths around the world).

However, I am glad to announce that my “personal” opinion is shared by all the good-willing people of the world. I admit that the number of people who share an “opinion” does not make that “opinion” sacrosanct… but, what the heck… it means something - at least in our eyes. (Yes, I know that you disagree.) And I have this sneaky suspicion that “God” (capitalized) also shares this “personal” opinion.


OK, badly worded on my part. The null hypothesis is the default. But the point remains: If God (on the assumption He exists) had decided not to make His presence known for another few hundred years, then we’d still be pretty much where we are now (notwithstanding a few historical twists and turns) Morality would be as it is now. Our understanding of the world would be pretty much as it is now.

The vast chunk of the world that isn’t and has never been Christian has, as far as you would presumably believe, based their morality on the wrong assumptions. But all the places that I have been that don’t subscribe to a Judeo Christian view of behaviour seem to be doing rather well without it. And a lot of places have different religious beliefs and.come to pretty much the same standards of morality.

So if you have one part of the equation that seems not to be required, then we can remove it and the answer will remain as it always was.


I admit haven’t paid attention to the latest developments of this conversation, but this is a pretty wild statement.

There is just so much wrong with this, that I scarcely believe I have understood you correctly. Are you actually saying that Christianity has had no significant effect on Western morality, and that other cultures that have never accepted Christianity or other abbreviated philosophies and religions have a more or less equal morality as in the West?

If so, well then I ask you to consider that for a moment. If you then still think so, then I must ask which cultures you are referring to on the latter statement, and how on Earth did you come to the conclusion you did?


This seems to be at the heart of our disagreement here. You seem bound and determined to hold to the claim that the assertion of the existence of an empty set is not an assertion, but an assertion about assertions. :roll_eyes:


Another misunderstanding. And you example is incorrect. The existence of an empty set is a proposition within “set-theory” - which is part of mathematics. It is not a meta-mathematical, but a mathematical proposition. This existence is not “physical”, of course, but conceptual. I suggest we leave meta-mathematics alone, since that is a very complicated subject and we are not experts in it.

Any proposition about physics is a metaphysical proposition.
A proposition about ethics is a meta-ethical proposition.

An ethical proposition is something like this: “If you wish to reap a reward, you should spread good deeds”. That is it offers a method about an actual problem. Every ethical proposition is an “ought” or a “should” proposition. The proposition “there is no ultimate ethical system” is none of the kind. It does not give a “method” about “how should we behave”.

That is why I see both metaphysics and ethics (also aesthetics) as irrelevant in the absence of a suitable epistemology. Epistemology is the “king”. Oh, and there is no “pure” epistemological method to find out which epistemological method is “better” than the other one. This decision falls into the same realm that is being investigated. We test each epistemological method and find out if it yields a correct result. As it says: “the proof of the pudding is that it is edible”.


And you’ve been able to show that it can’t be true exactly 0 times.

Nope. The actors must be free to act.

The best interest for the victims seems to be “give them free moral agency” - one of the greatest of goods.

I’m sorry you feel that way. I’m sure you wish you could prove it. Alas…

I’m not one anyone’s “side”. I just support free moral agency and you plain don’t like it. Tough.

Dazzling, profound rhetoric there. Truly. Complete with the Nazi reference. :roll_eyes:

You certainly seem to. We’ll leave it to the gallery to decide.

So’s mine. It’s worth pointing out that the religious tend to be substantially, measurably more charitable than others as a group.

If, of course, it even exists. Right? :wink:

This feels like an end. Nice chat.


Goodness! That sure took a long time to establish!

And, inasmuch that mathematics models other contexts, we can plainly see that your claim fails: the mathematical example – which you admit is ‘math’ and not ‘meta-math’ – completely describes the situation at hand.

So glad we could come to agreement on that point. :wink:

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Nice try. You can’t wiggle out of it now… you’ve already given up the ghost. :wink:

Really, now. You keep mis-stating the proposition, and think that no one notices. :roll_eyes:

That wasn’t the proposition. I know it. You know it. We all know it. Please stop pretending that the proposition is something that it is not. :wink:


You say something different every time… Attempt to act is the same as starting to act, but being prevented from succeeding. By some agency who intervenes, or by some natural barrier… it does not matter.

“Seems”??? That is merely your opinion. Nope. The greatest good is to let everyone be free to do whatever they want - UNLESS they try to prevent others from doing the same. And if someone tries to interfere with the freedom of others - SLAP them down before they succeed. The phrase to describe this is: “The right of your fist ends where my nose begins”. THAT is the greatest good.

I can just see you looking down on the victim of a gang rape and say: “What is your problem? You had all the freedom to will to escape, you were MERELY prevented from acting on it. The freedom of the psychopath to rape you is much more valuable than you desire to escape.”

I don’t need to. You already proved it in every post you presented. Read your own words. Anyone who values the “freedom” of the psychopath to torture some victim - over the “non-freedom” of the victim who wishes not to be tortured is on the side of the psychopath.

Nonsense, but that does not matter. What DOES matter is that ALL those good people - both religious or not - prefer to prevent or limit the “freedom” of the psychopaths by incarcerating them. So that those psychopaths can “wish” to torture some victim, but they cannot act on it.

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