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Moral Realism...

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  • Moral Realism...

    Can someone here make the case for how moral duties and moral knowledge have an objective basis. And if they are objective how they have any moral authority over the individual?
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

  • #2
    Of the links you gave me to WLC debates, one where the comments section seemed to think the atheist had done well was this debate with Shelly Kagan. In the first 20 minutes of that debate, Kagan sets out his own explanation of his moral views and why it entails moral realism. What about his views do you take issue with?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Starlight View Post
      Of the links you gave me to WLC debates, one where the comments section seemed to think the atheist had done well was this debate with Shelly Kagan. In the first 20 minutes of that debate, Kagan sets out his own explanation of his moral views and why it entails moral realism. What about his views do you take issue with?
      So basically Kagan said that rape is wrong and wrong because it harms. But why is harm wrong? He then he claims that if you organized a society according to moral principles he agrees with, then that society is rational. But that is begging the question, why would a totalitarian and often brutal society where human rights don't exist like China be irrational? Kagan's personal objection does not make it irrational. I think Craig made a good point in quoting the atheist philosopher Michael Ruse, that morality is merely the by product of the evolutionary process. Anything more is an illusion. Secondly, even if objective moral truths did exist, what claim do they have on us? And this to me is the more important point. Imagine a society where they have laws on the books against rape or murder or theft but no mechanisms of enforcement. Those laws would be completely toothless and immaterial. Really not worth discussing.
      Last edited by seer; 04-11-2021, 06:44 AM.
      Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm not going to drop any uneducated comments on this thread, but I have a question for you Seer about Moral Realism: When you say "realism", you mean "real", as in something objective and verifiable. I have come across this term many times in reading, and in the book I mentioned on the other thread. It still seems that the concept has yet to synthesize into full understanding. Sometimes exploring the opposite helps shed light on things. In contrast to Moral Realism, what would Moral Idealism be? I would like to be able to talk about this fluently and understand it. I see where you are going with it but I can't see the end right now.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by seer View Post
          So basically Kagan said that rape is wrong and wrong because it harms.
          Yes.

          But why is harm wrong?
          Does it matter? As I've noted in other threads, all human societies seem to include the idea that harm is wrong among their moral ideas. So there are obviously reasons, potentially multiple ones, that people all around the world have for thinking harm is wrong. I don't see that it is particularly important or relevant whether two different people happen to have the same reason or not for thinking harm is wrong.

          He then he claims that if you organized a society according to moral principles he agrees with, then that society is rational.
          You've fundamentally misunderstood his point here. He refers to Rawls' thought experiment called the 'veil of ignorance' that goes something like this:
          Imagine you and a bunch of other rational people knew you were going to be born into a society, but didn't know who you would be born as in that society, neither what race nor station nor gender nor any other attributes you would have. But your group of rational people who is going to live in that society can discuss amongst yourselves what you think the rules ought to be in that society. The rules you would all agree upon as being best, are then what is 'moral'.

          In such a situation you wouldn't want rules that picked on particular people, in case you were born as that person. You'd want rules that maximized the wellbeing of the entire society, so that whoever you were born as, you'd have a good life. Morality, thus conceived, is the ideal conduct that someone who valued everyone in the society as themselves (since they didn't know which person they'd be born as) would endorse.

          And the crucial part then is: Once born into any given society, as we all are, we can hold own society's standards, or any society's standards, up to the moral mirror of that objectively ideal conduct, and thus have an objective measure of good conduct to compare their society against and see where it falls short. Likewise any individual person's actions can be held up to that same objective ideal standard of conduct.

          It's basically exactly equivalent to the golden rule, since you are valuing everyone else as yourself. John Rawls' uses this idea in his Theory of Justice, but the product of it is simply to produce a morality that values everyone equally and hence has you caring about everyone as much as yourself. Fairness leads to caring about everyone equally, and caring about everyone equally leads to fairness, so I see an equivalence between the two commonly espoused ethical principles of Care and Fairness.

          Anyway, getting back to Kagan's point, he is saying that if perfectly rational people performed this veil of ignorance thought experiment they would reach the rational conclusion that not harming others would be a good ideal rule for their society. After all, if they agreed harming others was okay for that society, they might be born into that society as a person who suffered great harm. Hence for a rational person thinking about the optimal society to be born into, it would be one with a rule against harming others.

          But that is begging the question, why would a totalitarian and often brutal society where human rights don't exist like China be irrational?
          Not his point. Rather his point would be that if you gave a rational soul a choice of being born into a brutal society where human rights don't exist, or a not brutal society with human rights, they would choose the latter one. Therefore the brutal society falls short of ideal moral conduct.

          The point of his thought-experiment is to be able to objectively assess different societies against a hypothetical perfect standard, and give a way to work out what rules ought to exist in an ideal society.

          Kagan's personal objection does not make it irrational.
          You give every sign of not wanting to live in China, so using Kagan's thought experiment it seems you would equally agree Chinese society isn't moral, in the sense that if God was offering you the option of being born into China you would say no because you thought the danger of you being mistreated was too high. His thought experiment lets you identify exactly the moral problems with their society.

          I think Craig made a good point in quoting the atheist philosopher Michael Ruse, that morality is merely the by product of the evolutionary process.
          I think Ruse is a moron, and that quoting him is about as far from making any good point as one can get.

          Secondly, even if objective moral truths did exist, what claim do they have on us?
          In the examples about, you would be able to use Kagan's process to come to an understanding of what was morally wrong with your society and what needed to be changed to fix it. Then the society your children would be born into would be a better one for them.

          I think generally the topic of "what are possible motivations for acting morally" is vast. There are so many different possible reasons, many of which can apply at the same time:

          Why care about others in your society or help others?
          1. Because caring can make you a happier person.
          2. Because helping others can bring satisfaction.
          3. Because humans have a sense of empathic and contagiously pick up on the emotions of those around them so if more people in your society are happy then you will be happier.
          4. Because those you know and love directly have other people in their lives you don't know directly but if those people are better off and happier then the people you know and love who interact with them will be happier.
          5. Because everyone's affected by crime in society but if the poor are better off they'll be less motivated to commit crimes and feel they have more to lose than gain by doing so and if there's then less crime there's less chance of you or people you know and love being the victims of crime.
          6. Because if the rest of your society is thriving the public spaces you use will be better and nicer and not defaced.
          7. Because if the rest of your society is thriving then the schools your children go to will be full of nice people and not nasty ones.
          8. Because if the rest of your society is thriving you'll encounter nicer people at your workplace, in the mall, at sporting events.
          9. Because if the rest of your society is thriving other people in it will create better and more works of art, TV, Movies, books, sporting matches, music, etc for you to enjoy, they'll research more and better cures for diseases and illnesses and be able to provide you better treatment should you get sick.
          10. Because you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you acted morally, that you contributed to society by making it a better place, closer to the ideal you would all have agreed was optimal for it if you had all been discussing the possibility of being born into it, you'd know you did your bit.
          11. Because you'd know you're a good person, and you'd have the satisfaction of being a good person.

          Pick any one. Pick all 11. There's probably a dozen more, that list is just what I happened to think of in 5 minutes off the top of my head.

          And this to me is the more important point. Imagine a society where they have laws on the books against rape or murder or theft but no mechanisms of enforcement. Those laws would be completely toothless and immaterial. Really not worth discussing.
          Well the 'mechanisms of enforcement' for morality tend to be far subtler than those of laws. The police won't come arrest you for being immoral. But subtler effects would potentially happen - the exact inverse of the list I gave above for example. Be nasty to others, and you might find out that others respond to your actions by being nasty to you. Act in ways that make your society a worse place and the consequence is simple: Your society will become a worse place to live in.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Starlight View Post
            Yes.

            Does it matter? As I've noted in other threads, all human societies seem to include the idea that harm is wrong among their moral ideas. So there are obviously reasons, potentially multiple ones, that people all around the world have for thinking harm is wrong. I don't see that it is particularly important or relevant whether two different people happen to have the same reason or not for thinking harm is wrong.
            So why does that support moral realism?

            Anyway, getting back to Kagan's point, he is saying that if perfectly rational people performed this veil of ignorance thought experiment they would reach the rational conclusion that not harming others would be a good ideal rule for their society. After all, if they agreed harming others was okay for that society, they might be born into that society as a person who suffered great harm. Hence for a rational person thinking about the optimal society to be born into, it would be one with a rule against harming others.
            But why couldn't couldn't the moral relativist come to the same conclusion? The relativist could imagine such a society without appeal to moral realism.

            Not his point. Rather his point would be that if you gave a rational soul a choice of being born into a brutal society where human rights don't exist, or a not brutal society with human rights, they would choose the latter one. Therefore the brutal society falls short of ideal moral conduct.
            Let's be clear this good society is imaginary. Born in our imagination. Our subjective preference - not necessarily the preference of the tyrant or his followers.


            The point of his thought-experiment is to be able to objectively assess different societies against a hypothetical perfect standard, and give a way to work out what rules ought to exist in an ideal society.

            You give every sign of not wanting to live in China, so using Kagan's thought experiment it seems you would equally agree Chinese society isn't moral, in the sense that if God was offering you the option of being born into China you would say no because you thought the danger of you being mistreated was too high. His thought experiment lets you identify exactly the moral problems with their society.
            Yes my subjective preference would not to be born in a totalitarian society? And?

            In the examples about, you would be able to use Kagan's process to come to an understanding of what was morally wrong with your society and what needed to be changed to fix it. Then the society your children would be born into would be a better one for them.

            I think generally the topic of "what are possible motivations for acting morally" is vast. There are so many different possible reasons, many of which can apply at the same time:

            Why care about others in your society or help others?
            1. Because caring can make you a happier person.
            2. Because helping others can bring satisfaction.
            3. Because humans have a sense of empathic and contagiously pick up on the emotions of those around them so if more people in your society are happy then you will be happier.
            4. Because those you know and love directly have other people in their lives you don't know directly but if those people are better off and happier then the people you know and love who interact with them will be happier.
            5. Because everyone's affected by crime in society but if the poor are better off they'll be less motivated to commit crimes and feel they have more to lose than gain by doing so and if there's then less crime there's less chance of you or people you know and love being the victims of crime.
            6. Because if the rest of your society is thriving the public spaces you use will be better and nicer and not defaced.
            7. Because if the rest of your society is thriving then the schools your children go to will be full of nice people and not nasty ones.
            8. Because if the rest of your society is thriving you'll encounter nicer people at your workplace, in the mall, at sporting events.
            9. Because if the rest of your society is thriving other people in it will create better and more works of art, TV, Movies, books, sporting matches, music, etc for you to enjoy, they'll research more and better cures for diseases and illnesses and be able to provide you better treatment should you get sick.
            10. Because you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you acted morally, that you contributed to society by making it a better place, closer to the ideal you would all have agreed was optimal for it if you had all been discussing the possibility of being born into it, you'd know you did your bit.
            11. Because you'd know you're a good person, and you'd have the satisfaction of being a good person.

            Pick any one. Pick all 11. There's probably a dozen more, that list is just what I happened to think of in 5 minutes off the top of my head.
            But all these could equally be held by the moral relativists. No need to be a moral realist. BTW Star, I cut out much of what you posted because you just write too much.

            Well the 'mechanisms of enforcement' for morality tend to be far subtler than those of laws. The police won't come arrest you for being immoral. But subtler effects would potentially happen - the exact inverse of the list I gave above for example. Be nasty to others, and you might find out that others respond to your actions by being nasty to you. Act in ways that make your society a worse place and the consequence is simple: Your society will become a worse place to live in.
            That is not what I asked. Yes the society could get worse, but again, the relativist could say the same thing. No need for moral realism. But I would like a direct answer: what authority do moral truths have over us in moral realism? How are we actually accountable to them?
            Last edited by seer; 04-11-2021, 10:04 AM.
            Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Machinist View Post
              I'm not going to drop any uneducated comments on this thread, but I have a question for you Seer about Moral Realism: When you say "realism", you mean "real", as in something objective and verifiable. I have come across this term many times in reading, and in the book I mentioned on the other thread. It still seems that the concept has yet to synthesize into full understanding. Sometimes exploring the opposite helps shed light on things. In contrast to Moral Realism, what would Moral Idealism be? I would like to be able to talk about this fluently and understand it. I see where you are going with it but I can't see the end right now.
              Moral Idealism identifies morality with the ideal set of moral rules, where this set of rules is in turn identified in terms of a moral ideal. Morality, according to a moral idealism, is that set of rules universal obedience to which would realize this idealism's moral ideal.

              Moral realism (also ethical realism) is the position that ethical sentences express propositions that refer to objective features of the world (that is, features independent of subjective opinion), some of which may be true to the extent that they report those features accurately.

              In the philosophy of ethics, moral anti-realism (or moral irrealism) is a meta-ethical doctrine that there are no objective moral values or normative facts. It is usually defined in opposition to moral realism, which holds that there are objective moral values, which any moral claim are either true or false.
              Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by seer View Post
                Moral realism (also ethical realism) is the position that ethical sentences express propositions that refer to objective features of the world (that is, features independent of subjective opinion), some of which may be true to the extent that they report those features accurately.
                FWIW, the arguments I've had with other atheists about whether there is objective morality have all hinged on a semantic difference, i.e. what exactly one means by the word "objective".

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Stoic View Post

                  FWIW, the arguments I've had with other atheists about whether there is objective morality have all hinged on a semantic difference, i.e. what exactly one means by the word "objective".
                  I like moral realists. They say that morality can't be merely relative, but that universal moral truths exist. To me that reflects the image of God in them.
                  Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by seer View Post
                    But why couldn't couldn't the moral relativist come to the same conclusion? The relativist could imagine such a society without appeal to moral realism.
                    If moral realism is true, then any moral relativist is likely to arrive at a view that is tolerably close to the truth. I am a moral realist, but I don't take offense at people who are moral relativists because more often than not, their moral views are extremely similar to mine. Sometimes the question of moral realism vs relativism seems more a matter of word-definitions and semantic hair-splitting than a real difference.

                    Let's be clear this good society is imaginary.
                    It's a hypothetical, a thought experiment, and ideal society to which real ones can be compared. It provides a perfect absolute objective moral standard, against which real situations and real societies can be measured.

                    Our subjective preference - not necessarily the preference of the tyrant or his followers.
                    One point of the thought experiment is that the tyrant and his followers would reach the same conclusion if they didn't know who in society they would be born as.

                    Yes my subjective preference would not to be born in a totalitarian society? And?
                    Any other rational self-interest person would agree with that 'subjective' preference. Because being born in a totalitarian society means there is every chance one is born as one of the oppressed. So being opposed to being born into a totalitarian society is not a subjective preference but a rational one shared by everyone who is rational and self-interested.

                    There are thus objective truths about what sort of societies rational and self-interested people would want to be born in. Those objective truths about what social conduct would make for a society that rational self-interested people would want to be born into, then gives a ideal standard of conduct against which real societies can be measured.

                    But all these could equally be held by the moral relativists.
                    You asked multiple questions in your post. This is an answer to what motivations there are for being moral. Don't whine that it isn't an answer to a different question you asked about moral realism.

                    But I would like a direct answer: what authority do moral truths have over us in moral realism? How are we actually accountable to them?
                    It depends on how you're prepared to interpret the words 'authority' and 'accountable'.

                    The 'law of non-contradiction' says not to assert A and not-A at the same time. If you 'break' it, it doesn't come and hold you accountable, it doesn't have authority to send police to arrest you. If you break the law of non-contradiction, the consequences are simply that you will be being illogical and non-rational. This might eventually have bad consequences for you if you do it too often I guess, if you believe that a bus is about to hit you and simultaneously believe a bus is not about to hit you, your behavior might become unpredictable and you might not move out of the way of a bus that really is about to hit you.

                    In the same way, moral laws, like the laws of logic, don't have the power to send the police after you, they don't come and hold you accountable. The immediate consequences of breaking them are that you would be being immoral. The long-term consequences of breaking them too much and too often would be the opposites of the things in the long list I gave you earlier about moral motivations.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Stoic View Post
                      FWIW, the arguments I've had with other atheists about whether there is objective morality have all hinged on a semantic difference, i.e. what exactly one means by the word "objective".
                      Yes, that's been my experience. Very rarely have I encountered real substantial differences among atheists over what is moral and what is not, but two people holding the same general moral code can get into big arguments over semantics as to whether it is 'objective' or 'relative'. Those two terms can be very nebulous at times: We would say the laws of physics are 'objective' for example... yet we call the it The Theory of Relativity for a reason.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                        One point of the thought experiment is that the tyrant and his followers would reach the same conclusion if they didn't know who in society they would be born as.

                        Any other rational self-interest person would agree with that 'subjective' preference. Because being born in a totalitarian society means there is every chance one is born as one of the oppressed. So being opposed to being born into a totalitarian society is not a subjective preference but a rational one shared by everyone who is rational and self-interested.

                        There are thus objective truths about what sort of societies rational and self-interested people would want to be born in. Those objective truths about what social conduct would make for a society that rational self-interested people would want to be born into, then gives a ideal standard of conduct against which real societies can be measured.
                        To me there still seems to be a lot of subjectivity in this analogy. Maybe I'm misunderstanding something, but these hypothetical "spirits" all seem to have "being born into a society where there is the least chance that I will personally come to harm" as their utmost goal, as the thing that they place the most value in, and what is deemed "rational" is based upon that.

                        But if you're one of these spirits and the thing that is most important to you is something else, like, say, becoming a tyrannical dictator yourself, then the reasoning changes without necessarily becoming irrational or illogical.

                        Being born into a society that heavily values non-harm, fairness, democracy, etc. is no longer the rational choice, as becoming and remaining a tyrannical dictator in such a society would be nearly impossible, no matter how many advantages in life you end up having (wealth, physical and mental health, upbringing, etc.).

                        Sure, the likelihood of experiencing harm and being an oppressed individual is greater if one is born into a tyrannical society, but the chances of becoming a tyrannical ruler yourself in a society that allows and tolerates such rulers is also greater, and if you personally (subjectively) place a greater importance on "becoming a tyrannical ruler" over "not personally experiencing harm," then the "best" society from your perspective is the tyrannical one.
                        Last edited by CMD; 04-11-2021, 06:16 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CMD View Post
                          But if you're one of these spirits and the thing that is most important to you is something else, like, say, becoming a tyrannical dictator yourself, then the reasoning changes without necessarily becoming irrational or illogical.

                          Sure, the likelihood of experiencing harm and being an oppressed individual is greater if one is born into a tyrannical society, but the chances of becoming a tyrannical ruler yourself in a society that allows and tolerates such rulers is also greater, and if you personally (subjectively) place a greater importance on "becoming a tyrannical ruler" over "not personally experiencing harm," then the "best" society from your perspective is the tyrannical one.
                          I agree with you. I have no idea how the philosophers who advocate this Veil of Ignorance / Original Position view (e.g. Kagan, Rawls, Nagel etc) would respond to that point. I am not very well-read on this argument.

                          Perhaps their point in emphasizing that it's the rules that some large number of hypothetical rational people would agree to is to try and get around individual preferential differences like this.

                          But I tend to agree with you that it doesn't do it very well because you could then say "what if all the hypothetical people present had as their #1 goal in life being to be a dictator, then they'd all agree to create a dictatorial society because though they knew they'd be likely to be one of the oppressed, they'd be willing to spin the lottery wheel given even the slightest chance of fulfilling their overarching desire to be a dictator".

                          Perhaps their construction is that you take all the people who are actually living in the current society, and take them back to the situation of considering being born into the society? Their experience of oppression seems likely to have instilled in them a desire for it not to happen that is likely stronger than their desire to be a dictator. Of course, a general problem with that, and this construction in general, is that it's untestable.
                          Last edited by Starlight; 04-11-2021, 07:17 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                            If moral realism is true, then any moral relativist is likely to arrive at a view that is tolerably close to the truth. I am a moral realist, but I don't take offense at people who are moral relativists because more often than not, their moral views are extremely similar to mine. Sometimes the question of moral realism vs relativism seems more a matter of word-definitions and semantic hair-splitting than a real difference.
                            Then why moral realism? What does it add? Why is it useful?

                            It's a hypothetical, a thought experiment, and ideal society to which real ones can be compared. It provides a perfect absolute objective moral standard, against which real situations and real societies can be measured.

                            One point of the thought experiment is that the tyrant and his followers would reach the same conclusion if they didn't know who in society they would be born as.

                            Any other rational self-interest person would agree with that 'subjective' preference. Because being born in a totalitarian society means there is every chance one is born as one of the oppressed. So being opposed to being born into a totalitarian society is not a subjective preference but a rational one shared by everyone who is rational and self-interested.
                            In reality objective moral values and duties are grounded in self interest according to your thought experiment. Does that seem right to you, or worthy, - self interest being the ultimate basis for objective moral truths? I think it would be more noble to adopt Platonic Forms.

                            As far as what is rational, would you consider an atheistic moral nihilist who does not believe in objective moral values and duties to be irrational? If you consider him irrational I would like to know why, if you consider him rational I think your case is lost...


                            It depends on how you're prepared to interpret the words 'authority' and 'accountable'.

                            The 'law of non-contradiction' says not to assert A and not-A at the same time. If you 'break' it, it doesn't come and hold you accountable, it doesn't have authority to send police to arrest you. If you break the law of non-contradiction, the consequences are simply that you will be being illogical and non-rational. This might eventually have bad consequences for you if you do it too often I guess, if you believe that a bus is about to hit you and simultaneously believe a bus is not about to hit you, your behavior might become unpredictable and you might not move out of the way of a bus that really is about to hit you.

                            In the same way, moral laws, like the laws of logic, don't have the power to send the police after you, they don't come and hold you accountable. The immediate consequences of breaking them are that you would be being immoral. The long-term consequences of breaking them too much and too often would be the opposites of the things in the long list I gave you earlier about moral motivations.
                            So there is no accountability, no mechanisms of enforcement. If one violates these truths we get to call them immoral, really, that's it? Not helpful. And your list would apply whether moral realism was the case or not - so it is immaterial to the discussion.

                            Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by seer View Post
                              Then why moral realism? What does it add? Why is it useful?
                              Eh? Moral realism is either factually true or factually false. It's not a matter of whether it's convenient for it to be true.

                              In reality objective moral values and duties are grounded in self interest according to your thought experiment. Does that seem right to you, or worthy, - self interest being the ultimate basis for objective moral truths?
                              This is the exact objection I regularly level at your moral system, where you suggest our self-interested fear of getting punished / rewarded by God should be the motivation for doing what he wants.

                              However, this thought experiment, by virtue of us not knowing who in the society we would be born as, causes us to value everyone as ourselves. So it's using the Golden Rule as the basis rather than self-interest.

                              As far as what is rational, would you consider an atheistic moral nihilist who does not believe in objective moral values and duties to be irrational?
                              Of course.

                              So there is no accountability, no mechanisms of enforcement.
                              Of course there is. There will be natural and social consequences. Be nasty to other people, and they'll be nasty to you. Wreck your society, and you'll have to live in a wrecked society. Make your character that of a horrible person and you'll have to live with having the character of a horrible person.

                              Again seer I would point out that Evangelical Christianity is fundamentally about lack of moral accountability and enforcement for us, because Jesus takes the penalty that should have been ours meaning we don't have to. Evangelicals explicitly reject the idea of a thoroughgoing final judgement by works, because they firmly believe that if God were to render such a judgement we would all fail it and go to hell. So as much as you seem to like to pretend Christianity offers a carrot/stick with regard to moral behavior, it really doesn't do a good job of that. There are other religions that do a much better job of promising that our every (im)moral action will have equivalent punishment/reward in the afterlife than Christianity does. Once again, your own system fails the very criteria you use to claim it is superior.

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