• TheMadFool
    4.3k
    Well someone could be a good Samaritan today and a murderer tomorrow...right?ZhouBoTong

    Although I didn't consider such a scenario specifically, I also think it doesn't need to be mentioned explicitly that there is a moral calculus involved that can decide the net moral standing of a person. The way moral issues are handled on earth is that opposite moral actions cancel out and there's a net moral standing, good/bad, that each person has. Decisions can be based on that can't it?

    The rule of thumb seems to be that people have zero tolerance for a moral stain on a person who is considered good. Even the slightest moral fault is sufficient to reduce even a saint to the same status as a depraved criminal fit for the slammer.

    On the other hand, good if found in bad people is considered a redeeming quality worthy of note but yet not to an extent that his crimes are forgiven.

    There seems to be a slight imbalance in the equation in that bad carries more force than good and one tiny black spot is capable of negating even the whitest of the white while the converse isn't true


    So you see there does exist a calculus with which we can reckon the net moral character of a person and why suppose such is not true of divine judgment?
  • ZhouBoTong
    588
    there is a moral calculus involved that can decide the net moral standing of a person. The way moral issues are handled on earth is that opposite moral actions cancel out and there's a net moral standing, good/bad, that each person has. Decisions can be based on that can't it?TheMadFool

    Yes, but we are back to Sider's position that the people in heaven are just barely different from those in hell. If they just did one more good thing they would be in.

    The rule of thumb seems to be that people have zero tolerance for a moral stain on a person who is considered good. Even the slightest moral fault is sufficient to reduce even a saint to the same status as a depraved criminal fit for the slammer.TheMadFool

    That is very human to feel that way, but according to the bible, ALL are sinners and it is only salvation through christ that allows ANYONE to enter heaven.

    On the other hand, good if found in bad people is considered a redeeming quality worthy of note but yet not to an extent that his crimes are forgiven.TheMadFool

    Except by god, right? God forgives all if we are only willing to submit to its will, is what I was taught. But I was only really exposed to Catholic and 7th Day Adventist...a lesser extent to Lutheranism and Mormonism. For the rest of christianity and islam, I only have a basic academic understanding. Much of what you are saying seems quite applicable to the human world, but I am not sure what it says about entering heaven or hell.

    There seems to be a slight imbalance in the equation in that bad carries more force than good and one tiny black spot is capable of negating even the whitest of the white while the converse isn't trueTheMadFool

    I agree completely when it comes to human judgement. However, Christianity says nearly the opposite, one need only repent (sincerely) and all is forgiven.

    So you see there does exist a calculus with which we can reckon the net moral character of a person and why suppose such is not true of divine judgment?TheMadFool

    Because the bible says so. God's judgement is "perfect" and "beyond our understanding". Do you disagree with examples I have given in this post or the previous one? I feel I gave many examples (like Charles Manson will go to heaven assuming he is sincere in his repentance).

    I agree with your assessment of human judgement...but the bible makes it clear that human judgement and god's judgement are incomparable.
  • TheMadFool
    4.3k
    Yes, but we are back to Sider's position that the people in heaven are just barely different from those in hell. If they just did one more good thing they would be in.ZhouBoTong

    Well, I think the fact of the matter is that our intuition on morality is black, white and grey in between. We have no problem in declaring genocide to be bad or that saving a million live is good. These are clearly extreme enough to not cause confusion. The problem is the region of grey between extremes, a region most of us occupy and is therefore all the more important.

    This particular take on morality presents a problem where heaven-hell is concerned because the latter is binary in nature and so can't handle the moral grey zone. If cleverly constructed a color model of morality, black at one end and white at another end, blending into each other with grey in between, will be seamless enough to prevent us from drawing a clear cut-off line in the middle grey area. Sider uses this model and I think it's incomplete, ergo erroneous, and causes the confusion here.

    Morality viewed the above way is is only half the story. We also quantify morality, albeit vaguely. We have the word "redeem" that suggests a kind of numerical correction to a moral flaw. As if good and bad are positive and negative quantities that cancel each other as in integer arithmetic. Sorry I couldn't find a word to the opposite effect of a moral flaw negating goodness. Perhaps you can educate me on that. Anyway I'd like to choose an integer number line because it reflects quantitative morality well enough.

    We now have people populating the integer number line as per their moral standing. Bad would be negative and good would be positive with zero being amoral or morally indifferent. In this number line model of morality Sider can make the case that -1 is very close in moral standing to +1 and yet one ends up in hell and the other in paradise. The problem is that Sider is thinking in terms of difference between two moral standings; -1 and +1 are just two moral points apart which is negligible. But what about the sign (-/+) on the numbers being considered? Good and bad are opposites and so the sign (-/+) is as essential as the numerical value of a moral standing and can't be ignored. So, yes -1 and +1 are close enough to each other for the difference between them (here 2) to be negligible but a negative is clearly different to a positive and the destination hell/heaven is as much dependent on the sign as the size of the moral standing.
  • ZhouBoTong
    588
    Well, I think the fact of the matter is that our intuition on morality is black, white and grey in between. We have no problem in declaring genocide to be bad or that saving a million live is good. These are clearly extreme enough to not cause confusion. The problem is the region of grey between extremes, a region most of us occupy and is therefore all the more important.TheMadFool

    We definitely agree here.

    This particular take on morality presents a problem where heaven-hell is concerned because the latter is binary in nature and so can't handle the moral grey zone.TheMadFool

    More agreement. And you may have noticed my struggle to hash "objective" religious dogma with real life (our discussion).

    Sider uses this model and I think it's incomplete, ergo erroneous, and causes the confusion here.TheMadFool

    I can agree with incomplete, possibly erroneous, but I would think that is due to the nonsensical nature of biblical heaven/hell. He is trying to apply reason to an unreasonable concept.

    Sorry I couldn't find a word to the opposite effect of a moral flaw negating goodness. Perhaps you can educate me on that.TheMadFool

    No problem, and there is no need to educate anyone as you did a fine job of making your point absent that exact word (which may or may not exist as I can't come up with it either, haha).

    We now have people populating the integer number line as per their moral standing. Bad would be negative and good would be positive with zero being amoral or morally indifferent. In this number line model of morality Sider can make the case that -1 is very close in moral standing to +1 and yet one ends up in hell and the other in paradise. The problem is that Sider is thinking in terms of difference between two moral standings; -1 and +1 are just two moral points apart which is negligible. But what about the sign (-/+) on the numbers being considered? Good and bad are opposites and so the sign (-/+) is as essential as the numerical value of a moral standing and can't be ignored. So, yes -1 and +1 are close enough to each other for the difference between them (here 2) to be negligible but a negative is clearly different to a positive and the destination hell/heaven is as much dependent on the sign as the size of the moral standing.TheMadFool

    I don't think we are making any progress talking in the abstract. I think actual examples would help to make points better...here is the biggest and most obvious one for Christianity...ONLY CHRISTIANS GO TO HEAVEN. So I could live an identical life to someone else, but since I chose Zoroastrianism I go to hell? Seems like the type of thing Sider would count as a minor difference?
  • TheMadFool
    4.3k
    I think I'll give this topic a rest for now. Thanks for the interesting conversation. G'day. :smile:
  • LNH
    4
    It appears as if what you are arguing for is escapism, that hell will exist but as a place that allows it’s inhabitants the opportunity for salvation. Within escapism, it would give way to these “shades of grey”, as those who went to hell who where faithful in God would receive immediate salvation while those who where on the journey to faithfulness could take a longer amount of time yet still in the end receive salvation. Therefore, hell is not binary yet hell still exists in some form or another while eliminating the need to create a new un-biblically confirmed location being purgatory. However, even if you where to side with the view of escapism, the issue would still exist in your frame that, “all beings experience a purgatory of sorts where they will eventually enter into heaven”, effectively leaving out all option for free-will. If all people will enter heaven then they do not have the choice to choose not heaven. If people do not possess the free will to deny God in the afterlife then what is the purpose of it’s allowance in life? Free-will is supposed to be the ultimate good, this opportunity to choose good is considerably far better than having no choice but good. Therefore, by eliminating the opportunity to choose good, it not only goes against biblical doctrine but also means that the problem of evil must yet again be addressed. I am curious to know if you have a response to this, otherwise I think that a viable option is the way of the escapist where those who still wish to deny God possess the opportunity to do so and stay in hell. In this way, everyone would be capable of achieving heaven but not everyone must achieve heaven. This is also considerably more in-line with your argument than the universality claim, which does not support hell existing in any form.
  • ZhouBoTong
    588
    I think I'll give this topic a rest for now. Thanks for the interesting conversation. G'day. :smile:TheMadFool

    Same to you.
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