Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Justice

It's often said that if atheism were true, there would be no ultimate justice for our actions. The wicked would go unpunished and the good would go unrewarded. While there's no universal requirement for justice to exist, isn't the lack of justice in an afterlife an imperative to working towards justice in this life? Surely if we know that this life is it, and we abhor injustice and wicked deeds, then that's motivation to do something about it.

If it could be said in atheism there is no ultimate justice, then it theism there is no motivation to do something about it.

3 comments:

Richard T said...

lol. Amusing argument. Going from Christian (and Muslim) theism, there are specific instructions to be just. That is the motivation (not the only one) is because god says you should be just (really simplistic view of it). Under a Christian world view, it isn't whether you are good or wicked that you are saved, it is whether you have faith in God. That is, everyone falls short of God's yardstick and the "reward" is determined along other means.

I am perhaps more interested in why a lack of justice is important when no god exists. What is the motivation for seeking justice? If someone dies a long and luxurious life after committing atrocities what does it matter? (From a survival of the fittest bent, isn't it good that the weak have been weeded out?)

Kel said...

"Under a Christian world view, it isn't whether you are good or wicked that you are saved, it is whether you have faith in God."
I can't really address what constitutes part of Christianity or not (as I've argued before, I'm not sure how one can even go about that task), all I can do is respond to arguments as I hear them. When I saw John Lennox debate Michael Shermer, Lennox's stressed that God is needed for ultimate justice. In a debate between William Lane Craig and Shelly Kagan, Craig pointed this out as a flaw of atheism - to which Craig was forced to admit later that it doesn't fit into his beliefs either. So I think it's a point worth addressing because of its prevalence as an argument.

"I am perhaps more interested in why a lack of justice is important when no god exists."
The question of justice is one irrespective of God, it's part of life as a social species. If God exists or no God exists won't change that, my argument was that if no God exists then it's up to us rather than some cosmic force if we want to do something about it.


"(From a survival of the fittest bent, isn't it good that the weak have been weeded out?)"
Surely you're aware of the science to know better than that canard. Evolution isn't about survival of the fittest, it's about gene frequencies in populations.

Gandolf said...

The question of justice is one irrespective of God, it's part of life as a social species. If God exists or no God exists won't change that, my argument was that if no God exists then it's up to us rather than some cosmic force if we want to do something about it.

So very true,God hasnt brought about justice in this world.Even reading holy books reminds us the human mind evolved to help bring better justice.

Thinking there might be an afterlife can possibly stunt justice.As unwarrented respect of beliefs of the faithful,can also lead to our continued respect for certain continuing injustices.This is how come some people, still do remain captives of abuse within abusive cults.

Evolution isn't about survival of the fittest

I agree Kel, its something far more complex.Empathy is a trait that evolved that is not just about survival of the fittest,and yet it can also help aid a species survival.Without having evolved the empathy trait which helps create a social society,Elephants wouldnt have stood a chance against Lions.