DiaBlogue: Just, The Facts

Alan has kindly revised my Brickman to match his actual position. I think the central point he makes is well stated here:

I believe that it is fundamentally unjust to punish someone eternally for choices he makes based on uncertain, incomplete and seemingly contradictory or incoherent information, while being subject to imperfect rationality, having only a finite amount of time and while lacking any methodology, process or other means to overcome these limitations

I have one (hopefully) simple question for Alan. Do you believe:

a. the natural world is similarly unfair, in that it also impose irreversible consequences on people despite imperfect information; or
b. the natural world is fair, because the relevant information is in fact discoverable

In other words, is this primarily:

a. an ethical argument about the absence of justice; or
b. an epistemological argument about the absence of information?

I realize I also have numerous questions from Alan that I have not yet answered. I don’t have time for them now, but in the [Read More] section I at least capture them for future reference, and provide a hint as to my answer.

* every strain of fundamentalist, evangelical, or orthodox Christianity makes the same hard claim: each individual must accept Jesus Christ in order to get to heaven. Do you believe that is true, or don’t you?

* do you also believe that everyone who does not choose to accept Christ is going to hell for eternity? Or, is there no eternal existence of any kind for non-believers? Or, are there other ways to heaven?

* if you accept all of the minor premises I listed, but yet not my conclusion, then you must either dispute my major premise (that God cannot justly condemn someone to hell for eternity given his stated limitations) or else the structure of my argument.

The short answer, for the record, is that I believe your definitions and argument rely on classical Aristotelian logic, which is demonstrably unreliable in cases involving zero, infinity, and partial truths. In other words, I believe all your premises are about 80% true, yet lead to a seemingly-plausible conclusion which is about 80% false.

I’ll try to post a more detailed response next week, as I should have more time (though I realize you are likely to be offline).