1. If I look upon a woman with lust in my heart and fantasize about having a baby with her, and then she doesn’t have that baby, is she guilty of abortion?

  2. If I look upon a woman with lust in my heart and fantasize about having a baby with her and she has Craig’s baby is she guilty of adultry?

  3. Oh man, epiphany! I can just rape and kill without consequence if I shoot myself in the head afterward?! Looks like I’m leaving work early today.

  4. god DAMN! That was impressive. To save face the caller should have hung up immediately when the host nailed his bible verse in the first minute. That’s when you realize, ‘shit, this guy knows his arguments AND mine better than I do.’

  5. I take issue with Dillahunty’s notion that mercy is necessarily antithetical to justice. That’s certainly not true when you look at the way legal systems in the US are adapting to new understanding of, say, mental health and addition problems that contribute to crime. Justice isn’t “suspended” when a court shows mercy in sentencing, except from people with the worst type of prosecutorial bloodlust.

    Of course, the real point he’s making — that absolute foregiveness is contrary to “perfect” justice — still stands.

  6. Angry Sam: I didn’t take his argument to mean that he thinks that there is no place for mercy in justice. Just that any action will have a reaction, and in a societal sense, that is the mechanism that ensures (or strives to ensure) justice.
    The problem with religious salvation is that it’s not a question of mercy: No mercy or lenience from the rest of society is necessary for a rapist to receive salvation – all he has to do is “accept Jesus”, whatever that means.
    Mercy is a different beast. Mercy comes from recognizing that guilt is a complicated concept, and that it is not always obvious or clear that people are responsible for their actions. In general, society does not act with much mercy against those that act in a manner that is seemingly not a result of their environment or history, but does something terrible “senselessly” or without rhyme or reason. On the other hand, if for example a driver kills a pedestrian not because he was driving drunk but because the pedestrian threw himself in front of the car, leaving no opportunity for the driver to avoid hitting him, it seems obvious to all of us that mercy and lenience is appropriate. Of course as in everything in reality, mercy and guilt are not black and white concepts and so there are degrees of guilt and culpability.

    Again, the christian faith and religious salvation in particular do not play by these rules: they replace the innate and humanistic sense of justice or mercy that most if not all societies develop simply by necessity, for humans to be able to work and live together. Instead of attempting to determine to which degree a certain person was culpable and to which degree that person is likely to commit an offense again, it just says that OK, you did something terrible, but now you say you believe in God, so fine. You are forgiven for all your crimes, and will live on in heaven with God forever. To me, that is immoral and not something that will lead to a more peaceful and just society.

    Well, those are my views on morality. Of course I don’t know if they really represent Dillahunty. I do think he was trying to express the same ideas.

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