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    #1

    "There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name"

    What does the second compound sentence in the title's quotation mean, and as a consequence what does the whole sentence mean (in other words)?

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    #2

    Re: "There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name"

    Read "but" here as "just."


    Without more context, I would say that the author is trying to say that both good and evil do not exist. That they are mere semantic constructions that we invent. There is no good. There is no sin (evil).

    Saying something is just a name (or just a word) is to dismiss the idea/concept.

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    #3

    Re: "There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name"

    Exactly! It makes perfect sens! Actually context doesn't contribute much here in my opinion but this "but" read as "just" makes this sentence pretty intelligible to me now. Thank you!

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    #4

    Re: "There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name"

    This usagge (but meaning just) is archaic and/or dialectal. It's common in poetry, in expressions like 'life is but a dream'.

    b

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    #5

    Re: "There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name"

    Ok.

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    #6

    Re: "There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name"

    Quote Originally Posted by szaroczek View Post
    Ok.
    My idea is thousands of the responses with OK from the learner don't worth a click of him/hers on the Like link under the helpful posts.

    Of course, that's my own point of view, please pardon me if it minds you.

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    #7

    Re: "There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name"

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    This usagge (but meaning just) is archaic and/or dialectal. It's common in poetry, in expressions like 'life is but a dream'.

    b

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    #8

    Re: "There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name"

    Actually I don't really know what that "Like link under the helpful posts" is and how it works - I have simply never "clicked" it before, but in relation to "Ok"-responses of mine, I find this question-answer forum routine being a sort of natural conversation between living people (thought we dong't know each other personally), and if so we simply do such things just to let somebody know we got the message he/she uploaded and especially expressing gratitude for putting their interest to somebody's else problem, sacrificing their private time and effort to solve it, don't we...? I hope I didn't misunderstand your point...?

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    #9

    Re: "There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name"

    PS

    Dialect usage (Yorkshire, and probably elsewhere): 'When ah were nowt but a lad...' = 'When I was just a boy'; nowt but is often reduced to plain 'but': 'Leave en alone - 'e's but a lad' = 'Leave him alone, he's just a boy'

    b
    (with apologies to any Yorkshiremen*; I'm not fluent )

    *PC speech hasn't got to Yorkshire yet, but I mean lasses and lads.

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