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Author Topic:   Sin
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1042 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 16 of 185 (514976)
07-14-2009 2:32 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Hill Billy
07-13-2009 7:40 PM


Re: What is sin?
Hi, Hill Billy.

This brings back memories: I was but a forum infant when you were last here (remember the "Evolutionary Superiority" thread: what a blast! Let's not do it again ).

It's good to see (read?) you back.

Hill Billy writes:

I think lots of "Christians" view sin the same way.
I don't.
I see sin as a verb. To sin is to actively, knowingly, make a choice you should not.
That simple, and that abstract.
Perhaps thats why the law shall be written on their hearts.

I guess I have been a bit unfair: I know that Protestants, at least, have a less rigid view of laws, and thus, of sin, than I've presented. But, it still seems that individual Christians still want everything to be about performances and stringent laws.

For instance, it always bothers me that people are still so attached to the Ten Commandments (which should have been done away with by Jesus' sacrifice, if the pauline doctrine of Atonement is correct): as if you get to heaven by not using God's name in vain and not stealing things.

I take it you see sin more as I do: as an impediment to progress, rather than systematic infractions to rigid guidelines?


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Hill Billy, posted 07-13-2009 7:40 PM Hill Billy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by Hill Billy, posted 07-15-2009 9:52 PM Blue Jay has responded

  
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1802 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 17 of 185 (514977)
07-14-2009 2:32 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Thugpreacha
07-13-2009 7:21 PM


Re: Rebels without a clause
quote:
If we try and give God credit for having every ones collective best interests at heart rather than being an autocratic despot, we can envision the desire for a communion amongst all living things in synthesis with their Creator.
Envisioning is not the problem. Reality is. We can envision anything we want, but that doesn't help us deal with day to day living and survival.

quote:
As to why God foreknew that we would somehow choose to think otherwise is indeed a mystery. Its almost as if humanity is still at the rebellious teenager stage where we surely know more than our parent and want to have the right to choose to do things our way as a sign of our maturity.
I would say that religion is like a rebellious teenager. They have problems cutting the apron string.


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz

This message is a reply to:
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Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 18 of 185 (514979)
07-14-2009 2:51 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by Blue Jay
07-14-2009 2:24 PM


Re: What is sin?
And, I just got done telling you that there is very little "punishment" in the Mormon system. Everyone attains "glory" at the end of this life. Greater purity* results in greater glory, just like better work results in higher pay and promotions.

Slide that scale, slide it! God does not punish you, he just... withholds blessings. He does not send you to hell, you just are not privileged to be in his presence.

The Mormon thing would be just the same if bad actions caused you to miss out on blessings rather than causing impurity that causes you to miss out on blessings. The whole "punishment or withheld blessings" thing is a completely different issue.

Bluejay writes:

In the end, we’ll be Judged according to our progress and dedication to the goal, not according to the final tally of good and bad deeds we did in our lifetime.


Ohh, so God does not determine what causes impurity, he just chooses to judge people based on it. Oh wait, its EXACTLY THE SAME THING!

Look, suppose I were an arbitrary deity and I have three different ways of doing my godly thing:

1) I make a rule that the taller you are, the more I hate you! Nobody can get completely rid of height, so everyone is screwed more or less. There are things you can do to stop being tall but they run contrary to people's biology. Anyways, I say being tall is bad and punish people based on their tallness.

2) In this second method I still hold the same position as the first, I just slide the scale over so that I reward people less as they get taller. Assumptions about how it is to go completely reward-less vary, but generally people assume it is about the same as in method 1. It gets me out of looking like a bad guy though, right?

3) The third method I will call the "Mormon Method". Here I go with the same sliding scale as in method 2, but I don't say people being tall is a bad thing. Instead I say having a bunch of "tall-tokens" is a bad thing, and decide that being taller gives you more tall-tokens. But hey, this way I am not judging people on their height, I don't make the rules there.

It is ridiculous to try to avoid responsibility that way! It is like saying that the police don't charge you for speeding.. they charge you for having a ticket, which you get for speeding.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by Blue Jay, posted 07-14-2009 2:24 PM Blue Jay has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by Blue Jay, posted 07-14-2009 5:58 PM Phage0070 has responded

  
Perdition
Member (Idle past 1582 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 19 of 185 (514981)
07-14-2009 3:07 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by Blue Jay
07-14-2009 2:24 PM


Re: What is sin?
b) things that are wrong because they prevent you from achieving your goals.

Who decides our goals? If my goal is to live the best life I can using the evidence at hand as a measure of what that means, without any belief in a god whatsoever. Does god judge me based on those goals or on what he considers our goals should be?

What if someone's goal is to kill a string of people and go out in a hail of police gunfire? Does the fact that he sadly meets and exceeds his goals mean he gets a prime position in God's graces?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by Blue Jay, posted 07-14-2009 2:24 PM Blue Jay has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by Blue Jay, posted 07-14-2009 6:16 PM Perdition has not yet responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1042 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 20 of 185 (515007)
07-14-2009 5:58 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by Phage0070
07-14-2009 2:51 PM


Re: What is sin?
Damn it, Phage!

I’m not talking about judgment or about consequences: I’m only talking about the basic concept of arbitrarily-defined versus inherently-existent sin.

This is getting needlessly complex because you are apparently completely incapable of working with a simple, abstract concept. You cannot view the concept without including your preconceptions about mainstream Christianity, despite your total lack of knowledge about Mormonism. Please try to absorb at least a little of what I’m writing.

Here is a simplified version of Mormon theology and discipline, on the off-chance that you might actually attempt to understand that it’s not the same as your preconceptions about mainstream Christianity (I’m not holding my breath, though):

God did not create sin.
God created the universe within a framework that already included sin as one of its foundational concepts.
God sets rules and laws as guidelines to help us find the path to Godhood.
Whether or not we even want Godhood, we still attain glory (i.e. heaven) in the next life. Everyone does.
We view Godhood as the highest attainable glory.
Judgment is metaphorical: the glory that we receive is not actually up to God, but is wholly contingent on our progress and dedication to the goal.
Because we will all inevitably fall short of the ultimate goal, the Atonement grants Jesus the authority to make up for the shortcomings of those who have dedicated all they can to the goal of Godhood.

If you still want to hold to your preconceptions all of this is arbitrary, and that God is thus evil for enforcing arbitrary rules, then go right ahead. But the bottom line is that, in the Mormon version, God is as bound by the laws as we are.

So, from the Mormon perspective, arguing that sin is tyrannical is exactly equivalent to arguing that gravity is tyrannical. This is not the same as having an actual entity who is consciously choosing, for some arbitrary reason, to define sin in a certain way.

Please tell me you see the difference.


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Phage0070, posted 07-14-2009 2:51 PM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by Phage0070, posted 07-14-2009 6:49 PM Blue Jay has responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1042 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 21 of 185 (515009)
07-14-2009 6:16 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by Perdition
07-14-2009 3:07 PM


Re: What is sin?
Hi, Perdition.

Perdition writes:

Bluejay writes:

b) things that are wrong because they prevent you from achieving your goals.

Who decides our goals? If my goal is to live the best life I can using the evidence at hand as a measure of what that means, without any belief in a god whatsoever. Does god judge me based on those goals or on what he considers our goals should be?

What if someone's goal is to kill a string of people and go out in a hail of police gunfire? Does the fact that he sadly meets and exceeds his goals mean he gets a prime position in God's graces?

Yeah, that was bad wording on my part.

The only goal that our religion is involved in is the goal of achieving Godhood. Sin is then restricted to those things that prevent us from achieving the goal of Godhood.

Our religion doesn't teach us much about what other goals are available in the next life, but I personally don't see any reason why you can't make and keep some other goal. We regard Godhood as the highest glory, but the importance or desirability of it is ultimately a subjective matter. You still get to go to heaven if Godhood is not your goal.

Edited by Bluejay, : Addition.

Edited by Bluejay, : No reason given.


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by Perdition, posted 07-14-2009 3:07 PM Perdition has not yet responded

  
Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 22 of 185 (515011)
07-14-2009 6:49 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Blue Jay
07-14-2009 5:58 PM


Re: What is sin?
Bluejay writes:

Judgment is metaphorical: the glory that we receive is not actually up to God, but is wholly contingent on our progress and dedication to the goal.


So suffering in Hell for 1000 years because one refuses to accept Jesus as their Savior is purely metaphorical? (Doctrine and Covenants 76:84, 105-106) It is an interesting viewpoint, I will give you that...

This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by Blue Jay, posted 07-14-2009 5:58 PM Blue Jay has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by Blue Jay, posted 07-15-2009 7:17 AM Phage0070 has not yet responded
 Message 36 by Michamus, posted 07-15-2009 10:56 PM Phage0070 has responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1042 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 23 of 185 (515043)
07-15-2009 7:17 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by Phage0070
07-14-2009 6:49 PM


Re: What is sin?
Hi, Phage.

Phage writes:

So suffering in Hell for 1000 years because one refuses to accept Jesus as their Savior is purely metaphorical? (Doctrine and Covenants 76:84, 105-106)

Yeah, that's where it gets really complicated. I think it's also where my personal views diverge from the views of mainstream Mormons, so I won't go there for now.


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Phage0070, posted 07-14-2009 6:49 PM Phage0070 has not yet responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1042 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 24 of 185 (515044)
07-15-2009 7:26 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Coyote
07-13-2009 9:08 AM


Re: What is sin?
Hi, Coyote.

Note to all: sorry it's taking me so long to respond to everyone. I'm a slow poster, so please be patient.

Coyote writes:

And perhaps a contrary opinion...

Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense.

Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love, 1973

Heinlein... who would have expected that from you?

I tend to agree on this point. The list of things traditionally viewed as sins seems to be arbitrary, which is probably why atheists tend to see religion as inconsistent and tyrannical.


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Coyote, posted 07-13-2009 9:08 AM Coyote has not yet responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1042 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 25 of 185 (515046)
07-15-2009 7:37 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Woodsy
07-13-2009 10:45 AM


Re: What is sin?
Hi, Woodsy.

Woodsy writes:

In summary, "sin" is a con used by clerics to gain power.

Unfortunately, I agree with you. Even if you assume that it isn't the clerics, but God, who decided what sin is, you're still left with why God made sin what He did. Obviously, the logic doesn't change just because God's involved (despite what just about all Christians---including Mormons---will say), so it's only reasonable to conclude that God inventing sin is just like a cleric inventing sin.

To me, the only way to rationalize the concept of sin is to prove that it is actually a part of the function of the universe. But this raises a number of questions:

  1. What effects is sin supposed to have? And how can you show that these effects are happening?
  2. Doesn't this make God superfluous? If so, what does it say about God?

I'd like to put a little more thought into it before I try to post my own responses, but I thought I'd open it up for anyone else to comment on.


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Woodsy, posted 07-13-2009 10:45 AM Woodsy has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by Straggler, posted 07-15-2009 9:24 AM Blue Jay has responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1042 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 26 of 185 (515049)
07-15-2009 7:45 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Bailey
07-13-2009 10:59 AM


Re: Crouching Tiger ... Hidden Dragon
Hi, Bailey.

Bailey writes:

In this way, the passages have, most often, been glossed over as though that is all there is to learn: offering the Father vegetables is a sin. It is at this point that one may consider in what way an offering towards the Father of vegetables, as opposed to livestock offerings, may be sinful ... if at all.

I don't think you quite said what about Cain's sacrifice you think was the sin. If you did, I missed it.

I think most Mormons think there was something wrong with Cain's attitude towards the sacrifice, but I still don't get it.


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Bailey, posted 07-13-2009 10:59 AM Bailey has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by Thugpreacha, posted 07-15-2009 8:32 AM Blue Jay has responded
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Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 13392
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 27 of 185 (515056)
07-15-2009 8:32 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by Blue Jay
07-15-2009 7:45 AM


On Topic Joke
I just thought of a good joke that oddly fits this topic!

Q: Why will there be more Women in Heaven than Men?

A: Because Women are more likely to stop and ask for directions!

Seriously, though...this whole idea that we don't need a God because we would rather do it ourselves is part of what makes sin sin.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by Blue Jay, posted 07-15-2009 7:45 AM Blue Jay has responded

Replies to this message:
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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 28 of 185 (515062)
07-15-2009 9:24 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by Blue Jay
07-15-2009 7:37 AM


Re: What is sin?
Hi Bleujay

I know next to nothing about Mormonism but I am intrigued by the idea of an absolute morality that is an inherent part of the natural universe.

Bluejay writes:

To me, the only way to rationalize the concept of sin is to prove that it is actually a part of the function of the universe

Would this not require that whoever or whatever created the universe also created morality and the concept of sin as part of that universe? In which case are we not back to the arbitrary nature of sin as designed by some sort of universe creating god entity? I have no idea what mormonsim teaches about the origin of the universe (and thus sin) but if there is a creator involved I think we are necessarily back to arbitrary god-given laws again.

Bluejay writes:

What effects is sin supposed to have? And how can you show that these effects are happening?

Well are the effects empirically detectable in themselves? Or is it only the "soul" or mind of the sinner that is affected by sin. If it is the latter then it will be impossible to truly objectively verify the effects of sin. Instead the best that can be achieved is speculation with regard to what is going inside the mind of the sinner as indicated by their behaviour. This would seem a rather unreliable measure of anything at all.

Doesn't this make God superfluous? If so, what does it say about God?

If god is not the arbiter of sin then a key role normally associated with god has indeed been removed. However surely arguments for compassion, spiritual meaning, guidance and other such roles can still remain for god? As you know I am not a believer but I am not convinced that those who do believe in god would, or even should, feel the need to consider god wholly superfluous purely on the basis of it being shown that sin was a function of the natural universe.

If we assume for the sake of argument that sin is a product of the natural universe how do we determine what is sinful and what is not?

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Blue Jay, posted 07-15-2009 7:37 AM Blue Jay has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by Perdition, posted 07-15-2009 11:31 AM Straggler has responded
 Message 33 by Blue Jay, posted 07-15-2009 3:54 PM Straggler has responded

  
Woodsy
Member (Idle past 1718 days)
Posts: 301
From: Burlington, Canada
Joined: 08-30-2006


Message 29 of 185 (515067)
07-15-2009 9:46 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by Thugpreacha
07-15-2009 8:32 AM


Re: On Topic Joke
Seriously, though...this whole idea that we don't need a God because we would rather do it ourselves is part of what makes sin sin.

I do not understand this statement. Please elaborate.

I would like your opinion on how the notion of sin differs from the notion of crime.

Personally, I like the Heinlein passage quoted upthread. Many of the sins listed in religions seem to me to be designed to produce fear and guilt, and therefore obedience. The rest seem obvious for people living in societies.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Thugpreacha, posted 07-15-2009 8:32 AM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

  
Perdition
Member (Idle past 1582 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 30 of 185 (515085)
07-15-2009 11:31 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by Straggler
07-15-2009 9:24 AM


Re: What is sin?
Would this not require that whoever or whatever created the universe also created morality and the concept of sin as part of that universe? In which case are we not back to the arbitrary nature of sin as designed by some sort of universe creating god entity? I have no idea what mormonsim teaches about the origin of the universe (and thus sin) but if there is a creator involved I think we are necessarily back to arbitrary god-given laws again.

A potential loop-hole is if you assume God is not omnipotent. If he had to make compromises in order to make a stable, life-supporting universe, perhaps the existence of sin is a necessary trade-off. I know this is an unsatisfactory answer for people on both sides of the debate, but it is still a possibility.

Another option, and forgive me if I'm stepping all over Mormon beliefs here, is that if sin is an obstacle to "Godhood", perhaps it is there merely as a test. In school, getting wrong answers lowers your grade, not out of animosity or arbitrariness, but because you didn't have the right answer. The directions may be arbitrary, but perhaps there aren't any that aren't arbitrary, so God has to pick something. He's giving us something to strive for, and not making it too easy.

Of course, if god doesn't exist, then sin doesn't either. So I'm still off the hook.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by Straggler, posted 07-15-2009 9:24 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by Straggler, posted 07-15-2009 11:42 AM Perdition has not yet responded

  
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