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Old 06-21-2012, 02:22 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by maycocksean View Post
I like BVS simplified definition "anything that seperates you from God" but I agree with him that it is such a simplification of the term that may have little practical meaning for most people.

I do believe that sin is less about outward behavior (though that's a big part of it, of course) and more about the state one's "heart." A person's motives and "true self"--the person you are when no one is watching.
I think that first definition related to BVS's quote could still hold meaning for non-religious people. Whatever/whomever you hold in high regard ("sacred", if you will), if you feel you are going against it in some form or another, intentionally or otherwise, you would feel that you are breaking some important bond somewhere and causing shame for yourself and those people or things you hold dear. For instance, I have always valued the teachings of my parents. If I do something that would go against what they raised me to be like, I would definitely feel that way.

But I do agree that I think the concept of sin does involve some deeper issues. Like I said with the examples I gave of serious crimes, I wouldn't use the word "sinful" to describe those crimes, I think it doesn't begin to explain the issues involved, and the motivations. And I don't know if people often call the crimes themselves sinful, they seem to mention the people who commit them are, but still, it does seem to just be a tidy way to explain away something that isn't always so easily explainable.

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A more practical definition would be "What ever hurts someone else, hurts me, or damages my connection to God" constitutes sin. But again this still has more to do with my intentions and motives than it does to specific "sinful behaviors" at least in my opinion.

At any rate, the Christian view is that sin (and its ultimate consequence, death) is the natural state of human beings. We believe that we are incapable of extricating ourselves from a sinful state of being, and are in need of someone to get us out. That's where Jesus comes in. As you can see, without the idea of sin, Christianity doesn't really amount to much as a theology. What Jesus provides is freedom from sin and its ultimate consequence, death.

At the end of the day nobody (while they are happy and healthy anyway) wants to die, and Christianity like most all religions addresses the why of death (sin) and provides the get out death free card (Jesus).
I totally understand the concept of looking to a savior to help rescue one's self from such things. The idea makes perfect sense. And I don't see anything wrong with people looking to someone to help them with problems they feel they're unable to handle on their own-there's a humbleness about that that I like.

But that seems like an odd contradiction in the theology-we're incapable of getting out, it's something natural (i.e., something we can't control). But yet we can be saved by a religious figure. Well, if we can be saved and freed, then we are capable of getting out and it's not nearly as ingrained in us as it seems, right?

Course, then one would argue that their power is so great that it overrides all the "red tape" so to speak, I suppose.

For the record, I do think we are all born with the capacity for good and evil, and I think some people are much more inclined one way or the other (most I think are pretty squarely in the middle). When I hear about some particularly evil people and their actions, I tend to think that there was something in their makeup that got altered along the way, that some people were just born with some sort of darkness in them. Which is unfortunate, and scary. However, I also think most people who do things do them because of the environment they were raised in and the influences in their lives. We're in the middle until something somewhere yanks us in one direction or the other.

It would be fun and interesting to dissect the seven deadly sins more, by the way. I remember the history channel, I think it was, did a series on each of them once, but I would like to discuss that sort of thing a bit more deeply if anyone else is up for it.

As for the afterlife thing, I guess my question would be, is it going to mean as much to go to whatever place you want to go if someone comes in and wipes your slate clean for you, or would it mean more if you were able to take control and do it yourself?
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:43 PM   #47
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The 'Seven Deadly Sins' aka Seven Capital Vices are just that, a list of vices which habitually incline someone to sin, not sins in and of themselves. Each has a corresponding opposite 'Capital Virtue,' for example, the opposite of covetousness is generosity (covetousness is synonymous with greed and tends to result in sins like theft, deceit, manipulation etc.). In Catholic theology, vices and virtues are not the same thing as inborn character dispositions; they result from accumulated behavior.

At least, if I remember 10th grade catechism class correctly.
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:14 PM   #48
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Sounds like we're getting a little hung up on technicalities
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:23 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by maycocksean View Post
I'm not making an argument for what sins are universally agreed upon anymore than I'm making an argument into what aspects of God are universally agreed on. There is some general agreement within particular faith traditions on what sin is which keeps the discussion from being completely moot. Moonlit Angel asked me to share my perspective on sin and that's what I'm doing.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "if we are calling all sins religious, you will come up with almost nothing."
By that I mean, if we try to find sins that are agreed upon across most faiths (excluding your Westboro Baptists and other tiny, insignificant religions, let's say), you'll basically be left with nothing. At various times in religious texts and in various popular interpretations, there is almost nothing actually considered a sin that is universally agreed upon. Not even murder in many cases.
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:31 PM   #50
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Actually, I think "bear false witness" is misused all the time. It is often oversimplified to "do not lie". As for the "thou shalt not covet", I don't suppose there's much need to get all worked up about that one. After all, that's one commandment that no could possibly know whether you are breaking anyway--the Minority Report imagery is a tad premature,no?--so it really is a thing between you and God, which is where it should be.
I'm not saying about its usage, I'm saying it's actually well worded in its original meaning and intention. So, basically, I'm saying the exact opposite of what you think I said. Plenty of religious people find plenty of interpretations out of these texts. I'm specifically talking about the way they are actually worded on the page.

And that is also what I am saying. I don't like the idea that I'm sinning simply by thinking something. I'm talking about it being between God and myself. I'm suppose to ask for forgiveness for having thoughts pop into my head? That seems rather tyrannical of God, doesn't it?
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That is what we believe as Christians. And as I mentioned earlier, Christianity is basically a non-starter without first coming to that conclusion. And I would further add that I don't see it as my business to convince a person that they have a "sin problem." I personally believe that kind of conviction can only come from God and I don't think he needs my help to get people to that point.

I do want to reiterate though, because I did say this at the beginning, that Christians do believe that ultimately the real source of sin is an internal state of being and less on outward actions. It seems several posters are arguing that all that matters is what you do, not your motives, attitudes, or the "state of your heart." I get that. It just doesn't happen to work with Christian theology. (Not that those making the argument are all that concerned about that )
I respect the fact that you don't feel the need to convince others that they are sinning, and I only wish some of your religious brethren would take your cues on that.

I'm certainly not trying to argue that your motives and attitudes don't matter and that actions shall be the sole judge of character. But I am saying that you have practically no control over fleeting thoughts. Let's say I meet a neighbor who has an attractive wife. Am I a sinner if my first, unchecked thought is that I would enjoy having sex with her? According to that commandment, I am.

That's what I mean when I talk about thoughtcrime.
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:51 PM   #51
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I'm certainly not trying to argue that your motives and attitudes don't matter and that actions shall be the sole judge of character. But I am saying that you have practically no control over fleeting thoughts. Let's say I meet a neighbor who has an attractive wife. Am I a sinner if my first, unchecked thought is that I would enjoy having sex with her? According to that commandment, I am.

That's what I mean when I talk about thoughtcrime.
Most Biblical scholars interpret the whole "if you look at a woman lustfully, you have already committed adultery with her in your heart" thing as not a fleeting, one-time glance, but willful, unchecked lasciviousness.

Or, as my dad once put it, "looking once isn't a sin. Looking twice is."
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:03 PM   #52
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That sure is a thin line of righteousness right there.
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:16 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by nathan1977

Most Biblical scholars interpret the whole "if you look at a woman lustfully, you have already committed adultery with her in your heart" thing as not a fleeting, one-time glance, but willful, unchecked lasciviousness.

Or, as my dad once put it, "looking once isn't a sin. Looking twice is."
Nothing wrong with looking 10 times. That's the point. Add her to your spank bank if you want. Perfectly normal. Anybody that says otherwise is either dangerously repressed or a liar
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:31 PM   #54
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Nothing wrong with looking 10 times. That's the point. Add her to your spank bank if you want. Perfectly normal. Anybody that says otherwise is either dangerously repressed or a liar
Wow. You know, you're absolutely right. Objectifying people for your own personal sexual gratification is absolutely the way to go.
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:39 PM   #55
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Wow. You know, you're absolutely right. Objectifying people for your own personal sexual gratification is absolutely the way to go.
I'd think that it would be safe to assume that most people masturbate (it is healthy and completely normal) and what's more, that most of those who do have at some point had a fantasy play out in their head that included whoever - their boyfriend, girlfriend, George Clooney, Angelina Jolie. And I wouldn't consider this to be a depravity either.
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:53 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by nathan1977

Most Biblical scholars interpret the whole "if you look at a woman lustfully, you have already committed adultery with her in your heart" thing as not a fleeting, one-time glance, but willful, unchecked lasciviousness.

Or, as my dad once put it, "looking once isn't a sin. Looking twice is."
This is the biggest load of shit I've ever read. So glad I don't live like this. No offence.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:03 PM   #57
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normal
I'll never forget something I heard once: "to a liar, the world is full of liars, and to a thief, the world is full of thieves." The idea being that, in our own eyes, our dysfunctional behavior sometimes seems very normal. That doesn't make it right.

My earlier comment had nothing to do with masturbation, and more to do with the far more pervasive mentality of many that someone else is simply an object for your gratification. With the mentality of many who think it's fine to use others purely for your own sexual pleasure. It's a mentality that fuels industries from porn to sex trafficking.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:08 PM   #58
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I'll never forget something I heard once: "to a liar, the world is full of liars, and to a thief, the world is full of thieves."
What is it to a repressed, shamed prude?
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:12 PM   #59
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Wow. You know, you're absolutely right. Objectifying people for your own personal sexual gratification is absolutely the way to go.
Wow. You know, you're absolutely right. Feel guilty about perfectly natural sexual processes. Best to get those kinds of emotions twisted together in a tangled mess

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in our own eyes, our dysfunctional behavior sometimes seems very normal. That doesn't make it right.
Ironic. Might want to turn this one around on yourself, chief.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:13 PM   #60
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What is it to a repressed, shamed prude?
Are you talking to me?
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