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Sin or not

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Sin or not

Postby Episcopus » Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:24 pm

May one question oneself: is a really deeply evil/lustful/immoral/murderous etc. thought a sin? <br />And how does it relate to actually completing the action of which one thinks?<br /><br />For many say bad thought is a sin however most people can not help the odd evil totally unacceptable disgusting uncharacteristic thought that suddenly appears without any previous warning. <br /><br />And 99.9999% of the time no one ever even thinks of actually murdering their teacher for example or other very nasty things.<br /><br />Who is to blame? The devil? Exterior influences? Or just pure natural evil?<br /><br /><br /><br />
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Re:Sin or not

Postby mingshey » Fri Sep 05, 2003 12:58 am

Though we swallow millions of bacteria and viri every day, we don't get sick as long as we have immunity, and if the infection is light. Health is not living in a clean room, but having enough immunity. By an analogy, I don't think sin is to have a bit of 'bad' thought, but losing control over the impulses.<br /><br />(I had to edit this posting several times. I'm not fully awake this morning. need more coffee...)
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Re:Sin or not

Postby klewlis » Fri Sep 05, 2003 1:15 am

the answer, of course, is provided by one's worldview, and so will vary across the board.<br /><br />My worldview states that even evil thoughts are sinful, because they demonstrate that the intent of my heart is not good... it's not always as bad as acting on it, but actions are rooted in thoughts, and as a rule bad trees don't produce good fruit. <br /><br />Of course no one is perfect and we will have bad thoughts just as we do bad actions. I think that if a thought crosses your mind and then leaves again, that's not as bad as if you dwell on it and encourage it to continue... and of course the more you train your mind to think on good things and cast out bad things, the less those bad thoughts will come back.<br /><br />:)
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Re:Sin or not

Postby Emma_85 » Fri Sep 05, 2003 2:18 pm

The word 'sin' is very Christian, and I'm not too sure I understand what you mean. Are you asking if having thoughts like that are sins, because they are bad and so would infuriate God? <br />In that case I would suggest you read the Bible again to find out...<br />(I won't say anything more... well I did infact, but I had to delete it all, as it was ... well.... you know... .... just go to the religion or not thread...)
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Re:Sin or not

Postby Episcopus » Fri Sep 05, 2003 6:39 pm

No, I read not the Bible. <br /><br />It's just a general opinion question. <br /><br />For me, encouraging a bad thought is wrong; an unexpected bad thought (like one cannot help but dream in one's sleep sometimes) is not wrong.<br />
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Re:Sin or not

Postby Nihil » Fri Sep 05, 2003 8:09 pm

Acting it out in the mind healthier than acting it out in reality. Repressing your feelings isn't often a good idea from a mental health perspective.<br /><br />I remember seeing mention of sexual thoughts being regarded as sinful and "commiting adultery in the mind" in the NT. Whether it could likewise be applied to other sins I'm not entirely certain. But I've been lacking restful sleep, so it's probably better not to think about this too hard right now. :P
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Re:Sin or not

Postby Emma_85 » Fri Sep 05, 2003 8:53 pm

Then I'd say it's not wrong to have thoughts like that, as long as you don't act on them, and they're just fun. If you have thoughts like that and they aren't just fun - well it would probably be better if you were in a mental asylum ;)
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Re:Sin or not

Postby Raya » Fri Sep 05, 2003 9:04 pm

I believe that thoughts of doing harmful/immoral things, on their own, are not morally wrong. Thinking of doing something is an action quite differnt from actually *doing* the thing - and in fact, sometimes the way to stop oneself from doing such things is just to think it through!<br /><br />To be more specific: sometimes imagining doing something destructive can prove cathartic (and so stop you from actually doing the destructive thing). Alternatively, if you imagine yourself doing such an act you may also find yourself imagining the consequences - and thus decide not to do it.<br /><br />Mind you, I do make a distinction between just *thinking* about something and actually *intending* to do it. The latter I would likely consider wrong, whether or not the action is carried out - but having said that, I refer to an *informed* intention (i.e. that you have thought about it, weighed up the pros and cons and decided to do it anyway) and not just a spur-of-the-moment feeling that you would do the thing.
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Re:Sin or not

Postby Bert » Sat Sep 06, 2003 1:55 am

[quote author=Episcopus link=board=13;threadid=594;start=0#5371 date=1062787164]<br />No, I read not the Bible. <br /><br />Too bad because the answer is there.<br /><br />It's just a general opinion question. <br /><br />For me, encouraging a bad thought is wrong;<br />Yep. I agree <br />an unexpected bad thought (like one cannot help but dream in one's sleep sometimes) is not wrong.<br />Nope. I don't agree. Even those thoughts are wrong. The fact that we cannot help but think them (eg. in a dream) just shows how ingrained sin is in us. <br /><br />[/quote]<br /><br />
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Re:Sin or not

Postby Bert » Sat Sep 06, 2003 2:07 am

[quote author=Nihil link=board=13;threadid=594;start=0#5373 date=1062792563]<br />Acting it out in the mind healthier than acting it out in reality. <br /><br />Neither one is healthy<br /><br />Repressing your feelings isn't often a good idea from a mental health perspective.<br /><br />If I have a real urge to plow my neighbour in the nose, is it better for my mental health -to repress this urge, -to punch a bean bag, -or to punch my neighbour in the nose. <br /><br />I agree with Klewlis. Repress these feelings and train your mind to think on good things. <br /><br /> [/quote]
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Re:Sin or not

Postby Nihil » Sat Sep 06, 2003 9:17 am

If I have a real urge to plow my neighbour in the nose, is it better for my mental health -to repress this urge, -to punch a bean bag, -or to punch my neighbour in the nose.<br /><br />Repressing your feelings is different than repressing your urges that you intend to do. In the former case, you are just conceling the fact you are having a feeling and thought by trying to replace it with another thought. In the latter case, you are preventing yourself from doing a harmful action against a person in reality.<br /><br />I have to agree with Raya. Thinking about doing something and actually doing it are two very different things. And I agree again with the fact that having an active intent for doing those actions is wrong.<br /><br />If someone makes me angry, and I think about punching him or doing something toward him, then that's much different than if I walked up and hit him in the face. In fact, as was said, thinking about it may stop me from doing it. On the other hand, if I plotted to meet that person somewhere and do something against him, that would not be healthy. As long as you don't intend to do harmful actions to someone, but merely are thinking about them as a way to express and deal with anger, I don't see the problem. They aren't injuring anyone in any way.<br /><br />Moreover, repressing feelings for some people can cause them to explode in the future. Some people do better dealing with their feelings by experiencing them through thought and letting them go. Would it be better for those people to think about something else rather than to allow themselves to express anger mentally and then to let the anger go?
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Re:Sin or not

Postby annis » Sat Sep 06, 2003 12:22 pm

[quote author=Nihil link=board=13;threadid=594;start=0#5396 date=1062839843]<br />Moreover, repressing feelings for some people can cause them to explode in the future.<br />[/quote]<br /><br />There is not one shred of evidence which supports this hydraulic theory of emotions, popular though it is.<br /><br />
Some people do better dealing with their feelings by experiencing them through thought and letting them go. Would it be better for those people to think about something else rather than to allow themselves to express anger mentally and then to let the anger go? <br />
<br /><br />There is, on the other hand, plenty of evidence that dwelling on anger only deepens it. Recognizing the anger as your own response to a situation - not something forced upon you at all, but up to you - and then letting it go is best.<br /><br />We sometimes think of emotion as primitive and basic. People talk about the "lizard brain" that sets people off. But human emotional sense is just as evolved as our language and social senses, and just as trainable. But that training does take work.<br /><br />Having said that, expressing your emotions by talking about them is often useful, because that can be a great tool in helping you understand yourself, and whatever problem you might be having, better.<br /><br />As to the original question, thinking a horrible thought isn't in itself unethical, but dwelling on it, or failing to recognize it as a path to an unethical action is. There are different schools of thought on this, but I hold that the essence of ethics is not in stray thoughts, but in interrogating those motivations and in how you actually act. I actually believe why you perform an action matters, but some schools of thought do not.
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Re:Sin or not

Postby Episcopus » Sat Sep 06, 2003 2:34 pm

[quote author=Bert de Haan link=board=13;threadid=594;start=0#5391 date=1062813345]<br /><br />No, I read not the Bible. <br /><br />Too bad because the answer is there.<br /><br /><br />[/quote]<br /><br />You should not really start a religion right/wrong answer thing because there are going to be diverse opinions on this subject.<br /><br />How is the right answer in there? I do not agree. See. Not pleasant.
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Re:Sin or not

Postby Bert » Sat Sep 06, 2003 4:33 pm

[quote author=Episcopus link=board=13;threadid=594;start=0#5424 date=1062858891]<br />[quote author=Bert de Haan link=board=13;threadid=594;start=0#5391 date=1062813345]<br /><br /> [/quote]<br /><br />You should not really start a religion right/wrong answer thing because there are going to be diverse opinions on this subject.<br /><br />How is the right answer in there? I do not agree. See. Not pleasant. <br />[/quote]<br /><br />If I have offended any one with my comment I am more than willing to apologize but only if I know what the offence is, otherwise an apology is meaningless.<br />This thread was started by asking several religion right/wrong questions. Along with Emma_85 (who is not religious), I just made a suggestion as to where to find an answer.<br />Not wanting to read the Bible is your choice. What I don't understand is how you can say without reading it that you do not agree that the answer is there, yet my suggestion would be the source of the unpleasantness.<br />I'll leave it at that. :(<br /><br />Bert.<br /><br />
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Re:Sin or not

Postby mingshey » Sun Sep 07, 2003 10:08 am

The so called view points of bible is quite well known to many people after two thousand years of propaganda. <br /><br />As for me, I have read bible several times, but unluckily, don't see any better teachings than I can find elsewhere when it has any virtue. Moreover, bible is not merely inconsistent in itself, but schizophrenic. Sorry it sounds offending to whom respects the book, but I find many religious people preferring "happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us- he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks." to "love your enemy". That is, when you can draw out anything you want from bible, you don't call it giving answer.<br />Okay let's call it my atheistic opinion that would never persuade you.<br /><br />But then, what you mean by bible is no way consistant between people. For Judaists it is such and such set of books, and for Christians(which sect of christian???) it is another. Muslims? They have still another. Did the Christians in the 1st centurey have the same New Testament as we have now? What you think as the New Testament is formed only after the 3rd century, if not 4th, by the Catholic church which is ever reputed heretic by the Protestants. It is another thread of "die unendliche Geschichte", which will never see its end. So, please don't take this thread into a religious debate. <br /><br />Rather, how about discussing as if you people are going to make the legal system, provided you can detect the bad thoughts of people. You are trying to decide whether you should punish a man(or a woman) for his/her thought. Take it as a modified version of "Minority Report".<br />
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Re:Sin or not

Postby klewlis » Sun Sep 07, 2003 3:43 pm

[quote author=mingshey link=board=13;threadid=594;start=0#5462 date=1062929326]<br />The so called view points of bible is quite well known to many people after two thousand years of propaganda. <br /><br />As for me, I have read bible several times, but unluckily, don't see any better teachings than I can find elsewhere when it has any virtue. Moreover, bible is not merely inconsistent in itself, but schizophrenic. Sorry it sounds offending to whom respects the book, but I find many religious people preferring "happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us- he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks." to "love your enemy". That is, when you can draw out anything you want from bible, you don't call it giving answer.<br />Okay let's call it my atheistic opinion that would never persuade you.<br /><br />But then, what you mean by bible is no way consistant between people. For Judaists it is such and such set of books, and for Christians(which sect of christian???) it is another. Muslims? They have still another. Did the Christians in the 1st centurey have the same New Testament as we have now? What you think as the New Testament is formed only after the 3rd century, if not 4th, by the Catholic church which is ever reputed heretic by the Protestants. It is another thread of "die unendliche Geschichte", which will never see its end. So, please don't take this thread into a religious debate.
<br /><br />If we are in danger of going way off topic and turning it into a religious debate, the above is by far the biggest fuel for the fire ;) So I will not respond to this, though I've much to say on the topic and see very little truth in the statements above.<br /><br />
<br />Rather, how about discussing as if you people are going to make the legal system, provided you can detect the bad thoughts of people. You are trying to decide whether you should punish a man(or a woman) for his/her thought. Take it as a modified version of "Minority Report".
<br /><br />I'm not sure that this is the best way to go about it. No government can legislate all aspects of morality, and if they did it would be incredibly oppressive and backwards. If we base our morality on whether or not something is punishable by the higher authorities, we're going about it from completely the wrong end, since laws are arbitrary. There has to be morality aside from legality. <br /><br />I suppose if for the sake of argument I were looking for a humanistic, non-religious way to judge ethics, I would have to go by what is best for the species in which case thinking a harmful thought, unacted, would probably not be immoral. <br /><br />(But of course in reality my ethics are based on a different standard.)<br /><br />
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Re:Sin or not

Postby annis » Sun Sep 07, 2003 4:16 pm

Ahah! Found it!<br /><br />Even Homer recongized the danger of stewing over your anger:<br /><br />ILIAS A.81-83. Kalkhas is asking Achilles for protection before reporting the mind of Apollo. Speaking of a king's temper:<br /><br />[face=SPIonic]<br />ei)/ per ga/r te xo/lon ge kai\ au)th=mar katape/yh|,<br />a)lla/ te kai\ meto/pisqen e)/xei ko/ton, o)/fra tele/ssh|,<br />e)n sth/qessin e(oi=si.<br />[/face]<br /><br />"For even if he digests (represses) his rage on the same day, later he'll hold a grudge in his own breast (i.e., secretly) until he can complete (revenge)."
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Re:Sin or not

Postby mingshey » Sun Sep 07, 2003 4:48 pm

the above is by far the biggest fuel for the fire
<br /><br />My giggle. Absolutely. (Unfair and wicked insertion. ;D)<br />Regard it just as an example of how a religious debate can take course. 8) <br /><br />
I'm not sure that this is the best way to go about it. No government can legislate all aspects of morality, and if they did it would be incredibly oppressive and backwards. If we base our morality on whether or not something is punishable by the higher authorities, we're going about it from completely the wrong end, since laws are arbitrary. There has to be morality aside from legality.
<br /><br />Yes, morality and legality are two differnt things. But the border between them is not razor sharp. So discussing from one extreme and then tuning the topic to the other end we could survey its various aspects.<br /><br />For example, if the law states that when you think about killing a terrible new greek teacher you are to be sentenced death penalty, will you oppose(if you do) it because just thinking is not bad enough, or on the basis that thinking is totally in the realm of morality? (Or because such a teacher deserves death? :P)<br /><br />Uh, oh! You support it? :o :P
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Re:Sin or not

Postby klewlis » Mon Sep 08, 2003 1:28 am

well for the sake of argument, thinking and planning are two different things ;)
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Re:Sin or not

Postby benissimus » Mon Sep 08, 2003 3:25 am

It is my opinion that it is fundamental that you have your own set of values, but that you also recognize that they are your own and in many cases are not universal. Hence, you can say that thoughts are right or wrong, but you must never infringe on the sanctity and privacy of thought itself, by saying that "sinful" thoughts (or, yikes, the suspicion of them) must be punished or shunned.
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Re:Sin or not

Postby klewlis » Mon Sep 08, 2003 4:01 am

[quote author=benissimus link=board=13;threadid=594;start=15#5528 date=1062991504]<br />It is my opinion that it is fundamental that you have your own set of values, but that you also recognize that they are your own and in many cases are not universal. [/quote]<br /><br />Even this must be recognized as an assumption based on your worldview, so I am glad that you said it is your opinion. This very idea is so pervasively assumed and taught nowadays that many people don't realize that it is not itself absolute truth. ;)
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Re:Sin or not

Postby benissimus » Mon Sep 08, 2003 5:14 am

I am in complete agreeance with that...<br /><br />Many people think that you can't apply your morals to people with differing morals, but that is exactly what morals are for! My personal philosophy is that the only thing we can really agree on is that we have a right to think (and ideally, speak) freely.
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Re:Sin or not

Postby mingshey » Mon Sep 08, 2003 9:10 am

well for the sake of argument, thinking and planning are two different things ;)
<br /><br />Yes. That's the point.<br />If a legislation is for judging your behavior, moral will be for judging your intention. This said, should moral be applied to thoughts that pop up unexpectedly, which is to be filtered by active thought? I think moral is about the active thought and its standards for decision, not to be applied to stray thoughts before it is controlled by your reason.<br />But the borders between action and plan, and between plan and mere thought are fuzzy. Thus this topic arises.<br />
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Re:Sin or not

Postby Hamilton » Sat Sep 20, 2003 4:58 am

Both the Ancient Pagans and Ancient Christians agreed on the value of Spiritual Exercises for disciplining the soul and detaching from excessive appetites of the soul.<br /><br />Pierre Hadot covers these indepth in his books on Plotinus, Marcus Aurelius, and Ancient Philosophers in general.<br /><br />I have difficulty when people enter into talk of "Values" - a very Nietzsche concept -- Beyond Good and Evil.<br /><br />I prefer Virtues and Vices and the Golden Mean of appetities of the soul.
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Re:Sin or not

Postby Episcopus » Tue Sep 30, 2003 8:38 pm

Sometimes I say what I think; it just comes out. Not something that I mean to realise but something sick nonetheless. <br />Everyone in turn yells "FREAK!" while I'm just laughing. <br /><br />It's good sometimes to speak what be in the mind. But at other times keep it to yourself trust me ;)
Last edited by Episcopus on Sun Nov 23, 2003 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re:Sin or not

Postby Lex » Tue Sep 30, 2003 9:05 pm

[quote author=William Annis link=board=13;threadid=594;start=0#5401 date=1062850959]<br />We sometimes think of emotion as primitive and basic. People talk about the "lizard brain" that sets people off. [/quote]<br /><br />Actually, the "lizard brain" supposedly does not have much in the way of emotions. It simply reacts in a hardwired way to stimuli. The emotions come to play in the "monkey brain".
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