> Nolondil wrote:
> > The word hamartia, translated very closely by
> > 'sin', is used in NT documents written long before
> > the co-opting of the religion by the Imperial
> > government. So no, I would not claim that 'sin'
> > did not exist prior to 'churches' inventing it.
> The problem with this answer, for me, is that it
> does not account for the worst among us back when
> 'sin' just meant a mistake or missing the mark.
> Leaving aside the churches' corrupting influences,
> what about those serial killers, etc? Surely you
> wouldn't liken them to less-than-perfect
This will quickly lead us into the weeds of the definitions of individual identity and free will. How did the 'serial killer' become a 'serial killer'? Was it some sort of traumatic experience in their own lives (which many of them do have when you investigate) and how well did they cope with it? And when does someone begin to be held responsible for themselves? Sure, not everyone who is abused as a child grows up to become an abuser, but is the difference entirely down to their choices, or are there circumstances that people cannot overcome with 'free will'? In the one case, if there were choices made that genuinely changed the outcome, then they are responsible just as with any smaller 'mistake'. The greater consequences don't change the nature of the situation. On the other hand, if they could not have changed the outcome, they are not entirely responsible, are they? :)
And these questions are a smaller scale version of the question of the nature of evil. Is evil 'real' in itself? Or merely a separation/privation from the good? This is the famous distinction between Augustine/Boethius (and the generally held 'Christian' view) that evil is merely privation of good -- loss of perfection -- and the Manichean view that evil is something real in itself, independent of and opposed to good -- and irredeemable.
> > But the concept has been severely corrupted by the
> > drive to control people. The sense of debt, and
> > the power of the official church to judge it
> > and even discharge it, is the new layer that
> > concerns me (and many others).
> We're certainly on the same page there, Nolondil.
> But to my same question, what of those clergy who
> preach damnation only as a means of
> self-enrichment, (those who don't believe in
> damnation, other than its potential for profit)?
> Is that just another mistake, or is it a 'sin' as
> we might use the term now, something that is just
> wrong, premeditated and vile?
Same issues as above. How did the devious, manipulating preacher get to be that way? Could they have made individual choices that would have made their character (and life) turn out differently? Or were they bound by 'fate' of external circumstances? But again, the greater consequences don't change the basic nature of the situation.
All of this comes down to how much importance (and power) you assign to the 'individual' and their 'free will'.
> > Mainly, I dispute that this authority exists
> > among mortal kind.
> If I may ask, do you believe that such an
> authority does or might exist elsewhere?
This really could get into metaphysics. Are there 'beings of higher rank' than humans? Something that does come up on this board from time to time. :) Personally, I wasn't thinking of some other 'authority', I was thinking of laws of cause and effect more like karma. Which humans could not alter any more than the laws of physics.
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01-Jun-18 00:38 by Nolondil.