Sunday, October 1, 2017

Contant Vigilance

There's a lot to be said about sin. I tried to pick out a quote for this post, but I just couldn't find one or two to do the job. Given the choice between many and none, I choose none.

I believe the belief in sin, original and otherwise, exists to weigh on the hearts of those lacking self-control. Being acknowledged as a sinner in your community is a heavy burden, and when you are excommunicated from your social connections, it's not unlike death. You lose a piece of yourself.

I don't believe in sin. I use the word as a figure of speech, to guide those who do believe (or at least are aware of the belief) through my explanations of thought and belief. Like my post entitled The Sin of Wanting. It isn't really about A Sin, it's about having something delivered to you on a (perhaps tarnished) silver platter, something that you want and that you asked for, and then denying it. Just calling it a sin makes for a much shorter explanation.

Sin creates guilt for those who want to live ethically but lack the strength to do it without a compulsion or punishment. There's no overruling authority in Real Life that's going to smack your knuckles with a ruler if you cheat on a test or on your girlfriend. There's only the consequences, and the choice of whether or not you want to live with them.

Humans are inherently weak. I believe this. We are flawed as individuals and as a society. I believe this.

Most of us want to be better, but like the solider who guards over the battlements, day in and day out without attack, discipline weakens, resolve falters, and vigilance becomes intermittent.

Discipline is hard.

But using a construct such as sin doesn't work for me. I don't believe in an interventional deity, one that rules over us with a set of rules laid down, and promising debts to be settled and punishing the sinners at the end of one's life.

I don't believe in a tally system, that our good deeds and our bad deeds are tallied and measured, on on that balance we are judged.

I don't believe that to be Good, you have to be perfect all the time, but to be Bad you only have to screw up once.

I believe we all are human, works in progress, and endeavoring to live ethically by the code that rules us. I can only hope that's enough.