Thursday, June 7, 2007

A Sin Free Life

Christianity attempts to answer the question of sin. The premise is, we are all sinners and Jesus was perfect. If we accept Jesus into our hearts, then we can be forgiven for our sins too. Hooray for Jesus! I have an alternate proposal for dealing with the question of sin, but first, let’s take a look at what the word sin means (from dictionary.com):

sin1 noun, verb, sinned, sin•ning.
–noun
1. transgression of divine law: the sin of Adam.
2. any act regarded as such a transgression, esp. a willful or deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle.
3. any reprehensible or regrettable action, behavior, lapse, etc.; great fault or offense: It's a sin to waste time.
–verb (used without object)
4. to commit a sinful act.
5. to offend against a principle, standard, etc.
–verb (used with object)
6. to commit or perform sinfully: He sinned his crimes without compunction.
7. to bring, drive, etc., by sinning: He sinned his soul to perdition.

In Wagerism, there is no sin. The world is not split into good and evil with some acts considered bad (don’t eat pork!). No, it’s a complex system of decision making. Every decision has a consequence and there are good and bad decisions. There are laws too, some are just and some are unjust. Wagerists like to see unjust laws overturned, like the law in Washington State that prevents me from buying tequila at the supermarket and keeps the state run liquor stores closed on Sunday. Some bad decisions are completely legal. Wagerists do not look to the government to save them from themselves. Wagerists ask how the consequences of their actions will affect their community, their families, and themselves.

Wagerists might make some bad decisions along the way. When that happens, a good Wagerist will stop and reflect on the trail of decisions that led them to this point. Then after careful and deliberate thought the Wagerist will come up with a plan to start making good decisions. Very few bad decisions result in a dead end. Most will just take the Wagerist along a path they do not want to continue. If enough bad decisions are made, getting to a better path may be difficult but rarely is it impossible.

So there it is, if you want to live a life free of sin, simply throw your Bible away. Don’t let an archaic scroll tell you that eating shellfish is bad or if you have sex before marriage you have sinned. Understand that you can make your own decisions and be comfortable living with the consequences of your decisions. It’s that easy, no imaginary friends needed.

15 comments:

zilch said...

Indeed, AW. As Piet Hein puts it:

The road to wisdom?
Well, it's plain and simple to express:
Err and err and err again
But less and less and less.

MasterJediDan said...

So Hitler's decision to kill millions of Jews wasn't evil, it was just another choice he made in life? How about Stalin? Hussein? It isn't hard to tell what actions are right and what actions are wrong.

Atheistwager said...

@MJD
So Moses' decision to slaughter the Moabite women and children, Ezra's decision to send away all foreign born wives and half-Jewish children, and Isaah's decision to slaughter the priests of Baal after winning the "god off" were all OK under your absolutism?

Atheistwager said...

Whoops, make that the Prophet Elijah vs. priests of Baal - not Isiah (see 2:Kings)

Warren said...

@MJD

The funny thing about morality is that it is impossible to define, because it changes from person to person. Society as a whole has developed a set of broad moral rules which most people live by but from one culture to another morality changes as evidenced by honor killings or female circumcision, so just because we think it's wrong doesn't mean other cultures have to agree with us. Do you and I think what Hitler did was wrong? Yes we do, did Hitler think so? No. Did many of his followers think so? No. That is because at the time German society lived under another moral code, a code that said Genocide was okay. Just as moral code in the US has shifted from slavery is okay to slavery is abhorrent. Essentially what I'm trying to say is that which is good and this which is evil has changed a lot during the history of man, and it will continue to do so.

Bible student said...

@ Warren

I came up with a definition of morality pretty quickly:

mo·ral·i·ty n. 1. The quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct. 2. A system of ideas of right and wrong conduct. 3. Virtuous conduct. 4. A rule or lesson in moral conduct.

Like you said “Society as a whole has developed a set of broad moral rules.” I don’t blame you for running with the pack, but I would rather set my standard higher. Unfortunately, the general worldly standard has not improved despite our education. The phrase “to hell in a handbasket” comes to mind, but I’m old fashioned.

Miracle said...

@morality discussion

I define morality by Jesus' teachings. Service and sacrifice of self for others at whatever cost. Of course this can go to extreme length of jumping in front of a bullet for a stranger.

I do think there is a foundational idea of morality. Lying, cheating, stealing, murder, adultery are all things that the average person of any time in life would not be considered a good thing for any individual to do. On the other hand, things such as polygamy and slavery are moral issues of the time.

Wil said...

@BS

I think what Warren meant when he said "Society as a whole has developed a set of broad moral rules." was that many general ones like not killing, not stealing, etc are accepted as normal. In a grouping where everyone has a voice, we cannot make everyone adhere to more personal morals. For example I wouldn't be able to press my personal morality against consumption of alcohol on a group - only in a dictatorship or similar governing body.

It's not a case of staying with the pack - it's just worldly common morals. Staying with the pack would be gathering your morals from a book because someone told you to instead of realising your own.

Bible student said...

@ Wil

Unfortunately it’s a very small pack who recognize Bible principals for the standard. Some don’t even think God powerful enough to relate his message of salvation to those who want to serve him, calling it corrupted or arcane.

Teaching me diligence in the shop, my dad used to say, “It’s probably not the tools fault.” An understanding of anything usually requires effort, knowing it well, desire.

If you call the Bible useless to you, it will be. It's just an invitation to life.

zilch said...

Hey, bible student- my dad used to tell me "it's a poor workman who blames his tools". As someone who works with hand tools every day (I'm an instrument maker), I appreciate the necessity of learning how to use tools well.

But part of knowing how to use tools is choosing the right tool for the job. And while the Bible, in the proper hands, can be a useful tool to help channel energy to make the world a better place, it's not a good tool for explaining the way the world is. We have better tools for that now.

Bible student said...

@ zilch

Here’s good guidance in today’s world.

But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, self-assuming, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, betrayers, headstrong, puffed up [with pride], lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, having a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power; and from these turn away. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

zilch said...

@ bible student- as I've said, there is lots of wisdom in the Bible. But it's human wisdom.

And you don't need a Bible to tell you that people are haughty, unthankful, and headstrong today. But has it ever been any different?
"There is nothing new under the sun"- Ecclesiastes 1:9

Bible student said...

@ zilch

Not good enough, for you maybe, but it wasn’t hard to see this current crowd coming from 2000 years away.

For YOU know this first, that in the last days there will come ridiculers with their ridicule, proceeding according to their own desires and saying: “Where is this promised presence of his? Why, from the day our forefathers fell asleep [in death], all things are continuing exactly as from creation’s beginning.” (2 Peter 3:3-4)

zilch said...

@ bible student: we've had this conversation before. But as I've said before, anything the Bible says in its own defense is not terribly convincing. Every conman will also protest that he's telling the truth, and that the people who ridicule him are wrong.

Unless there's independent, external evidence that the Bible is true, quoting it proves nothing. And the external evidence shows lots of mistakes, unless you massage it wildly.

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