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NeoNotes — Sin

Pardon, but who defines the sin?

Just as an obvious example, can an atheist or agnostic sin?

What about a Hindu? Or a Buddhist?

Do they have the same sins as a Baptist? Or a Catholic? Or a Mormon?

I know that most pagans including me will tell you that we don't believe in sin. Is that a sin too?

I am not justifying messing with kids. But these "universal standards" handed down from holy books and priests aren't universal.



Leaving aside for the moment questions like what gives one belief system primacy and the nature of the universe, you overlook a very important point.

It's between the individual and the Divine.

Which means no matter how strong your beliefs, no matter what your feelings, no matter how sure you are, there's nothing granting you power to judge the "sins" of another. Your own holy book preaches against that.

Which means if you want a society and culture that works, it can't be based on a specific religion. Especially if not everyone shares that religion.



Of course, we can't really leave aside those questions, can we?

And that leads to statements like "My God says your god isn't real." Even there, we're not talking about the Divine. We're talking about what priests and humans say about the Divine. We're saying that one rule system is better because it is based on Higher Truth™.

And that still comes down to whose version of Higher Truth™.

I use a working premise that Divinity is outside of human experience and comprehension. A Divine message for one person may not be intended for another. I won't even go into the differences between a revealed faith and an experienced faith because that will complicate things further.



You know that sin is defined by the Creator and codified in the Bible.

I don't know that and my experiences lead me to different conclusions.

And that those same sins are still sins regardless of whether or not one is a Christian.

There's the crux of it. What proof do you have? Your word, your holy book, and your belief. What proof do I have? My word, my experience, and my belief. What makes yours better than mine? What makes your belief superior to all others?

What do you think would happen if you tried to force your choice on others?

Why should non-Christians follow Christian beliefs if their chosen beliefs conflict?

Faith is worthless without a willing choice.



Part of the problem does occur because people use to their religion to control others.

Every single time I see people say that something should be illegal because it's a "sin," I know it's happening again.

Every. Single. Time.

Without exception. Because that is exactly what happens.

Religion can't be allowed the coercive power of government, government can't be allowed the moral justification of religion.

And that is what this libertarian is explaining.



I don't think I misinterpreted you.

I think that is a form of language manipulation that some Christians take for granted.

That's why it feels unnatural when someone else calls them on it.



OK, you're really going to go there.

You know that (Christians believe) sin is defined by the Creator and codified in the Bible.

With those two additional words, the sentence moves from a general case to a sub-class. I do know that many Christians prefer to think in terms of the general case because they believe their beliefs apply to everyone. Is it a conscious choice? Probably not. Is it manipulative? Yes.

Over generations, Christians have learned the speech behaviors that place their faith first and shield Christianity from criticism. They don't usually see it as wrong and don't always understand why non-Christians find it offensive.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
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