I’ve tried hard lately to really put my thoughts about morality into words. I’ve sortve been having a case of double think when it comes to a totally objective type of morality. On the one hand I /know/ certain things are wrong, and I /know/ that some beliefs about morality are more right than others, therefore their must be an ultimate morality, or a perfect morality. But on the other hand, I know culture can dictate certain things to be “right” or “wrong” without any regard to my western philosophy of good and bad.
So, like I said, instead of choosing what seemed to me to be contridictory truths, I (to borrow a word from NewSpeak) employed a little bit of doublethink in the situation. That is, holding two contridictory thoughts in my head.
Eventually I’ve realized how my perspective on the situation had been skewed by years of growing up in the Bible belt and in churches that used the words “evil, bad, and wrong” interchangably.
Am I about to use semantics to argue a point about morality? Yeah, I am.
Let me start over, or rather, let me go back a bit. The libertarian in me would say that my freedom extends to arm length, meaning as long as I’m not hurting anyone then I am free to do as I please. This is pertaining to civics, but for secular humanists, this is their only argument for morality. Its the only way they can make a standard for morals. “As long you don’t hurt anyone.” Of course this doesn’t really work. The worst part of this is it makes for a pretty stale culture. People aren’t challenged by anyone as to matters of right and wrong and the differences in opinion over what is really limiting peoples freedom just turns into “sez who?”
I’m rambling though.
So the libertarian view was something that made sense to me. At least mostly, the problem was that there was def things I thought were wrong even if it didn’t harm another soul. So why did I feel that way? Was it social conditioning? Certainly the issues I had were firmly planted by western lines of thinking, but I had already fallen out of touch with plenty of other western ideas. So why was morals sticking out to me?
So let me get back to the point I was about to make. What’s the difference between wrong, bad, and evil? And why do I believe all of them to be “sin”
Let’s start with the hard one: wrong. Here is the basic point I want to make and its the one I had the most trouble with. I could not understand how something could be wrong if it didn’t hurt anyone or seemed to hurt the person that was doing it. But it became simple when I stopped identfying it with bad or evil and started understanding that things can be wrong simply because they are not within a design that someone has created. If I try to piece together a table without any instructions, the table basicaly work, but if I didn’t follow the directions it is wrong no matter how it works. If it seems to work as a table or if it doesn’t work at all, both are equally wrong if you don’t follow the intended instructions.
Take a hot wheels track. If I make a track and a car isn’t on the track then I can’t really do anything with the car. Sure someone could step on the car and hurt themselves if its not on the track and that is a consequence of being off the track, but someone could just as easily step on a car on the track. And that is a consequence of that. The point is the consquenses of both are irrelevent to the fact that one is on the track being right and another is off the track being wrong.
So, to sum up.
Sin is the absence of god.
The absence of god is being outside of the design of god
Being outside of the design of god doesn’t make you “evil”. It doesn’t make you hurt other people, it just simply means you’re wrong.
That sounds like a downer right? You’re thinking that “wow I know I’m outside of the design of god, in fact I’m probably have some sin in me 24/7″ the good news is, that happens to every other person on the planet and when we’re all in the same boat you don’t have to worry about any of us judging you. Because we have no authority over that whatsoever.
Every hot wheel you ever had has fallen off the track once.