What’s in the box?

I’ve once again been chatting online with people of religious belief.  It struck me that many people often look at things as either black or white, positive or negative.  This isn’t a trait of the religious but I have noticed it in my Christian verses atheist debates.  You know the spiel: atheists have no morals because they follow no Gods, Christians are all proselytizing Jesus-freaks.  Nonsense, of course.  Yet, as human beings, we find it convenient to simplify and categorise things that we encounter.  There’s probably some sort of inherited survival trait responsible.

One particular thing that bothers me is the idea of sin.  I’ve often been seen to praise one or more of the traditional Seven Deadly Sins (Greed, Lust, Pride, Gluttony, Envy, Wrath, and Sloth) as having positive aspects.  I don’t think that I’ve ever explained my reasoning though or put them all in one place.

Well this is my blog and I’ll write about sin if I please.

Greed or a desire for wealth may be bad when taken to extremes but in a modern society wealth means that you pay more taxes and contribute more to society.  You have the ability to spend money on consumer goods which need to be made by someone.  Someone whose job you have secured with your expenditure.  Wealth begets more wealth and greedy people are willing to invest in order to secure that wealth and increase it.

Lust or strong sexual desire often accompanied with fertility is one of my very favourite “sins” ;).  Our very species relies upon sexual desire for procreation.  We wouldn’t want to go the way of the panda now would we?  A dose of lust keeps a relationship healthy and allows us to overlook small foibles in our partners.  I’m willing to let the fact that The Hildy puts spoons in the draining rack upside down when I know I’m going to get some action at some point.  She similarly forgives my minor annoyances (not that I am ever annoying) that would otherwise build up without some healthy release.

Pride or feeling of self-respect and personal worth is another of my favourite “sins”.  I feel proud when I perform a task well or create something that I place value upon.  I am willing to stand up for my opinions and ideas that I think are right.  Lack of pride can lead to others taking advantage of you as you lack self worth and so defer to others.

Gluttony or the consumption of food and drink in abundance isn’t one of my favourites but eating a hearty meal is a pleasure.  More than the actual consumption though the very fact that you can provide a large repast speaks of your success.  We don’t live my hunting and gathering any more but a large meal has to be paid for and being able to provide it is cause to celebrate.

Envy or a feeling of grudging admiration and desire to have something that is possessed by another, an eager striving if you will is an excellent motivator.  I’m not so keen on “keeping up with the Joneses” but seeing someone else’s well earned success may well prompt me to work harder.

Wrath or belligerence aroused by a real or supposed wrong is a righteous anger against something.  The key thing here is that the anger is in response to a perceived wrong.  If some ‘tard blocks the footbridge at the train station with their foolishly placed luggage then I have a right to be angry and express that anger.  In fact if anyone does something that angers me then I may well be prompted into action. I shouldn’t let my anger control me but I can certainly let it motivate me.  Some of the greatest changes in society have been prompted by wrath.  Do you think that the civil rights movement would have even started if people had not been angry at the unfairness of their situation?

Sloth or a disinclination to work or exert yourself or simply to rest and recover is a fine reward for hard work.  To describe it as a sin is to dismiss the efforts that allow a person to rest and relax.  How often have you simply needed to take a break?  Recovery is important to keeping a person going.

Well these are my justifications for why sin can be good and why looking at the world in black and white means that you miss the shades of grey.  I’d love to expand on this and hear any comments that you might have.

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27 Comments

Filed under Atheist, Reasons to be cheerful, Religion

27 responses to “What’s in the box?

  1. SWC

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts on this. Though I don’t consider myself an atheist at all, I do appreciate your take on things. I’m probably more of a middle-of-the-road person when it comes to religion ans spirituality. I personally don’t care for any kind of extremes. I do find it interesting that you are a lurker in the blogs of Christians. I’m curious…why?

  2. HI Hov….I understand what you mean alot better by your interpretation of things. What I noticed by your definitions tho, is that your statements after “or” are not considered sin….like what you wrote after pride for instance. The pride that leads to problems is the, my poo poo don’t stink attitude that never takes into account anothers feelings or opinions, not what you have described here…..I’m sure you have experienced that in the theist and atheist realm the same as I have. Sloth, as a “sin” is not taking a break after a long days or weeks work…..it’s being so lazy that you become completely dependant on another for your livelyhood, and expecting everyone else to carry your load. I think your definitions of what “sin” is is a bit off…..just my opinion of course, but I don’t see anything wrong with what you’ve described.

  3. Ed

    1) Greed is the corner stone of capitalism. The effect the drive for wealth has on ones personal life can certainly be negative, but in the world of business greed is a very good thing.

    2) Having a lust for life means living life to its fullest, which to me is a very good approach to have.

    Lusting after someone else who does not share your feelings can lead to bodily harm or even prison.

    In New York I once walked into a stop sign while “lusting” after a “healthy” female walking past me.

    On the board walk at the beach I saw a women with a baby carriage almost walk into a park bench while “lusting” after a hunk skating by.

    3) I consider pride more of a good thing than a bad thing. Too much of course can make life harder. Pride is a facet of confidence. I had a hard time making my place in the world before I gained the confidence I needed. Boastful pride results in losing friends of course.

    If I had a choice I would rather have too much pride than too little.

    4) Gluttony with regard to drugs and alcohol is a very bad thing. Our ancestors may have needed to be gluttons after killing their prey because they did not know when their next meal would come. Gluttony in the modern world can too easy lead to death.

    5) Envy seems a pretty benign sin to me except where it leads to harmful action in trying to obtain whatever you are envious over.

    6) Wrath may be required if someone has been taking advantage of you, but overall I don’t see much value in it. We have had way too much wrath in our conduct with our neighbors leading to physical conflict and war. I hope someday in the future this word will disappear from our vocabulary.

    7) I agree with you Hover that we do need days were we are slothful(?) to re-charge our batteries after stressful work or events. As long as we can drag our selves out of bed to face tomorrow sloth isn’t such a bad thing.

  4. SWC, good question. I lurk about and often comment but I really got interested in arguing about relation because of the rise of extremism that I saw. Sometime after 9/11 I became aware of the growing anger that people were directing at Muslims and of the rise in Christian Fundamentalism. Then, of course, I noticed the atheist backlash with writers like Richard Dawkins pointing out how unreasonable many religious teachings can be. So it was probably because of extremes that I got into debating about religion. Why on Christian blogs? Probably because they aren’t going to come here and listen to me put forward an alternative viewpoint.

    Deb, I though someone would notice that which is why I took definitions from dictionaries rather than interpret the “sins” myself. Now it may be that the problem I have with the seven deadly sins is simply that of semantics and that definitions have changed over the centuries. I’m not enough of a linguist to know. Your point is well made though as I do describe the “sins” in a positive light and there are undoubtedly negative aspects of them that I have chosen to gloss over. Having said that the “sins” themselves are taken as a whole and not simply as the extreme point of view so I stand by my assertions.

    Ed, good points, thanks. I particularly like the story about the stop sign.

  5. Mr. Frog,

    An interesting article here, I greatly enjoyed reading it. I think perhaps there is a grain of truth in these primitive warnings against certain behaviors. There seems to be an evolutionary component here, if you will: an overly powerful sex drive or incredibly slothfulness would be damaging to an individual in a developing culture. At the same time, it seems over time ( or perhaps always, I suppose) there has been a drift to the extreme: sex is taboo, all pride is evil, etc.

    Good thoughts, thanks for sharing!

    -CTC

  6. it all hinges on gluttony, I think. Too much of anything is a bad thing, as they say.

  7. I practice the art of Sloth as often as I can… !!!!
    Nice blog too hF… although I agree with SWC, why go cruising for an argument on the Christian websites ??? Much better to get some slothing done instead =:o)

  8. mylozmom

    I always enjoy reading your entries as they are ones that usually ones that “make ya think”. I love that your entries draw out peoples opinions and make us think for our selves. GREAT topic too by the way.

  9. Nice! Finally my turn to comment on your blog! I’ll tell you what, as a Christian, my sole reference to what I believe all comes from the Bible. Anything other than that is made up, and comes from man. And man has made up a lot of crap. So of course I completely understand why atheists are confused and frustrated. Like I said, I was one of them. But, if I may, allow me to take each sin and put the Biblical spin on it for everyone:

    Greed:
    –A greedy man brings trouble to his family, but he who hates bribes will live. (Proverbs 15:27)
    –A greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trusts in the LORD will prosper. (Proverbs 28:25)
    –Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15)
    Greed is different than motivation. Greed, by definition (from Webster) says that it is “a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed. When men/women desire excess of something– more than what’s needed — then their lives are focused on it (which takes away focus from the Lord). When men/women strive so hard to gain something for which they are greedy, that’s time/energy/efforts taken away from helping others. Bottom line, it’s selfish. It’s perfectly fine to want enough to live comfortably, but if your goal is to make as much money as you possibly can, then that means 1) money 2) yourself (your efforts to get that) are the biggest focuses in your life. That’s wrong. The Bible says, Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:24)

    Lust:
    –But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)
    –For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. (1 John 2:16)
    Lust creates greed. Lust turns a man’s/woman’s head away from his home, and his heart, and his Lord. How can a man be trusted amongst his peers if he is lusting after his friends’ wives? How can a man be true to God when he lusts for money? The true definition of lust is: an intense longing or unbridled sexual desire. It’s not just the act of wanting — it’s the act of wanting something so badly you’re drooling at the mouth for it, thinking about it intensely. God provides. And in turn, we must live humbly and gratefully. One can not be grateful and appreciate God’s blessings when we’re lusting after our own desires.

    Pride:
    –In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. (Psalm 10:4)
    –For with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous. (Psalm 31:18)
    This is an easy one. If you feel pride for something you did, then you are giving yourself all the credit. (i.e. you’re feeling a bit of self-worship) I think this is the biggest difference between believers and non-believers. Again, pride breeds selfishness. It’s creates the thought of “I am great. I can do anything. I am really good at this.” God is great. The more we humbly thank Him for what He’s given us, the more He’ll give us. It’s true! I’m a perfect, walking example of that. The definition of pride is: inordinate self-esteem, conceit, proud or disdainful behavior or treatment. Pride results in boasting, which again, lowers your level of humility. The purpose of identifying these sins is to help us be the most respectful, trustworthy, loving, compassionate, humble people we can be. And I guarantee you, if I met someone who was proud, boastful and self-loving, I wouldn’t want to be around them very much. You know the old saying, “Pride comes before the fall?” It’s true.

    Gluttony:
    –For drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags. (Proverbs 23:21)
    This is an easy one, too. Think about how we look and feel when eating a Thanksgiving dinner. We become lazy, sleepy, unmotivated, sickly. Gluttony refers to drunkenness, too — an over abundance of drink. All one has to do is look at Lindsey Lohan or Britney Spears to see what happens there. Gluttony changes you, makes you feel different. Again, it makes you “greedy” by wanting to consume more than is necessary. The Bible isn’t talking about eating a hearty meal now and then. It’s referring to those who consume in excess to the point where it makes them lazy, irresponsible, and unfeeling. A perfect example: take the image of one who plays video games all day while eating chips, pop, beer, fast food. Not really the image of an ideal husband or one who will step up and help those in need, eh?

    Envy (or covet):
    –You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:17)
    –You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. (James 4:2)
    This one is tough to understand, I know. How do we move through life and motivate ourselves if we don’t want for things? But this is different than just wanting. I say all the time, “I would love a house on a few acres.” Or “I want to go on vacation.” Sure, those kinds of statements are motivating. But to envy or covet means to (via Webster): painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage. Feeling envy is feeling jealousy. Which means you aren’t appreciating what you already have. Instead of thanking God for the blessings you do have, basically you’re saying “Yeah, well… my stuff is fine, but it’s not fair that so-and-so has THAT. I want that!” And guess what? Suddenly, you’re back to greed again.

    Wrath:
    –Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. (Psalm 37:8)
    –In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. (Psalm 4:4)
    This is probably the hardest one of all to comprehend. I like your example of the Civil Rights Movement. I struggle with this myself sometimes. But the true definition of wrath is: strong vengeful anger or indignation. When we feel wrath, we are saying, “Hey, God. I don’t trust you to take care of this. I’m going to take matters into my own hands here.” When you feel wrath, you are forgetting that those other people are human, too. It is our duty here on Earth to be compassionate and loving. Disagreeing with someone and debating or discussing the topic is one thing. But look at your example above. “If some ‘tard blocks the footbridge at the train station with their foolishly placed luggage then I have a right to be angry…” That’s a shame. Because you say it jokingly, but what if that guy really is mentally retarded? Or what if he’s distracted because his wife is home, sick with cancer? Or he’s traveling to a funeral? The bottom line is, you just don’t know everyone’s story. And you don’t know the reason for their actions. Only God knows. And if someone really is doing wrong — like those who enforced segregation, then you have to absolutely trust that God will take care of their punishment. It’s not your job to do that. Why would you sacrifice eternal life in Heaven just to get your revenge here on Earth. Your life here is just a blip of time in the grand scale of things. Do right here, and you’ll have eternal, beautiful life in God’s Kingdom.

    Sloth:
    –If a man is lazy, the rafters sag; if his hands are idle, the house leaks. (Ecclesiastes 10:18)
    –We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (Hebrews 6:12)
    This is right up there with the example of the Thanksgiving dinner or or the dude playing Sony that I gave above. What woman would want a man who doesn’t work or provide for their family? Is a lazy person a respectful, appreciative, compassionate person? Again, this is referring to excess. They aren’t talking about taking an afternoon nap or wanting to veg on the couch on a Saturday evening. This is referring to life. Is a woman who doesn’t take care of her kids or the house because she’s watching TV all day one that is happy, healthy, loving and compassionate? How could she be? Basically, if you’re throwing your life away because you’re being lazy and not working hard or being responsible, then you’re telling God that you don’t appreciate anything He’s given you and it’s not worth maintaining. It’s like this… how heartbreaking would it be to work really hard in putting together a perfect collectible dollhouse for your daughter — with furniture and handmade decor — and watch her just throw it aside and not take care of it? It means that she just doesn’t appreciate it, and isn’t willing to put the work into maintaining it. In a year or two, with that kind of neglect, it’s going to fall apart and be worthless. It’s the same thing with your life.

    Anyway, the true moral of the story here is this: ANYTHING in excess — sex, drink, laziness, food, anger — whatever, is bad. And, always look to God. Appreciate the good things you have, and strive to always be compassionate, loving, joyful, grateful and respectful. If you strive for that, then avoiding those sins should be easy and come naturally.

    Hey, mind if I post this on my blog as well (with your original thoughts on those sins)?

    ~Maria
    http://www.jubileeonearth.com

  10. CTC, thanks. I do think that the drift to extremism is becoming more pronounced these days.

    Sara, too much may well be a bad thing but so is not enough.

    BP, long time no see. I may have to explain why I like arguing discussing things with religious people in a blog entry of it’s very own.

    Mumsy, thanks. You say the best things. Praise me some more.

    Maria,

    man has made up a lot of crap

    Ah, you see I believe that the Bible was made my man as well…so I agree with you.

    On Greed is it selfishness that is wrong or greed itself? You describe one aspect of the accumulation of wealth and lump all of it as bad. If you are correct then why don’t Christians follow Jesus and give away all of their possessions as he commands in the bible?

    On Lust you say it is bad because it leads to distrust in others. Is it not then a sin to not trust your fellow man who has done nothing worse than think. You should trust until you have a cause not to. You also describe it as bad in that someone can be drooling at the mouth for want of it. OK I’ve done that and it can be great but most often lust is much less intense than that. Again it’s all lumped together.

    On Pride you again take only the extreme view. What about the good that comes from the pride a craftsman feels in a job well done or a desire to make something that is free from flaw or error? You may not want to be around people who are proud, boastful and self-loving but surely these are aspects of charismatic individuals, of leaders. Pride also comes hand in hand with responsibility. If I believe that I have done something well and it fails then I have to fix it.

    On Gluttony you seem to have taken a side step into sloth. Perhaps the cause of constant gluttony is sloth in which case it is not really a sin in the first place but merely a cause. As for poor Britney I must say that she’d probably recover faster if people helped her rather than put her down all the time.

    On Envy you talk about it as a motivator for greed. Jealousy is a fine emotion, very motivating. As rational beings though we should be schooled in not allowing our emotions to control us.

    On Wrath (and I have to say that this is one of my favourites) you are quite right that I don’t know everyone’s story but they also don’t know mine. Yet the bible is full of horrific stories of mass murders and worse when God decides that one group or individual (or just everyone) has made him angry. I’d rather be motivated by anger and change a situation than ignore it and hope that it goes away.

    On Sloth you say:

    if you’re throwing your life away because you’re being lazy and not working hard or being responsible

    but this is once again an extreme.

    All of these are extremes but the point is that it isn’t going to hurt you to indulge in them to a certain extent. Why should the religious have a stick to beat themselves and the rest of humanity with because they decide to view things as black or white, good or bad?

    Thanks for taking the time to put all this together though. Of course you highjack it for your own blog. It’ll add to the discussion I hope.

    One thing though. You include a lot of passages from the Bible as an authority in support of your views. You should be aware that as an unbeliever I don’t view them as an authority on anything. My own response is to disdain them and you might want to consider that in future debates. One of my nastier tactics in religious debate is to throw a passage back at the theist that contradicts what they are saying. I only do it because I’m mean though. 😉

  11. mylozmom

    this is EXTREAMLY entertaining!

  12. Really well-written and well put, Mr Frog. I agree with all of your arguments. I see you’re still Panda-hating though, tsk tsk 😉
    x

  13. Mumsy, yeah, just like that. :)>-

    Pandy, only most of them…you’re the exception.

  14. Well, there are two things I have in retort to your comments (I do have to agree that it’s entertaining!):

    1) You say that “all of those can be extremes to the point, but it won’t be hurtful if you indulge to a certain extent.” Those are some pretty strong words up there. I think they are meant to be taken as the extreme. God just didn’t use the word “desire” — He used “lust.” He didn’t say “happiness” or “satisfaction” — He said “pride.” As in arrogance. In modern English, we use the word pride a little more loosely now. In those times, “pride” represented “arrogance” or “cockiness.” He didn’t say “frustration” or “annoyance” — he said “wrath.” Get my drift? Think of it in terms of a child. If you had a son, would you want him to be full of greed, sloth, lust, wrath, etc? Are those words that represent positive attributes? As slightly different words, sure — they could mean that. But that’s not what those words are up there. Those are the strongest words — the epitome/the extreme — of those definitions.

    2) The real difference between our arguments is that I believe the Bible comes from God, and you don’t. Of course you don’t! How could you believe that when you don’t even believe that God exists? However, Christians understand that those people who wrote the Bible are those that either talked to God and/or Christ in person, or was a direct associate of one who did. So everything is verified. Why hasn’t the Bible morphed into a different book all these years? Every other non-fiction book on this planet that was written some time ago has been updated in some way. Why didn’t the Pope add chapters to it? What about Martin Luther King Jr.? He had some great things to say. Mother Teresa? I mean, there have been some really fantastic people in the history of our planet. The reason why is because that Book is the Word of God. It exists only as it did back in those times (with the exception of translations). Nothing has been added (unless you’re a Catholic, which I’ll agree that those extra books in the Bible aren’t legitimate) and nothing has been taken out. It is God’s Word. If you don’t believe that, then of course you are going to pick it apart and disagree with it. It doesn’t surprise me in the least. But that’s okay. Because I, along with every other true Christian out there, found the key to what’s written in there. And you get that key by believing in Christ. It’s no biggie. You can choose to go through the door, and see all that’s there. Or stay on the other side of it, and just talk about what’s on the other side, scoffing, laughing, picking it apart. I just shrug, because you’re only basing your comments on what you think is through that door.

    It’s like raising kids. I can talk about it all I want… giving advice, picking apart different techniques for discipline that parents use… disagreeing with some things that people do with their kids. But in the end, those parent’s don’t honestly care what I think or say. That’s because I’m not a parent, and I don’t know first hand.

    They might stay friends with me anyway, and hope that one day I’ll be a parent and really see for myself. Or maybe I won’t. In any case, until I do, I’m just talking out of my butt, right?

    ;o) Take care, and thanks again for a great discussion.

    ~Maria
    http://www.jubileeonearth.com

  15. divastar

    Nice blog Mr Frog, it made me smile a lot and that’s always good! :oD

  16. Maria: Why hasn’t the Bible morphed into a different book all these years?. Because it is controlled by religion and not (as the examples you use) subject to the vagaries of taste of the reading public.

    But as you say the Bible is the word of God perhaps you’d like to visit Exodus 35.2 and either explain how that rule should be put into place in the modern context… or perhaps you’ll admit that the Bible may not have morphed, but modern interpretation of it has?
    🙂

  17. Maria, I have got a son and three daughters. I want them to have pride in their achievements, be wealthy, desire improvement in their lives, use their anger to change things for the better, learn to relax and enjoy life and partake in it’s pleasures whether that be food or some other material thing. The only thing they aren’t allowed to do is lust and that’s just because they aren’t yet even teenagers. Maybe when they reach their thirties….maybe not.

    Your second point raises some worrying questions. There is no “original” bible. You have Greek translations of various works. These were written between 100 AD and 300 AD. Also the Bible has undergone a few changes and has been edited several times. Not least of which is the New Testament apocrypha where some books were completely removed from the body of the Bible.

    Why shouldn’t the Bible evolve and change with the times? We didn’t have complex forms of communication, organised governments, guns or nuclear weapons 2000 years ago or the breadth and depth of scientific knowledge that we have today.

    Besides which the Seven Classic Sins were not even in the Bible. Instead they were first identified by St. John Cassian (360 – 435) and refined by Pope St. Gregory the Great (540 – 604).

    Anyway I am enjoying this and I particularly enjoy the opinion from your point of view….even if I don’t agree with it.

    Diva, I know you enjoy your sin as much as I do.

    Brennig, being put to death for not resting on the seventh day is a bit extreme. You’d think a “you need a break” would do instead.

  18. mylozmom

    WOW Mr. Frog………you are very knowledgeable on every aspect of life aren’t you?? Impressive is the only word I can think of!

  19. Mumsy, it’s true. I know everything. OK not everything. I know almost nothing about football…actually many things are a complete mystery to me. I do like to know my subject when I debate though.

  20. YAY Maria…oops…did I say that out loud? 😉

    Mr. Frog…I hope u’ll hop over and give me your explanation on how things that were written thousands of years ago have come to pass, are coming to pass and will come to pass…I’m sure there is a logical explanation… 😉

  21. Sure thing Deb. Do you mean the vague and convoluted predictions of Nostrodamus or the even vaguer predictions from the books of the bible?

  22. I mean the very clear prophecies in the Bible that have, are and will come true…

  23. Oh, I see you’ve blogged about them on your own place. I’ll pop over and have a look when I’m not as rushed as I am at the moment. Very clear isn’t how I’d describe them though. Then again prophecy never is very clear.

  24. Hoverfrog,

    I’ve been meaning to comment ever since you posted this but just couldn’t find the time to sit down to really put my thoughts into words until now. Wow. You’ve had quite a a few replies.

    First of all, the list of seven deadly sins is not from the Bible, I don’t think. Isn’t that a Catholic thing? Anyway, it doesn’t matter.

    In my opinion, the characteristics you listed are not sins at all but a part of human nature. Every human being has those traits, don’t you think? They are what makes us human. But on the other side of the spectrum, we also possess love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. All of those things contribute to make us balanced and complete as a human being.

    To label something as a “sin” and deny ourselves what comes so natural to us is to deny the fact that we are human. That is a huge issue I have with religion.

    Can I also steal your post to start a discussion on my blog? (You come up with some great thoughts. I like how you think.)

  25. Thanks Linda, you’re right, they were made up by St. John Cassian later by Pope Gregory the Great. Human characteristic shouldn’t be defined as right or wrong, only actions should have those labels and even then we can exc use or justify them sometimes.

    Steal away.

  26. max

    man has forgotten that we have a master. we are not our own masters,God is our master.

  27. Not mine.

    Thanks though you’ve given me inspiration for another blog entry.

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