Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
On average, how many sins do you commit each day?
Answering this question seriously requires a clarification. I take the idea of
sinlessness to mean a person whose behavior is perfect -- that given all
situations, they will make choices which reflect the best possible moral choice
available to that person. Such behavior requires, essentially, perfect concentration,
comprehension, and contemplation to every decision made.
So, a person who does not take into account all that can be known is sinning
on this definition. If a friend of mine hides that he is grieving over the loss
of his pet, I cannot be responsible for not comforting him. However, if I know
that he is grieving and do not extend that comfort because I'm too busy
playing Nintendo Wii, I am responsible.
If I am hiding Jews in my attic, and the Sturmabteilung knock on my door
and ask me if I am hiding Jews, by lying I am not sinning (it is the most
moral action I can reasonably take). However, if my wife calls and asks
me to do something to help her and I say that I am too busy, when in
actuality I'm writing posts on RHP, then I am sinning.
As it pertains to these sins, I'm fair to midland. Of these imperfect sins,
sometimes I make them intentionally -- knowing the right answer and
electing something more convenient -- sometimes I make them because
I am not being sufficiently contemplative -- taking into account all of the
necessary components in an effort to arrive at the right answer --
sometimes I confuse the elements of the situation and elect an incorrect
answer -- not understanding the needs of the person in question, or
reasonably predicting how my reaction will be received -- sometimes
I make them because I'm simply too busy -- not affording the situation
enough time to acquire the right answer. Contemplation, comprehension,
On top of all of this is the knowledge that my lifestyle -- by virtue of both
luck (providence, if you will) and my hard work -- is one of opulence, that
I don't need nearly a tenth of what I actually possess. My connection
with the thousands of people who die daily of hunger and treatable diseases
is negligible -- from an evolutionary standpoint, it's fully justified -- yet,
I believe that I am morally obligated in some fashion greater than I am
willing to participate. And, while I firmly believe that the earth is wildly
overpopulated with humans, I certainly don't like condemning anyone to
death by withholding that which I could give if I didn't spend it on the
complete Six Feet Under DVD set, for example.
Consequently, I'm of the opinion that I am perpetually in sin and, while I
live a reasonably moral life (I think), I see no way to avoid it short of
giving all my possessions away and working in the Peace Corps.