Thursday, January 8, 2009

Absolutist thinking

Last night I had a 'shower epiphany'. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, you should either shower more often, or take longer showers. Be sure to let your mind wander rather than focus on scrubbing every grain of dirt out from between your toes, or obsessing about cleaning behind your ears.) It was a simple realization, but still kind of profound.

If you believe in sin, then you think in absolutist terms. (At least some of the time.)

Let me explain my line of reasoning. If you believe in sin, then you likely believe that you are a sinner. You likely believe that you need a savior to remove your sins. This is probably because you believe God is sinless, and if you sin (or have sinned) then you cannot dwell in God's presence, because God cannot tolerate sin or abide sin's presence (I'll have to find the scripture on that one. I'm not sure if it's biblical or book of Mormon stuff).

So if you believe in sin, and that God is sinless and cannot tolerate sin in the slightest, then either you're "in" or you're "out". Absolutist. There is no middle ground. You can't be a psuedo-sinner. You are or you aren't. That's why you believe in the need for a savior--to overcome the absolute of being sinful or having sins, to become absolutely sinless, and thus able dwell in God's presence. (I won't go into a discussion about "in God's presence" meaning in this life or the next.)

Hmmm. Makes sense to me. Maybe it's more Mormon-type philosophy I'm thinking of regarding God and sinlessness and how God and sin can't co-exist. But that's my background. What are your thoughts?

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