Wednesday, 4 July 2007

The Concept of Sin and God's Law

Thought Crime or No Crime?

In the Holy Bible, MAT 5:28 it says: "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

For a Secularist, this concept of a 'thought crime' is meaningless. Man has a whole range of emotions over which he has no direct conscious control. Thus, at any minute of any day a random spontaneous thought can percolate to the surface of the conscious mind, welling up from deep within the subconscious.

Thus, man cannot be judged on his thoughts and his thoughts alone. Man can have irrational thoughts, even the thought to kill. The fact is most men do not act upon such thoughts. This is the only point that matters and as long as one does not act upon one's thoughts willy-nilly, without conscious deliberation of the consequences of acting on those thoughts, then no harm has been done and no sin has been committed.

In reality there is no such thing as a thought crime. Thoughts can only have criminal or immoral consequences if they are consciously acted upon.

An individual may indeed have an irrational and emotional response to another individual. But because man by his very nature has a whole range of deeply embedded subconscious emotions, that often well to the surface spontaneously through an external trigger (someone of the opposite sex for example), then that trigger can bring that emotion in the form of desire (a Christian might use the word lust) into conscious awareness. This itself should not be considered a sin because it is a spontaneous subjectively induced thought. One still has a choice whether to act rationally upon that thought or not and it is only those choices and the actions we take that should be judged good or bad.

One of the most dangerous aspects of religion, is that it often puts subconscious emotional responses above conscious conceptual integrations. This is placing the ability to reason through an argument or action, below that of spontaneous reaction based on the emotion of the moment. The emotion of the moment, the inability to step back, count to ten and consciously integrate your subconscious desires before acting, can and does lead to irrational behavior, including murder.

Terrorists kill for purely irrational reasons. The terrorist is an emotional animal. He reacts to the emotional frenzy of the mob, the cleric, the evangelist, the State - et al. The religious extremist is zealously irrational, because he is tied to an irrational world-view that puts emotional held beliefs above objective reality. For example, the terrorist is able to kill his victim, because he has detached that victim from what he or she really is. He know longer defines that individual as a human being. He defines him or her as the infidel, the sinner, the devil - et al. To do so, the terrorist has detached himself from reality.

In reality all humans are humans first and foremost. It is only the divisive nature of religion that leads to an emotional detachment from reality, that allows the terrorist to see his potential victim as a thing and not a person. It is far easier to kill a thing, than it is a fellow human.

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