Must We Confess Our Sin Dailly ?

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by Genade, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

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    Nothing could be better than this. The Jains have a particular day on which they would seek excuse for any mistake they might have committed with that person. This is known as 'Paryushan Day'. We, Hindus, do it the day after Deepawali (Diwali). Person to person, and not to any God or Goddess. :)
     
  2. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    I would say it is more than seeking excuses, it is making amends. I hope this is a Jain idea.

    I would also add the idea of bad karma. No 'sin' can be 'forgiven' until the resulting bad karma is 'burned off', and no bad karma can be burned off until amends have been made (which usually consists of more than just saying I'm sorry). Christianity teaches that oftentimes we only have to say "I'm sorry" and I strongly disagree.

    Karma never forgets.
     
  3. donnann

    donnann Well-Known Member

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    I don't think its just saying sorry but really meaning that you are sorry. Sometimes people say sorry but really are not. I believe if its a heartfelt regret and your remorseful about it that you are forgiven. To me the concept of karma and having to burn off your bad debt contradicts the whole concept and teachings of Jesus.
     
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    I do wish you would stop making false and prejudicial statements about Christianity as if that somehow substantiates your case. It is obvious in any tradition that an empty apology is never sufficient. They have more insight than that. You should credit them with such.

    And again, I wonder, is it not the case that spreading falsehoods without having checked to see if such is the case does not itself garner bad karma?
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    I agree. I have never seen it expressed any other way.

    Well I wouldn't say contradict. I would rather say it's a knowledge of the cosmos as object, a rather chill and mechanistic reality, it seems to me. Jesus is all about compassion and the transcendent Subject.
     
  6. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    It seems to me that everything you say says you do believe in guilt as it should be properly understood — the reflection upon an action that perceives a violation of a personal moral standard — I rather think what's you're addressing it its rather theatrical facade, false piety or obsequiousness.
     
  7. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    Thomas there is a difference between understanding the meaning of guilt (which I do) and believing there is anything useful about feeling guilty (which I do not).

    I have no idea what the last part of your sentence is attempting to say. Please clarify.
     
  8. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    You're not talking about what guilt is really about, but the acting guilty. Perhaps you don't understand all meanings of guilt?
     
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    OK. What I mean is, if you don't experience guilt, then you have no conscience, no compassion, no thought for the other — the universe and everything in it is yours for the using.

    The realisation, through introspection, that I could have done better, and perhaps, that I did another person or persons a disservice.

    I think what you're talking about is the self-shredding, commonplace idea, the 'oh, woe is me' type of guilt, or worse, the kind of thing characteristed by Uriah Heep in Dickens' David Copperfield.
     
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    I mean Christianity is something one does.

    Does it not supply the impetus to put things right?

    But that's not what guilt is, that's a self-serving response that actually says 'I know this is wrong, but I like it' ... Guilt is not the problem here. It's not guilt, it's an addiction. It's masochism.

    Disagree. Confession is a rite of passage way older than Christianity, it's hardwired into the human condition. It's usually the right thing to do, whereas blame, or self-justification, is usually the wrong thing — but that's probably the start of another debate.

    The idea of confession stands in start contrast to the ego-orientation of modern western culture.

    If it were a cop out, a lot more people would go. A cop-out is the easy way, and confession is not that. That's the way people like to say it, to fend off the issue.

    I think people 'cop out' of confession because they want to hang on to their own carefully crafted, illusory, self-image. In private we atone for all our sins in a way that pleases us.

    As a Liturgical Act, and a Sacrament, it's something else altogether.

    No, here is what you do because you felt guilty.

    Well no sin is forgiven by sitting on our collective arses ...
     
  11. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    Thomas said "OK. What I mean is, if you don't experience guilt, then you have no conscience, no compassion, no thought for the other — the universe and everything in it is yours for the using."

    Wow. That is an If/Then statement that is completely inane. In order to have a conscience, compassion one must be able to feel guilty? (as defined in this context as self-guilt over one's actions over another).

    Compassion does not apply. I could not find one definition of compassion that had any relation to guilt.

    Conscience does have some relation to guilt. I would propose to you that a person is capable of understanding what guilt is without the need to feel guilt.

    The rudderless morals you ascribe to this situation is simply not true. What you suggest is that if there is not some exterior force telling you what is good and what is bad you cannot know the difference. I propose that if one understands the meaning and import of what is good and what is bad, one can choose one's own moral compass.

    What's more I would suggest that developing one's own moral compass is far superior to being told what your moral compass should be. Much of the misery in this world has been done by supposed authorities abusing the definition of moral to justify evil. And if people blindly follow along they are easy prey to be used.

    Of course, choosing one's own moral compass can be an evil thing, and there is plenty of history of misery in this world because some people chose to believe their own definitions of morality that were based purely for their own benefit.

    Which is where I believe your original statement flows from. I would suggest that that is not the only choice. I would suggest that one can chose a morality based on doing what is right and good by the world as best we mortals are capable of.

    That would be me.
     
  12. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    Thomas, I will alter my comments that confession is as useful as walling in guilt. I went to far with that one. What I should have said is that confession can be used for genuine repentance, or it can be used as a moral get out of jail free card. It depends on the person sitting in the booth.

    The issue for me with the confessional is that it absolves the guilty of their guilt simply by recitation of that guilt. Yes I understand that in theory there should be genuine repentance as another outcome. In reality there are those who honestly make the attempt to repent, and there are those who think (and act) that by going to confession automatically wipes the slate clean and their immoral action is forgotten as soon as they leave the booth.

    As I said, it depends on the person sitting in the confessional. It can either way depending on the individual.

    Originally post by Gordian Knot:
    Here is what I do rather than waste time on feeling guilty.
    Thomas reply:
    No, here is what you do because you felt guilty.

    This is just playing word games. And besides you really do not have a clue what I feel. Rather presumptuous to suggest otherwise, don't you think?

    Originally posted by Gordian Knot:
    In my belief, my approach is a proactive solution to sin.
    Thomas reply:
    Well no sin is forgiven by sitting on our collective arses ...

    Yes. Exactly. That was the entire purpose of my original post!
    One can do someone else wrong and decide to feel guilty about it as the solution.

    Or one can do someone else wrong, feel guilt, and decide to act to undo the wrong as the solution.

    Or one can do someone else wrong and decide to act to undo the wrong as the solution. Feeling guilt is not a prerequisite of the solution.
     
  13. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Yes, I think it is.
     
  14. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

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    Yes, 'karma' should never forget, and if Gods and Goddesses interfere in the process, they are not being just. Amends (prayascitta) are necessary, and they may not be easy - expiation, atonement, amends.

    "At the same time, Yājñavalkya suggests that the results of sins committed intentionally cannot be undone through prāyaścittas. However, he continues with the thought that this will cause social contact with the sinner to be permitted. Alternative interpretations of this verse suggest the opposite, and that the purposeful perpetrator will be saved from Hell upon performing penance, but will not be allowed contact with upstanding citizens. There is also distinction made between a single occurrence of a sin and repeated infractions.

    The reasons for reducing sin are as varied as the dharmasastric literature that they come from, however, the most important ways include confession, repentance (anutāpa), restraint of breath (Prāṇāyāma), austerity (Tapas), sacrifice into fire (Homa), muttering of Vedic passages as prayers (Japa), gifts (Dāna), fasting (Upavāsa) and pilgrimages (Tīrthayavartra)."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prāyaścitta
     
  15. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

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    Moreover, "If one does not make preparations for performing prāyaścitta within a year of his crime, his sin doubles and he must make twice the reparations, as in paying twice the fines to the king and performing twice the penance." (Wikipedia - prāyaścitta) :eek:
     
  16. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Assuming that we know better than the Gods and Goddesses — that our desire for revenge is more important than their examples of compassion.

    Well what do you know? The same as the Christian Tradition.
     
  17. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

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    The difference is that in Indian religions, one always gets more chances. In Christianity and Islam it is an eternity in hell. So, perhaps God decides arbitrarily - worships me or my son, or not (saves even those who are not worthy of saving). :)
     
  18. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Not the point. The difference is that man is dictating how the Gods and Goddesses must react. And compassion is ruled out.
     
  19. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    As an addendum, I suppose my view is 'karma' is something one accepts in faith as a dogma — there is no evidence — in the same way one accepts the idea of Divine Justice tempered by Divine Mercy.

    Simply put, the karmic cosmos to me seems a cold place. The doctrine is pessimistic and nihilistic, just look at 'Snakes and Ladders'. Someone keeping a balance sheet of every thought that goes through your head ... sounds suspciously like the nuns at Sunday School to me! ;)

    My sense of the Transcendent is not purely mechanistic, there is the objective True and the Real, but there is also the subjective Good and the Beautiful. There are Values. There is Meaning.

    There is Movement that is not prescribed, Movement that is ontologically free, that is authentically creative, but in a karmic cosmos, such is not and cannot be.
     
  20. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    If we really cared without condition, why wouldn't we?

    Nicely put.

    Not really. Someone does something bad, you do something equally bad in return. That's too bad things. There's no good there, except the human sense of satisfaction that the suffering of another somehow cancels mine out.

    In the New Testament however, we have a higher insight:
    You have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you not to resist evil..." (Matthew 5:38-39)
    An interesting commentary on the doctrine of karma, in that Our Lord sees it as a perpetuation of evil. In fact He goes on at some length about the need to overcome the desire for revenge, which is basically how I see karma to be. A tribal practice wrapped into cultic practice.

    I would also note that Our Lord does not say 'turn the other cheek ... let go thy cloak him ... with him other two (miles) ... Give ... turn not away ... Love your enemies ... do good to them that hate you ... and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you ... That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust."
    This last point strikes out 'karma' as expressed, because it if were true, then heaven would make it rain on the bad guys, the sun shine on the good ...

    I would also point out that we are not called to do this out of a sense of guilt. All this discussion about guilt and how we reject it comes across like excuses for not making the effort but assuming heaven is obliged to us just because we exist.

    Radarmark had it right: We all sin because we none of us are perfect.

    But since the dawn of time, in my Book anyway, we've been making excuses, finding fault, blaming our neighbour, or blaming God, for our own faults. Or worse, insisting on some kind of Panglossian utopia ...
     

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