Who's Sin is it Anyway?

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Aussie Thoughts, Sep 10, 2015.

  1. Aussie Thoughts

    Aussie Thoughts Just my 2 cents

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    Hey Steve, I wasn't sure where to put this. If you think it would fit better somewhere else, feel free to bump.

    Ok, bear with me for a moment. This is a bit difficult to explain. There are times when we view our works as purely innocent, while others view them as wrong or even sinful. For example. As a photographer, a lot of my work falls into question. Especially if it involves a young lady in a state of undress. I don't shoot pornography by the way. I'm talking something along the lines of an open blouse or a raised skirt. Still, there are those who will automatically view it as such.

    So my question is: Who's in the wrong here? The one who produced the work or the one who automatically viewed it as sinful?
     
  2. BigJoeNobody

    BigJoeNobody Professional Argument Attractor

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    From an Islamic Perspective, anyone involved intentionally in a haram act is guilty of sin. For instance... you photographing an upskirt picture (for this example we will assume the person being photographed isn't doing so deliberately, as in she had no plan to be photographed or to be photographed in such a manner)

    In this case, the woman has done nothing to sin. She is walking down the street or taking personal photos, that are in good taste (again assuming this scenario). The Photographer sees a moment and snaps a picture in a compromising manner and is of a sinful image. He is guilty of sin, While she remains a victim, sinless in this case (not going to get into Hijab not being proper etc). Now if you took this photo on accident and then promptly destroyed it (or maybe gave it to the woman without keeping or distributing that picture) then it is an unintentional act, and as long as you let the woman know that it happened and that the photo was not kept, then you would be absolved of that sin (if you lust over the woman due to the picture, then you might want to pray for forgiveness from God, but that is a whole nother topic)

    If in this example you kept the photo secretly (in and of itself another sin) then sold it to a tabloid (another sin for distributing) the tabloid purchaser would be guilty of sin. Then if it were published, all people who were involved incur a sin, and those sins incurred by the distribution and all those who view it, are shared with the photographer also, as if it weren't for him all these others wouldn't/couldn't have sinned from it.

    Of course this is a rough example with broad examples, but I think you get the gist of it. This is mostly explained with Hadith that explain all the people who have sinned when someone drinks alcohol.
     
  3. StevePame

    StevePame Administrator Admin

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    What if it is an accident and the photographer destroys it right away, but doesn't let the woman know what happened. Is it still a sin?

    Aussie, I think this is a good category for this thread.
     
  4. BigJoeNobody

    BigJoeNobody Professional Argument Attractor

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    I would say that IMO he is attempting to hide that he saw it in that case. Of course if she doesn't know at all then there is nothing to appologize for to her, the Photographer might still be in need of a quick prayer to ask forgiveness for his straying eye, but I doubt that would be considered "required" by scholars assuming no lust was enacted. Islamically we have ways to avoid these accidents, and if all the Law was followed, I doubt this situation would come up...
     
  5. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Much of sin is perspective...
    Shellfish...
    Pork..
    Eating any meat. (All differs from religion to religion)

    Is it murder/war/or justifiable homicide?

    Mixing fabrics in clothing, working in the Sabbath (which Sabbath?... Do we all get three day weekends now?)

    Judge not lest he be judged by the same measure... It is upto us to decide these things?
     
  6. BigJoeNobody

    BigJoeNobody Professional Argument Attractor

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    You being of non-theistic Christianity might not be able to understand this, but I will try from my POV. It is less about perspective from our end as it is from God's eye. If God views it as sin it is sin. Now we can go from the word he revealed to us whether something is definately a sin, probably a sin, probably not a sin, and then there is the good actions... Jewish Law was very strict. Do right and you go to heaven, don't do right and you are punished here (some things from torah elude to a hell, but nothing ever comes out and says it directly unless I missed something which is very probable) Christianity (in general) added some punishment and a Judgement day. Islam reassigned the laws to a stable format. the Jewish law had been manipulated over the years and needed to be corrected. (again these are Abrahamics, I realize Buddhists and Hindus, etc will have a total different view of sin) so for your examples:

    Shellfish: Torah says eating it is sin, some Islamic scholars agree, most do not, Christians believe any filth is sinless because of a line in the Bible (that I personally think is misinterpretted)
    Pork: seems clear both Torah and Quran prohibits such. Christianity is mostly non-sin
    Eating any meat: Abrahamics in general see this as non sinful and according to our sources, we are correct. Very clear in governing texts

    Mixing Fabrics: Torah-sin, rest-not so much

    Murder/war/JH: situational based on many things- intention, situation, alternatives available.

    Working Sabbath: Torah-sin, Christianity traditionally doesn't hold the sabbath and even when they do traditionally view working on sabbath as acceptable, Quran - sabbath is merely a piece of a day and only necessary work is to be done.

    Judge not or you will be judged - (my interpretation) If you judge someone elses actions, your judgement will be reviewed on the Judgement day, and false judgement will be sin just as false witness.
     
  7. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    Aussie, I'm not really sure what it is you are asking. What I think you are asking follows:

    A. Is an action (taking a mildly risqué picture) innocent if the photographer's intent was innocent.
    B. Or is it sinful because other people's impressions see it as sinful, regardless of the intent of the photographer.

    I think Joe has given a fairly reasonable response from an Abrahamic theological position.

    My response, which is not theological in nature would be different. I believe if the intent of (in this example) the photographer is innocent, and they are being honest about their intent, then it is innocent.

    If someone from a different point of view decides it is not innocent because their interpretation matters more than the intent of the photographer, then it is not innocent.

    Unfortunately both statements are correct. Because people vary so much in their views on what is moral and what is not, each individual has the right to interpret the photograph from their own point of view.

    Where we get into trouble is when one group decides they will force their interpretation on everyone else.
     
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  8. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    No accounting for taste, or interpretation.

    Then the question would be why is she in a state of undress?

    Soft-core? :eek: But seriously, why is the blouse open or the skirt raised?

    Yep.

    Depends on the motive behind producing the work?

    We're (as men) facing a lot of the casual sexism that ruled a generation or so ago. What was OK then is not OK now. So I would say the question you're up against is, is this just the sexual objectification of women, or is there something the image is saying? We can argue that it's not offensive, but then slave owners argued it was for their own good ...

    I remember viewing a film by the photographer David Hamilton in '75. Just turned twenty, I was so inspired I went out and bought a camera. I've still got one of his books on a shelf somewhere, 'Dreams of Young Girls'. Many consider in porn. I don't know. I certainly don't get it out to show friends. Is it any good? No. You take a group of early-teen girls away to some mansion, shoot loads of soft-focus shots of naked and semi-naked near-children. What's the statement? What's the artist saying? Looking back, I'd say it's very 70s – straw hats, translucent cotton shifts, soft-focus, country setting ... yawn ... a male fantasy on female adolescence ... I showed it to my daughters, who laughed and shook their heads. We've moved on, society's just too savvy these days, and the old excuses won't cut it.

    Will it be remembered in years to come? I don't think it's even remembered now.

    I've still got the camera. A Minolta SRT101 35mm.
     
  9. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    I get your point, but I think people are getting hung up on your example and missing the question.

    If I may, suppose you were an ice cream maker. To make your ice cream taste even better you put in some extra sugar. In Aussie's case, a lot of extra sugar!:) Now, a fellow comes along dismissing your intent and accuses you of trying to make people fat. So Aussie's question is, is it wrong to make extra sweet ice cream since it may lead to obesity? Or, is it wrong to assume that was your sole reason for making it?

    I should think the latter.
     
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    I don't think that works, NJ –

    The problem is with sugar – we know about sugar.

    I would have thought:
    A: He wouldn't have put extra sugar in unless there was a commercial reason for doing so – sales.
    B: If he hasn't researched the effects of the stuff he puts in his ice-cream, he should be shut down.

    Now, if this was before we realised how bad sugar is, then we can hardly blame him, nor should he beat himself up ...

    ... but ...

    A point I was trying to allude to, is perhaps people who beat themselves up do so on the basis of what they think others think. People who don't care what other people think don't beat themselves up.

    So I'm suggesting guilt is a societal thing. Sociopaths don't suffer guilt. So if you want someone to forgive themselves, you'll best do that by showing that everyone else forgives them.

    I can see some people who set themselves impossible standards and berate themselves when they fail, but I'd say that fall into the area of mental illness, like bulimic or an anorexic who see themselves as fat when they're as skinny as a rake ...

    So if we're not talking the out-there cases like those who do moral ill not because they thought it the best at the time, but because they thought they'd get away with it, and we're not talking about those who suffer an obsession, then you cannot disconnect 'forgiveness' from its communal dimension, because the communal aspect is actually the more powerful and the more important.

    Example: I went through a period when I thought saying sorry was pointless. If I did something wrong, and you knew me, you'd know I didn't mean it, therefore you're wrong to hold it against me, and I don't have to apologise.

    Or more accurately, although I did not see it at the time, if I've done something wrong, it's not for me to learn the lesson and heal the hurt, it's for you to suck it up in silence.

    Sorry is a really powerful word, but it's way more powerful when it's shared, than when it's reflected on the self, because it too easily becomes self pity, or self-justification.
     
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  11. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    So pork shellfish...Sabbath... If it is G!ds decision what is a sin... And we have three different versions...are there three different abrahamic G!ds? Or are mist of the religions wrong?
     
  12. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    Wil, you have an obsession with pork and shellfish!!!!!
     
  13. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    The part italicized, are you saying that is a good thing or not a good thing. Cause I consider it a good thing not to beat oneself up over what anyone else might be thinking about me. On the other hand if I have wronged someone I consider it a strength that I will apologize for having done so.
     
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  14. BigJoeNobody

    BigJoeNobody Professional Argument Attractor

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    In Islam Guilt is your heart (metaphorically obviously actually meaning your mind which controls your perceptions of right/wrong) telling you you have done something wrong. It henceforth requires an apology to either a person or a person and God. Other than that I'm thinking I agree with the rest of your statement... Essentially what is done in error intentionally is a sin, and that which is done without intention but later discovered to be in error is a sin... Both require repentence from others in the form of an apology to the tresspassed and God.

    Not obeying his commandments is the sin. If you follow the Mosaic Law, (IMO this is tough due to inaccuracies and intricacy of such) then doing something against that law is a sin. If you follow Christian Law, then anything you do against it is a sin. Same with Shariah Law (or Quranic Law for those less versed).

    Take you for example. You claim to follow Biblical teachings and consider yourself a Christian. Denying his existance is a Sin, denying his prophets is a sin, and denying any part of the teachings of Jesus (PBUH) is a sin.

    His law changed with time until it came into perfection. Time and development was required before the people would be able to maintain the word fully. That is our position. You know by now I would never claim multiple Gods. The same God that talked to Abraham and Moses (PBUT) is the same God who talked to Jesus and Mouhammed (PBUH). But you knew that.
     
  15. Aussie Thoughts

    Aussie Thoughts Just my 2 cents

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    I don't shoot things like that. I'm talking about paid models with prior knowledge of what the shoot entails. I suppose from an Islamic perspective that means we're both guilty as hell.:)
    I don't shoot underage stuff myself, but Hamilton's work is a good example of what I'm talking about. Here's a bloke that went out of his way to present his subjects in a very elegant and dignified manner. Granted, his subject matter was not everyone's cup of tea, but it could hardly be considered porn. My contention is, people who would see this type of work as porn, have they themselves committed the sin not the artist.
    Nice try mate, but as you can see some folks would rather nit pick the analogy than address the actual question. What the hell does 'Shell Fish' have to do with anything?????????o_O
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2015
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  16. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member

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    Just glad I don't believe in sin, it makes for less thinking.
     
  17. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Nah ... not really. It's all a bit self-indulgent. What he presents is his own ideas about pubescent female sexuality. The images say more about David Hamilton than they do of the girls ... all a bit Emmanuelle ... all a bit 70s. Not one of our better decades.

    Oh, I think they ticked the box for a lot of guys. This was the 70s remember, there wasn't too much access to porn then as now. I remember the conversations when we'd seen the film! The 70s was a decade infamous for its sexism and sexual objectification.

    Well some will see anything as porn, so you can't really make sweeping statements like that.

    I don't think you'll find many people to defend Hamilton's work these days. Its 70s eroticism, pure and simple. As I say, we've moved on a lot from the 70s, and what passed as acceptable then is not so now ... today we have a whole different raft of problems. Looking back, we wonder what all the fuss was about, but really that's because we're just further along the arc. Some might say Hamilton's naive, I just think he's naff. It doesn't stand the test of time. It doesn't say anything, but then it never did, it was all about voyeurism.

    But one man's meat, etc. We have some Mapplethorpe images on the walls in our house, and I'm sure there's some that find those offensive. (And not even his more confrontational images.)




    Nice try mate, but as you can see some folks would rather nit pick the analogy than address the actual question. What the hell does 'Shell Fish' have to do with anything?????????o_O[/QUOTE]
     
  18. BigJoeNobody

    BigJoeNobody Professional Argument Attractor

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    I would say probably, but when you take her risque-ness out and make her accident, it makes the examples of right/wrong more easily definable rather than changing the scenario 100x... Obviously I would prefer not to see your work... in these scenarios... for my own sake :)
     
  19. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    David danced naked, in public, to praise G!d. Was that a sin? Many thought so at the time, no doubt in the same situation many still would think it was sinful even today. It is written that G!d didn't think it was sinful, and David was made King.

    Sin belongs to the individual. If one chooses to view a particular action or situation as sinful...it *is* sinful, for that person. No person can know the heart or mind of another, no person is to judge the heart or mind of another.

    That said, we all draw lines in the sand. The irony is that we expect and demand others honor our lines in the sand, while we often step over and even obliterate the lines drawn by others.
     
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  20. Devils' Advocate

    Devils' Advocate Well-Known Member

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    Yes, problematical that.
     

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