Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Discuss the April 2021 Philosophy Book of the Month, Wilderness Cry: A Scientific and Philosophical Approach to Understanding God and the Universe by Dr. Hilary L Hunt M.D.
Post Reply
Ecurb
Posts: 2138
Joined: May 9th, 2012, 3:13 pm

Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by Ecurb »

Leontiskos wrote: February 1st, 2022, 2:47 pm
Good_Egg wrote: February 1st, 2022, 9:33 am
Leontiskos wrote: January 31st, 2022, 7:23 pm Sin is not a law, it is the breaking of a law. The question then is whether sin is the breaking of a man-made law. Everyone knows that sin is the breaking of a divine law, not a man-made law. If divine law does not exist, then sin does not exist.

If divine law does exist, and we can transgress it, then sin exists.
Very good. I think you've shown that the proposition as stated is false by definition, from the everyday meaning of the words.
Thank you. I think that's right.

.
That's clearly correct, by definition. However, it begs the question of whether "divine law" can exist without a Divinity. Suppose God is invented by men. Suppose the laws He dictates are also invented. Suppose the term "sin" is used to describe the breaking of these "divine laws".

"Sinh" remains a meaningful and valuable term when used this way.
User avatar
Leontiskos
Posts: 695
Joined: July 20th, 2021, 11:27 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Aristotle and Aquinas

Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by Leontiskos »

Ecurb wrote: February 11th, 2022, 1:24 pm
Leontiskos wrote: January 31st, 2022, 7:23 pm
Sushan wrote: April 3rd, 2021, 3:08 pmAre sins merely man-made laws?
No, and for several reasons. Sin is not a law, it is the breaking of a law. The question then is whether sin is the breaking of a man-made law. Everyone knows that sin is the breaking of a divine law, not a man-made law. If divine law does not exist, then sin does not exist. If divine law does exist, and we can transgress it, then sin exists.
That's clearly correct, by definition. However, it begs the question of whether "divine law" can exist without a Divinity. Suppose God is invented by men. Suppose the laws He dictates are also invented. Suppose the term "sin" is used to describe the breaking of these "divine laws".

"Sinh" remains a meaningful and valuable term when used this way.
Er, of course divine law cannot exist without a divinity. Surely you are not proposing that sin is a meaningful and valuable term in an atheistic context?

If sin is the breaking of divine law, and divine law does not exist, then sin does not exist.
Wrestling with Philosophy since 456 BC

Socrates: He's like that, Hippias, not refined. He's garbage, he cares about nothing but the truth.
Ecurb
Posts: 2138
Joined: May 9th, 2012, 3:13 pm

Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by Ecurb »

Leontiskos wrote: February 11th, 2022, 10:07 pm

Er, of course divine law cannot exist without a divinity. Surely you are not proposing that sin is a meaningful and valuable term in an atheistic context?

If sin is the breaking of divine law, and divine law does not exist, then sin does not exist.
No. I'm proposing that sin is meaningfyul in a religious context, whether or not God "exists".

Can a divinity "exist" as a cultural artifact? If God exists as a cultural artifact (and nothing else) can't divine law exist as a cultural artifact? And if so , can't sin exist?

If a Christian thinks it is a sin to fail to love your enemy, and thinks this is due to it's being a transgression of divine law, why is the existance of God in any other than the cultural sense significant?

Of course God must "exist" in some sense for there to be a divine law. But the "existance" of an unknowable, incorporeal being is subject to the question: what does it mean to "exist". Existing as a cultural artifact seems incorporeal enough to qualify.
User avatar
Leontiskos
Posts: 695
Joined: July 20th, 2021, 11:27 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Aristotle and Aquinas

Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by Leontiskos »

Ecurb wrote: February 12th, 2022, 10:46 am
Leontiskos wrote: February 11th, 2022, 10:07 pm

Er, of course divine law cannot exist without a divinity. Surely you are not proposing that sin is a meaningful and valuable term in an atheistic context?

If sin is the breaking of divine law, and divine law does not exist, then sin does not exist.
No. I'm proposing that sin is meaningful in a religious context, whether or not God "exists".

Can a divinity "exist" as a cultural artifact? If God exists as a cultural artifact (and nothing else) can't divine law exist as a cultural artifact? And if so , can't sin exist?

If a Christian thinks it is a sin to fail to love your enemy, and thinks this is due to it's being a transgression of divine law, why is the existance of God in any other than the cultural sense significant?

Of course God must "exist" in some sense for there to be a divine law. But the "existance" of an unknowable, incorporeal being is subject to the question: what does it mean to "exist". Existing as a cultural artifact seems incorporeal enough to qualify.
I would maintain that sin requires divine law, and divine law requires the divine.

The same holds for cultures, but cultural belief is not as liquid as individual belief. If a civilization has been theistic and Christian for 1500 years but then abandons that inheritance, they will retain the things that depended on theism for a few centuries before they disappear. What was once used on a daily basis then becomes an antique and eventually passes out of existence altogether (as a living reality). This is what Nietzsche meant by the death of God. He perceived the very first phase, when the star had died but we were unaware because its light continued to reach us, apparently the same as before.
Wrestling with Philosophy since 456 BC

Socrates: He's like that, Hippias, not refined. He's garbage, he cares about nothing but the truth.
NeilWallace
Posts: 10
Joined: October 11th, 2017, 3:15 pm

Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by NeilWallace »

Sushan wrote: April 3rd, 2021, 3:08 pm The author argues that we, humans, are not superior than any other animals. We too have basic needs like sex, food and shelter like them. But we have made agreements and laws among us making polygamy, killing others for foods, etc, sins. So the point that the author is trying to prove is that sins are not defined by divine laws, but only by mere agreements among humans. Do you agree with this point of view? Are sins merely man-made laws?
Most so called man made laws are for me really just reflections of instinctive evolutionary "laws". Human laws are pretty similar to chimpanzee laws for example . Chimpanzees go berserk when they spot adultery, frown upon "non state sanctioned" murder of their own - when they agree to murder their own and others that is an another matter, chimpanzees also have pretty acute sensitivity to violations of fairness as we do.

Why do Chimps and other animals have this innate morality- to give the best chance of the survival of the species.

In other words scratch the surface of the law courts with their latin phrases and solemn weighty law books - its really just the jungle playing out.
Good_Egg
Posts: 845
Joined: January 27th, 2022, 5:12 am

Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by Good_Egg »

To a theist, there are two sources of divine law. There is divine revelation in scripture, and there is the law built into the universe by a creator God.

If you're an atheist, you believe that neither scripture nor the universe is the work of any divine being. Because none such exist.

But an atheist can still form a legal opinion as to whether a particular act is forbidden by Jewish law or Islamic law, for example. And therefore whether it is a sin to Jews or Muslims.

And an atheist can still form a philosophical opinion as to whether a particular act is contrary to natural law, is wrong - sinful - in a way that is knowable by reasoning applied to nature.

One such possible (if extreme) opinion is that nothing which is physically possible is morally forbidden.

Aquinas believed that natural law is universally binding and universally knowable by reason. You can agree with him or not, whether or not you believe in a divine creator.

So I don't agree that sin is meaningless to an atheist.
"Opinions are fiercest.. ..when the evidence to support or refute them is weakest" - Druin Burch
User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 8143
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by LuckyR »

Good_Egg wrote: February 13th, 2022, 3:55 am To a theist, there are two sources of divine law. There is divine revelation in scripture, and there is the law built into the universe by a creator God.

If you're an atheist, you believe that neither scripture nor the universe is the work of any divine being. Because none such exist.

But an atheist can still form a legal opinion as to whether a particular act is forbidden by Jewish law or Islamic law, for example. And therefore whether it is a sin to Jews or Muslims.

And an atheist can still form a philosophical opinion as to whether a particular act is contrary to natural law, is wrong - sinful - in a way that is knowable by reasoning applied to nature.

One such possible (if extreme) opinion is that nothing which is physically possible is morally forbidden.

Aquinas believed that natural law is universally binding and universally knowable by reason. You can agree with him or not, whether or not you believe in a divine creator.

So I don't agree that sin is meaningless to an atheist.
True, an atheist can use the word "sin", though they use it differently from the typical religionist.
"As usual... it depends."
Good_Egg
Posts: 845
Joined: January 27th, 2022, 5:12 am

Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by Good_Egg »

I'd suggest that atheists don't tend to use the word "sin" at all. (Rather than using it with a different meaning).

We all understand "it's a sin to kill a mockingbird".

But atheists would tend to phrase it diferently, to avoid the religious overtones. Maybe "it's inappropriate to kill a mockingbird" ? Or "ethically problematic" ?
"Opinions are fiercest.. ..when the evidence to support or refute them is weakest" - Druin Burch
User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 8143
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by LuckyR »

Good_Egg wrote: February 16th, 2022, 3:49 am I'd suggest that atheists don't tend to use the word "sin" at all. (Rather than using it with a different meaning).

We all understand "it's a sin to kill a mockingbird".

But atheists would tend to phrase it diferently, to avoid the religious overtones. Maybe "it's inappropriate to kill a mockingbird" ? Or "ethically problematic" ?
No worries, my "can", is your "tend to".
"As usual... it depends."
PhilosophersStoned
Posts: 6
Joined: February 18th, 2022, 9:47 am

Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by PhilosophersStoned »

I believe that divine law, natural law and human law are all construct to make society work.
Of course to have divine laws there has to be a divine being (or even just the idea of it).
It is like going to the supermarket and stealing an apple just because there is no policeman around. If you adhere to the human law of not stealing you would not steal even when you cannot see any policemen next to you, and that in my opinion is true for anything.
The existence of God is irrelevant as to define the existence of sin, especially because we cannot argue with certainty about It's existence or non-existence.
The idea of guilt on the other hand is, I believe, a psychological tool used to stop us to do things that would hurt other people in the society in which we live, and cannot be enforced solely by human or natural law, by making us hurt by reflex. Guilt is a state of mind created by ourselves when we realise (and care) that the society find us culpable of an act that by general agreement should not be performed.
Everything is a contract, anything we do is a mean to an end. And the end is personal appraisal; we perform certain actions to get a personal reward.
A person and its best friend are each other best friend because they both get something out of it. A person and its spouse are together because they both get something out of it. A person and its boss work together because they both get something out of it, and so on. Nobody (human or otherwise) does anything to get nothing back. Not even such a divine creature as God (if It exist). If we think they do it's because of our little understanding of the reward they get.
User avatar
Leontiskos
Posts: 695
Joined: July 20th, 2021, 11:27 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Aristotle and Aquinas

Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by Leontiskos »

Good_Egg wrote: February 13th, 2022, 3:55 am...So I don't agree that sin is meaningless to an atheist.
It's not meaningless in the sense that atheists can't understand what it refers to, but you were right to say that atheists don't tend to use the word at all. In my estimation Ecurb was arguing for more than the idea that atheists can understand sin in the way that someone could understand the legal code of an ancient, extinct civilization. But maybe I misunderstood him.

In much the same way, an atheist can understand what is being referred to when a religious person uses the term 'God', but this does not mean that the term 'God' is meaningful or valuable in their own personal lexicon. The atheist is understanding the non-existent referent of another person's mistaken belief.
Wrestling with Philosophy since 456 BC

Socrates: He's like that, Hippias, not refined. He's garbage, he cares about nothing but the truth.
Ecurb
Posts: 2138
Joined: May 9th, 2012, 3:13 pm

Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by Ecurb »

Leontiskos wrote: February 25th, 2022, 1:56 am

It's not meaningless in the sense that atheists can't understand what it refers to, but you were right to say that atheists don't tend to use the word at all. In my estimation @Ecurb was arguing for more than the idea that atheists can understand sin in the way that someone could understand the legal code of an ancient, extinct civilization. But maybe I misunderstood him.

In much the same way, an atheist can understand what is being referred to when a religious person uses the term 'God', but this does not mean that the term 'God' is meaningful or valuable in their own personal lexicon. The atheist is understanding the non-existent referent of another person's mistaken belief.
Just to clarify, although I agree that atheists can understand "sin" in the manner to which you refer, I also meant to suggest that sin is a meaningful concept and referent to religious people whether or not God "exists". God clearly "exists" as a character in a book and cultural artifact, so I meant that believers can reasonably talk about sin as a transgression against "God" even if He exists only in the senses mentioned above.
User avatar
Leontiskos
Posts: 695
Joined: July 20th, 2021, 11:27 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Aristotle and Aquinas

Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by Leontiskos »

Ecurb wrote: February 25th, 2022, 10:55 am
Leontiskos wrote: February 25th, 2022, 1:56 am

It's not meaningless in the sense that atheists can't understand what it refers to, but you were right to say that atheists don't tend to use the word at all. In my estimation @Ecurb was arguing for more than the idea that atheists can understand sin in the way that someone could understand the legal code of an ancient, extinct civilization. But maybe I misunderstood him.

In much the same way, an atheist can understand what is being referred to when a religious person uses the term 'God', but this does not mean that the term 'God' is meaningful or valuable in their own personal lexicon. The atheist is understanding the non-existent referent of another person's mistaken belief.
Just to clarify, although I agree that atheists can understand "sin" in the manner to which you refer, I also meant to suggest that sin is a meaningful concept and referent to religious people whether or not God "exists". God clearly "exists" as a character in a book and cultural artifact, so I meant that believers can reasonably talk about sin as a transgression against "God" even if He exists only in the senses mentioned above.
Okay, thanks.
Wrestling with Philosophy since 456 BC

Socrates: He's like that, Hippias, not refined. He's garbage, he cares about nothing but the truth.
User avatar
superkayko
New Trial Member
Posts: 4
Joined: February 25th, 2022, 9:03 pm

Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by superkayko »

If sins are entirely man made you would expect to see major differences across the world on what is considered ethical behaviour. While there is some differences it's not extremely different even between cultures that have been separated by oceans for thousands of years like the Aztecs, they still had laws against stealing, murder, property damage and they looked down upon laziness and adultery. They even had a concept similar to sin, tlatlacolli which is similar to the idea of sin we have now.

If you look at the heroes of a culture, which are often just stories that reflect the personified ideals of the ideal human. Heroes mostly share the same characteristics no matter where you are from also. So if the ideal man is universal at least partially, then the idea of the sinner, which could also be considered the opposite of the ideal man must also be somewhat universal.

I think sin is something we instinctually understand, not some agreement we make about how to act
User avatar
LuckyR
Moderator
Posts: 8143
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by LuckyR »

superkayko wrote: February 25th, 2022, 9:24 pm If sins are entirely man made you would expect to see major differences across the world on what is considered ethical behaviour. While there is some differences it's not extremely different even between cultures that have been separated by oceans for thousands of years like the Aztecs, they still had laws against stealing, murder, property damage and they looked down upon laziness and adultery. They even had a concept similar to sin, tlatlacolli which is similar to the idea of sin we have now.

If you look at the heroes of a culture, which are often just stories that reflect the personified ideals of the ideal human. Heroes mostly share the same characteristics no matter where you are from also. So if the ideal man is universal at least partially, then the idea of the sinner, which could also be considered the opposite of the ideal man must also be somewhat universal.

I think sin is something we instinctually understand, not some agreement we make about how to act
Originating from instinctual understanding and being man made are not mutually exclusive.
"As usual... it depends."
Post Reply

Return to “Wilderness Cry by Dr. Hilary L Hunt M.D.”

2024 Philosophy Books of the Month

The Advent of Time: A Solution to the Problem of Evil...

The Advent of Time: A Solution to the Problem of Evil...
by Indignus Servus
November 2024

Reconceptualizing Mental Illness in the Digital Age

Reconceptualizing Mental Illness in the Digital Age
by Elliott B. Martin, Jr.
October 2024

How is God Involved in Evolution?

How is God Involved in Evolution?
by Joe P. Provenzano, Ron D. Morgan, and Dan R. Provenzano
August 2024

Launchpad Republic: America's Entrepreneurial Edge and Why It Matters

Launchpad Republic: America's Entrepreneurial Edge and Why It Matters
by Howard Wolk
July 2024

Quest: Finding Freddie: Reflections from the Other Side

Quest: Finding Freddie: Reflections from the Other Side
by Thomas Richard Spradlin
June 2024

Neither Safe Nor Effective

Neither Safe Nor Effective
by Dr. Colleen Huber
May 2024

Now or Never

Now or Never
by Mary Wasche
April 2024

Meditations

Meditations
by Marcus Aurelius
March 2024

Beyond the Golden Door: Seeing the American Dream Through an Immigrant's Eyes

Beyond the Golden Door: Seeing the American Dream Through an Immigrant's Eyes
by Ali Master
February 2024

The In-Between: Life in the Micro

The In-Between: Life in the Micro
by Christian Espinosa
January 2024

2023 Philosophy Books of the Month

Entanglement - Quantum and Otherwise

Entanglement - Quantum and Otherwise
by John K Danenbarger
January 2023

Mark Victor Hansen, Relentless: Wisdom Behind the Incomparable Chicken Soup for the Soul

Mark Victor Hansen, Relentless: Wisdom Behind the Incomparable Chicken Soup for the Soul
by Mitzi Perdue
February 2023

Rediscovering the Wisdom of Human Nature: How Civilization Destroys Happiness

Rediscovering the Wisdom of Human Nature: How Civilization Destroys Happiness
by Chet Shupe
March 2023

The Unfakeable Code®

The Unfakeable Code®
by Tony Jeton Selimi
April 2023

The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are
by Alan Watts
May 2023

Killing Abel

Killing Abel
by Michael Tieman
June 2023

Reconfigurement: Reconfiguring Your Life at Any Stage and Planning Ahead

Reconfigurement: Reconfiguring Your Life at Any Stage and Planning Ahead
by E. Alan Fleischauer
July 2023

First Survivor: The Impossible Childhood Cancer Breakthrough

First Survivor: The Impossible Childhood Cancer Breakthrough
by Mark Unger
August 2023

Predictably Irrational

Predictably Irrational
by Dan Ariely
September 2023

Artwords

Artwords
by Beatriz M. Robles
November 2023

Fireproof Happiness: Extinguishing Anxiety & Igniting Hope

Fireproof Happiness: Extinguishing Anxiety & Igniting Hope
by Dr. Randy Ross
December 2023

2022 Philosophy Books of the Month

Emotional Intelligence At Work

Emotional Intelligence At Work
by Richard M Contino & Penelope J Holt
January 2022

Free Will, Do You Have It?

Free Will, Do You Have It?
by Albertus Kral
February 2022

My Enemy in Vietnam

My Enemy in Vietnam
by Billy Springer
March 2022

2X2 on the Ark

2X2 on the Ark
by Mary J Giuffra, PhD
April 2022

The Maestro Monologue

The Maestro Monologue
by Rob White
May 2022

What Makes America Great

What Makes America Great
by Bob Dowell
June 2022

The Truth Is Beyond Belief!

The Truth Is Beyond Belief!
by Jerry Durr
July 2022

Living in Color

Living in Color
by Mike Murphy
August 2022 (tentative)

The Not So Great American Novel

The Not So Great American Novel
by James E Doucette
September 2022

Mary Jane Whiteley Coggeshall, Hicksite Quaker, Iowa/National Suffragette And Her Speeches

Mary Jane Whiteley Coggeshall, Hicksite Quaker, Iowa/National Suffragette And Her Speeches
by John N. (Jake) Ferris
October 2022

In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All

In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All
by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
November 2022

The Smartest Person in the Room: The Root Cause and New Solution for Cybersecurity

The Smartest Person in the Room
by Christian Espinosa
December 2022

2021 Philosophy Books of the Month

The Biblical Clock: The Untold Secrets Linking the Universe and Humanity with God's Plan

The Biblical Clock
by Daniel Friedmann
March 2021

Wilderness Cry: A Scientific and Philosophical Approach to Understanding God and the Universe

Wilderness Cry
by Dr. Hilary L Hunt M.D.
April 2021

Fear Not, Dream Big, & Execute: Tools To Spark Your Dream And Ignite Your Follow-Through

Fear Not, Dream Big, & Execute
by Jeff Meyer
May 2021

Surviving the Business of Healthcare: Knowledge is Power

Surviving the Business of Healthcare
by Barbara Galutia Regis M.S. PA-C
June 2021

Winning the War on Cancer: The Epic Journey Towards a Natural Cure

Winning the War on Cancer
by Sylvie Beljanski
July 2021

Defining Moments of a Free Man from a Black Stream

Defining Moments of a Free Man from a Black Stream
by Dr Frank L Douglas
August 2021

If Life Stinks, Get Your Head Outta Your Buts

If Life Stinks, Get Your Head Outta Your Buts
by Mark L. Wdowiak
September 2021

The Preppers Medical Handbook

The Preppers Medical Handbook
by Dr. William W Forgey M.D.
October 2021

Natural Relief for Anxiety and Stress: A Practical Guide

Natural Relief for Anxiety and Stress
by Dr. Gustavo Kinrys, MD
November 2021

Dream For Peace: An Ambassador Memoir

Dream For Peace
by Dr. Ghoulem Berrah
December 2021