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Old May 23 2013, 11:01 PM   #43
horatio83
Commodore
 
Re: Pope: Atheists Who Do Good Are Redeemed

iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
The problem is that that kind of language (broken, fallen, evil, sinners, etc) shifts the blame from what we do to what we are. It takes away personal responsibility. "Good" and "evil" are just labels for promoting or censoring behaviours that are beneficial or harmful: they are not states of being.
Sinning is obviously a choice. Evil is a bit more complex and depends on what religious text you take and how you read it but if you take the Lucifer story it is also a matter of choice. If you read it through Tolkien's Silmarillion it becomes even more obvious that it is a matter of choice. Not that I appreciate these stories, while the guys who followed Melkor did not listen to their own music in Tolkien's creation myth the main point of both stories is evil = not respecting patriarchal authority.

The fall from paradise, well, the superficial and literal (just because there are some fundamentalists who read their religious texts literal doesn't mean that you should do the same mistake) reading of "you take the apple, you get punished" doesn't suffice IMO.
Human beings differ from animals because he hunger for knowledge and this very knowledge makes us those crazy creatures who we are. We are aware of our mortality in an abstract sense, not just in a concrete sense like animals and we are unlike animals not hedonists. Take unrequited love, only humans can become even more obsessed whereas all other apes are pragmatic and choose another mate.

So our intelligence, self-awareness and free will make us pretty crazy creatures in some ways and fallen or broken are in my opinion just religious-mythological terms for this. I am an hardcore atheist but I don't think that the ancients have been that stupid. They didn't write clear essays, they expressed themselves via fiction / mythology / religion and sometimes you can find interesting ideas in these texts. It is e.g. no coincidence that Freud found the best examples for his theories in such old mythological texts.
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