Friday, 30 May 2014

The worst sin - is to propagate sin/ life is not brittle/ despair is ultimate


Life is impossible to get right. We are weak, we are wicked, we err.

But, fortunately, life is not brittle - it is not all or nothing, it is not a matter of either perfection or damnation...

because of repentance.

To repent in the name of Christ (because unless repentance is by Christ then it is just psychology) is to transform the basis of life.

Therefore our own sins are not fatal in an ultimate sense - so long as they are repented.

And therefore the worst of sins is to encourage sin in others - because while we are responsible for our own repentance or lack of it - others may not repent the sins we have encouraged in them.

More exactly, the worst sin is to propagate a 'world view' which denies the necessity of repentance for what really are sins.

This worst sin has various forms: advocating sin - depicting sin as fun or cool; advocating inversion of the Good - depicting Good as evil, and evil as the real Good; denying the reality of the distinction between Good and evil - between creation and destruction; between Love and hate;

...and inducing despair: to induce despair in another person is indeed a terrible sin - because despair is loss of hope, and loss of hope prevents repentance (since despair tells us there is 'no point' in repenting).

Thus to advocate nihilism, the deny the reality of the real, to argue that life is nothing-but, that the bottom-line is meaningless, that purpose is illusory, that we are on-our-own... these are among the worst of sins.

To feel this way oneself is NOT such a bad thing, normal 'everyday sin'. To feel nihilism is just part of the human condition - something we may 'sincerely' feel, but which we can choose to repent in a trice.

But to advocate nihilism, deliberately to induce despair, to persuade another person to become a nihilist... well, that is a terrible sin, a sin of the utmost gravity.

Understanding that the worst sin is to propagate sin is to understand that the modern world is the worst society ever in the history of the world; and that the focus of evil activity is the Mass Media, and those who operate within it to propagate sin in all the ways previously described - and in particular, by direct and indirect means, tactically and strategically, carelessly and deliberately: to induce despair.



Thordaddy said...

I like to break this down into "preachers" and practitoners of self-annihilation. The "preachers" are truly damnable individuals worthy of true demonization whereas the practitioners are "us," me, you, our friends and family. So the revolution is two-fold; it is the effort to demonize the demons while simultaneously expunging the demons within. No easy task, of course.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Th - Agreed. This is why repentance is absolutely necessary; precisely because we are 'all' complicit - all hypocrites. Secular modernity tries to persuade us that 'therefore' we have no moral authority to demand anything better, therefore must join the revolution. There is no honest and genuine secular route out from this 'bind' which is why there must be a religious revival *first*; or else the anti-Leftist counter-revolution will be poisoned at source.

Mencius Moldbug said...

"To feel nihilism is just part of the human condition - something we may 'sincerely' feel, but which we can choose to repent in a trice."

I think you may be overstating the ease with which one can repent of this sin. I "choose" to reject nihilism with every moment of my waking life, yet the cold certainty of it has never once wavered.

If you've some wisdom regarding how a man may consciously alter his perception of the universe in order to predictably change his conclusions about its nature, I'd encourage you to share it.

Bruce Charlton said...



Then this:

Then this:

Mencius Moldbug said...

I've never thought of my beliefs as being a product of conscious choice. No matter how many times I choose to say, "I believe the sky is green," my eyes and brain do not support me. I look up and see that it is blue; I consult my memory and see that it is blue.

I don't necessarily doubt that it is possible to consciously elect to believe things that one formerly thought were false, but I don't know HOW.

Granted: Christianity isn't falsifiable. Granted, too: Christianity is not obviously true. This recognition produces, in me, agnosticism (and nihilism). I recognize the social utility of religion and want to cooperate - I say the right words in public settings and claim to believe in Christ's divinity, but I simply don't. If forced to bet my life or the lives of my wife and children, I'd say it's probably all nonsense.

How does one overcome THAT obstacle?

Bruce Charlton said...

@MM - I suppose you would have to get to the point of recognizing that your beliefs actually *are* a result of choice - many choices, and very peculiar choices.

This is certain, because your beliefs (like mine and all modern people's) are so weird and unspontaneous and unnatural by world historical standards - in the past there wouldn't have been a single person who had these beliefs which you either hold, or have held.

For instance, you used to be an animist - you used to believe that some toys, or trees, or the moon, or the TV - was alive and sentient. Maybe you remember or maybe you don't - but that's how it was. At some point you rejected animism. Same with deity.

But all this is just clearing space. If you had never abandoned the naive animism of children and hunter gatherers you would not be plagued by nihilism. To escape from nihilism once you are in it, reason is helpless - you can only escape from nihilism into an actual religion (although not necessarily into a church: I am currently not in a church).

As so often, and as befits a religion which emerged, grew and throve in modernism; the Mormons understand this:

Bruce Charlton said...

Note: Since MM asked me for my personal view, it doesn't feel courteous to print other comments from other people offering advice.

Sorry, therefore, to those commenters who have not been printed.

I will just link to Adam Greenwood who has responded on his own blog - since I know that Adam is wiser in these matters than myself: