Author Topic: EP129: Immortal Sin  (Read 28261 times)

Russell Nash

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Reply #25 on: January 04, 2008, 05:43:08 PM
Also the wide spread belief that after you get in to the after life, that's it. From then on there are no more questions, no more answers, no more challenges, obstacles; just infinity. What happened to “The only thing constant in life is change?"

Only applies to life, obviously.

If that were the case, I'd be bored with the afterlife really damn quick.



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Reply #26 on: January 04, 2008, 08:00:19 PM
Also the wide spread belief that after you get in to the after life, that's it. From then on there are no more questions, no more answers, no more challenges, obstacles; just infinity. What happened to “The only thing constant in life is change?"

Only applies to life, obviously.
Well, to hell with the after life then!

And to be fair life never changes, life is life and can only be life or not life. Non-living things change (matter, circumstances, charges, etc). There for by "life" I assumed that François de la Rochefoucauld meant "existence."
« Last Edit: January 04, 2008, 08:05:07 PM by Thaurismunths »

How do you fight a bully that can un-make history?


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Reply #27 on: January 04, 2008, 08:12:35 PM
I should point out that my earlier response was deliberately stupid - I don't actually believe in an afterlife (in fact, as I implied above, I find the notion rather obscene), so I can't really give any intelligent defense of the notion.



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Reply #28 on: January 07, 2008, 09:19:52 PM
I came back to this thread, not because of the story (which I remember as being enjoyable) but because of the end song. Creepy Doll by Jonathan Coulton is about the most amazing horror song I have ever heard! I listened to another of his songs - Merry Christmas from Chiron Beta Prime - from Ep 138 as well, and I will have a look at buying his music now. :)

Btw, if you like that song, you might like Nightmares and Fairy Tales by Serena Valentino - a two part adult comic featuring a really spooky doll!


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Reply #29 on: January 07, 2008, 11:04:13 PM
Btw, if you like that song, you might like Nightmares and Fairy Tales by Serena Valentino - a two part adult comic featuring a really spooky doll!
Actually, I think it's up to volume 21.

How do you fight a bully that can un-make history?


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Reply #30 on: January 10, 2008, 06:06:14 AM
i think that if there is an afterlife, it would most likely be beyond our realm of comprehension.  We get too caught up in our scientific rules, (much like the protagonist did with his cathoic ones) and start thinking we have a grip on things.  In a similar manner, we spend so much time trying to be happy, we ultimat fail at it.

I think there is a significant part of the story where his wife says something like  "i dont know why other people dont notice it, but there is something wrong with you". 

would 'ultimate' happiness mean eternal life?  would it be better here on earth, or in 'heaven'?  perhaps the story suggests we should stop trying to achieve is for our own personal gratification.



Russell Nash

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Reply #31 on: January 12, 2008, 08:40:31 PM
Our discussion of how to get into heaven has been split off and moved here.



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Reply #32 on: February 06, 2008, 07:34:29 PM
Hey, since there's a decent amount of people who dig both this story and other Pelland tales on EP, I thought it might be worth noting that Unwelcome Bodies, her first collection of short stories coming out soon from Apex Books.  Alas, Burning Bush and Snow Day aren't in it, but there's some other killer content there, but Immortal Sin is, as well as Captive Girl and some other absolutely killer content.  If you pre-order, you get a Pelland signature. 


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Reply #33 on: September 17, 2010, 03:01:03 PM
Loved this story! 

Usually I like a story better if I can root for the protagonist, but sometimes it's good to just have a straight-out bastard as the protagonist and see him try to get away with it.  It was pretty creepy to think that some people might actually think like this, maybe even to this extreme, yet was also kind of funny in his single-minded myopic pursuit of his absurd goal.

I love religious discussion, and I love to see alternate views of religion.  I have yet to find any particular religion that feels entirely RIGHT to me, and rules like this are why I can definitely say that Catholicism is not my thing.  Particularly 2 things:
1.  That confession will wipe your soul clean.  Whenever I consider this, I come to the same conclusion that this guy does--if that's true than you can get away with ANYTHING as long as you live long enough to confess.  Religion is, to me, primarily a way to provide comfort in the face of death, and to help guide people to live a "good" life, for some definition of "good".  But this real seems to encourage just the opposite, the sort of behavior in this story.  Which is much of why I loved the story.
2.  On a similar note, the concept that infants are born with sin and will go to Hell if not baptized.  I've always found this absurd.  Sin is a result of choice, and a newborn does not yet have the capacity to choose anything, everything is just a reaction to a stimulus until your brain develops more.  Infant death is a terrible thing to experience, and no parent needs the added guilt of "Oh no, we didn't get the priest here in time and now Baby's going to spend an eternity in Hell."  Like I said above, I see one of the major appeals of religion the opportunity to provide comfort in the face of death, and this is the polar opposite of that.  If that's the official rule any deity has created, well, I have a lot of trouble putting faith in that deity.




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Reply #34 on: September 17, 2010, 04:04:02 PM
2.  On a similar note, the concept that infants are born with sin and will go to Hell if not baptized.  I've always found this absurd.  Sin is a result of choice, and a newborn does not yet have the capacity to choose anything, everything is just a reaction to a stimulus until your brain develops more.  Infant death is a terrible thing to experience, and no parent needs the added guilt of "Oh no, we didn't get the priest here in time and now Baby's going to spend an eternity in Hell."  Like I said above, I see one of the major appeals of religion the opportunity to provide comfort in the face of death, and this is the polar opposite of that.  If that's the official rule any deity has created, well, I have a lot of trouble putting faith in that deity.

I have always struggled with that concept of infant baptism as well.  I just figured it was due to being raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  We believe that children are born free from sin becuase of the Atonement of Christ.  Baptism is for 1) a remission of sins, and 2) commiting your life to following Christ, neither of which is possible for an infant.  Baptism is performed when the child turns eight, when they understand right and wrong.

If you're interested in a more in depth explanation, I blogged about it when my oldest daughter was baptized.

BTW, I really enjoyed this story as well.  I should give it a re-listen.

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Reply #35 on: September 17, 2010, 04:16:46 PM
I have always struggled with that concept of infant baptism as well.  I just figured it was due to being raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  We believe that children are born free from sin becuase of the Atonement of Christ.  Baptism is for 1) a remission of sins, and 2) commiting your life to following Christ, neither of which is possible for an infant.  Baptism is performed when the child turns eight, when they understand right and wrong.

If you're interested in a more in depth explanation, I blogged about it when my oldest daughter was baptized.

BTW, I really enjoyed this story as well.  I should give it a re-listen.

Yes, infant baptism bugs me for that reason as well, that the child is unable to choose for himself whether they want to commit.  Adult baptism makes way more sense to me.  I don't even care for confirmation (not sure if that's just a Lutheran thing) because there's a lot of peer pressure for it at that age.  I went through it mostly because I didn't want to be the only one in my class who didn't.

And, while I'm ranting, the whole Adam and Eve story bugs me.  Adam and Eve were cast out of paradise for seeking knowledge.  So... if you follow that line of thinking, every time we try to learn we are... compounding that first sin?  So maybe the way to redeem yourself is to sit on your couch and watch reality TV.  Except that TV was invented by scientists who had to learn a bunch of stuff to invent it, so you'd only be basing your sin on the sin's of another. If learning is sinful you certainly can't read the Bible, because that requires you to LEARN how to read, and then LEARN the teachings.  Heck, even learning the story of Adam and Eve makes you guilty of learning, and learning how to speak is sinful too!  Ack!  How do I live without learning!  Maybe I can redeem myself with some strategically placed head trauma, maybe if I can knock that knowledge right out of my brain I can redeem myself!!!



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Reply #36 on: September 17, 2010, 04:19:30 PM
Maybe I can redeem myself with some strategically placed head trauma, maybe if I can knock that knowledge right out of my brain I can redeem myself!!!

I realized after the fact that this line could be seen as insulting the intelligence of those who are religious.  That wasn't what I was trying to say, so I just thought I'd clarify.



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Reply #37 on: September 17, 2010, 05:12:06 PM
And, while I'm ranting, the whole Adam and Eve story bugs me.  Adam and Eve were cast out of paradise for seeking knowledge.  So... if you follow that line of thinking, every time we try to learn we are... compounding that first sin?  So maybe the way to redeem yourself is to sit on your couch and watch reality TV.  Except that TV was invented by scientists who had to learn a bunch of stuff to invent it, so you'd only be basing your sin on the sin's of another. If learning is sinful you certainly can't read the Bible, because that requires you to LEARN how to read, and then LEARN the teachings.  Heck, even learning the story of Adam and Eve makes you guilty of learning, and learning how to speak is sinful too!  Ack!  How do I live without learning!  Maybe I can redeem myself with some strategically placed head trauma, maybe if I can knock that knowledge right out of my brain I can redeem myself!!!

I understand your frustration.

Actually, the Fall of Adam and Eve is very complex.  As far as I've worked it out for myself, it was necessary for them to fall so that the Plan of Salvation for all humankind could take place, but God also needed to establish the law of Choice and Accountability, or Agency, for us to choose for ourselves rather than God forcing us to follow him.  They needed to be given a choice between the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  If they had remained in the Garden of Eden, we would never have existed, and the Plan would have been frustrated, but they needed to make that decision for themselves.  In my opinion, with that knowledge, they gained a deeper understanding of God's purposes, including their role, and that of Christ and the Atonement.

Okay, I will stop now.  I don't want to spin off into another thread.

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Reply #38 on: September 17, 2010, 05:24:58 PM
Actually, the Fall of Adam and Eve is very complex.  As far as I've worked it out for myself, it was necessary for them to fall so that the Plan of Salvation for all humankind could take place, but God also needed to establish the law of Choice and Accountability, or Agency, for us to choose for ourselves rather than God forcing us to follow him.  They needed to be given a choice between the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  If they had remained in the Garden of Eden, we would never have existed, and the Plan would have been frustrated, but they needed to make that decision for themselves.  In my opinion, with that knowledge, they gained a deeper understanding of God's purposes, including their role, and that of Christ and the Atonement.

Ah, I'd never heard that aspect of it before.  That makes it even worse!  He gives us a test and then ensures that we can't pass it!

Ah, I love to discuss the implications of various religious beliefs.



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Reply #39 on: September 19, 2010, 03:14:35 PM
Actually, the Fall of Adam and Eve is very complex.  As far as I've worked it out for myself, it was necessary for them to fall so that the Plan of Salvation for all humankind could take place, but God also needed to establish the law of Choice and Accountability, or Agency, for us to choose for ourselves rather than God forcing us to follow him.  They needed to be given a choice between the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  If they had remained in the Garden of Eden, we would never have existed, and the Plan would have been frustrated, but they needed to make that decision for themselves.  In my opinion, with that knowledge, they gained a deeper understanding of God's purposes, including their role, and that of Christ and the Atonement.

Ah, I'd never heard that aspect of it before.  That makes it even worse!  He gives us a test and then ensures that we can't pass it!

It's way off topic, I know, but reading the book of Exodus recently I noticed something similar... and unlike what Swamp said above, this is explicitly stated in the Bible: Moses repeatedly goes to the Pharaoh and demands the liberation of the Israelites, and calls down plagues to demonstrate God's power. On each such occasion, Pharaoh agrees, plague is lifted... and then Pharaoh changes his mind and refuses to let the Israelites go. Why? Because he's just a cruel prick? No, because the LORD has hardened his heart! God is manipulating the Pharaoh just to have more opportunities to show how badass he is!

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Reply #40 on: September 19, 2010, 03:39:11 PM
Depends rather on the translation and context, actually.  Elsewhere, the Bible also states that God "stops the sun" from moving in order to extend a day and let people win a battle.  Obviously, if that literally happened, then it would have zero impact, as the sun doesn't move around the Earth.

This is not news to anyone who has studied the Bible.  Frankly, if one's faith is shaky enough that these sorts of issues send it crumbling down, then one probably wasn't in the right religion in the first place.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2010, 09:12:58 PM by Scattercat »



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Reply #41 on: September 20, 2010, 06:47:55 PM
It's way off topic, I know, but reading the book of Exodus recently I noticed something similar... and unlike what Swamp said above, this is explicitly stated in the Bible: Moses repeatedly goes to the Pharaoh and demands the liberation of the Israelites, and calls down plagues to demonstrate God's power. On each such occasion, Pharaoh agrees, plague is lifted... and then Pharaoh changes his mind and refuses to let the Israelites go. Why? Because he's just a cruel prick? No, because the LORD has hardened his heart! God is manipulating the Pharaoh just to have more opportunities to show how badass he is!

Come to think of it, I think that, according to the text I had in confirmation class, God entered the heart of Judas and triggered the betrayal.  That one really bugs me.



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Reply #42 on: September 21, 2010, 04:18:22 AM
2.  On a similar note, the concept that infants are born with sin and will go to Hell if not baptized.  I've always found this absurd.  Sin is a result of choice, and a newborn does not yet have the capacity to choose anything, everything is just a reaction to a stimulus until your brain develops more.  Infant death is a terrible thing to experience, and no parent needs the added guilt of "Oh no, we didn't get the priest here in time and now Baby's going to spend an eternity in Hell."  Like I said above, I see one of the major appeals of religion the opportunity to provide comfort in the face of death, and this is the polar opposite of that.  If that's the official rule any deity has created, well, I have a lot of trouble putting faith in that deity.

I have always struggled with that concept of infant baptism as well.  I just figured it was due to being raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  We believe that children are born free from sin becuase of the Atonement of Christ.  Baptism is for 1) a remission of sins, and 2) commiting your life to following Christ, neither of which is possible for an infant.  Baptism is performed when the child turns eight, when they understand right and wrong.

Having been to a few infant baptisms, I have come to the conclusion that there is some value in them. Mainly because they are not for the infant, but for the parents and community. In the ones I have seen, the parents, god parents, and community all vow to help raise the child "in the way of God". This is quite a beautiful sentiment, even if you don't believe in God. Stripped of all religious associations, the ceremony basically says "We accept this new child into our community and promise to help raise him/her, so that they become a good and productive member of our society". Now that is something I can get behind.



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Reply #43 on: September 21, 2010, 04:35:52 AM
Having been to a few infant baptisms, I have come to the conclusion that there is some value in them. Mainly because they are not for the infant, but for the parents and community. In the ones I have seen, the parents, god parents, and community all vow to help raise the child "in the way of God". This is quite a beautiful sentiment, even if you don't believe in God. Stripped of all religious associations, the ceremony basically says "We accept this new child into our community and promise to help raise him/her, so that they become a good and productive member of our society". Now that is something I can get behind.

Strip it of the religious associations and the damnation angle, and I have no problem with it either. But the religious associations are invariably present.

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Reply #44 on: September 16, 2011, 02:41:50 PM
Not a comment on the story, but I followed the link in the title and it took me to episode 133 instead of 129...



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Reply #45 on: September 16, 2011, 11:10:09 PM
Not a comment on the story, but I followed the link in the title and it took me to episode 133 instead of 129...

Fixed. :) Thanks.