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Is Fatalism A Sin?


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Is fatalism a sin? For the purposes of this thread, we'll define this as a total conviction in a negative outcome that often serves as an obstacle to action.

 

If you don't believe in sin, I'm unsure how you'd reply to this thread, but I'd certainly be interested in one's thoughts nevertheless.

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Is fatalism a sin? For the purposes of this thread, we'll define this as a total conviction in a negative outcome that often serves as an obstacle to action.

 

If you don't believe in sin, I'm unsure how you'd reply to this thread, but I'd certainly be interested in one's thoughts nevertheless.

 

Good question. Some hasty and disconnected thoughts:

 

Sin, I think, does have a religious connotation. To get your question in a more secular frame, one might say, 'is fatalism morally wrong?'

 

I would say that the answer would be relative to the situation. If action would be futile, I think, it would be excusable. If action might result in a positive outcome, then it might be morally wrong to just accept a negative outcome. And, maybe the potential benefit vs. potential cost of action should be weighed in judging the morality.

 

I would also evaluate it differently if the potential actor and beneficiary are the same or different persons. A social obligation to act to help someone else may carry a stronger moral imperative than acting to benefit one's self.

 

George

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To me, fatalism is the doctrine that all events are predetermined by fate and are therefore unalterable. It can also be an acceptance of the belief that all events are predetermined and inevitable but it doesn't necessarily mean that that belief is an obstacle to action. Is fatalism a sin? In my view, the belief is neither a sin nor morally wrong.

 

The poor are with us and may be for a long time and i can't change that fact but i still can out of compassion feed the poor. There may come a time when it is predetermined that they are no longer with us. To me sin is synonymous with ignorance. It would be ignorant of me to not take action to help someone even though it is predetermined that they will die. In my view, it is not the belief in fatalism that is ignorant but rather the decision to do nothing. We are all certainly going to die, but only to the ignorant is that an obstacle to living.

 

Just some of my thoughts,

Joseph

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I initial thought is that fatalism may be closely related to clinical depression.

 

On the idea of sin,

 

Back when I was young I read a lot of Science Fiction... My favorite author being Robert Heinlein who defined sin as “Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is not sinful - just stupid).”

 

That definition still works for me

 

steve

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“Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is not sinful - just stupid).”

 

steve

 

Well said. I think morality (or 'sin' in more religious terms) is a social behavior.

 

George

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Is fatalism a sin? For the purposes of this thread, we'll define this as a total conviction in a negative outcome that often serves as an obstacle to action.

 

If you don't believe in sin, I'm unsure how you'd reply to this thread, but I'd certainly be interested in one's thoughts nevertheless.

 

The short answer is "no." But, I'm one of those folks who doesn't believe in sin. I believe in f-ing up. I think there are infinite possibilities, and endless consequences for our actions.

 

However, the belief in fate makes for good fiction:

 

"Did you say the stars were worlds, Tess?"

 

"Yes."

 

"All like ours?"

 

"I don't know; but I think so. They sometimes seem to be like the

apples on our stubbard-tree. Most of them splendid and sound--a few

blighted."

 

"Which do we live on--a splendid one or a blighted one?"

 

"A blighted one."

 

"'Tis very unlucky that we didn't pitch on a sound one, when there

were so many more of 'em!"

 

- From Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy.

 

NORM

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First off, I don't belive in fatalism. Secondly, I don't believe in sin.

 

I believe things can be changed. what one feels is " meant to be" I think is a cop out. A lack of initiative to change things. I think it's largely based upon ignorance, superstition, stupidity and mental laziness.

 

So yes, in a way, if you BELIEVE in sin (which I do not) I'd think the sin would be to not take action in order to help those in need of help.

 

While certain things might be "meant to be", I think ultimately that one should make every effort to make changes for the betterment of mankind. Beyond that, one has to step back and wonder and hope that something better is in store.

 

Kath

 

(well, that was certainly confusing....I'm sure)

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This is why I shouldn't post on a whim.

 

I was reading about an early Church monk named Evagrius, who had a set of 8 deadly temptations that predated (and was partially a basis for) the seven deadly sins. Two of his temptations were sadness and acedia, which I've seen translated as sorrow, sloth, and listlessnes.

 

I should post things when I have a more worked out thought.

 

Apologies.

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This is why I shouldn't post on a whim.

 

I was reading about an early Church monk named Evagrius, who had a set of 8 deadly temptations that predated (and was partially a basis for) the seven deadly sins. Two of his temptations were sadness and acedia, which I've seen translated as sorrow, sloth, and listlessnes.

 

I should post things when I have a more worked out thought.

 

Apologies.

 

There is no need to apologize! I thought you were thinking about something specific when you asked the questions. It has been interesting to read the others' responses. I had not heard of "deadly temptations before." Can you give the complete list?

 

Janet

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OK. I was intrigued, so I looked them up for myself: gluttony, fornication, love of money, sadness, anger, listnessness, vainglory, and pride.

 

It would be interesting to see what scriptures are suggested for battling each. (I'm nothing if not practical) :) Looking for an English translation of the Antirrhetikos now. I'm glad you posted this!

 

Janet

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