‘Tisn’t the Season

This is the the wrong time of year for this post, but I thought about it any­way so stop judg­ing me al­ready!

Sin [or im­moral or un­eth­i­cal be­hav­ior or the op­po­site of Right Action or what­ev­er you want to call it] is sub­tle. You can do some­thing that isn’t sin­ful, but if done with that kind of evil in­tent, would prob­a­bly still qual­i­fy. [These thoughts mayn’t be canon­i­cal, I dun­no.] So if there is an or­chard of ap­ple trees and you sneak in and grab a cou­ple to eat and sneak out and eat them, with the idea that if you get caught you’ll get in trou­ble [even if the la­dy who owns to or­chard re­al­ly doesn’t mind if peo­ple come take her ap­ples] then you’re sin­ning.

Sinful thoughts are hard to avoid, but as long as they don’t in­spire in­ter­nal rev­el­ry or ex­ter­nal ac­tion, then they aren’t re­al­ly sin. But one can al­so do no harm al­though they in­tend to do so and I would con­sid­er that a sin. There is al­so do­ing some­thing with evil in­tent that has a pos­i­tive [though un­in­tend­ed] res­o­lu­tion. The un­in­tend­ed part is cru­cial be­cause oth­er­wise you fall in­to the “a wrong doesn’t make a right” sit­u­a­tion. The eas­i­est ex­am­ple of evil in­tent with un­ex­pect­ed pos­i­tive res­o­lu­tion that comes to mind is at the end of The Return of the King, when Gollum’s lust for the ring re­sults in its de­struc­tion. I think that’s prob­a­bly still a sin, be­cause it ap­pears my de­f­i­n­i­tion of sin­ful­ness is pred­i­cat­ed on what my mom­ma taught me, will­ful dis­obe­di­ence is al­ways a per­son­al feel­ing of self­ish­ness. What about not know­ing you are do­ing wrong, but do wrong? I think that on­ly be­comes a sin when the ig­no­rance is rec­ti­fied and be­hav­ior is not changed, nor resti­tu­tion sought. I think that cov­ers it.