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 Post subject: Are there"sins against earth"?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:54 am 
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Sons of Thunder
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Question from a traditionalist

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 Post subject: Re: Are there"sins against earth"?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:10 am 
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"Earth" as a being, no. Against God's creation, yes.

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 Post subject: Re: Are there"sins against earth"?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:54 am 
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Can you explain how there can be sins against God's creation?

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 Post subject: Re: Are there"sins against earth"?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:49 pm 
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One way I can think of is when we irresponsibly pollute the environment and it harms others.


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 Post subject: Re: Are there"sins against earth"?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:20 pm 
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Dorothy B. wrote:
One way I can think of is when we irresponsibly pollute the environment and it harms others.


But is that a sin as we normally understand it?

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 Post subject: Re: Are there"sins against earth"?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 2:45 pm 
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Dominic wrote:
Dorothy B. wrote:
One way I can think of is when we irresponsibly pollute the environment and it harms others.


But is that a sin as we normally understand it?


Where I live we are supposed to dispose of used cooking oil by bringing it to a specific place. Also, motor oil and other chemicals are not to be disposed of by pouring in our back yards. Expired prescription medicines and other drugs need to be disposed of in a certain way. Flouting these rules can affect our water supply. Wouldn't it be uncharitable to not follow those rules?


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 Post subject: Re: Are there"sins against earth"?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:09 pm 
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A sin is a morally bad act. Can I act immorally with respect to creation? Of course. That shouldn't be difficult to see. Suppose I just wantonly destroy some little part of the earth--a beautiful natural formation, or a grove of trees, or what have you. Wantonly destroy it: I'm not talking about building house on it or something (there are no doubt ways of "developing" the natural world that are also morally bad, but I'm leaving them out of it). Would I be sinning against the earth? I don't see a problem with describing it that way. I don't know if it's technically correct, not being a moral theologian, but for most of us I don't see a difficulty with it.

I don't even think we need to bring it back to harming our neighbors, as Dorothy does--though I agree that many environmental harms also harm our neighbors or, more likely, our children. But if we focus on these harms to people, then we're not really talking about harms creation in the sense of the question. I'm saying that being wantonly destructive of the natural world strikes me as sinful, sure, irrespective of whether doing so ever harms anyone other than the wanton one.

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 Post subject: Re: Are there"sins against earth"?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:12 pm 
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I agree with....

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 Post subject: Re: Are there"sins against earth"?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:02 pm 
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Dominic wrote:
Dorothy B. wrote:
One way I can think of is when we irresponsibly pollute the environment and it harms others.


But is that a sin as we normally understand it?


How do we normally understand sin? As far as I can tell, every person understands sin differently and most seem to have lost the sense of sin and/or it's true intent.


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 Post subject: Re: Are there"sins against earth"?
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 9:52 pm 
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You cannot sin against the earth or against animals. When you harm the earth or animals you are sinning against yourself.

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 Post subject: Re: Are there"sins against earth"?
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 9:09 pm 
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This is just some churchmen hopping on board with the environmentalist globalist wackos.


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 Post subject: Re: Are there"sins against earth"?
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 9:18 pm 
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I disagree with you both, or at least insist that an appropriate distinction be made. See (sigh) the pickle's comments above.

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 Post subject: Re: Are there"sins against earth"?
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 9:27 pm 
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When I say you cannot sin against the earth and animals, it is in recalling a conversation with a holy priest that was a a strict Thomist. He explained that to harm an animal in a cruel way, you do not sin against the animal as it has not a spirit. It is harmful to one’s own soul and makes it easier to harm another human being. It is a sin against self as it deadens the conscience and allows one to more easily harm a person. I just added that to the earth as it seems to be a logical jump.

Now, to characterize it as a sin against earth or creation makes sense in a way as gherkin says. But it is not actually possible to sin against a creature that has no spirit. If that idea is wrong, I would like to understand why it is wrong.

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 Post subject: Re: Are there"sins against earth"?
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 9:55 pm 
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It is charitable to interpret the phrase in the orthodox sense unless it is clear that it cannot be interpreted that way.

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 Post subject: Re: Are there"sins against earth"?
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 10:08 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
It is charitable to interpret the phrase in the orthodox sense unless it is clear that it cannot be interpreted that way.

Of course. And if it is concerning the encyclical by Pope Francis, I thought it was an awesome encyclical.

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 Post subject: Re: Are there"sins against earth"?
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 9:13 am 
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Servant of Guadalupe wrote:
When I say you cannot sin against the earth and animals, it is in recalling a conversation with a holy priest that was a a strict Thomist. He explained that to harm an animal in a cruel way, you do not sin against the animal as it has not a spirit. It is harmful to one’s own soul and makes it easier to harm another human being. It is a sin against self as it deadens the conscience and allows one to more easily harm a person.

This is technically correct, but I think it's an oversimplification. St. Thomas is, in my view, misunderstood on this point by his enemies AND (many or most of) his friends. Here's a characteristic passage:

Quote:
But if man's affection be one of passion, then it is moved also in regard to other animals: for since the passion of pity is caused by the afflictions of others; and since it happens that even irrational animals are sensible to pain, it is possible for the affection of pity to arise in a man with regard to the sufferings of animals. Now it is evident that if a man practice a pitiful affection for animals, he is all the more disposed to take pity on his fellow-men: wherefore it is written (Proverbs 11:10): "The just regardeth the lives of his beasts: but the bowels of the wicked are cruel." Consequently the Lord, in order to inculcate pity to the Jewish people, who were prone to cruelty, wished them to practice pity even with regard to dumb animals, and forbade them to do certain things savoring of cruelty to animals. Hence He prohibited them to "boil a kid in the milk of its dam"; and to "muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn"; and to slay "the dam with her young."


This bit shows up right after he's said that strictly from the standpoint of reason, humans can treat animals any way they like, since God has subjected all things to us. (And passages like that are often seized upon by the Peter Singer-type characters out there as somehow showing up the cruelty of nasty Christians.) But, he immediately continues, there's more to the story. Although we don't have straight-up obligations to non-rational animals (they have no rights--in a sense, we don't answer to God for our treatment of them), we do indeed have "obligations" to animals because the way we treat them shapes us a human beings. Because we observe that animals can feel, we can feel pity for their sufferings. When we develop the habit of taking those sufferings into account, we develop the virtue of pityor mercy. This virtue disposes us to be merciful towards our fellow man, to be sure, as St. Thomas points out in the quotation above. And that's more or less the point that always gets noted, and then the subject is dropped.

But the point that is always missed here--though it's obvious enough when you stop to think about it--is the intimate connection between our treatment of humans and animals. Our good treatment of animals will help us develop the virtue of pity. Our bad treatment of animals will develop its opposite. (Interestingly, there's no discussion in ST of the vice opposed to mercy. It's not cruelty. I need to find out more about this.) This just means that the way we treat animals is morally fraught, irrespective of any actual acts of cruelty towards other human beings that might some day arise from them, for our treatment of animals makes us into people with habits of one kind or another. It's pure consequentialism to think that the only thing that matters is whether we wind up harming people in the future. That does matter, of course, but it also matters whether we're the kind of people disposed to harm people in the future. That matters.

But here's another thing that follows from all this. If we become the kind of people disposed to harm people, we're also the kind of people disposed to harm animals. And if we become the kind of people NOT disposed to harm people, we're also the kind of people NOT disposed to harm animals. So by treating animals well, we become the kind of people who will treat both people and animals well. The point is that these things stand or fall together.

Ask yourself now if it's a coincidence that we brutally murder tens of thousands of babies every year in the pursuit of our pleasures of the flesh--and we also treat farm animals with unspeakable cruelty every day for the sake of the pleasures of the flesh. I'm obviously not saying that our vicious treatment of farm animals is morally equivalent with our murder of innocent human beings. But I am saying that St. Thomas himself would have predicted it. The two go together. (You might want to give some thought to pornography in this context, too.)

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 Post subject: Re: Are there"sins against earth"?
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 9:46 am 
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The troubling issue with "sins against the earth" is that it is so broad and vague and, as alluded to above, implies a certain political and cultural point of view. Thus it can be used by those of a certain bent as a cudgel against others.

So, if one votes against a candidate who promotes, say, green energy, then one sins. As might be pointed out by some religious or some non-traditional or activist Catholics.

I am uncomfortable with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Are there"sins against earth"?
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 9:55 am 
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I don't see any reason to allow myself to be shackled by fear of the rhetorical tricks of leftists.

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 Post subject: Re: Are there"sins against earth"?
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 10:00 am 
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I'm not speaking only of leftists.

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 Post subject: Re: Are there"sins against earth"?
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 10:08 am 
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:scratch: What, then, is the "certain political and cultural point of view" that you mentioned?

If you like, I refuse to be bullied by the fact that someone might misuse a notion that has entirely legitimate uses. It does sometimes pain me to assign readings from people like Wendell Berry or what have you, and have my "conservative" (read: capitalist) students think I'm just joining in with the standard anti-western, anti-American crap they put up with in most of their other classes. But the fact that the academy is dominated by cultural marxists doesn't mean that I should stop speaking the truth about those (fewish) topics where the cultural marxists have currently decided to say things that happen to be true.

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