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One is a sinner vs One is ignorant

In Buddhism, one is ignorant. But considering oneself as a sinner seems more intense and liberating. Is that wrong?

To consider oneself as a sinner and therefore deserving only pain - is that more powerful in changing oneself? Even Gandhi, though not a Christian, adopted this method. Besides, the word 'ignorance's is so ... lukewarm (for lack of a better term), it doesn't have quite an impact like the word 'sin.'

Just thinking through. Do not wish to offend anyone.

Comments

  • Hmm good question. Buddha didn't think people only deserved pain. And faith in Buddha does not bring liberation at least not on its own. In the middle way teaching we neither torment the body with aestheticism nor do we indulge in hedonism. The reason is that both of those only undermine an effort to understand how our minds work. Ignorance means that we are not seeing what our mind is doing. If we see how mind is then whatever conditional phenomena are going on we know what that mind is doing and we can achieve dispassion etc..

    Ignorance is addressed by seeing. When you see and you let go of clinging to the 8 worldly winds you are liberated. Without seeing liberation does not come.

    So sin could lead us on a wild goose chase which has nothing to do with seeing the nature of the mind. I'm not saying 'sin' can't be useful as motivation to be a kind person. I think Christianity is sound when it uses sin in a positive way leading up to kindness rather than as a whipping post to practice aestheticism.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    I think to some extent we worry too much about the word "sin" because of its connection with Christianity.

    But a secondary definition of sin is: an action that is or is felt to be highly reprehensible.

    dhammachick
  • IMO
    Sinner or ignorance...Just words saying that something needs to be examined for the harm that it causes. Approach either as an activity in need of illumination rather than as an identification.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    betaboy said:

    In Buddhism, one is ignorant. But considering oneself as a sinner seems more intense and liberating. Is that wrong?

    To consider oneself as a sinner and therefore deserving only pain - is that more powerful in changing oneself? Even Gandhi, though not a Christian, adopted this method. Besides, the word 'ignorance's is so ... lukewarm (for lack of a better term), it doesn't have quite an impact like the word 'sin.'

    Just thinking through. Do not wish to offend anyone.

    Gandhi was a Hindu, hence his connection to 'God' and 'sin'.... however, rather than equating 'sin' with 'Ignorance', really it's more pinpointed to consider any Action you might equate as sinful, as "Unskilful".
    Ignorance covers a multitude of different aspects; doing something with an Unskilful mind-set, implies you know what you're doing - it's just that the choice you've made could do with looking at again, maybe.....?

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    Maybe sin is something God can set right whereas ignorance is something individuals are responsible for righting themselves?
  • Do not wish to offend anyone.
    Too late.
    I am offended by the sinful.

    What kind of sin are you perpetrating against the innocent and kindly @betaboy? :hair:
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited September 2013
    I think sin is an old archery term that means "off the mark".

    If we're off the mark we likely just need more practice.

    Will our aim get better if we have more pain?
    vinlyndhammachick
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    As far as ignorance... We learn as we go.

    If I stub my toe, hopefully I will be more aware.

  • footiamfootiam Veteran
    edited September 2013
    betaboy said:

    In Buddhism, one is ignorant. But considering oneself as a sinner seems more intense and liberating. Is that wrong?

    To consider oneself as a sinner and therefore deserving only pain - is that more powerful in changing oneself? Even Gandhi, though not a Christian, adopted this method. Besides, the word 'ignorance's is so ... lukewarm (for lack of a better term), it doesn't have quite an impact like the word 'sin.'

    Just thinking through. Do not wish to offend anyone.

    Don't know if Gandhi adopted this method. It's okay if he had thought of himself as a sinner though. It is his democratic right but to some people, they are looking at what is really there. One don't know and is therefore ignorant- just like he does not much about sinning and ignorant in it. But probably, he could not accept himself as a sinner too since he has very noble motives in the first place. How could a sane human want to sin? If you feel you are sinner, you probably are and if it could be intense, but liberating? It probably is not liberating to some people. Instead, it brings uncalled for remorse and much pain. But then some people enjoy inflicting pain of themselves and thinking of themselves as sinners probably bring this same effect. Probably, that's the same reason for some people who, thinking that they have sinned, whip themselves. Very uncalled for non-masochists.
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