>>>I once watched a group of DeBrazzas monkeys at a zoo. All the adults were
settling down for a nap, but one youngster had other ideas. He would wait until
one male was nodding off and then would climb over and yank his tail repeatedly.
When the male got fed up and started to move towards the troublemaker, he ran
for his mother. The male would settle down again, only to be woken by another
yank on the tail. Obviously the youngster knew it was harrassing the other, but
is it sin?<<<
I think we have to draw the line between what animals do and the 'meditative'
characteristics of sin. What we need to consider is that we have free will, not
just in our very actions but in the way we think, and this is where there is a
divergence between us and lower species.
We have a pre-meditative and a post-meditative dualism of action and thought
built into our soul. I will use a relatively grotesque but useful example to
illustrate the point. If I wanted to kill my aunt to inherit her millions, I
would need to pre-meditate her murder by devising schemes to do away with her in
such an ingenious way so as to avoid capture and suspicion. The result would be
that I would inherit the money, and this may seem _good_ to me. BUT and this is
a big but, I KNOW for sure that I have committed a wrongful act through my
post-meditative powers of thought/will. I know for sure that I have carried-out
an evil act in its purest form. My conscious is not clear even though the
results of my actions seem to be good.
And this is what separates us from other animals. There is a huge gulf between
humans and animals in terms of _results_ of actions and meditative abilities.
The young monkey would perceive 'interesting' results from his harassment of the
adult but he would not be able to post-meditate his actions in terms of Good and
Evil. Hence he cannot sin!
Therefore one must admit that there is something very special about the human
soul that no other creature can posses: Our ability to perceive good and evil
(or meaning) from actions and thoughts.
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