Sunday, May 10, 2020

The concept of original sin and forgiveness could help Joe Biden

Given the problems that Joe Biden is having over the possibility of touching, I got to thinking about this. Maybe the concept of original sin and forgiveness is a useful system. Useful for keeping political movements from turning into circular firing squads. It works pretty well for keeping Donald Trump and his supporters together. The liberal side of politics may need to borrow this system, to some extent.

If one doesn't like the loaded word sin, one can say something else. One can say "no one is perfect." This concept is useful at bringing some humbleness to the discussion and it helps to curb the ego. We are, basically, an animal species. Our emotions don't always fit our best intentions. Social expectations change over time as well. The other side of that system is forgiveness. Forgiveness from sin, or past transgressions.

It's a system that allows Donald Trump to survive with much of the support of his followers intact. I think many of them don't think he's the ideal person, but they can forgive him.

This system does have it's drawbacks, however. There's less accountability given this system. One can pretty much do anything; maybe even shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, and then still be forgiven (that's a bit extreme, but the idea still holds).

I think the concept of original sin and forgiveness has some merit, but it can be taken too far. It seems to work for conservatives. Liberals need something similar.

The word sin is a loaded word. It could be replaced with just simple humility or the realization that no one is perfect. Forgiveness is usually a virtue, but there's always need for balance. Accountability shouldn't be discarded either.

Whether there is a deity or not is another topic. The concept of original sin and forgiveness could have been invented over the centuries by humans, but it seems to work well at reducing the internal strife in social movements. Just about everyone has their skeletons in the closet.