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Date: Tue, 23 Apr 2002 19:40:49 -0500
From: Jeff Wilson 
Subject: Re: (urth) Scylla, Oreb and transmigrational chain yanking

>      From: 
>           "Roy C. Lackey" 
> hartshorn wrote:
> >I won't comment on the Pharasees/Saducsees debate, but I will note one
> other
> >thing about Wolfe.   Apparently machines - computer, Taloses, Solders and
> >chems - are themselves to be redemeed, and become children of God.
> I know you are presenting what seems to be Wolfe's viewpoint, not your own.
> First of all, redeemed from what, exactly? Original Sin? For a Christian who
> subscribes to that doctrine (as all, I assume, must; otherwise what need of
> a "Savior"?), that's a rather queer notion. 

	There's sin learned from others, Unoriginal Sin. :) Seriously, it's
generally accepted among all but the most reactionary Christians that
Jesus' sacrifice redeemed everyone from original sin, both retroactively
and for all generations to come. So, innocent babies do not go to hell
if they die before being baptised or otherwise "cleansed" of sin. 

> I mean, the progeny of Eve, even
> unto the nth generation, cut off from the Tree of Life and cursed to live by
> the sweat of their brows, are all doomed by the nature of their flesh--the
> perils and temptations and foibles attendant upon it--to live out their
> lives as best they may, then to die. After death they are to be judged, and
> rewarded or punished eternally, according to how well they acquitted
> themselves while alive and in the flesh. That flesh is subject, by
> definition, directly to Lust and Gluttony and, indirectly, to others of the
> Deadly Sins. It is very hard, if not impossible, to "sin" in any way that is
> not reducible, ultimately, to the animal nature of the species.

	In the same way, most Christians other than the crustiest
fundamentalists will consider yielding to lust and gluttony to be sinful
because/if the person chooses to indulge when they know better. 
> For a non-corporeal entity (never mind where the "soul" came from) to be
> held to the same standards as one of flesh and blood, strikes me as, well, .
> . . unfair, to say the least. It's easy to be a "saint" when it can't be
> helped. Has your PC ever lusted after an iMac? Have you ever known a robot
> who spent the rent money on wine, women, and the horses? Where is the virtue
> of resisting temptations one isn't even subject to?

Salvation's not about cultivating virtue, it's about refraining from
harming yourself and others. There are plenty of precedent for the
behavior (or imagined behavior) of nonhuman beings being held up as an
example of virtuous conduct worth of emulation; the various animal
species that mate for life, the work ethic and community spirit of the
beaver, a lion's courage, the indomitability of the bear. 
> Look at Hammerstone; he had his basic, factory-issue value system changed by
> an ignorant priest with a screwdriver! Talk about an epiphany! Did that
> augur save that Iron Man's soul with his meddling, or doom him to hell when
> he got some wires crossed?

possibly, would he have had time to realize the difference between right
and wrong?

Jeff Wilson
How Am I Posting? 1-800-555-6789
"If your SecOp can see you, so can the enemy." -Cpt Law


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