Harm vs. Purity

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Reuben
Posts: 431
Joined: 05 Nov 2016, 10:04

Re: Harm vs. Purity

Post by Reuben » 13 Aug 2018, 19:23

I've finally got a good analogy for how I see purity-based moral reasoning.

My youngest daughter has turned into something of a germaphobe, to the level of mild OCD. She engages in ritual hand-washing. She invents rules about things touching other things to keep herself safe. Most of her contagion rules are nonsense, of course, but some are reasonable.

Besides making sure she gets exposure to icky things, we talk her through how germs actually spread. Our mental models of contagion are more precise than hers. We also understand the human immune system better; in particular, our resilience and our need for low-level exposure. This is complicated stuff, but the better she understands it, the less she relies on disgust and nonsense contagion rules to feel safe from harm.

It occurs to me that I'll never entirely stop relying on disgust to feel safe from harm, either. Reality is just too complicated, and I can't know what germs are on every surface or piece of food. Besides, even though disgust is just a heuristic, it tends to be good enough and it's very fast.

I think purity-based moral reasoning is the same way. (I'll bet we use the same mental machinery, too.) Disgust is just a fast heuristic, but reality is too complicated and unknown to for us to stop relying on it entirely. It's good for us to occasionally review the rules that tell us what we should be disgusted by, and evaluate them against other moral values. (The recent shift in attitudes about same-sex relationships is a fine example of doing this.) But we shouldn't just throw them out, because they tend to embody past wisdom that keeps us safe, healthy and happy.
My intro

Love before dogma. Truth before loyalty. Knowledge before certainty.

Rusty92
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Joined: 16 Aug 2018, 02:36

Re: Harm vs. Purity

Post by Rusty92 » 16 Aug 2018, 23:49

Heber13 wrote:
10 Aug 2018, 18:41
It's a very good post. Love it.

Why then, is sex a sin in all cases?

A couple has sex once before marriage.

They don't tell anyone. They try hard to be careful and not let it happen again. No other partners. No disease. No pregnancy.

They get married in the temple.

Wherein is the sin?

Where does the line get drawn for sin or not sin? When there is no harm, is there a foul?

Is there a thing such as a "close call..but no sin"?

The husband is alone for the weekend. Wife took the kids to the in-laws for a summer break, he stays home to work. Friday night...all alone...he goes out to eat and has a few beers. No alcoholism. Do drunk driving. No meeting others and having affairs. Just beer.

It isn't repeated when the family is around.

No harm to anyone, except a few brain cells.

Sin?
I agree with you
30 years ago I was courting my wife, because I knew she was my eternal partner and soul mate and of my love for her we slept together before our marriage, it was an expression of our love for each other, it was natural. We knew that we wanted to be together. But what we had done in the eyes of the church was a sin? Or was it?
After we were married we wanted to be sealed so I went to the bishop
I explained it all to him and told him there was nothing wrong in any thing we had done
He still disfellowshipped me but I still argue I did nothing wrong

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Heber13
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Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: Harm vs. Purity

Post by Heber13 » 17 Aug 2018, 11:42

Rusty92 wrote:
16 Aug 2018, 23:49
I explained it all to him and told him there was nothing wrong in any thing we had done
He still disfellowshipped me but I still argue I did nothing wrong
Do remember feeling any different status with God after the disfellowshipping process? Like...you didn't have as much access to the spirit...then were disciplined out of love from the church...then felt a greater increase of love and access to God's power and revelation?

What was your experience with the confession process (if you don't mind sharing) before or after talking to the bishop? Was it helpful?
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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dande48
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Joined: 24 Jan 2016, 16:35
Location: Wherever there is danger

Re: Harm vs. Purity

Post by dande48 » 17 Aug 2018, 23:20

Rusty92 wrote:
16 Aug 2018, 23:49
30 years ago I was courting my wife, because I knew she was my eternal partner and soul mate and of my love for her we slept together before our marriage, it was an expression of our love for each other, it was natural. We knew that we wanted to be together. But what we had done in the eyes of the church was a sin? Or was it?
After we were married we wanted to be sealed so I went to the bishop
I explained it all to him and told him there was nothing wrong in any thing we had done
He still disfellowshipped me but I still argue I did nothing wrong
If you felt like you had done nothing wrong, why tell the Bishop?

FWIW, I don't believe "because we were/are in love" to be a good reason for doing much. Many unhappy marriages begin when people get married for no better reason than they "fell in love". And many marriages are broken because one spouse or another left because they "fell in love" with someone else. Law/commandments/etc are to control our behavior beyond our natural instincts, when our natural instincts go against our best interests.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

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