Sin, Guilt and Rain


It has been raining here, lots of rain. At least it always seems like lots of rain when it wakes me up in the middle of the night, but then I have a tin roof and it might be amplifying things a little. The end point is that I am exhausted. I think I have only managed about 4 hours sleep the last two nights. Might have to sneak in a nap some time today, and I was hoping to get so much done this weekend too.

Am making slow but steady progress on the book. Have had a brief sojourn on the topic of sin and guilt. Which was interesting because Sartre thinks that there can only be sin and guilt in the presence of others. I’m not sure about that. Imagine you are the last person alive, some kind of plague has wiped out all the rest of humanity. Theoretically according to Sartre you would have no sin or guilt. I’m inclined to think not. If you went around smashing up art, or torturing cats, or wiping out ecosystems I’d like to think you would still feel guilty about it, that it would still be wrong on some level. But maybe wrong isn’t the same as sin, and maybe something non-human can act as an other. The cat perhaps, or posterity, or even the memory of people.

Not much done on the sewing front. I was at work for far too long yesterday.

2 responses »

  1. Helen, I agree with you. Whether there is an audience or not, as thinking beings I believe there is a universal notion of ‘goodness’. We instinctively know that to harm another being is not good, that wanton destruction is not good. Sartre probably liked the notion that he could be bad without an audience. If one reads most of the basic religious doctrines they all discuss this same notion in a roundabout way. I like the Zen and Buddhist doctrines in that one has to strive to be non-harmful not for oneself so much, but for the general health of the universe. Like you, I haven’t been able to sleep this week, and I’m a bit fuzzy around the thinking edges right now, but would like to discuss this with you sometime! Cheers, Shaaryn

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