The Modern UnDivine Comedy and, specifically, Disloyalty
Contrapasso. How does a punishment fit the transgression.
Sin of Party or Local Betrayal;
What happens to the accuser?
Contrapasso. How does the punishment fit the transgression. Sin, Travesty, what to do. Nothing? Why not. We already let the fallen rise again, when it suits politically. Expand the idea. Simplify.
There is wisdom in the Middle Ages. Who went to hell in the old days? Try this partial Dante list: Dante Alighieri, 1265-1321 http://www3.nd.edu/~italnet/dante/. Read his biography, http://www.biography.com/people/dante-9265912. To us, it is a surprising series of sins to attach to people going to or in stages of hell. We may see human failings but no crime, thank you. Common, seedy, human behavior, summarized here, details below.
- Drifters, parasites, ones who blow where the wind blows, so long as there is some advantage, or those, on the other hand, who commit to nothing;
- Destabilizers, interferers with filial piety or other ordained respect relationship;
- Betrayers of party or local interest; and a related category:
- Accusers of those believed to have betrayed others, but who then go on to punish the betrayer of party or local interest. They also end up in hell, but with the betrayer on top. Interesting.
The side issue in Dante is, for modern analysis, when to codify and make a crime; and when not. Do we properly sometimes let the moral transgressor go his way, left to his own future in Hell.
The particular sin: Betrayal. Itself worthy of hell, but worse off is the accuser who punishes the betrayer on earth. To forego taking vengeance for us probaby means that if there is no deity to inflict hell later, there is no consequence in the here and now as far as the outside is concerned.
Codifying Crimes out of Sin. Is Travesty a more useful concept in a plural society than "sin." Yes.
- Travesty is an idea stemming from some conscience, right and wrong idea -- even babes and toddlers show that sensibility. Travesty is known when it occurs better than by advance definition, a product of conscience and sensibility but incapable of codifying without further injustice resulting.
Dante. He had ideas on sinners and hell, and how punishments should fit the crime, and whom to meet on the way to hell, at least in some of the Cantos of The Inferno. Follow the theme of contrapasso in levels of hell -- where the punishment befits the crime. Meet some of the sinners in various categories of dysfunction. Read the Inferno online at http://www.online-literature.com/dante/inferno/ Although only in Canto 28 does Dante use the term, according to this source that introduces us to contrapasso, see http://dante-inferno-contrapasso-ethics.blogspot.com/ the concept recurs. Do read the Contrapasso ethics site -- concise, interesting, and then read the whole Inferno.
The accuser punished the betrayer by locking him and his family in the Tower to starve (see story at FN 1). The worldly punishments of exclusion, isolation, taint, and ultimate deprivation were imposed on the doer, and then generalized to any related to him.
- Yes! Says the modern party. Hit the betrayers, those who vote other than as directed. Hit them in their lives. Leave nothing to a deity in the future, as the deity may choose if there is, indeed, sin.
- But, in hell, the accusers themselves became the food of the accused whom they had starved. The accuser, starved on earth, merrily could feast upon the head of the accuser for all eternity in hell.
For Canto 32- 33, see http://www.italianstudies.org/comedy/Inferno32.htm; and http://www.italianstudies.org/comedy/Inferno33.htm
A Theological Concept. Morals. Acts or omissions against a revelation-related moral code. Evangelicals and the Right group-define sin in boxes, apply formulae, based on a believed Manumission Immaculata from the Deity. Originally punishable by the deity in the deity's good time. Now subject to immediate corrective action by the definers, as individual vigilante or groupthink. If the deity appears to ignore sin or travesty in this life, then legislate some aspect of the act or omission into a Crime. Pre-emption of the deity. Firm lines are easy tro enforce, even if totally against the equities, see Travesty.
A more broadly inter-culturally inclusive and palatable form of sin-idea. Secular Concept reflecting Moral-like ideas. The Left, for example, may recognize the presence of a travesty in assessments, but is highly skeptical of Group Defined Sin applied to it, as being instutionally or career-ly self-serving.
For example, abortion is not seen as a sin by many on the Left, such that people are permitted in its name to peep into wombs; but at some point, a balance shifts -- the inner little entity has rights ultimately to complete (through birth) what the hostess of the little parasite let grow for so long, except in cases of need to balance life of breathing mother (first) against life of still unaired entity.
Travesty -- in the face of travesty, balance interests, weigh circumstances, take deep breath, be gentle and apply reason, and let go if you yourself are not in the scope of that particular event. Breathers over non-breathers makes sense, unless the non-breather could breathe on the outside if allowed, and the life of the mother etc etc. Travesty gets messy. Equity as a remedy is like that, see http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Equitable+Defenses. Equity. Fairness. Balance. You know it when you see it. Coded punishments need not apply.
A Cultural Concept. An area for codification of prohibited behaviors and punishments. Acts or omissions capable of being fixed and described by a secular entity, quantifiable, as against the interests of society, punishable by judicial process.
See overlap with sin, however, where an act is not only against some specific law, but also believed to be received authority, revelation and indisputably inspiration-related. In such case, anti-sin vigilantes or lone wolves may be found to put self uber alles. See, for example, false witness. Sin, but free speech allows it all the time, no crime except if a person is under Oath.
Dante. Contrapasso. How does the punishment in the hereafter fit the sin? The travesty? When the sinner is also punished in life by the accuser, is the punisher also in hell? See * ditty.
This is the most interesting part. Yes. The sin may be a sin, the travesty or transgression indeed such, but the accusers also go to hell, and in a way that gives the original sinner the last figurative laugh.
Focus on sin: Dysfunctional. It serves as a distractor from the "giving" that is the essence of our western religions, supposedly. See http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2013/04/09/Let-the-Punishment-Fit-the-Crime-of-the-Great-Recession.aspx#page1
Immigration: What sin? A codified transgression? Crossing a border when a porous border was condoned and profited from for decades? Immigrants want to know. The incarcerated. Does the codification reflect fairness, mercy, context, condoning again, exploitation? The incarcerated for small matters also want to know.
Pragmatism on sin: Noone should be forever defined by his episodic humanity.
Thanks to Whiskers on Kittens
Taintings on Public Lives,
Weiner and Garcia.
Clinton, and Sanford,
Fear not. Wait.
Say you are sorry.
They'll forget. Don't hurry.
Life is zen.