||A comment by user "SpaceGhoti" entitled "Mr. Feline dude" has been deleted for violation of copyright held by user "cheetah." It should be noted that the violation in this case was particularly egregious, as it reproduced "cheetah's" work in its entirety. The non-infringing content of "SpaceGhoti's" comment is republished below, in its unbearably dull entirety.
"Thank you for your kind words of welcome. I wouldn't have been gone so long, but Real Life intruded, and I also spent some time indulging in one of my re-awakening addictions.
Congratulations for acknowledging that fact! Thus far you're at least one step ahead of a lot of people who frequent this site. If you're that serious about the Christian canon and the Bible, I suggest you be careful with how you phrase definitions of sin. Careful reading of the Bible will also reveal to you that all sins are weighted equally. The Apostle Paul pointed out that thoughts are counted as much as physical acts.
It is critical in our development that we maintain what a friend of mine terms a "self-examined life." By this he means that it behooves us to regularly take stock of our actions and motivations and consider if we're achieving what we want to be doing and who we want to be. It's one thing to rationalize a personal failure; we're all subject to them whether we like it or not. It's something else to examine ourselves and realize that we're maintaining a pattern of rationalization that blocks our growth and maturity. Sleeping around may be harmless and it may not be, but do you know why you're doing it? Conversely, do you know why you're not doing it? Both questions are equally valid. There are no correct answers. Religious precepts are only one way to arrive at your answers.
Actually, I find that the principles of Christianity are really quite arbitrary. Religion serves a useful purpose, that of social organization and cooperation. The human machine is not necessarily _meant_ to run in any particular way other than some basics involving food, rest, warmth and reproduction. The trick is finding ways to satisfy those basic needs without everyone reverting to all-out free-for-all warfare. Christianity is one way to go about it, but it isn't the only way to succeed and prosper. There are other ways and other rules that work just as well, and some of them have even succeeded better than anything a purely Christian society can boast.
Once people wake up enough to realize the point behind the rules they've been taught, they frequently no longer need the trappings that surround them in order to obey them. For example, the point of cooking food is a matter of hygiene. Almost every religion contains laws governing the proper preparation of food and what foods are forbidden. Once we began to understand the principles of hygiene we no longer needed to worry about religious laws governing food; we even managed to find ways to prepare food properly that might violate those laws without endangering ourselves. Other laws relate in a more social context but follow the same rule: once we recognize the principle behind the laws we can learn how to enjoy variety without endangering ourselves or those around us.
Your skepticism is justified. People on the whole are cattle. Religion is a corral that keeps them from getting out of hand. Individuals have shown the capacity to rise above the level of the group, but changing the group requires a much longer outlook. It can and has been done, but still at a much slower pace than individuals may require. It requires a lot of time, patience and experimenting. Conservative outlooks help keep us from being reckless, and liberal outlooks help keep us from stagnating. Slowly, gradually, we make progress.
Is sexual promiscuity a concept whose time has come? Not necessarily. Not everyone is cut out for it, and not all those who are will be able to avoid persecution for it. But if we can look at the history of human sexual relations and examine the threads that hold us together, I think we can find ways to enjoy variety without endangering ourselves or the people we love."
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