Tuesday, August 7, 2007

hereditary sin

I hear a lot more planes than I used to. I'm not sure if there's really more of them or if I'm just hearing them more.

On the morning of August 6, 1945 the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan and suddenly all the rules changed.

The President said the atomic bomb heralded the "harnessing of the basic power of the universe".

The "harnessing of the basic power of the universe"!

I can't believe this is a thing we were meant to do. It is not our place to harness the basic power of the universe. I have a very dear friend who would argue that point, saying that God gave us the ability to do so because He wanted us to do so. When that fails to sway me he tries an alternate approach and says we were made in His image, that we should seek to be like Him, seek to be Godly.

Now I didn't go to church with any sort of regularity, so I am certainly no expert, but I was under the impression we were suppose to be more like Christ, not God. We were to be obedient, loving, servants of God. We were to bring others to him. I don't remember anybody ever advising I needed to be God-like.

Anyway, that is not the particular circular discussion I meant to rehash here. I usually end it by reminding my friend that he is an agnostic, so that without a firm belief in God, he can't very well even begin to offer to prove that God wants us meddling in the "harnessing of the basic power of the universe".

No, I had originally been thinking about the concepts of original sin and hereditary sin. Kierkegaard, Sebastian Moore and all the rest of them have wasted many a weighty word trying to explain rationalize such a simple concept.

Original sin? Hereditary sin? Do we really suffer for the sins of our fathers?

Certainly we do. Haven't you looked around lately? Some would say that is our cross to bear.


  1. I feel really, really strongly about the A bomb. I hate Truman more deeply than any other president (although there are undisclosed close seconds). A lot of people who know my politics are a little surprised that I pick him as my least favorite but when I think about the bombs and the rhetoric behind them and what happened after them I usually start to cry.

    It makes you what else you inherit as an American. Hereditary sin, certainly. Hereditary racism? Pretty certainly. Hereditary guilt? Some people are pretty good at pretending they don't feel any. Some of those people turn into monsters. Hereditary ignorance? Maybe we can be excused for that on some occasions, since ignorance is surely indispensable if we want to survive our own sins and racism and guilt.

  2. I don't know. I've never been one of those "love it or leave it" types. I honestly believe, though, that democracy could work, if EVERYONE saw it as their mandatory duty to vote. I think there is so much shit going on because too many people don't step up to the plate and vote.

    As far as a religious metaphor? No. I don't go there. I was raised Catholic, left the church when I was in my twenties and never looked back.

    I tend to be more in the "Star Wars" realm of thinking. There is a good force and a bad force and we need to make sure that the scales are never tipped the wrong way.