Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Buddhist fishermen

The nineteenth-century anthropologist Adolf Bastian described a way that Burmese Buddhist fisherman avoided damnation.  Burmese Buddhists were prohibited from killing any creature – whether human or animal.  The fisherman avoided the prohibition by placing fish on the river bank to dry after their long soak in the river.  If the fish were foolish and ill-judged to die as they thrashed around on the river bank then it was their own fault. 


Now, many people would question the fisherman’s logic.  They’d say that identify with how a fish that is denied it’s natural living environment would surely die.  They may even point to how a fish could hardly exercise any judgment while it was struggling to maintain vital functions.  An Evolutionists may propose that the ability of fish to survive on land requires a slow multi-generational adaptive processes rather than an instant process.


As questionable as the logic is, it is logic that we use every day.  It is the logic we use to justify ourselves in the face of sin.  Some examples of every day usage are:

  • “I am over the speed limit but I really need to get to that appointment on time” (speed limit is set for a good reason and is enforceable yet we seemingly think that our own rationale is of higher importance)


  • “Everybody cheats on their tax return” (we perceive that something becomes right if everyone is violation, we exaggerate to justify our own malfeasance)


  • “I’ve told you, I’ve told all the family: I don’t need to go to a doctor” (we deny well-meaning advice from those who care for us)


Before we hasten to justify sins we need to first recognise the nature of sin.  Sin is costly.  It is costly to the point where the Bible equates it to death.  To justify sin is to justify the effects of sin.  Put off your sinful nature and aspire to capture every thought for Christ.

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up
 against the knowledge of God, and we take captive
 every thought to make it obedient to Christ."



Note: Bastian’s discovery was found in a book by Eugene Soltes “Why They Did it: Inside the mind of the white-collar criminal”, hard copy, 2016, p254

Note: Eternity Magazine published on sin here

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