Journal Entry – Thu Oct 8

I found this really cool site 500px, I don’t know if I can use the photos for my blog yet but have beautiful pictures.

I broke my golden rule today – NEVER go into a meeting with a client without an AGREED UPON agenda. EVER! But I made some assumptions and didn’t realize they were assumptions until the meeting started. I’m trying not to beat myself up about it but I am. Overall the meeting went well, but because we are still in “sales mode” my boss was kinda upset – This is the meeting that the client kept cancelling and rescheduling and in retrospect, I feel like they weren’t even sure about what they needed to discuss or the best way to proceed and I didn’t have enough in depth product knowledge to answer her questions.

I apologized to the CTO and Chief Architect, cause I might have gotten them in trouble by calling them into the meeting, but I didn’t want to waste the client’s time or the opportunity to provide product related clarifications.

Honestly though – I get mixed messages from my boss, one minute something is ok and the next minute it’s not. It’s like he makes decisions based on the kind of day he is having. Maybe he has his own mental illness(es).

Lecture 6: Sin: Original and Otherwise

This lecture looks at the Western Christian and Indian Buddhist traditional conceptions of sin.

The English word sin is used to translate many Greek words in the Christian New Testament, but the most common word is hamartia. This noun comes from the verb hamartanein, which means “to err.”

Lecture 6 – Understanding the Dark Side of Human Nature

In the New Testament the idea of sin can be either to fall short of a goal or to cross a line – meaning we’ve missed the mark or crossed the boundary set for us by God. Jesus suggest we can miss the mark, and sin, by simply feeling or thinking a certain way, not just by doing a sinful act. There are two ways to interpret this:

Weak = Sin begins in the mind with intentions, feelings, and thoughts, so we should guard against them so we don’t commit a sinful act in the future

Strong = Sin is not fundamentally about wrongdoing, it is instead about having a certain state/habits of mind. The strong reading gives us two important ways to think about sin – as wrongdoing (an act or omission to act) or as vice (temperament, or habit of mind with disposition to act sinfully). You should already know the seven deadly sins (especially if you saw Seven (1995) “What’s in the box?” – now I feel like watching that movie again)

  • Lust
  • Gluttony
  • Greed
  • Sloth
  • Wrath – Extreme anger not simple anger
  • Envy
  • Pride

The seven deadly sins or mortal sins are consider the caput or head of all the other sins. According to the catholic church a mortal sin carries the possibility for eternal damnation unless you repent (there’s always an out 🙂 ). A venial sin is a minor sin maybe equivalent to what we’d call a white lie (I think).

In his Summa theologiae, Thomas Aquinas considers which is worse: sin as a vice or sin as a vicious act. Aquinas thinks that the only real reason we call a disposition sinful is that it results in sinful or bad acts. For Augustine of Hippo, (cool name right! Hippo is somewhere in Algeria, but I don’t think it’s called Hippo still) the great Christian philosopher, the idea that thoughts, feelings, and desires can be sinful in themselves is more plausible than for Aquinas. Aquinas thinks we should see dispositions and desires as leading to sin but not as sin. For Augustine, our desires can be sins. Sin, for Augustine, is playing by our own rules and making our own standards. Sinful desires are desires to be like God while denying our dependence on God.

Original Sin, a concept Augustine is often credited with inventing, though the seeds of the doctrine were sown by the apostle Paul in Romans 5:12 is translated in the New Revised Standard Version of the New Testament as: “Just as sin came into the world through one man [Adam], and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned.” Augustine takes Paul to mean that all humans have inherited sin from Adam. We are born sinful in the sense that through Adam’s voluntary choice to turn away from God, human nature has been stained with sin.

Primal sin = the result of Adam’s free choice

Original sin = the corrupted nature that all of humanity inherited from Adam

Original guilt = the culpability associated with the state of original sin

Very roughly, theologians have taken one of two approaches. The first is realism and the second is attributionism. Realism means Adam’s sin and Adam’s guilt are, somehow, truly ours. Whereas, attributionism means Adam’s sin and Adam’s guilt are not strictly ours, but they have been attributed to us by God. (And there’s more but I don’t get it so I can’t explain it)

The Indian Buddhist tradition has a very different conception of sin. In fact, it’s so different that many scholars worry about attributing the concept of sin to Buddhist thinkers. The concept requires a divine lawmaker and, according to the Indian Buddhist tradition, there is no divine being whose commandments might be transgressed or whose standards we might fail to live up to.

The Buddhist tradition does recognizes unwholesome actions that bring about negative effects. The Sanskrit word for this is papa, which refers to an unwholesome action that produces negative effects for us and others in this or a future life. Papa is the opposite of punya, which refers to wholesome actions that lead to happiness in this or a future life. Both are concepts that make sense only in the context of rebirth and karma.

Actions that count as papa bring about bad consequences for those who perform them, whereas actions that count as punya bring about good consequences for those who perform them. So … in this case papa is sin and it goes on until it causes pain, or you achieve liberation through samsara (remember the Man in the Well), when in a state of nirvana, all unwholesome seeds are destroyed and the stain of sin is cleansed.

This Buddhist conception of sin can be positioned as a view of sin as karmic defilement. Sin stains us; we are not necessarily originally stained, but through sin, we stain ourselves in ways that we are responsible for cleansing. For the Indian Buddhist tradition, what matters most in determining the karmic consequences of our actions is the state of mind associated with them – I think this is similar to the strong reading of sin.

I didn’t enjoy this lecture. It was too churchy. They didn’t spend much time on the Buddhist stuff.

(Source: Great Courses – Understanding the Dark Side of Human Nature)

I’m chillin’, minding my business and I realize something doesn’t smell right. So I am walking around trying to figure out where the smell is coming from – Ah! The bathroom. André is in the bathroom; so through the door I’m like:

“André, what’s that smell?”

“I don’t know?”

“What do you mean you don’t know! What are you doing?”

“Using the bathroom.” He can be so dry and sarcastic, it’s funny and annoying as shit.

“André!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!!”

“Burning toilet paper!” (WTF are you insane!)

“André! That’s really not safe. I think you know better. Please stop and don’t do it again!”


After he came out the bathroom I removed the candles and hid all the lighters. WTF!!! Then I remembered that I used to burn paper and other things in my bedroom and one time my bed sheets almost caught fire. (yikes!) Then I thought to myself:

“If anyone is going to burn this muthafucka down, it’s going to be me! I believe I’ve earned it!” (Zombie Apocalypse Now (1975)) Fuckin’ kids!

Tomorrow I have to conduct the lessons learned session for the French project – There are certain meetings I don’t like to have early in the morning, but I have to take into account the time for my European co-workers.

I’m gonna go watch Seven.

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