Evil QueenJoker

Examples of Sin: The Evil Queen & The Joker - embodying multiple forms of sin.

What is Sin?

For the purposes of this Church "sin" may be defined as the mental process in an agu that results in an action by that agu that is detrimental to its Shoku. Typically this may be an action that harms another agu, (such as stealing or assault), but may also harm the structure of society or the environment. Since the goal of Infinite Dimensions is to optimise the richness, happiness and diversity of all aga and kala, for the present and also the future, any action that reduces any of this is to be deplored.

One may break the idea of Shoku damage into two stages:

  1. Sins of the mind: The mental flaw or weakness that causes one to perform such an action. One might think of these as "thought crimes", although not all require conscious thought. Whether the sins of the mind require conscious thought or not, all real crimes proceed from them and thus they are the true source of all evil. Since the second stage has been named "crimes", for the purposes of this church "sins of the mind" will henceforth be simply named "sins".
  2. Sins of the body: The physical action that harms another person, creature, environment or society. Unlike the first stage, these can be readily observed and reacted to by other aga. These are termed "crimes" and are dealt with in their own section. Crimes may appear to be more serious than the sin that precedes them but it is important to note that without that mental impetus crimes would not happen in the first place.

Categories of Sin

There are quite a few categories of sin, certainly far more than the 7 popularised in the Christian culture. These may be grouped into meta-sins: Bad Brain, Bad Attitude and Bad Method.

Bad Brain

If an agu has a small, damaged or badly wired brain, that agu has little chance of contributing significantly to their society and a good chance of committing a host of sins (small though they may be). There is currently little that can be done to repair or enhance a poor or defective brain and thus little that can be done to reduce sin due to this cause but perhaps new technology may provide an option in the future.

Homer SimpsonMad Scientist

Examples of Bad Brain: Homer Simpson - embodiment of stupidity and the Mad Scientist - embodiment of Wrong Headedness.

Bad Attitude

Bad attitude does not reflect a damaged or defective brain but rather a small and selfish focus, refusing to consider the big picture and act for the greater good, instead pursuing the easy and short term gratification of simple desires at the expense of oneself and/or others. It is these sins that are so well known and most of the "7 Deadly Sins" can be found herein.

The original "7 Deadly Sins" were: Pride, Greed, Envy, Sloth, Gluttony, Lust & Anger. This choice of 7 demonstrates the lack of comprehensive thought that goes into traditional religions and myths and their consequent morality. Clearly Envy and Greed are much the same thing and there are numerous categories that have been left out, Heartlessness and Cowardice for example.

KingpinLokiGarfieldMr CreosoteJessie RocketNelson MuntzPointy Haired BossCowardQuinn MorgendorferMr BurnsEric CartmanNed Flanders

Category Exemplars of Bad Attitude: Kingpin - Greed, Loki - Duplicity, Garfield - Laziness, Mr Creosote - Gluttony, Jessie Rocket - Vanity, Nelson Muntz - Bullying, Dilbert's Boss - Willful Ignorance, Courage the Dog - Cowardice, Quinn Morgendorfer - Shallowness, Mr Burns - Heartlessness, Eric Cartman - Intolerance, Ned Flanders - Insipidity.

All these forms of addiction can ruin lives and we know this yet we still line up to become addicted. It seems innocent enough at first: Why shouldn't we try a cigarette, a glass of wine or a line of speed? Certainly you won't become physically addicted after just one taste or even two but somewhere along the line you will be. What is needed is the mental strength to see where this is going and to get off before it is too late.

Unfortunately addiction is stronger than rational thought. The need for another fix rewires the brain so that filling that urge becomes the primary focus of the addict's life. Dissonance reduction forces the addict to deny some or all of the problems that are occurring and rationalise them away. So powerful is this effect that the addict can even happily justify the destruction of his entire world just to feed a pointless addiction.

The best chance to get off the addition is early on while one can still think straight, later on, because the addiction is controlling one's brain the instances of a clear view become rare, nonetheless they still occur. These instances of a clear view of one's situation are OPPORTUNITIES to break the habit. They MUST be taken or one's life will be destroyed! It requires mental strength: WILL POWER! We all have it to some extent. The weakest will power can be encouraged, supported by peers and strengthened through practice. No one said it was easy but it is the ONLY way out.

The Church of Infinite Dimensions reveres rational thought and also upholds the right of the individual to have fun. It is a problem when one contradicts the other. As always, a sensible BALANCE must be used to decide what is right and wrong. A little alcohol after a day's work or a moderate amount at a party is probably a good thing. If one can't function without a bottle of whiskey in the morning it is a bad thing. In general the more addictive and dangerous forms of addiction should not be encouraged and serious addicts should be placed on plans to manage or remove their addiction.

Addiction per se is not necessarily a sin provided it doesn't adversely affect one's life or one's environment. Once it gets out of hand it IS a sin and at that point it is beholden to the addict to attempt to kick the habit.

Bad Method

We humans are intelligent creatures, (in theory at least); we are named for our brains and it behoves us to use them at all times. It is our brains that raised us up above the rest of our fellow creatures. It is our brains that allowed us to conquer the Earth, to land on the moon and to elucidate the mysteries of the Universe. It is our brains that allowed us to paint like Rembrandt, to compose like Beethoven and to write like Shakespeare.

But much of what our brains do is built on following established, well proven techniques. We are taught standard methods for all subjects, at school and also through manuals. Most of these methodologies are highly domain specific but there are certain general purpose rules that one can apply to ALL activities: "Research the matter." "Plan ahead." "Prepare." "Be sure of your ground." "Do the best you can." "Take pride your work."

These principles are tried and proven and give the best result for all concerned. Failure to follow them is just plain stupid! It is a sin not to use your brain and bad method is just that.

Hot RodBart Simpson

Examples of Bad Method: Hot Rod - Jumping in without thought, Bart Simpson - Lack of Pride in Work.

Sin Is Not All Bad

If you recognise most of the cartoon category exemplars displayed above, you will notice some of the most popular characters of the genre. For example: Homer Simpson is one of the most loved characters of all time yet he is a complete idiot and responsible for enormous carnage in his town. Other characters with an unredeeming bad attitude include his son Bart and the cat Garfield. Why is it that we find such unrepentant sinners so endearing? The answer is that sin is deep within us all and consequently part of the human character. We recognise that in others and love them for it, provided the crimes don't get out of hand.

Lack of sin is a sin in itself as was mentioned above. We all need a little sin in our characters lest we become a race of soulless, characterless robots. Varying amounts of various sins helps to give us a unique character and adds colour to our aga. The trick is to keep it within sensible limits. Once again BALANCE is the key. A little laziness may give a person an element of character but when they are so lazy that they expect others to do everything for them then without contributing anything in return then they are a drain on the community and their behaviour must be adjusted. Someone who shoots their mouth off without thinking first may be amusing at party when you happen to agree with what they say but it would be a different situation if such a person is in a jury that is trying you for crime you didn't commit and that person jumps to a verdict of guilty without considering the evidence.

Sins are not necessarily bad, in fact they may often be good! They are part of us and we should not seek to remove them altogether as various religious puritans have done over the centuries. They do however need to be watched and dealt with if they get out of hand.

Controlling Sin

The Church of Infinite Dimensions believes in the free mind and spirit and holds them sacred. However it also believes in all aga taking responsibility for their actions and working to optimise the quality of life for all. How can the Church reconcile these two principles that will at times oppose each other?

Clearly one cannot reconcile opposites with the stroke of a pen, much as one may wish to, so this problem will always exist. As in all such matters, the key to an optimal strategy is BALANCE! Common sense must be employed to decide when to force an agu to follow the Church's philosophy and when to back off and allow that agu to exercise freedom of thought, aberrant though the Church may view it. Generally speaking, the greater the crime the greater should be the stick. Sin without crime can generally be ignored.

The Church Of Infinite Dimensions must NEVER be guilty of real brainwashing. I abhor it in existing religions and regard it as one of the great crimes against humanity. This doesn't mean however that if an agu's sin has got out of hand that the Church's philosophy behind its dictums should not be explained to that agu and that agu's flaws and their concomitant impact pointed out. Such action should be kept low-key, non-threatening and private however. We don't want to go down the path of the Chinese Cultural revolution with its public shaming, forced public self-denunciation and forced public spouting of party dogma.

The physical manifestation of sin is crime and it will be dealt with later.

  1. Of course these values vary considerably from relationship to relationship. These are not precise figures, just rough guides.