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Author Topic: Pope Benedict announces resignation.
BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
I wouldn't say it was terribly biased or anything-rather that it was very ordinarily biased. Almost as a rule, people view their own families and institutions more favorably and optimistically than they do others. Even when they're well aware of the pitfalls of other groups similar to theirs, there will be something that permits a titled head and shrugged shoulders to dismiss the concerns.

Yeah, and I'm fully admitting I'm biased in favor of my church and its leaders. At any rate, insofar as this is all conjecture, my word is as good as anyone else's. [Smile] (You might even say that, having had personal interactions with a fair number of general authorities to compare with my impressions of many other people I've met throughout my life, I have a better take on this question than many do.)


I don't agree with the shrugged shoulders thing. I'm not about to dismiss some gross mistake (or peccadillo, for that matter) just because I'm biased toward them. I would let it go in a government leader longer than I would in a church leader. They are held to incredibly high standards of conduct based on the offices they hold, standards that extend deep into their personal and family lives as well as their positions and responsibilities in the church.


Take it however you want, I guess, when I say I don't see a secret tawdry second life in any of them. I know it doesn't prove anything, but that's my opinion, informed by a lifetime of observation. But I'm not blind to the fact that it could happen.

Well said.
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Rakeesh
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I didn't mean shrugged shoulders to say that you would, if discovered, brush aside any misdeeds. Rather I meant that people will shrug off the many similarities between themselves or their groups that might indicate something bad-that's one of the signatures of ongoing stunned disbelief in various church scandals-not just that it would be unlikely but even impossible for that to happen to us, so on and so forth.

As for knowing them better, well sure that does weigh in favor of your judgment, but that's not the whole case, is it? For example if someone is a brilliant liar, then many people might feel with justification that they knew them very well and yet be just as much deceived as someone just falling off the turnip truck.

None of this proves anything, of course. It doesn't even mean you should be suspicious. It's just from the outside, claims of exceptionalism and a potential to spiritually notice something ring hollow, not because (or not just because) the notion of a spiritual disturbance doesn't carry weight but because of the many people who have made similar claims in similar circumstances.

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quote:
I didn't mean shrugged shoulders to say that you would, if discovered, brush aside any misdeeds. Rather I meant that people will shrug off the many similarities between themselves or their groups that might indicate something bad-that's one of the signatures of ongoing stunned disbelief in various church scandals-not just that it would be unlikely but even impossible for that to happen to us, so on and so forth.
All right, gotcha. Considering what's being unearthed in the Catholic church, it's easy to say "Thank goodness that's not going to happen in my church" and move on.

Hopefully the Catholic crisis is prompting skeleton hunts in closets throughout my church too, and inspiring more care and caution in how abuse prevention and exposure are addressed.

It would indeed be devastating if corruption of that kind were unearthed in the senior levels of my church's leadership. Much trust is placed in those people. It would be somewhat similarly devastating if, say, the beloved and charismatic head of a company was caught with a long history of embezzlement. The fall of an icon is always devastating even as the irony is delicious.

I guess my response is that it's just as easy (especially in the era of 24-hour news feeds) to expect there to be a rotten underbelly in such a situation, and stick doggedly to that notion because nobody likes their expectations to prove false.

quote:
As for knowing them better, well sure that does weigh in favor of your judgment, but that's not the whole case, is it? For example if someone is a brilliant liar, then many people might feel with justification that they knew them very well and yet be just as much deceived as someone just falling off the turnip truck.
No argument here. I'm trying to think of an aspect of life where you're not in perilous danger from others failing your trust.

quote:
None of this proves anything, of course. It doesn't even mean you should be suspicious. It's just from the outside, claims of exceptionalism and a potential to spiritually notice something ring hollow, not because (or not just because) the notion of a spiritual disturbance doesn't carry weight but because of the many people who have made similar claims in similar circumstances.
Couldn't agree with you more. Such arguments tend to be dismissed gleefully upon identification.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
... But I do not believe an apostle could long be committing such an atrocity ...

It helps to believe it if you don't consider it an "atrocity" [Wink]
(We're still talking about consensual sex right?)

Consensual sex outside the confines of marriage (and while married), especially in the context of being a leader within the Mormon church is an atrocity.
I would say have a sense of proportion.

Mass murder, the use of poison gas, nuclear weapons, agent orange, these things are atrocities.

The molestation or rape of little boys? A crime for particular priests. Arguably an atrocity for the leadership that condoned it, protected it, and allowed it to spread.

Consensual sex outside of marriage, possibly even with the consent of the married partner in question? It's not even a crime, let alone an atrocity. It would be funny, that's what it would be.

One needs to have a sense of proportion to identify the serious problems that are present in this world and the ones that are not. (And a recognition that things that are not particularly serious can happen pretty commonly)

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BlackBlade
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Mucus: You left out "especially in the context of being a leader within the Mormon church". I am implying the partner does not consent, but I didn't explicitly state that.

Leaders in the church are directly responsible for being moral examples for millions of people. They accept a long legacy of strong support for marital fidelity, and are expected to defend it. They are literally representatives for Christ on earth.

Having an adulterous affair within that context is an atrocity.

Your atrocities are atrocities in any context.

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Rakeesh
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I got what you meant. I didn't think that you were labeling gay sex as an atrocity (I'm not sure who did and who was just messing with you). The religious elements and betrayal of spiritual duty bit doesn't hold water for me, but I dug what you were getting at.
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White smoke.
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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
... But I do not believe an apostle could long be committing such an atrocity ...

It helps to believe it if you don't consider it an "atrocity" [Wink]
(We're still talking about consensual sex right?)

Consensual sex outside the confines of marriage (and while married), especially in the context of being a leader within the Mormon church is an atrocity.
I would say have a sense of proportion.

Mass murder, the use of poison gas, nuclear weapons, agent orange, these things are atrocities.

The molestation or rape of little boys? A crime for particular priests. Arguably an atrocity for the leadership that condoned it, protected it, and allowed it to spread.

Consensual sex outside of marriage, possibly even with the consent of the married partner in question? It's not even a crime, let alone an atrocity. It would be funny, that's what it would be.

One needs to have a sense of proportion to identify the serious problems that are present in this world and the ones that are not. (And a recognition that things that are not particularly serious can happen pretty commonly)

LDS doctrine states that adultery is a sin second only in severity to murder.
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AchillesHeel
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Argentinian cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been elected.

Washington Post article.

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Samprimary
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Old pope retires due to old age.

New pope is 76 and had already retired once due to age.

Can't wait to do this again in four years or so!

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Lyrhawn
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Excellent. Watching CNN fumble their way through it should be something get to enjoy more than just a handful of times in my life.
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Samprimary
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really ancient crusty old dude, check

archconservative who will keep the vatican in the moral stone age, check

likely involved in some really shady ugly stuff from way back when and thus will fuel endless controversy, check

catholicismô

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
LDS doctrine states that adultery is a sin second only in severity to murder.

Then that's what I'm criticizing.

It seems like a big flaw in a moral scheme if you place adultery second only to murder when most reasonable people would probably put a whole lot of actual crimes in between the two like torture, rape, assault, manslaughter, etc.

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BlackBlade
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I'm not super comfortable with adultery as second to murder mind, but you also have to realize that marriage in an LDS context is an eternal commitment. It's possibly the most important compact one ever enters into.

The ripples that go out when that covenant is violated reach out just as far I should think.

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steven
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
LDS doctrine states that adultery is a sin second only in severity to murder.

Then that's what I'm criticizing.

It seems like a big flaw in a moral scheme if you place adultery second only to murder when most reasonable people would probably put a whole lot of actual crimes in between the two like torture, rape, assault, manslaughter, etc.

Also, among all those crimes mentioned (and a lot more could be included, as well), only adultery gets committed by, quite possibly, the majority of people. Even if it's not the majority, it's a huge number. The other crimes are only committed by a tiny, tiny percentage of the population.

We have a massive bit of cognitive dissonance there, really...and it's not just in the LDS church. Most societies frown on adultery pretty heavily, even as many, many people commit it.

I wonder why that is?

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Tittles
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Drilled into a bunch of social apes living in denser and denser populations through the last ten millenia or so.

Banging somebody's wife, no matter the time period, is a good way to make that somebody feel a little stabbity.

Social rules like this last because they help to keep peace and harmony in society. The interesting part is deciding which rules are no longer needed with the recent (past two or three centuries) technological innovation changing the way humans live and interact with each other.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
I'm not super comfortable with adultery as second to murder mind, but you also have to realize that marriage in an LDS context is an eternal commitment. It's possibly the most important compact one ever enters into.

The ripples that go out when that covenant is violated reach out just as far I should think.

Well, I mean if that's what one thinks reality is then uncomfortable comparisons won't have any bearing. It does mean, though, what most would call minimizing a lot of awful things. But then frankly that's part and parcel to the idea of an afferlife of some sort mitigating what happens in this one. Whin holy cow I think this bunch of apes would be better off without.
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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
LDS doctrine states that adultery is a sin second only in severity to murder.

Then that's what I'm criticizing.

It seems like a big flaw in a moral scheme if you place adultery second only to murder when most reasonable people would probably put a whole lot of actual crimes in between the two like torture, rape, assault, manslaughter, etc.

Is somebody defensive about something?

Look at it in the context of morality. You make a commitment to one person over everyone else, someone who should have perfect trust in you. Adultery is the ultimate betrayal of that commitment.

Murder takes away a life, but adultery destroys a relationship that should be held above all others. It is not only a crime against the trust of your partner, it is a crime against yourself and your family / children. It is, in effect, a heinous crime against everyone you love.

Yes, it is done a lot. Does that make it excusable?

With regard to religious statutes, I would argue that it's worse than assault and torture. Think of them within the context of war? Rape might be considered a worse act against one victim, but adultery has many victims -- including children. Manslaughter isn't meditated murder and is often accidental.

Based on the number of lives it affects and the personal level of the betrayal, I'd put adultery above most crimes. Nobody dies or is physically hurt (unless you catch something), but it can emotionally destroy everyone you care about. And again, within the context of religion, it's worse than every other crime -- not within the context of law. That makes a difference.

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TomDavidson
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Okay, what's worse? Raping your wife, or cheating on her? What about torturing her?

I would say that you're confusing two issues here, in that it is bad to do bad things to someone you have promised to love and protect, but not as bad to lie to someone you have promised to love and protect as it is to, say, break off all of her fingernails and hold her underwater until she nearly dies.

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Aros
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There's a whole sliding scale here, isn't there? Don't oversimplify.

What is torture? When I was a kid, we tied my sister to a chair and left her locked in a closet.

What if you commit a crime while intoxicated?

What if by committing adultery, you break apart your marriage, cause your spouse to suicide, and turn your children into alcoholics?

Where is culpability?

How bad is it to torture or accidentally kill someone you don't know? What if they don't have any family?

How bad is it to destroy the lives of everyone you care about? Everyone you've committed to and made promises to?

What heals more readily? Fingernails or a marriage?

I'm not sure there aren't any easy answers. But assault and torture are very vague words that can cover a lot of acts.

I have two points:
- Defining these crimes by a single word -- rape, adultery, assault, manslaughter -- leaves out a lot of context. Obviously these can each be terrible to varying degrees. Murder is pretty straightforward.
- All of these crimes other than murder and adultery are (generally) committed against a single victim. No matter how heinous, they can't easily be compared to a crime against yourself and your entire family, as in the case of adultery.

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BlackBlade
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Adultery is not just lying. You are having sex with a person which also has the potential to bring a new human being into the world, with a huge chance they will live their entire life without the necessary elements in place for them to encourage them to live well as well as safeguard them from living a base existence.

Your actions also have an effect on the community that is destabilizing. Without the belief in the afterlife based aspects it's just not as far reaching an act.

That's fine if you don't believe in an afterlife, I can accept in that context a person can commit adultery, use contraception up the wazoo, and it just doesn't approach some iterations of murder, but that's not how it is for me.

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I would say all of those acts would impact the entire family, not just the victim, and a victim, marriage, and a family has a better chance of healing psychologically and relationship-wise from an act of adultery than from a rape or a murder.

I'll echo BB in saying the LDS church considers adultery to be a very serious sin, given the importance the church place on marriage.

However, that doesn't mean heinous acts like rape or assault are shrugged off as any less serious and devastating than they are.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
That's fine if you don't believe in an afterlife, I can accept in that context a person can commit adultery, use contraception up the wazoo, and it just doesn't approach some iterations of murder...
Let me point out yet again the excellent reasons to not shackle yourself to a belief in an afterlife. Consider for a moment if you believed -- as some people do -- that allowing a woman to live after suffering rape shames her and her family not only in life but in the afterlife. Here you have a scenario in which murder itself is justified by a prevention of an even worse sin -- which raises the question: would it be justifiable to kill someone to prevent adultery?

quote:
All of these crimes other than murder and adultery are (generally) committed against a single victim. No matter how heinous, they can't easily be compared to a crime against yourself and your entire family, as in the case of adultery.
I am absolutely certain that there are many crimes which can be committed against a single victim -- like, say, rape or murder or torture -- which would have far worse effects on my family than adultery.
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Mucus
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I don't have time to post a full response, but in response the questions about context, when I said "actual crimes," I meant legally, either national or international. So if you have examples in mind like what you've done to your sister, just process it accordingly.

For rape, assault, manslaughter, I had in mind acts that would be reasonably tried and convicted under the Canadian Criminal Code. For torture, I had in mind norms from international law, like the UN Convention on torture.

Just to be clear though, to bring it back to your leader as a moral example. Are you saying that if you were forced to pick between two candidates for being a leader, with everything between them equal in all respects except that one is a rapist and one is an adulterer, your doctrine would prefer the rapist?

How about if your community had $1000 to spend on education and could either use that to either eliminate one case of manslaughter that happens in your community per year or eliminate one case of adultery, which would you pick?

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Aros
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Anecdotal Possible Repercussions:
- Assault: Minor personal injury. Major personal injury. Ranges from a black eye to a disabling event. Possible emotional trauma (PTSD).
- Rape: Possible personal injury. Major personal trauma. Likely won't effect ability to generate income.
- Torture: See assault.
- Adultery: Possible disease transmission to 1 or more persons. Possible destruction of marriage, impacting in severe emotional trauma to one or more family units.

The emotional impact of most of these crimes is high to one individual but likely low to everyone else. The fiscal impact can vary.

The emotional impact of adultery can impact every member of multiple families. The fiscal impact can be devastating to multiple families and affect everything from general finances to retirement to college funds.

Note: I'm taking both murder and manslaughter out of the equation.

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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:


For rape, assault, manslaughter, I had in mind acts that would be reasonably tried and convicted under the Canadian Criminal Code. For torture, I had in mind norms from international law, like the UN Convention on torture.

How about if your community had $1000 to spend on education and could either use that to either eliminate one case of manslaughter that happens in your community per year or eliminate one case of adultery, which would you pick?

Manslaughter should generally be grouped with murder, making it worse than adultery. Let's drop this one.

Most of the other crimes don't really have a huge impact to others, unless the crime creates a major inability to function or generate income. A rape or assault or torture is a terrible event with enormous emotional repercussions, but will that necessarily impact your children and finances? What about adultery resulting in divorce?

Or is the argument that adultery really isn't that bad, and that the general outcome shouldn't be assumed to be divorce?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Adultery: Possible disease transmission to 1 or more persons. Possible destruction of marriage, impacting in severe emotional trauma to one or more family units.
Adultery, in and of itself, does not destroy a marriage. It can lead to the destruction of a marriage, but then so can assault or even unemployment. So you're left with a bunch of possible harms, and the only concrete harm is that of lying/betrayal.

I'm not saying that betrayal is a good thing, mind you. But I would enormously prefer that my wife sleep with somebody else than that she rob me and cut off my legs.

-------

quote:
A rape or assault or torture is a terrible event with enormous emotional repercussions, but will that necessarily impact your children and finances? What about adultery resulting in divorce?
Rape or assault or torture can also result in divorce. And divorce doesn't necessarily destroy your finances worse than, say, losing your job as a consequence of emotional trauma can.
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MattP
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quote:
Or is the argument that adultery really isn't that bad, and that the general outcome shouldn't be assumed to be divorce?
I think the key distinction is that adultery is first and foremost a breach of trust. The range of potential effects of that breach of trust is very broad and depends on the temperament of those affected by or having knowledge of the event.

All other serious crimes we're looking at here cause tangible harm and - this is particularly important from a LDS perspective - impinge on the agency of others.

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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
And again, within the context of religion, it's worse than every other crime -- not within the context of law. That makes a difference.

Speak for your own religion, please. Mine teaches no such thing.
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MattP
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The LDS policy on reinstating membership to individuals who commit serious sins:

quote:
If the person was disfellowshipped or excommunicated for any of the following reasons, or if he committed any of these transgressions after being disfellowshipped or excommunicated, the approval of the First Presidency is required before he may be reinstated to full fellowship or readmitted by baptism and confirmation. For the purposes of Church discipline, some of the following terms are defined in 6.7.3.

1. Murder
2. Incest
3. Sexual offense against a child or serious physical abuse of a child by an adult or by a youth who is several years older than the child
4. Apostasy
5. Committing a serious transgression while holding a prominent Church position
6. An elective transsexual operation
7. Embezzlement of Church funds or property

All of these are events that result in more or less an automatic excommunication. Adultery does not make the cut.
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Adultery would be an example of a serious transgression in #5.

You can be disfellowshipped or excommunicated for committing adultery, sure. But you might not need the approval of the First Presidency to be reinstated.

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MattP
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quote:
Adultery would be an example of a serious transgression in #5.
Sure, but the "prominent Church position" seems to be the essential element of that. Apostles having affairs could do a lot of damage to the church. Joe Mormon in the ParkCreekVille 8th Ward - not so much.
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
quote:
Adultery would be an example of a serious transgression in #5.
Sure, but the "prominent Church position" seems to be the essential element of that. Apostles having affairs could do a lot of damage to the church. Joe Mormon in the ParkCreekVille 8th Ward - not so much.
Right, but the list you quoted in your post is specific to acts that require the First Presidency's involvement in the discipline/reinstatement process.

As I said, Joe Mormon's adultery will most likely be grounds for some form of discipline by the church, such as disfellowshipment or excommunication, but should Joe want to be reinstated, he may not need the approval of the First Presidency.

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MattP
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That still suggests that these particular offenses are weighted more heavily than "mere" adultery.
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Ah, gotcha.

I think I'm the wrong person to be arguing this with, in that case.

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advice for robots
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ETA: My view is that if adultery is indeed considered "second only to murder" by the church, it's because it's a much more common transgression than those on the First Presidency reinstatement list. It's not that adultery is the sole #2 on the Big List of Bad Sins. It's that it's one transgression that's much more difficult to fully repent of, akin to murder. A few of those others on the First Presidency list (but certainly not all) aren't in my view as serious as adultery--see embezzlement of church funds--but are in a special class that requires First Presidency involvement in the reinstatement process, perhaps because they involve the church directly or are uncommon enough that local leaders might not know what church discipline would normally be in that case.
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Anthonie
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
Anecdotal Possible Repercussions:
- Assault: Minor personal injury. Major personal injury. Ranges from a black eye to a disabling event. Possible emotional trauma (PTSD).
- Rape: Possible personal injury. Major personal trauma. Likely won't effect ability to generate income.
- Torture: See assault.
- Adultery: Possible disease transmission to 1 or more persons. Possible destruction of marriage, impacting in severe emotional trauma to one or more family units.

The emotional impact of most of these crimes is high to one individual but likely low to everyone else. The fiscal impact can vary.

The emotional impact of adultery can impact every member of multiple families. The fiscal impact can be devastating to multiple families and affect everything from general finances to retirement to college funds.

Note: I'm taking both murder and manslaughter out of the equation.

Anecdotal possible situations:
(1) My daughter is raped, tortured, beaten, lands in a coma for 30 years, but thank God she doesn't die (so murder/manslaughter is out) and wakes up to live a semblance of a disabled life for the next 2 decades.

(2) My wife (or myself) commits adultery.

Clearly, situation (2) imposes a much greater emotional and financial impact on everyone in my family than situation (1) which of course only affects my daughter and has little emotional impact on anyone else with only a financial impact of the hospital bills...

seriously?!....

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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
I would say all of those acts would impact the entire family, not just the victim, and a victim, marriage, and a family has a better chance of healing psychologically and relationship-wise from an act of adultery than from a rape or a murder.

I'll echo BB in saying the LDS church considers adultery to be a very serious sin, given the importance the church place on marriage.

However, that doesn't mean heinous acts like rape or assault are shrugged off as any less serious and devastating than they are.

I'm going to clarify that the church treats rape, assault, and torture with the same seriousness as adultery, if not more so. That is to say, the church is likely to excommunicate members who commit any of those things depending on the circumstances surrounding the act.

Excommunication is the most severe penalty the church has. Excommunicated members are stricken from the records of the church (except for the records of their excommunication and the events surrounding it) and must be re-baptized before being allowed to act in any capacity in the church. The church does not convict anyone to damnation or everlasting punishment because we view that as something only God has authority to do. The church can only remove someone from membership and invite them to repentance and re-baptism.

Excommunicated members cannot be re-baptized until they make restitution for the acts that resulted in Excommunication. For theft, they must replace what they stole or repay the value. For rape, the church will ask the victim for permission before allowing a rapist to be baptized again. Permission from victims of violent or non-violent crimes is often a requirement for re-baptism in the church. Murder is something for which no restitution can be made in this life, and murderers are not often baptized into the church again, if ever, since forgiveness for such an act can only be granted by the dead and God. Neither of whom the church assumes to speak for in the matter of eternal judgment.

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Rakeesh
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A few things. First, though: if someone truly believes 'this is the way the universe is', that adultery is an atrocious transgression that in many cases is worse than things like rape, murder, or torture...well, I think it's wrong to believe that because I don't believe that's the way the universe is. Likewise in reverse on so many religious topics. But please keep in mind, anyone who may disagree with me, when j criticize that system I'm not criticizing you as though you sat at a workstation and designed it yourself, fully agreeing with all of its precepts.

Now, that said. I've yet to meet or even hear about someone who was 'emotionally destroyed' or so far as I can tell somehow eternally damaged by adultery. Even in the cases of the worst, most egregious adultery-prolonged, with a close friend, or something like that-the victim is almost certainly not going to wake from sleep ten years down the line shrieking and flailing their limbs in a night terror. They're not going to flinch and have a flashback if someone unnoticed touches them on the shoulder to get their attention. They're rarely going to have their sexuality so changed that years later they'll view children as sex objects.

If anyone claims they would rather be raped and tortured to death over a period of a week than have their spouse of many years, 'eternal' marriage or not, cheat on them...well. I'm very comfortable pointing out that such a preference is easy to profess when the choice won't actually be a real one.

Now, if we're to protect the claim by pointing out that we might be talking about the most egregious adultery and the 'mildest' torture (many years of marriage, kids, egregious adultery partner(s) vs, say, four days of sleep deprivation) then sure, there's a case to be made. You need to offer the worst of one and the least worst of the other to begin to get there, though.

Overall I think I'll just echo what Matt and Mucus have said, particularly with respect to what communities and people actually believe are the more serious, pressing transgressions. It's also possibly worth consideration that in order to find societies that actually rate adultery, whether voluntary or involuntary, as this much of a transgression often we find a lot of attached other problematic outlooks.

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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
ETA: My view is that if adultery is indeed considered "second only to murder" by the church, it's because it's a much more common transgression than those on the First Presidency reinstatement list. It's not that adultery is the sole #2 on the Big List of Bad Sins. It's that it's one transgression that's much more difficult to fully repent of, akin to murder. A few of those others on the First Presidency list (but certainly not all) aren't in my view as serious as adultery--see embezzlement of church funds--but are in a special class that requires First Presidency involvement in the reinstatement process, perhaps because they involve the church directly or are uncommon enough that local leaders might not know what church discipline would normally be in that case.

I'm going to correct you by saying that "Sexual sin" is second to Murder. Rape is sexual sin. Adultery is sexual sin. The church typically responds to both in the same way.
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I'd like to point out that Aros is, I believe, the only one making that claim about adultery being worse than rape, murder, et al.

I'll hold that adultery is a serious and very damaging act (or habit or lifestyle) that can tear apart families and cause those involved in it, both guilty and innocent, years of pain, regret, and loss--even if it doesn't result in things like nightmares and emotional problems.

That doesn't mean it's more damaging, both immediately and long-term, than rape or other acts of that nature.

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advice for robots
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quote:
Originally posted by Boris:
quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
ETA: My view is that if adultery is indeed considered "second only to murder" by the church, it's because it's a much more common transgression than those on the First Presidency reinstatement list. It's not that adultery is the sole #2 on the Big List of Bad Sins. It's that it's one transgression that's much more difficult to fully repent of, akin to murder. A few of those others on the First Presidency list (but certainly not all) aren't in my view as serious as adultery--see embezzlement of church funds--but are in a special class that requires First Presidency involvement in the reinstatement process, perhaps because they involve the church directly or are uncommon enough that local leaders might not know what church discipline would normally be in that case.

I'm going to correct you by saying that "Sexual sin" is second to Murder. Rape is sexual sin. Adultery is sexual sin. The church typically responds to both in the same way.
I stand corrected on the wording if that's indeed the case, but I don't agree that rape would fall under the church's definition sexual sin or that the church responds to it the same way as it would adultery. Rape is a violent crime in which someone is victimized against their will. A church leader learning of a rape would be required to report it to authorities. Adultery is by definition a consensual act, not necessarily a crime (or at least not enforced, IDK) and likely not reported to authorities unless a crime beyond consensual sex was involved.
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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
I'd like to point out that Aros is, I believe, the only one making that claim about adultery being worse than rape, murder, et al.

I never said it was worse than either rape or murder. I've argued from the beginning, in fact, that murder is worse.

And most people are anecdotally using the WORST cases of the other crimes. How many torture cases involve chopping off limbs? How many rape cases involve 20 year comas. Are these the exception or the norm?

How many cases of adultery result in bankruptcy and broken homes?

My point is this. From a spiritual perspective (regardless of your religion), adultery is worse than many other crimes. Not because of the severity of the crime itself, but because of the repercussions. In these other crimes, the target is another person. It isn't implied that you care about this person or make a commitment to them. In adultery, you are fundamentally betraying your partner and your family. You are risking your health, the health of your partner, and the destruction of your family.

I'd argue that from a religious or moralistic point of view, it's a greater thing to hurt your family than it is to hurt a stranger.

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Boris
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quote:
A church leader learning of a rape would be required to report it to authorities.
That's actually not the case. If a church leader reported it to the authorities, it would not be admissible in court and could not be used as reason for obtaining warrants, as acts confessed to a minister or leader of any religious organization is considered privileged information protected under the right to privacy. A church leader can only contact the authorities if someone says that they are *about* to commit a crime.

The church leadership can really only urge the person to confess to the crime to the police. The church's typical response to both rape and adultery is one of excommunication, except that with rape, it's much more likely that someone who has not been through the temple will be excommunicated, whereas excommunication of someone who commits adultery is significantly less likely if they haven't been through the temple ceremonies.

The church does not prescribe standard punishments or restitution, and leaves the decision on those matters to the discretion of a sizable grouping of local authorities. And I don't believe the First Presidency is required to be involved in the procedure during Excommunication. The First Presidency is typically only involved in excommunications for things like general apostasy and situations where the local authorities are either involved in the wrong doing or closely related to those involved, as well as those that impact the church as a whole (embezzlement, for instance).

The First Presidency is, however, usually consulted when excommunicated members are requesting readmission to the church.

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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
I'd like to point out that Aros is, I believe, the only one making that claim about adultery being worse than rape, murder, et al.

I never said it was worse than either rape or murder. I've argued from the beginning, in fact, that murder is worse.

And most people are anecdotally using the WORST cases of the other crimes. How many torture cases involve chopping off limbs? How many rape cases involve 20 year comas. Are these the exception or the norm?

How many cases of adultery result in bankruptcy and broken homes?

My point is this. From a spiritual perspective (regardless of your religion), adultery is worse than many other crimes. Not because of the severity of the crime itself, but because of the repercussions. In these other crimes, the target is another person. It isn't implied that you care about this person or make a commitment to them. In adultery, you are fundamentally betraying your partner and your family. You are risking your health, the health of your partner, and the destruction of your family.

I'd argue that from a religious or moralistic point of view, it's a greater thing to hurt your family than it is to hurt a stranger.

Aros, I'd like to simply ask, who do you think is adequately equipped to determine what act is spiritually "worse" than another? Do you think that you have enough wisdom or knowledge to make a determination like that? Because I don't think you do. You're arguing as if you have that kind of knowledge. That's part of why people are resisting your claims.
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Aros
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Boris,

I don't have any more -- or less right to make an argument over which is "worse" than anyone else does.

I don't care if people are resisting my "claims" or my use of "quotation marks" or anything else. I do find it humorous, however, that they can be so glib about adultery. I've known a lot more people damaged by it than by torture or "assault".

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stilesbn
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quote:
The church's typical response to both rape and adultery is one of excommunication, except that with rape, it's much more likely that someone who has not been through the temple will be excommunicated, whereas excommunication of someone who commits adultery is significantly less likely if they haven't been through the temple ceremonies.
I believe you mean to say "has been" there.

quote:
That's actually not the case. If a church leader reported it to the authorities, it would not be admissible in court and could not be used as reason for obtaining warrants, as acts confessed to a minister or leader of any religious organization is considered privileged information protected under the right to privacy. A church leader can only contact the authorities if someone says that they are *about* to commit a crime.
There are situations where the church leader must report to authorities. At least I'm pretty sure. Child abuse being one of them. Not sure about rape though.
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Boris
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quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
quote:
The church's typical response to both rape and adultery is one of excommunication, except that with rape, it's much more likely that someone who has not been through the temple will be excommunicated, whereas excommunication of someone who commits adultery is significantly less likely if they haven't been through the temple ceremonies.
I believe you mean to say "has been" there.

quote:
That's actually not the case. If a church leader reported it to the authorities, it would not be admissible in court and could not be used as reason for obtaining warrants, as acts confessed to a minister or leader of any religious organization is considered privileged information protected under the right to privacy. A church leader can only contact the authorities if someone says that they are *about* to commit a crime.
There are situations where the church leader must report to authorities. At least I'm pretty sure. Child abuse being one of them. Not sure about rape though.

Yes, thanks for the correction above. So hard to read on this laptop.

Edit: Actually, stiles, no. I do mean that someone who *has not been* through the temple is more likely to be excommunicated for rape. I couldn't find a very non confusing way to word that. Basically, if a member who has not been to the temple commits adultery, it very likely that the church leadership will dis-fellowship them (They will remain on the membership roles, but cannot take the sacrament, give prayers in church, or serve in leadership positions), but not excommunicate them. This is because they haven't made a covenant to avoid sexual sin. The church doesn't typically excommunicate people who haven't been through the temple for a lot of reasons. Raping someone is something that is much more likely to result in excommunication because it's also a felony, and individuals who are sentenced to prison are usually excommunicated from the church until they are done with their sentence. This means that members who have been through the temple *as well as those who haven't* are significantly more likely to be excommunicated for rape than for adultery.


Anyway, yes, there are things that church leadership has to report to authorities, but the list of things is mostly limited to knowledge of future acts or ongoing criminal acts. For instance, if someone goes to a bishop and says, "I'm going to kill so and so" and the bishop believes that they might actually do so, that bishop can be held liable for not reporting it to authorities. I think the church leadership handbook has specifics, but I haven't really read through that whole thing yet, having not actually been in a position of authority in the church.

[ March 14, 2013, 05:04 PM: Message edited by: Boris ]

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scholarette
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I have heard from several bishops that the rule on child abuse for then is the same as it is for teachers. If you have any reason to suspect a child is being abused, report to CPS. Mandatory reporters. I am told this is laid out clearly in the bishops handbook. Reporting to CPs is not the sameas testifying in court and can even be done anonymously.
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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by Boris:
quote:
A church leader learning of a rape would be required to report it to authorities.
That's actually not the case. If a church leader reported it to the authorities, it would not be admissible in court and could not be used as reason for obtaining warrants, as acts confessed to a minister or leader of any religious organization is considered privileged information protected under the right to privacy.
This is only true if the church leader learns of the information while acting in his or her capacity as counselor, confessor, or spiritual advisor. So if the rapist confesses to the priest/pastor/bishop it is (under most circumstances) privileged. If the victim or a witness reports it, or if the priest/pastor/bishop is an eyewitness, it is not.
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