[Buddha-l] Oops--Article is from NY Times

JKirkpatrick jkirk at spro.net
Sat Aug 28 14:43:02 MDT 2010


On Aug 27, 2010, at 21:10, "JKirkpatrick" <jkirk at spro.net> wrote:

> Really-- so where does paapa (usually pronounced as paap) in
> come from?

It comes from Sanskrit pāpa, cognate with Greek pema, which means
harm or injury. It has nothing at all in common with the word
"sin" or the Greek & Hebrew words translated thereby. The focus
of the notion of sin is failure to obey God, but there is nothing
at all I pāpa implying failure to obey God. An atheist can have
remorse about having harmed another person, but a sincere atheist
can't have a notion of having failed in the eyes of God. An
atheist (and Buddhists are necessarily atheists) can have a sense
of pāpa but not a sense of sin. That makes an important
distinction sélon moi. 

Harmfully but sinlessly yours,

In Indian cultural history, transgressing boundaries is ever
harmful and viewed by most folks as sinful (with the same
connotations as the term has for the likes of us if we are pious
types), meaning inviting negative karmic consequences.  Such
consequences are analogous to god's punishment in the Abrahamic
religions. If the individual of south Asia does not hold with a
deity or deities, he or she still holds with dharma, which was
anyway raised to deity status here and there. In Bengal he was
called Dharma Raj and worshipped as such.


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