Sinful or No?
#21
Agreed. I guess it's up to the individual to judge what activities are for them a problem, and gradually cut out of their lives things which prevent them from growing closer go God. The Church is extremely important, but ultimately our salvation is in our own hands, and we have to exercise our own judgement at some point; we aren't Muslims, with rules for how to handle every single situation.
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#22
I have heard it said, by several people, that the whole concept of "fun" is a modern, Western one, totally unknown in most of the rest of the world until, historically speaking, relatively recently.  I seem to recall Fr. Seraphim Rose discussing it on one of his talks.
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#23
(07-30-2014, 10:16 AM)J Michael Wrote: I have heard it said, by several people, that the whole concept of "fun" is a modern, Western one, totally unknown in most of the rest of the world until, historically speaking, relatively recently.  I seem to recall Fr. Seraphim Rose discussing it on one of his talks.

I've heard that talk too. I'm dubious. I suppose it depends on what you mean by "fun". Obviously people have always done things for the sake of thrill, merriment, pleasure, etc, but there might be a new sense of fun which emerged in the modern era.
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#24
(07-30-2014, 10:38 AM)Dirigible Wrote:
(07-30-2014, 10:16 AM)J Michael Wrote: I have heard it said, by several people, that the whole concept of "fun" is a modern, Western one, totally unknown in most of the rest of the world until, historically speaking, relatively recently.  I seem to recall Fr. Seraphim Rose discussing it on one of his talks.

I've heard that talk too. I'm dubious. I suppose it depends on what you mean by "fun". Obviously people have always done things for the sake of thrill, merriment, pleasure, etc, but there might be a new sense of fun which emerged in the modern era.

I think it might have something to do with seeking out and doing things for "fun's" sake rather than finding some joy and pleasure in what you're already doing.  Humans have always been playful but in the context of trying to live a Christian lifestyle, one has to wonder just how much play is really appropriate.  In pre-modern times most people had little free time to try to occupy with frivolities.
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#25
(07-30-2014, 10:43 AM)J Michael Wrote:
(07-30-2014, 10:38 AM)Dirigible Wrote:
(07-30-2014, 10:16 AM)J Michael Wrote: I have heard it said, by several people, that the whole concept of "fun" is a modern, Western one, totally unknown in most of the rest of the world until, historically speaking, relatively recently.  I seem to recall Fr. Seraphim Rose discussing it on one of his talks.

I've heard that talk too. I'm dubious. I suppose it depends on what you mean by "fun". Obviously people have always done things for the sake of thrill, merriment, pleasure, etc, but there might be a new sense of fun which emerged in the modern era.

I think it might have something to do with seeking out and doing things for "fun's" sake rather than finding some joy and pleasure in what you're already doing.  Humans have always been playful but in the context of trying to live a Christian lifestyle, one has to wonder just how much play is really appropriate.  In pre-modern times most people had little free time to try to occupy with frivolities.

Perhaps I will see the wisdom of Fr Seraphim's words as I age (:grin:), but as far as I can tell, the differences today are that we have many new ways of having fun and tend to devote a much greater proportion of our time to having fun. A quantitative rather than a qualitative difference.
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#26
(07-30-2014, 10:51 AM)Dirigible Wrote:
(07-30-2014, 10:43 AM)J Michael Wrote:
(07-30-2014, 10:38 AM)Dirigible Wrote:
(07-30-2014, 10:16 AM)J Michael Wrote: I have heard it said, by several people, that the whole concept of "fun" is a modern, Western one, totally unknown in most of the rest of the world until, historically speaking, relatively recently.  I seem to recall Fr. Seraphim Rose discussing it on one of his talks.

I've heard that talk too. I'm dubious. I suppose it depends on what you mean by "fun". Obviously people have always done things for the sake of thrill, merriment, pleasure, etc, but there might be a new sense of fun which emerged in the modern era.

I think it might have something to do with seeking out and doing things for "fun's" sake rather than finding some joy and pleasure in what you're already doing.  Humans have always been playful but in the context of trying to live a Christian lifestyle, one has to wonder just how much play is really appropriate.  In pre-modern times most people had little free time to try to occupy with frivolities.

Perhaps I will see the wisdom of Fr Seraphim's words as I age (:grin:), but as far as I can tell, the differences today are that we have many new ways of having fun and tend to devote a much greater proportion of our time to having fun. A quantitative rather than a qualitative difference.

But the quantitative aspect has a direct impact on the qualitative, at least as far as the quality of one's Christian lifestyle is concerned, methinks.  If we're so busy seeking "fun", merriment, thrills, where does that leave us with regard to prayer, meditation, liturgical attendance (as in not *just* on Sundays), works of charity and mercy, etc.?  Which is not to say that one can't find enjoyment in those things, but if our goal is the fun, the "enjoyment", rather than union with God....
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#27
(07-30-2014, 11:05 AM)J Michael Wrote:
(07-30-2014, 10:51 AM)Dirigible Wrote:
(07-30-2014, 10:43 AM)J Michael Wrote:
(07-30-2014, 10:38 AM)Dirigible Wrote:
(07-30-2014, 10:16 AM)J Michael Wrote: I have heard it said, by several people, that the whole concept of "fun" is a modern, Western one, totally unknown in most of the rest of the world until, historically speaking, relatively recently.  I seem to recall Fr. Seraphim Rose discussing it on one of his talks.

I've heard that talk too. I'm dubious. I suppose it depends on what you mean by "fun". Obviously people have always done things for the sake of thrill, merriment, pleasure, etc, but there might be a new sense of fun which emerged in the modern era.

I think it might have something to do with seeking out and doing things for "fun's" sake rather than finding some joy and pleasure in what you're already doing.  Humans have always been playful but in the context of trying to live a Christian lifestyle, one has to wonder just how much play is really appropriate.  In pre-modern times most people had little free time to try to occupy with frivolities.

Perhaps I will see the wisdom of Fr Seraphim's words as I age (:grin:), but as far as I can tell, the differences today are that we have many new ways of having fun and tend to devote a much greater proportion of our time to having fun. A quantitative rather than a qualitative difference.

But the quantitative aspect has a direct impact on the qualitative, at least as far as the quality of one's Christian lifestyle is concerned, methinks.  If we're so busy seeking "fun", merriment, thrills, where does that leave us with regard to prayer, meditation, liturgical attendance (as in not *just* on Sundays), works of charity and mercy, etc.?  Which is not to say that one can't find enjoyment in those things, but if our goal is the fun, the "enjoyment", rather than union with God....

Certainly, but I don't think it's a strictly modern phenomenon. Consider how people would obsess over the chariot races in Byzantium, for instance, and how the wealthy have often acted at all times and places. People have always had that tendency to be absorbed in seeking enjoyment, we just have much more opportunity for it now. We are, effectively, all wealthy now, often even when we're relatively poor.
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#28
(07-30-2014, 12:20 AM)Optatus Cleary Wrote: Games are an interesting concept.  I have often pointed out that, essentially, a game is a self-imposed limit on freedom that we undergo for fun.  If I want, I can do anything with chess pieces: throw them, break them, melt them down into a blob, pretend they're people and have them talk to each other, etc.  But if I'm playing chess, I have to use them in certain, pre-set ways.  Things that are morally neutral in "real life," like moving a piece of plastic two inches while the person on the other side of the table isn't looking, become "cheating" in the game.

Thus, it seems like certain thing that would be sinful in real life might become morally neutral in a game.  Obviously, this is within reason: a game where you're supposed to cheat on your wife is  an immoral game, and you shouldn't be playing it.  However, a lot of things that would be wrong become okay in the game.  For instance, knocking someone down because they have a brown, flattened object that you want is wrong.  If you're playing (American) football, it becomes acceptable.

Of course, games could become sinful under a variety of circumstances, but overall I worry more about the morality of a game before I buy it or start playing than I do about my conduct within the game.

This is a nice point, and I think to take it on the side of reality gives some nice insights into how we live. That is, I've noticed that all a kid does is like a game: with some self-imposed rules, etc. They will only encounter reality when their wills collide with some impossibility. For instance, a kid interprets the commandment “don't jump from the window or you'll hurt” as a game, and if it (is it ok to refer to kids as “it”?) jumps and does breaks something and cannot just stop the game. At this time the more primitive intuition of a reality outside one's will is perceived.
And I've noticed some time ago, in matters of faith, etc., how this game thinking can creep in, making me thinking of sin not as a real thing but as a rule of some game. That's what I meant in that thread of that guy bashing immodest women: he doesn't really believe all he says, its fake faith, adopted by his will.


(07-30-2014, 10:43 AM)J Michael Wrote:
(07-30-2014, 10:38 AM)Dirigible Wrote:
(07-30-2014, 10:16 AM)J Michael Wrote: I have heard it said, by several people, that the whole concept of "fun" is a modern, Western one, totally unknown in most of the rest of the world until, historically speaking, relatively recently.  I seem to recall Fr. Seraphim Rose discussing it on one of his talks.

I've heard that talk too. I'm dubious. I suppose it depends on what you mean by "fun". Obviously people have always done things for the sake of thrill, merriment, pleasure, etc, but there might be a new sense of fun which emerged in the modern era.

I think it might have something to do with seeking out and doing things for "fun's" sake rather than finding some joy and pleasure in what you're already doing.  Humans have always been playful but in the context of trying to live a Christian lifestyle, one has to wonder just how much play is really appropriate.  In pre-modern times most people had little free time to try to occupy with frivolities.

This is silly. Of course fun is not a modern invention -- think of hedonism or Epicurus. Also, people had plenty of time in pre-modern era to occupy themselves with frivolities: think of the Greek's "symposiums" or the Romans' bacchanals.
As my priest said last Sunday, one thing that we always find time for is sin.
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#29
(07-30-2014, 11:12 AM)Dirigible Wrote:
(07-30-2014, 11:05 AM)J Michael Wrote:
(07-30-2014, 10:51 AM)Dirigible Wrote:
(07-30-2014, 10:43 AM)J Michael Wrote:
(07-30-2014, 10:38 AM)Dirigible Wrote:
(07-30-2014, 10:16 AM)J Michael Wrote: I have heard it said, by several people, that the whole concept of "fun" is a modern, Western one, totally unknown in most of the rest of the world until, historically speaking, relatively recently.  I seem to recall Fr. Seraphim Rose discussing it on one of his talks.

I've heard that talk too. I'm dubious. I suppose it depends on what you mean by "fun". Obviously people have always done things for the sake of thrill, merriment, pleasure, etc, but there might be a new sense of fun which emerged in the modern era.

I think it might have something to do with seeking out and doing things for "fun's" sake rather than finding some joy and pleasure in what you're already doing.  Humans have always been playful but in the context of trying to live a Christian lifestyle, one has to wonder just how much play is really appropriate.  In pre-modern times most people had little free time to try to occupy with frivolities.

Perhaps I will see the wisdom of Fr Seraphim's words as I age (:grin:), but as far as I can tell, the differences today are that we have many new ways of having fun and tend to devote a much greater proportion of our time to having fun. A quantitative rather than a qualitative difference.

But the quantitative aspect has a direct impact on the qualitative, at least as far as the quality of one's Christian lifestyle is concerned, methinks.  If we're so busy seeking "fun", merriment, thrills, where does that leave us with regard to prayer, meditation, liturgical attendance (as in not *just* on Sundays), works of charity and mercy, etc.?  Which is not to say that one can't find enjoyment in those things, but if our goal is the fun, the "enjoyment", rather than union with God....

Certainly, but I don't think it's a strictly modern phenomenon. Consider how people would obsess over the chariot races in Byzantium, for instance, and how the wealthy have often acted at all times and places. People have always had that tendency to be absorbed in seeking enjoyment, we just have much more opportunity for it now. We are, effectively, all wealthy now, often even when we're relatively poor.

Sure, but my point is....how appropriate to a serious Christian  lifestyle is such obsession over chariot races, gladiator contests, chess matches, card games, Xbox gaming, Wii gaming, internet and other video gaming?  That's all fine if you're pagan, heathen, or whatever, but supposedly we're not.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not a stodgy Puritan, but if we do not attempt  to integrate, embody and manifest Christian principles, teachings, and behavior into our whole  life,  who are we trying to fool?

Relaxation and recreation (re-creation!) are important elements for one's well-being, but it seems that we have elevated such pursuits to the level of idols in modern society, at the expense of probably our souls.  Even many, many of us who call ourselves "Christian", "Catholic", "Orthodox", whatever.
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#30
(07-30-2014, 11:54 AM)Renatus Frater Wrote:
(07-30-2014, 12:20 AM)Optatus Cleary Wrote: Games are an interesting concept.  I have often pointed out that, essentially, a game is a self-imposed limit on freedom that we undergo for fun.  If I want, I can do anything with chess pieces: throw them, break them, melt them down into a blob, pretend they're people and have them talk to each other, etc.  But if I'm playing chess, I have to use them in certain, pre-set ways.  Things that are morally neutral in "real life," like moving a piece of plastic two inches while the person on the other side of the table isn't looking, become "cheating" in the game.

Thus, it seems like certain thing that would be sinful in real life might become morally neutral in a game.  Obviously, this is within reason: a game where you're supposed to cheat on your wife is  an immoral game, and you shouldn't be playing it.  However, a lot of things that would be wrong become okay in the game.  For instance, knocking someone down because they have a brown, flattened object that you want is wrong.  If you're playing (American) football, it becomes acceptable.

Of course, games could become sinful under a variety of circumstances, but overall I worry more about the morality of a game before I buy it or start playing than I do about my conduct within the game.

This is a nice point, and I think to take it on the side of reality gives some nice insights into how we live. That is, I've noticed that all a kid does is like a game: with some self-imposed rules, etc. They will only encounter reality when their wills collide with some impossibility. For instance, a kid interprets the commandment “don't jump from the window or you'll hurt” as a game, and if it (is it ok to refer to kids as “it”?) jumps and does breaks something and cannot just stop the game. At this time the more primitive intuition of a reality outside one's will is perceived.
And I've noticed some time ago, in matters of faith, etc., how this game thinking can creep in, making me thinking of sin not as a real thing but as a rule of some game. That's what I meant in that thread of that guy bashing immodest women: he doesn't really believe all he says, its fake faith, adopted by his will.


(07-30-2014, 10:43 AM)J Michael Wrote:
(07-30-2014, 10:38 AM)Dirigible Wrote:
(07-30-2014, 10:16 AM)J Michael Wrote: I have heard it said, by several people, that the whole concept of "fun" is a modern, Western one, totally unknown in most of the rest of the world until, historically speaking, relatively recently.  I seem to recall Fr. Seraphim Rose discussing it on one of his talks.

I've heard that talk too. I'm dubious. I suppose it depends on what you mean by "fun". Obviously people have always done things for the sake of thrill, merriment, pleasure, etc, but there might be a new sense of fun which emerged in the modern era.

I think it might have something to do with seeking out and doing things for "fun's" sake rather than finding some joy and pleasure in what you're already doing.  Humans have always been playful but in the context of trying to live a Christian lifestyle, one has to wonder just how much play is really appropriate.  In pre-modern times most people had little free time to try to occupy with frivolities.

This is silly. Of course fun is not a modern invention -- think of hedonism or Epicurus. Also, people had plenty of time in pre-modern era to occupy themselves with frivolities: think of the Greek's "symposiums" or the Romans' bacchanals.
As my priest said last Sunday, one thing that we always find time for is sin.

Well...I AM known for being silly. :eyeroll: :grin:

Maybe listen to Fr. Seraphim's lecture, see here ,and you'll understand more what I mean.  He explains it far better than I.

And I did say, "most  people", because in pre-modern times most  people in the world were too busy just trying to survive on what we would consider a pretty basic level to have spare time and money to engage in epicurianism and other such "delights".  But again, I'm not talking about those not engaged in following Christ in a serious manner.
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