The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Is everything fun a sin? 1 John 2:15-17


When the forum still had signatures, paidion’s was something like that.


Sorry qaz, I’m not understanding.


Paidion likes the way God judges people, that is, by our present character, not our past actions. I’m pretty sure he thinks people should strive to be like God. If that’s the case, employers shouldn’t be asking people about getting fired years ago because then they are judging people based on their past actions, not their present characters.



Of course not! But that’s not the point. Employers hire on the basis of statistics. If a large group of prospective employees have been fired in that past, it is likely that many or most in this group will be inadequate workers, resulting in loss for the company.


If every employer operated by that kind of unforgiving business sense, and people who have been fired admitted to such, our societies would have massive underclasses of people consigned to lifetimes of begging. Which is unacceptable. It’s ironic how you’re rationalizing such un-Christlike behavior. And no, you still haven’t explained how lying to prospective employers about being fired years ago harms them when the worker’s current work ethic is good. Nor have you explained how lying about reading terms and conditions harms anyone.


I HAVE explained it! And that’s no exaggeration of a lie!


No you haven’t. What you’ve done is rationalize cold, unforgiving business tactics, but haven’t explained how hard workers circumventing them through a lie harms the employer. I was fired from a job years before I got hired at my current job. At the time I was fired I was young and immature. My work ethic at the time I was fired was completely unreflective of my work ethic at the time I applied for my current job. If people who have been fired answered the question honestly each time they applied for a new job they might never get hired again, at least to a decent job that paid a living wage.


Once, I was visiting someone. I asked what they thought, regarding something. And this person retorted to me:

Are you collecting opinions again? What do you think?

Well, that story reminds me of the novel The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse:

Let me quote a bit:

The Glass Bead Game is an ultra-aesthetic game which is played by the scholars, creamed off in childhood and nurtured in elite schools, in the province of Castalia. The Master of the Glass Bead Game, Joseph Knecht, holds the most exalted office in Castalia. He personifies the detachment, serenity and aesthetic vision which reward a life dedicated to the perfection of the intellect. But can, indeed should man live isolated from hunger, family, children, women, in a perfect world where passions are tamed by meditation, where academic discipline and order are paramount? This is Herman Hesse’s great novel. It is a major contribution to contemporary philosophic literature and has a powerful vision of universality, the inner unity of man’s cultural ideals and his search for personal perfection and social responsibility.

As an aside, this came from the newsletter today…of RC priest Richard Rohr:

You wouldn’t guess this from the official creeds but, after all is said and done, doing is more important than believing . Jesus was clearly more concerned with what Buddhists call “right action” (“orthopraxy” in Christianity) than with right saying or right thinking. You can hear this message very clearly in his parable of the two sons in Matthew 21:28-31: One son says he won’t work in the vineyard, but then does, while the other says he will go, but in fact doesn’t. Jesus told his listeners that he preferred the one who actually goes, although saying the wrong words, over the one who says the right words but does not act. How did we miss that?

Sometimes when I visit the forum…I think I’m in Castalia…and folks are collecting opinions, from the noted scholars there. And I am brought back, to that key line:

Are you collecting opinions again? What do you think?



qaz, it seems to me that it is YOU who are rationalizing your lie to your prospective employer. You did so for your own self-interests.

Many a murderer does the same. He denies having killed the person that he murdered in order to escape the death penalty or life imprisonment. He might ask a question analogous to the one you asked, “How does it harm anyone if I lied to save my own skin?”


Still no explanation @paidion. You continue to dodge backing up your claim that such a lie harms anyone.

And yeah, I’d say being able to work instead of rely on others is a good reason to lie. What’s the excuse of an employer to judge someone based on things that have nothing to do with the worker’s abilities?


I haven’t dodged it at all. I explained already that your lie, if practised by many will harm the company, since it may be that a goodly number of those who lied, will have been ineffective workers, and that’s the reason they were fired. Then they lied—in order to get a job for which they are not qualified.

Though in your particular case you are able to do the job, and so your lie did no observable harm, if the lie you provided is generalized to many people, the company is harmed.

The case with the murderer who denied having murdered, may be the same. Some particular murderer who denied it might have repented of having killed a fellow human being and would never do so again. So his lie did no observable harm. But again when generalized, there could be great harm resulting from the murderers’ lies. For many of them will kill again, and so a lot of lives will be lost as a result of their lies being believed.


@paidion If whether or not the individual worker has matured makes lying about being fired harmful or not harmful, it’s not the lie itself that’s harmful; whether or not lying about being fired in the past is harmful is conditional on if the worker’s habits have improved since then. Asking such a question is unfair, because it’s used to weed out potential workers based on their past, not their current work ethic. The parable of the unforgiving servant comes to mind.


@paidion can you clarify how you think it’s harmful to lie about being fired when a person’s work habits at the time he was fired have zero bearing on his work habits in the present?


I have explained how the practice of lying about being fired in general can harm an employer. Now you want to know how I think your lie in your particular case harmed anyone. I don’t know whether it did or not. But because I don’t know, doesn’t imply that it’s not morally wrong.

If you continue to practise your “harmless” lies, then you are a liar, and If the writer of Revelation is to be trusted, you will be harming yourself in the afterlife:

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death." (Revelation 21:8)


Your error is amalgating (1) lying about being fired when one does not intend on being a better worker in the future and (2) lying about being fired when one intends to be a better worker in the future. The former certainly could be harmful. The latter is not.

It’s fine if you think I will be punished postmortem for telling harmless lies. But if you continue to spread your claim that all lies are sins, and all sins are harmful, I’m going to continue to call you out for not backing your claim up with a good argument.


All lies are sins!


Not all lies are harmful. If they were, every particular case of lying about being fired would be harmful; it wouldn’t merely be the case “in general”.


So, what is the judgment from God above to those who lie?


I don’t know. But did you note my quote from Revelation— 5 posts up?