Sunday Morning Survey – Can A Spider Achieve Absolution?

Part of the November Break Series – I’ll be back blogging as usual on December 5th.

Absolution is an integral part of the Sacrament of Penance, in Roman Catholicism. The penitent makes a sacramental confession of all mortal sins to a priest and prays an act of contrition. The priest then assigns a penance and imparts absolution in the name of the Trinity, on behalf of Christ Himself, using a fixed sacramental formula. Wikipedia.

Very soon it will be an anniversary of an event and it’s a difficult time – primarily because I first and foremost respected someone for their art. However, they don’t acknowledge any value in me at all, certainly not my work, which they paradoxically would otherwise (or at least in the philosophical sense) support.

Which leads to the question: is there anything that is absolutely unforgivable? Something that renders a person (or institution) completely worthless, makes them a horrific spider?

What if it even influences any good works that the person does? How many of us collect (say) the works of Michael Jackson while acknowledging that he was prosecuted for crimes – and consider it separate from his art? Or watch the films of Roman Polanski? How many of us have works or attended lectures by authors who have demonstrated sexist attitudes despite being an ‘admirable skeptic’ – or made the conscious choice to set aside the ‘personality from the product’?

It’s not unusual for people to completely and utterly dismiss someone’s work (and even encourage otherwise uninvolved others to do so), in order to silence and even hinder someone’s career or life – is there anything they can do to stop that? What completely writes someone (or some people or institutions) off?

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About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.


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