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Good or Evil?
(the following is a spinoff from a previous article, Is Chivalry Innate? Is is taken from a discussion topic from the Open Forum.)

If we infer that the root principles of chivalry are innate in men, how does that coincide with the religious belief that human beings are inherently evil?
    
The word "sin" can be translated as "missing the mark." In other words, not being what you should be, or not performing as intended, failing to be who you really are. This makes sense of we fail to live up to something already there or expected of us.
    
From a religious perspective, did God create us to be evil? Or did our own behavior make us stray from the path? Is the echo of goodness still there, and something we can resurrect, or tap into? Is it our approved, original nature, so well exemplified by the Anointed One — he who was approved by God?
    
Is this is so, if something of our original nature still exists in us, waiting to be found, then there is good reason for us to be "saved," and not just abandoned.
    
The trouble starts when being "saved" requires nothing from us other than passive grace, or a formula of faith that requires no inner change. If our original nature does not respond by actually being "reborn," by taking control and expressing who we are, aren't we still missing the mark? What good are all the moral teachings of Jesus if just by mouthing the words of faith we can ignore his moral tenets?
    
Whether you are a believer or nonbeliever, the challenge is the same. The Code of Chivalry implies new life, new standards that are in line with our deeper conscience. Becoming a true knight means stepping forward and embracing what is good. It means accepting responsibility for who you are, taking control over your life — which means really being alive. What could be more manly? For the religious, what could be more pleasing to God? More supportive of a divine relationship?
    
For this discussion, I ask that you think about this topic for a moment, and not just parrot what preachers tell you. When you answer for your life, it will be your efforts and decisions that will be judged. Blaming some preacher won't help any more than it helped Adam to blame Eve, who then blamed the serpant.
    
They say that the wages of sin is death. Until that final bill is paid, let us concern ourselves with the wages of life, for that is our truest calling.
    
Chivalry does not neglect the here and now. It is not enough to hide behind a few chosen lines of scripture, and throw out the requirements of conscience, for we know in our hearts that more is required of us. When we discard these requirements, we dispose of the best of who we are, and who we can be. Should that, in any way, be pleasing to God? Are we morally free to satiate our greed and will to power over others as long as we condemn certain scapegoats of the preacher's choosing?
    
Chivalry wants more from each and every one of us. And so do we. That's why chivalry attracts us so. That is the nagging shadow in our hearts, the pang of conscience that tells us to be more. Here we find the incomplete man crying out for fulfillment.

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