Social Sins

When I talk of Sin many of us may think of the Ten Commandments in the Bible such as “Thou shalt not kill”. Many societies practise that commandment internally and newer rules develop to deal with new challenges that each century brings us.

A common widely held sin today is “Claiming state benefits”. There is a belief behind it that we all should be self sufficient and contribute to the economy. If too many are taking rather than giving then those giving will be under too much strain than those taking.

The same belief principles are applied to asylum seekers and refugees. The sense is the British nation is a lifeboat and if too many get aboard then the boat is at risk of sinking. On a simple level these analogies make a lot of sense and in practise they sometimes do as well.

As technology advances many of these concepts have been turned on their head. Before the Industrial revolution most people were farmers. Everyone worked the land but some were more skilled than others. In any case, everyone had to eat and only so much could be eaten by the workers.

As agriculture was mechanised more people were able to do other things like work in factories to produce goods that we desire. Initially it was textiles like clothing and in more recent times it has been Cars. The invention of Money helped let this trade of specialism flourish.

Towards the end of the 20th Century we saw manufacturing decline in the West as the East became a cheaper labour force. The West has increasingly focused on jobs that provide a service and being socially mobile gives one the greatest advantage in such a competitive economy.

In the 21st Century we are now seeing AI, Robotics and Automation make more jobs redundant in the East and West. Many jobs have and will be obsolete. Many people can’t keep up and a failure to do so is meaning their life becomes obsolete as well.

A true place of safety seems to be in having excellent people skills or at least being high enough in the social hierarchy where people cannot afford to not listen to you. The major challenge being able to be authentic in order to live a meaningful life and be taken seriously.

A challenge for #ActuallyAutistic people is being authentic puts them in a place of exclusion from society. It’s clear #autism is a difference society has not yet embraced. Thus Autistic people find themselves structurally unemployed by the service sector of the economy.

Autistic people have little choice but to claim state benefits. They are then persecuted by many for committing this social sin. Some Autistic people find niches where they can function or are fortunate to be more socially mobile than other autistic people.

However, Autistic people are not alone. Similar challenges face Mad people or those diagnosed with Mental illness. The advent of technology like ChatGPT and driverless Cars or Trucks means many customer service workers and drivers will likely face redundancy as well.

What we forget to ask ourselves is that someone must be gaining from this productivity? The owners of the technology gain profit from a more efficient operation and consumers should see lower prices. Thats the theory in any case.

A redundant persons first choice should be to claim social security from the state (benefits) and hopefully find a meaningful life as best they can. If they feel under constant threat with no hope then they might make less positive choices. E.g. suicide or other unhealthy outcomes.

The persecution can come when society says as an unwritten rule that suicide is their best option. This can happen when they are set up repeatedly to fail. Perhaps some in society are happy with that outcome as it’s an economically efficient way to deal with obsolescence.

In the Bible there is a story of a women brought in by the Pharisees who was caught in adultery. They said to Jesus she should be stoned for committing adultery. Jesus said “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” The Pharisees left.

It’s very easy from a position of privilege to judge who has committed social sins without being willing to listen and learn how people reach such social ambiguity. From my perspective as a Autistic Christian the accuser can be just as sinful as I am.

I have written more at length about the Social Contract and how it affects Autistic people in my blog here. Thank you for reading.