If each moral choice a person makes is free (as in free will) it seems to follow that the sum or totality of all those choices is also free. In other words, if each individual sin can be avoided, then sinning in its entirety can be avoided. I thought maybe there was an abstract way to represent necessity in the sum of all choices implying necessity in at least one of the particular choices.
Can you eat lava?
- Yes: But it'll incinerate my mouth and kill me
- No: It'll incinerate my mouth and kill me The Philosophical concept is, Can you eat lava. There's two answers The Logical sum is: Lava will incinerate your mouth upon ingestion...it's your choice to put it in your mouth.
Sin cannot be avoided without rejection of all inhibitions or willful actions. Rather than worry about approaching sin, worry about addressing the circumstances that encourage sinful behavior. The Seven Sins are a rock paper scissors, inhibit one, you encourage another.
Immanuel Kant did draw this exact conclusion, that if a given ought can be fulfilled, then the set of all such given oughts can be fulfilled. Now he also says that sin is radically tethered to human nature, and unavoidable inside of time.
But now he says that real choices are not made inside of time, that the appearance of multiple choices being made is just the application of a general choice to particular issues, but this application is not chosen as such. Having made our eternal imperfect decision, we perforce exemplify this decision in daily life.
Unfortunately, he also thinks that we sort of can make a second eternal choice, but he concludes that if our original choice is inexplicable, so too this one---but here we don't even have the analogy of general principles and particular inferences to help describe this second maxim in the first place.
I can't help think of the Buddhist perspective. Though the language doesn't map, I believe the core concepts do.
There, actions with future rewards or punishments in mind are all, karmic. The path to avoid being controlled by ideas about the future, is to recognise that such future-directed action is all part of the causes of suffering, through desiring specific outcomes. This is done though the Eightfold Path, a way of turning attention to how best to be in the moment, using now-directed values, to the full range of householder or monastic life - replacing the Three Poisons, of greed, confusion & hate, with wisdom generosity & loving-kindness, which gain their benefits in the actions themselves.
The step-by-step process of ceasing to cause suffering, is reckoned by Buddhists to be able to result in a reorientation, that is compared to ordinary being, like being awake is compared to be asleep. This us also called unshakeable liberation, or enlightenment. It relates exactly to understanding and manifesting freedom, from coercion by our psychological causes and conditions, in choosing how best to be.
"We are not punished for our sins, but by them."
"He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be."
There are various groups combining such Buddhist thinking with Christianity. Zen seems especially well suited to this. The Christian analysis of grace to my mind is lacking serious challenge to conventional intuitions about identity. It's notable that the Desert Fathers originated the hesychasm, chanting of the Jesus prayer, and wrote some of the most profound Christian teachings.