Well, Haleem ul Hassan has a point.
August 18, 2013 at 6:58 am
The Art of Manliness has published a four-part series on How to Be Virtuous and Avoid Sin, the most interesting of which is Part II (Haleem's comment is from that post).
The series talks about the psychology of cheating and virtue, explaining some very common human inclinations and giving us tips on how to use our simple human nature to improve our behavior.
For example, if you're tempted to do something sinful, try to imagine being discovered doing it. I find it very easy to curse and swear and use vulgarities, and once when setting up a sound system in a church before a performance, I was having a "heck" of a time. I had a headset microphone on, and even though I was getting madder and madder (and even though I wanted to say worse things than "heck"), I knew that if I said any of my favorites, my cussing would fill the sanctuary like the voice of God. This was a very helpful deterrent. For a long time after that, I simply pretended that I had a headset mike on at all times.
But one of the easiest ways to distance ourselves from the wrongness of our behavior is the internet. How easy the artificiality of contact lets us treat others online the way we never would in person. Many a marriage is badly bruised by how such distancing facilitates flirting, for example. Would you say to a woman at a bar what you're saying to her in a chat room, if your wife were out with you? Yet imagining such a scenario really helps bring to mind the Presence that seems Absent - it's a kind of prayer.
I suppose, then, the next time the Black Sheep Dog and I have a little shindig in my basement with hookers and drugs, I really need to picture the pain this will cause everyone involved when word gets out and I have to issue all those indignant denials. It's worth a shot!