Is there such a thing as sin?
Which is to say, is there any real meaning to our understanding of how people ought to behave? We talk a lot about right and wrong, or about good and evil. This Question 3 is to explore the spiritual question of sin v. righteousness. Are our ideas about how people ought to behave just conceptual? Is there any reality to the concept of sin? Are there any real spiritual consequences, other than logical life consequences, involved with sin?
Before we get very far with this, we have to have a definition for what we mean by “sin.” It is clear that there are Ratburghers who think of “sin” as a personal shortcoming, like a lack of musical talent or poor eyesight or weak willpower. However, I mean something very different. Here is a dictionary definition:
an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law.
Traditionalist Christianity, of course, offers a highly developed view of sin. Some groups of Christians, such as the Roman Catholic Church, have a very detailed and nuanced teachings regarding sin. Other groups of Christians keep it simple. But I wasn’t looking for a debate among Christians; I am hoping to hear some views from our non-Christians.
Atheists will mostly say that sin is just a concept that helps us communicate with each other and that it is an evolutionary development that somehow helped the group of primitive pre-human hominids to enforce behaviors that promoted group cohesion and group survival.
How about the rest of you?