TTLG|Thief|Bioshock|System Shock|Deus Ex|Mobile
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 49

Thread: Sin. What is it?

  1. #1
    SShock2.com
    Member

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain

    Sin. What is it?

    This is a question for christians.

    What exactly is sin? As I understand it, it covers a vast range of things you are not supposed to do, but I am quite hazy on exactly what those things are and more importantly why you shouldn't do them.

    I grew up in a fairly secular yet protestant culture. I had to read the bible in school. I had to sing christian hymns in church at every major school event. At age 7 or so, I decided that the whole Adam and Eve story didn't make a lot of sense, which set me on a path to atheism. I am by now, a pretty hard atheist with no faith whatsoever. I always felt very uncomfortable having to pay lip service to something I could not believe. So, I probably never understood the concept of sin, since it made no sense to me. This is why I ask.

    I'm interested in history, so I watch a lot of documentaries, hoping to learn something. In European history, all the various facets of christianity play quite important parts. Right now, I'm watching a wonderful art documentary about renaissance art by Waldemar Januszczak, and predictably, quite a lot of it is about christian beliefs and sin, but it does assume you know stuff I actually don't.

    I did read the bible once, like any good atheist should, not by choice but becase we had to at school. It was a long time ago and I have forgotten most of it, specifically the definition of sin, what it is, what the rules are, what you're not supposed to do, and most importantly why you're not supposed to do them.

    Hence this thread.

    I'm keen to hear opinions of believers, but please leave out the obvious ones like "thou shalt not kill", I hope we're all fine with that regardless of faith.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    is thought a sin, or the action itself?

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: OldDark Detox Clinic
    I grew up in a Roman Catholic family and went to a separate school until I went to high school, so catechism was taught at school. If sin meant anything, it was you were bad and should feel guilty.

    In Bible terms though, sin is impossible to avoid though, since you were born imperfect. Sin is simply missing the goal of perfection. It's less serious if done unconsciously, infrequently, or not of serious gravity (ie not something like rape or murder). It's more serious if done with deliberation, or practiced willfully and repeatedly.

    Also, in addition to doing wrong, sin can also be failing to do what is right. For example, you may not return an enemy's wallet if you found it, but the Bible says you should (actually I think the example in the Bible is your enemy's stray bull...)

    The rub is the disagreement between everyone in the world over what actually constitutes God's standards. Some people who worship a god or gods are also cannibals, so WTH.....

    It's hard to get 20 people in a room and get them to agree on what toppings to put on their pizza, let alone what is right or wrong with regard to sex, business practices, recreational drug use, etc. I know a bazillion catholics who do recreational drugs, but the Bible would constitute that as practicing spiritism (pharmakia). Some religions use drugs as a part of their worship, so go figure.

    I think what you come up with personally is OK as long as it is an internal standard that you don't project unto or expect from other people, and also you don't harm anyone physically or emotionally in your practice. Blowing up an abortion clinic for faith is insane.

    I personally believe in God, but don't believe there is any part of me or anything inside me that is immortal. When I tell "Christian" people that I don't have a soul they crap their pants. When I'm dead, all my consciousness will die with me.

    Why not just try to not "sin" because it is right and the best way of living, rather than for the promise of a reward or the threat of punishment?

    Live and let live, don't screw anyone over.

  4. #4
    The simplest definition is that sin is behavior that constitutes a rejection of natural law in a willful manner.

    http://www.drurywriting.com/keith/au...ion.of.sin.htm

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Canuckistan GWN
    Sin is how you arbitrarily elevate your personal opinion to divine status.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: OldDark Detox Clinic
    Some things are more than opinion though. Many of these things are part of our human make up. Deep down, even Trump's supporters know he is a reptile. Conscience is passed, I believe, in DNA.

    Tony_Tarantula, read your link. This stuck out.

    "Our sins were all forgiven when we are saved—past, present, future."

    Sounds like an excuse for future bad conduct. Weird belief. I talked to a guy once who believed literally that God made wild and domestic animals. I tried to find a compromise saying maybe it meant more that man could domesticate certain animals, but not others. NOPE. Hardline stuff like the belief above. When I showed the guy a YouTube video on Belyaev's foxes, he wouldn't talk to me. For real. It was awkward as hell.
    Last edited by uncadonego; 17th Nov 2019 at 14:58.

  7. #7
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Quote Originally Posted by uncadonego View Post
    Some things are more than opinion though. Many of these things are part of our human make up. Deep down, even Trump's supporters know he is a reptile. Conscience is passed, I believe, in DNA.
    Consciousness is passed through DNA, yes. Conscience? No. That's a belief that indoctrinated cath-- oh, never mind.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: The Land of Make Believe
    Sin is the imaginary malaise made up by snake oil merchants.

  9. #9
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Quite simply, sins are a list of potentially destructive behaviors that people have a strong natural tendency to overindulge in, given a sheen of religious importance to convince folks to steer themselves more towards strong moderation or total abstinence.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: OldDark Detox Clinic
    Sulphur

    Con=with + science(knowledge) ; right and wrong implied. I don't think we need to be taught that we are doing something wrong when we steal from another person, we know.

    Yes, I know that I was strongly indoctrinated growing up Catholic. Nothing says that like a nun's ball point pen.


    Renzatic, you have a good point.

  11. #11
    SShock2.com
    Member

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    Right, I should have realised before posting this thread it could descend into various religious arguing. That was not my intent. I'm just trying to understand things that I'm too unaware of.

    As an atheist, the whole concept of sin eludes me. Original sin especially, that probably more than anything turned me atheist. Why should I feel guilty about something my parents did to bring me life? I've done nothing!

    As I understand it, the whole concept is to control human behaviour, probably with good intentions, so that we can all function in society, and not be horrible to each other. Fine. I like that idea. But that's not necessarily how it seems to work. Some things I'm supposed to feel ashamed about and ask forgiveness for just seem ridiculous, but then again, I do not have the faith, so I probably will never understand why so-and-so could be important.

    I believe you should generally be nice to people. This is not to make me worthy of going to heaven or avoid hell, I obviously believe in neither, but just to make life here on planet earth, the only life we have, a little bit easier. Altruistic actions is not something I do so I will be judged more gently at armageddon, it's just instinctive in me that if you behave appallingly, it will breed discontent around you, and at some point that might come back to bite you in the ass. It's not quite like karma, I don't believe in that either. I just think it's generally a bad idea to make the world shittier than it already is when it takes so little effort to not be a complete asshole. So I try to be nice. I sometimes fail, but I try. Maybe protestant behaviour has infiltrated my brain even though I do not actually believe.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    That's pretty much how I feel. Throw in that some folks NEED religion. The absolute worst who sinned the most and then turned around are the absolute worst at forgiveness and understanding. The hypocrites. But those are the ones who need it most. They don't have that deep gut instinct about what is wrong and right and how to control themselves. They at some point scared themselves with how badly they behaved and then went redline in the other direction, perhaps to make up for their behavior, and now anyone who is even a little lax is the devil. Those are also the ones most likely to backslide. They give themselves license they do not to others. Not to say that all of them are inherently and completely awful but they do need the stick of hell to be good.

    Give me the good for the sake of it type. The ones who just want to do right regardless of reward or punishment. Those include though are not exclusive to atheists.

  13. #13
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Quote Originally Posted by Gray View Post
    As an atheist, the whole concept of sin eludes me. Original sin especially, that probably more than anything turned me atheist. Why should I feel guilty about something my parents did to bring me life? I've done nothing!
    Maybe I'm misinterpreting what you're saying here, but Original Sin isn't something you're tainted with because you were conceived through what really hardcore, fundementalist Christians consider a filthy act. It's an inherent taint borne by Adam and Eve after they ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and shared by all their descendants from there on. It's the very first sin mankind committed, hence the name, and used as proof that we're all flawed, and will sin again.

  14. #14
    SShock2.com
    Member

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    Yeah, see, it's stuff like that I do not understand. It makes no sense to me. That's why I'm asking more knowledgeable people to please explain it to me.

  15. #15
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    It's basically that we're a flawed creation (made by a God that is supposed to be perfect, and doesn't make mistakes), and that this First Big Mistake illustrates it. Cuz, hey, if the very first people can ignore God speaking directly to them, and get tempted away from Him by some snake in a tree, what hope do the rest of us have?

    Compared to something like, say, the holy Trinity, it's pretty straightforward.

  16. #16
    SShock2.com
    Member

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    Hmm, yeah, the holy trinity takes some explaining. Bill Bailey gave it a good go, but it didn't make it much clearer. I think his point was that it's sort um.... a thing where, you see... there's the.. um, and the other one, and... well god in in there, of course, and then there's the son of god, who is also god, and then, that.. mmmmfmm..... right?

  17. #17
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    I guess you could say that God split His consciousness into two autonomous parts plus a vaguely defined third to play specific roles while interact with humanity, and the physical world, but they could all still be classified as the same all powerful being.

  18. #18
    SShock2.com
    Member

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    A valid point. I don't quite get it yet, perhaps I never will, but I do try.

    I wrote about three different replies before I posted this, but they were all too dismissive and and antagonistic, and that is not where I want this thread to go. I don't want this to turn into atheists vs believers, so I deleted my stupid uninformed comments. The point is that I'm trying to understand. I really want to get inside the head of people who think differently to me, so I can maybe figure out how we can get along better. I sometimes am the arrogant asshole who thinks he knows better and will tell you where you're wrong, but I don't like me being that guy, I want to understand. This is why I'm interested in history and religion, trying to figure out why people think the way they do.

  19. #19
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    You won't hurt my feelings at all. At best, I'm apathetically agnostic over this whole religion thing. The subject is interesting as all get out though.

    I think it's a giant crying shame that most everyone subscribes to the Hallmark Channel version of Christianity these days, seemingly unaware of just how freakishly weird and off kilter all the Abrahamic religions actually are. This whole idea of God being this kindly old bearded guy, attended to by these cute little chubby babies with wings doesn't exist ANYWHERE in the Bible. It's more like stuff you'd see on some random heavy metal album cover, drawn by some guy on mushrooms, which doesn't gel well with the Live Laugh Love contingent.

  20. #20
    SShock2.com
    Member

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    Well there's quite a lot in christianity that is not in the bible. Stuff that was decided at major conferences, like, say, the one 350-ish AD (I forget the year) when they decided to place the birth of Jesus close to the winter solstice to coincide with the pagan traditions they were trying to replace, thus creating christmas, given that there was almost nothing in the bible to say what time of year he was born, except there were hints it might be summer or spring. I forget the details. There's nothing about priests, bishops, popes, cathedrals. But again, I'm not trying to start some anti-christian bashing here, just pointing out that a lot of stuff in christianity is not actually in the bible.

  21. #21
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Total aside here, but doesn't it make a fuckton more sense to have the new year start when all the leaves and crap start blooming in spring? Why end it smack dab in the deadest ass part of winter? Usher in the new year when the weather starts getting warm again, I say!

  22. #22
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Well this is an interesting topic, but I'd need more time than I have to give it any justice. I would divide it into maybe three things, 1. what sin is supposed to mean in Protestant theology, at least as I learned it (we could try to see how much it shares with Catholic & Orthodox views, or views from other periods. I'm not actually too sure how the concept of sin in Catholicism differs from Protestantism once you get deeper than the superficial stereotypes); 2. what sin means culturally in Western societies (Western guilt vs. Eastern shame), and 3. the emotions people feel related to sin, guilt, and shame, which I think get packaged into narratives by culture, but aside from that I understand that they're real emotions people have confronting their own limits in keeping themselves free from behavior that they regret.

    At its root, I think it's that self-hating and ashamed emotion a person gets when they can't help themselves doing what they don't actually want to do, but they feel the temptation is too strong and their will power is too weak. That feeling has some universality to it (I think), and I think it's such a compelling emotion that it's going to get worked into the culture one way or another, because what else are people going to make of confronting emotions like that?

    So the punchline would be there's a pyramid here, with the emotions at the base, the culture built off of that, and then the theology that packages the whole thing into a narrative which people understand. If I actually had time, it'd be an interesting project to tease out the whole structure of the thing over each level, and, e.g., how European Christians do it differently than say Buddhist Chinese or Thai. I think there are so many cultural and religions concepts that would do well to get that kind of treatment. The world would make a lot more sense if somebody did IMO.

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Canuckistan GWN
    Quote Originally Posted by Gray View Post
    Right, I should have realised before posting this thread it could descend into various religious arguing.
    Sin is religious term, so yeah, it will be argued in religious terms. Sin is a value judgement emboldened with religious authority. It's more than just a bad thing, it's a SIN! Fortunately there are many, cherries to pick from in the faithful's fruit basket.

    If you don't believe in the supernatural, these sins are called morals and every social creature, even arthropods, have them. So it depends if you want to discuss the blurry, religious concepts of sin or the reality of them, I guess.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    As an agnostic, I've always kind of liked the description of the holy trinity as a mystery. Like, seriously, how the heck would we know why three different things are one thing? I mean, it's not really that big of a deal, is it? A single coin has two sides. Why can't a frikken deity have three? Of all the crazy assertions that come from religion, "god has three distinct aspects of a single entity and we don't know how that works" seems almost plausible in comparison. Like, if there is a god, I'm quite certain that one thing that is true about it is that we don't really understand it.

    Here's one way it could work:


    I think it would be interesting if "original sin" was the knowledge of good and evil, that prevents humanity from being innocents like animals.

  25. #25
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Quote Originally Posted by uncadonego View Post
    Sulphur

    Con=with + science(knowledge) ; right and wrong implied. I don't think we need to be taught that we are doing something wrong when we steal from another person, we know.
    Thanks for the etymology breakdown, but it's unnecessary. You most definitely were taught that it's wrong to steal growing up, probably while you were figuring out object permanence and the rest of your semantic universe as an infant. Biological instinct is fundamentally different from conscience, though it might seem like the same thing.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •