Talk:Sin/Archive 1

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Use of Newspeak[edit]

Really? Saying "thoughtcrime is considered a sin by some religions, particularly christian sects" is just silly. First of all, the wiki reference for Thoughtcrime doesn't separate the idea from 1984 (and I doubt any group had Orwell in mind while in determining what to call "sin"). Secondly, this is simply perjorative rather than descriptive. "Evil (or bad) thoughts" is much more readable and doesn't require knowledge or vocabulary from an unrelated novel. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:26, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

I removed the reference to 'thoughtcrime' for the same reasons as decribed above. Crime and Sin are not the same. Something can be legal in human terms and yet sinful, or illegal in human terms but morally right to do. The word 'thoughtcrime' simply muddies the issue rather than giving more understanding of the concept of sin.-- (talk) 03:00, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Deliberately Harming[edit]

Deliberately harming some living organism without a proper reason is a sin. Nothing else is a sin. Our inner self immediately lets us know about the same. But, due to our selfishness we ignore the same and persist with the act.

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 09:35, 19 January 2007 (UTC). Folks, that was just a first stab at it. Feel free to jump in and do it right!!  :-)

The first paragraph sounds like written by some very religious person, or even taken directly from a religious text (bible, etc.). It seems to be an extremely personal and narrowed point of view, thus I request the first paragraph to be removed completely.

  • "Sin is deliberately or purposefully harming some living organism without a proper reason. Nothing else is a sin." - yet, a few lines later, there is a more suitable definition ("an act that violates a moral rule"), since it a) applies not to doing physical harm only and b) emphasizes its connection to religious context.
  • "Our inner self immediately lets us know about the same. ..." - What is the purpose of the rest? Basically it says, "If you know what is a sin, but still commit it, you have a bad conscience". It just tries to sound educated, without actually saying anything. Neither do I think reason (the paragraph mentions selfishness) or result of sinning belongs in the first paragraph of an article, which is intended to define what "sin" is.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Why shouldn't we keep the religious books aside and actually understand what sin is. Wouldn't it be right look into our selves first and try to analyze what the truth is, rather accepting blindly things written in the Bible, Vedas, Quran and all important books. These religious books are in fact guides or paths to live a good life, but many times there are different meanings for a sentence and things could be interpreted wrong. For example, a book could have quoted "KILLING IS GOOD", but when killing is good needs to be decided. Now one could kill a person just reading the first sentence in a religious book and say to himself "HEY this was what was mentioned, I've done no sin", I think we all know from the inside what actually SIN is. Every time at least I try to commit it, my inner self alerts me about the same. I don't have to read a religious book to understand the same. I have many times in my life tried to find solutions for problem by asking my self, and then have tried to refer a religious book. I've surprisingly found the answers matching. Many a time when I try to read a religious book, certain verses make me no sense. But, when I face incidents in my life and then refer to the religious book, they where understood right. So, just blaming god, if the verses mentioned in the books where written by GOD, should be wrong.

Etymology of the word, Sin[edit]

Quick question on the etymology on the origin of sin in English any definitive sources?--dgd

I have added a paragraph on the etymology of the English word. ---User:Ihcoyc (Feb. 26, 2003)
I edited the introduction to remove the false etymology regarding archery, and the related explanatory archery metaphor. The reference to archery, while colorful, is not accurate with regards to the English etymology, which is accurately explained in the etymology section of the article. It's likely the result of confusion with the Jewish "al chet," which does seem to be derived from archery. Daschepers 03:02, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Hebrew Etymology of the word, Sin[edit]

<Commenting on this phrase in SinSin has been a term most usually used in a religious context, and today describes any lack of conformity to the will of God; especially, any willful disregard for the norms revealed by God is a sin. >

The Semitic language word translated as 'sin' is khate, Gesenius's Strong's Concordance:2399—a crime, sin, fault. The root of khate is khaw-taw', Gesenius's Strong:2398—to miss, to err from the mark (speaking of an archer); the opposite idea to that of reaching the goal, to hit the mark. Implied in this etymology is that there should be "no praise - no blame" ever; crime and scarlet fever are in the same category.

The sinner is making an error; because he, if rational, does want to perpetuate himself. Therefore his error is due to some disability or lack of knowledge. This does not mean that society should not protect itself as from a crime—by incarceration, quarantine, or (better) by attempts to remove the causes (slums, disease, etc.).

Compare with the Ancient Greek word Hamartia (ἁμαρτία), a term developed by Aristotle in his Poetics, which likewise means missing the mark. This is the word used for 'sin' in the original Greek of the New Testament. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:13, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Crime and Scarlet Fever[edit]

<Comment on the above phrase—crime and scarlet fever being in the same category.>

If a man enters an area where scarlet fever is rampant and catches it; society first quarantines him to protect itself and then seeks to free the area of scarlet fever and to cure him so that he can be well.
If a man is brought-up in a slum where crime is rampant and he turns to crime; society first incarcerates him to protect itself, and then should seek to remove the slum and re-train him so that he can earn a decent living.

Yesselman 20:57, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Sin, sins and scope of atonement[edit]

I'm not sure if this is the correct place to voice a thought on the matter, but I do think that under the heading of sin there should be a full listing of the 10 commandments as well as a reference to Jesus' teachings on the most important of Gods laws (love of God and love of neighbor) Also, why not mention lifting of kosher food laws as described in the Christian bible. -- 23:32, 10 Jan 2005 (UTC)

solely individualistic accounts of sin. perhaps need to be balanced with the idea of corporate exile (and perhaps not). mhjb

I appreciate the Protestant/Catholic usage note, but in my experience

Protestants (ministers, laity, and writers) used it primarily in terms of personal sin. As in, "Do not commit sin!" or "It would be a sin to do that." or "Lord, forgive me, for I have sinned." Protestants like repentance, too, not just Catholics. :-) Ed Poor

Actually, both viewpoints are accurate. Many Protestant churches speak of

"Original sin," and of "sins," acts contrary to God's law and one of the results of "Original sin." F. Lee Horn

What I would like to throw out is the idea of how sin is related to us the present day people. Are the sins that we commit present due to the fact that when Adam sinned and thus brought original sin was that sin then inputed to all people, or in the sense that we all were in a sense present with Adam and he was our represenative. Or is sin more of a heredity issue that we have no choice but to meet sin at some point and thus become a sinner. I know that there are techincal terms for these ideas but I am unable to locate them at this time. The Mule

Sin and Atonement jointly considered[edit]

A suggestion was made at Talk:Atonement that the material on that page ought to be merged with this one, which already contained a discussion of Jewish concepts of atonement. I have tried, and this is a first go at it. ---User:Ihcoyc

I object to the merging of these two articles Sin and Atonement. While

these two subjects may go hand in hand with each other (maybe even more so for Judaism), these subjects also go hand in hand with many other religious subjects. And other Wikipedia article-subjects also go hand in hand with other article-subjects, but Wikipedia generally doesn't merge articles merely because they go hand in hand. There needs to be a compelling reason demonstrated first why subjects each with their own unique concepts should be merged before they actually are merged. That has not been done. I could agree that maybe a separate article called Sin and Atonement is needed IN ADDITION to articles for each subject, but as it is, even this article Sin is not properly titled for its subject matter! B 18:13, 4 Aug 2003 (UTC)

After reading about Augustines ideas of the sinning nature of mankind and that Satan and humanity are but lesser forms of good does that really make us what we are to be? I think we should determine exactly what "lesser good" means compared to total deprave humans. It's just that when I hear him say lesser good it just not the tone I imagine when I consider just how sinful we all are. (The Mule 18:16, 11 February 2006 (UTC))

Roman Catholic views compared with others[edit]

"There also tends to be a distinction between Roman Catholic and many Protestant views of the effects of sin. Many Protestants typically teach that sin, including original sin, entirely extinguished any human capacity to move in the direction of reconciliation towards God. Salvation is sola fide, by faith alone, and sola gratia, by grace alone, and by God's initiative alone. Roman Catholics, by contrast, typically teach that while sin has tarnished the original goodness of humanity prior to the Fall, it has not entirely extinguished that goodness. Under this view, humans can take the initiative in reaching out towards God and seeking redemption. "

I can't speak for what Catholicism teaches (though whatever it is it's probably a doctrine, not merely a typical teaching), but that's not my experience of Protestant churches. There are many views on whether we reach for God or he reaches for us, but I hadn't heard one put in terms of original sin. I don't think I'm up to rewriting it myself, though, but I'd say the best thing would be to combine it with the atonement bit and put in different teachings.

For now, I'm just changing it a little. Bagpuss 23:27 Mar 3, 2003 (UTC)

I put in "typically teach" because some writers who were not "Protestants," like St Augustine of Hippo, taught something closer to the Protestant position by my understanding. In other words, there were differences of opinion on the topic that took place well before the Reformation. If Roman Catholicism has adopted some different formulation as doctrine, I don't know what it is exactly. -- IHCOYC 00:10 Mar 4, 2003 (UTC)
I think what's being described above is known as total depravity, which is more specifically a Calvinist doctrine which does have roots in Augustine. Arminians, like those in the Methodist tradition, would stop well short of the total depravity position. Eastern Christianity also rejects the doctrine; they just weren't able to correct Augustine in a timely fashion, as communication between East and West was already being hampered by linguistic and cultural differences. Wesley 14:53 Mar 4, 2003 (UTC)
Is there a technical term for the Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox position other than "Arminianism"? We definitely need to do some kind of article on the theologies of grace. I added links to "total depravity" and "Arminianism," also to "Pascal's wager" which strikes me as assuming some variety of Arminianism. -- IHCOYC 16:29 Mar 4, 2003 (UTC)
The technical term for what Roman Catholicism is not, is Pelagianism. Since the time of Augustine (whose formulations against Pelagius caused a rift between the East and West), Western popes (especially those who had been monks) and Western councils have gradually modified the interpretation of Augustinianism (in part with the intention to lessen the conflict with the East). Mkmcconn
I have modified the following
Under this view, humans can take the initiative in reaching out towards God and seeking redemption.
and written
Under this view, humans can reach towards God to share in the Redemption which Christ won for them
although I think the issue could be better stated, it is more accurate than the previous statement (the initiative is, actually, God's, as one can see in the Cathecism of the Catholic Church). Pfortuny, 16:28 Oct 9, 2003 (UTC).
Central to Eastern understanding of sanctification, is a theological commitment to absolute freedom - this terminology does not translate well, in Western terms. Neither would it translate well, unless I'm completely mistaken, if the Western meaning of those terms were translated into an Eastern equivalent. So, I think that the Western version (called semi-Augustinianism) is not very different from the Eastern version (which owes a lot to the monastic tradition beginning with John Cassian). It is not proper to equate this with Arminianism, because the theory of atonement in the East is primarily focussed on the incarnation (the so-called theory of reciprocity), and Arminianism is a psychological theory of atonement (the governmental theory or moral influence theory) and is therefore closer to what the Western councils condemned in denouncing Semi-pelagianism. I have not been able to discern a Western equivalent in the Eastern theories of what Christ accomplished on the cross,

although its universal intent makes it easily distinguishable from Calvinism (which besides incarnational and moral significance, adds a particular intention to Christ's death, which other Christians reject: he lived and died in view of the whole world, to redeem those chosen by God). Mkmcconn 21:47, 4 Aug 2003 (UTC)

I'm not aware of a specific name for the Eastern Orthodox position; I'm sure that neither it nor Roman Catholicism could really be termed "Arminian", even if they do share some similarities. Roman Catholicism probably has a term, but I don't know what it is. Orthodoxy does talk a lot about free will, and about gaining increasing amounts of free will as one is healed of the effects of sin, and of course about God's desire for everyone to be "saved", but I don't think I'm qualified to talk about this well. Freedom of Morality by Florovsky would probably be a good source. Haven't actually read it yet; I'm still doing a lot of learning myself. Wesley 16:06 Mar 6, 2003 (UTC)
The thing is, the sentence "the sinner can be reconciled by grace alone" is a perfectly Catholic statement, should be de fide if I remember correctly. Even "The sinner can not without grace gain any positive disposition towards grace" is Catholic teaching of high rank, though I don't remember which rank (I don't have my Ott here...). Thus Catholicism goes even farther that the Reformers, as when the latter said (in an unbiblical term only once used by St. James and that in a negation) sola fide, the Catholics rightly answer fides (sc. supernaturalis) ipsa sola gratia. What the unjust can do is gain a negative disposition, by fighting sinning and vicious habits to some degree. Since he can set unsinful actions indeed. Thus according to Catholics, Redemption properly understood is is not due to one's own merit, though to a merit indeed: Christ's. What is possibly due to one's own merit is augmentation of a habitual grace already had and the glory of heaven (both grace and merit). But again, the very potentiality of meriting depends on having habitual grace in the first place, and the first grace is ever unmerited.-- (talk) 23:28, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

God repents[edit]

The twelfth attribute of mercy reads: God repents sins that are committed in error. Shouldn't the word repents be changed to forgives? Wesley

Not sure who wrote those, but it seems so to me also. -- IHCOYC 20:24 Mar 10, 2003 (UTC)
I believe that RK added those attributes. I'm hoping that either he or Slrubenstein will confirm. Wesley

It says some religions define sin, not as an act that offends God, but as an act that damages the soul. Which religions are those? 23:35, 25 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Many within Judaism hold this view. This is an especially important concept within Kabbalah, esoteric Jewish mysticism. {Not all Jews accept Kabbalah as authoritative (in fact, most don't).} Many Jewish religious rationalists (those who reject mysticism) also hold that sin is something which damages the soul, e.g. Maimonides. RK 14:10, 26 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Many Christians I've talked to hold a similar view, defining sin as a self-destructive act. My (Protestant) Greek professor in college preferred to translate the last part of John 3:16 something like "... so that whoever believes in Him would not destroy himself but rather have eternal life." He said the verb in question was in the middle voice, which generally means the subject is intimately involved in the action, hence the above translation instead of the more common would not perish. The notion of sin as an offense against God makes the most sense if you happen to live in a feudal society, or another one that has a large concept of offense against an important person's honor. Wesley 15:43, 26 Sep 2003 (UTC)
I think that what the question seeks to get at is a difference between, say, a religion that propounds a body of rules that define sin -- in which case sin is any action that breaks the rules; and those religions that define sin by its effect on the spiritual well being of the sinner. The difficulty is that these two views are not mutually exclusive. Some varieties of Christian theology say that even "virtuous" acts done by the unsaved are sins; they're presumably done to be admired, or for some other selfish motive. No one can be good unless God is with them. On the other hand, you have faiths like Buddhism, where sins are acts that incur a debt of karma, but there is no judge of karma to determine the presence or degree of guilt. -- Smerdis of Tlön 16:22, 26 Sep 2003 (UTC)
That makes sense. I suspect (thought I don't know) that Buddhism probably contains groups that have detailed lists of do's and don't's for their followers to follow in order to avoid incurring more karma debt, and groups that don't, just as within Christianity there are some that affirm total depravity (which I think is what you described) and some that don't. So the difference isn't really between different religions, but between different schools of theological thought within different religions.

I have changed the last edit (and commented (i.e. with <!-- -->) it in the article. It said something about the Assumption, Pope John Paul, etc... which was quite incorrect (see the comments there). Anyway, I doubt if that paragraph fits well in this article.

Near the top: "Atonement describes the process through which we become reconciled to God for sins." Who is "we" here? Is it all christians, or is it some particular subgroups? I find it confusing when articles say this is what christians believe, with no discussion of whether they mean some sect of protestants, or the Catholics, or the Orthodox, or one of the old churches, or who... 04:37, 3 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Distinct topics[edit]

Shouldn't sin be considered separately from atonement? I see from previous discussion that they used to be separate articles, and they were later merged. What is the thinking behind this? Mkmcconn 17:51, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Yes, I think they should be separated (obviously). I do not know when/how they were merged. Pfortuny 07:42, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Protestant vs Catholic?[edit]

This contrast is only vaguely familiar to me, as a Protestant; and so, I'm assuming that it is not really representative of a contrast, as it claims. For that reason, I removed it. Roman Catholics also have an idea of sin being a state or condition from which redemption is necessary, just as Protestants do. Protestants also certainly understand by "sins" those acts which do not conform to the word of God. It does not appear to me to be true that the contrast can be maintained, or that there is such a reservation of the word among catholics; since in the West, Christians are largely agreed that every individual is born into a condition of corruption, a state of "sin", from which it is not possible to deliver oneself apart from the grace of God. The difference between Protestantism and Catholicism is more subtle than the following paragraph would appear to imply. Mkmcconn 19:56, 12 Apr 2004 (UTC)

There is a difference among Christians concerning the use of the word "sin". Protestants use it primarily for what they see as humanity's inherently sinful nature, and only secondarily to actual instances of sin. Roman Catholics by contrast reserve the word only for actual instances of sin, calling the sinful nature of humans "concupiscence".
In my oppinion (I am a Catholic) the paragraph is at the least unclear. I think all Christian denominations use the word sin generically (for lack of a better term), as in, by sin entered death into the world -which means both a sin and sinfulness-. Also, concupiscence is not the sinful nature of human: pure malice is not an issue of concupiscence, as I understand it.
So I am happy with your removal. Pfortuny 07:40, 13 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Islamic views of sin[edit]

In the Islamist movement, Muslim sinners are held to be liable for the death sentence. According to Islamic law, conversion by Muslims to other religions is a sin. Penalties may include ostracism or even execution if they live or have lived in an "Islamic State" and are deemed enemies of the state.

Focusing on this stuff strikes me as rather POV. There has to be some kind of developed theology behind Islamic law. I assume that atonement from sin is possible in Islam, but I am short on the particulars. Smerdis of Tlön 00:47, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)

There is IMO a very highly developed theology. But there are a couple of barriers to including it in Wikipedia.
One is that while we Westerners have a faith in knowledge and a joy in spreading it, that may not be part of Islamic cultures (note the plural) at all, and it typically isn't as high a priority. Criticising the Qur'an is a criminal offence in many Islamic countries. The penalty varies; A personal friend was deported from one country because he was (falsely) accused of it. But even if it's completely unenforced, just having such an offence on the books isn't exactly free speech. AFAIK all Islamic cultures regard any pictorial representation of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as offensive. Please note, I'm not saying any of this is wrong. I am just saying it's relevant. It makes it difficult to obtain the information, and restricts our right to publish it even if we do obtain it.
Another is Islamic scholars may not regard what we would call their theology as knowledge in the way we might. It's rather a sort of wisdom. That's not to say that it's seen as less valid than knowledge, just the opposite. On a scale, opinion is seen as being at one end, Islamic truth at the other, and scientific reasoning is in the middle. This again makes it difficult to obtain and publish the information, as describing it as either knowledge or opinion is in a sense inaccurate, and possibly offensive.
The other point I'd like to make is that the concept of atonement as understood in Western culture doesn't necessarily appear in Islamic 'theology' at all. This may be surprising, as both Jesus Christ and Abraham are regarded as prophets in Islam, but it's been my impression talking to some thoughtful Moslems over the years. I think the problem might be that much Western theology, including the doctrine of atonement, comes from a Greek cultural perspective, not from a Jewish one as is traditionally assumed and often claimed. As such it is alien to Islamic thought (and also to Jewish thought).
These are difficult issues, see Islam for a very different perspective on the cross-cultural issues regarding knowledge, but again note that the clash between Greek and Islamic thought is affirmed. Andrewa 06:09, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Copyright/authorship question[edit]

The Hindu interpretation section says that it is adapted from a book, and that italics indicate non-quotes. I would hope that actually considerably larger sections of this passage are "non-quotes", otherwise the section is probably not "kosher" from a copyright point of view. Arided the Avenger Wed Mar 23 02:14:15 2005 UTC

Jewish views of sin[edit]

As the text already indicates, the means of atonement in Judaism changed over time - there was a move away from sacrifices. As is not made equally clear, beliefs in the form retribution takes have also changed: in particular, the belief in Hell/Heaven as we currently understand them is in all probability post-biblical, or late-biblical at most. It is also certain that, say, Maimonides believed certain sins to condemn the sinner to hell, or at least to make him "lose his part in the world to come", even if they were not committed to defy God, or in full conscience of their being sins: for example, believing in the corporeality of God makes the believer not go to Heaven. There is also the distinction to be drawn between the sins of Gentiles and the sins of Jews; the former have to obey only the seven Noahide laws and their consequences - yet, at the same time, punishment (at least temporal punishment) of Gentiles can be harsher than that of Jews for the same offense (at least in some worked-out subsystems within classical Rabbinic Judaism).

Reform views also should be explained, insofar as there are sections on retribution and atonement in this article: the Pittsburgh platform explicitly rejects the notions of Hell and Heaven. Hasdrubal 22:31, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Can we at least mention that the word "sin" is not a word that Jews usually use with regards to Jewish spirituality? It *is* a rough translation of the hebrew word that is usually used, but in English, in my experience, Jews don't use "sin" except in reference to Christian spirituality. The concept of "sin" in Christianity has some fundamental distinctions from Jewish concepts of "being immoral," which are more along the lines of "yetzer-hara"; on the surface, this is similar, but on a more fundamental level, they're quite distinct. I'd prefer that the section be reworded so as not to suggest a direct connection between "Judaism" and "sin." Islam probably has similar distinctions, but I'm not familiar with Islam. I'll check that later and perhaps suggest some rewordings for the article. AaronRosenberg 02:34, 30 Oct 2005 (UTC)

A bit of explanation on that: I noticed above a comment regarding sin and atonement in Catholicism, which reminds me of a crucial difference between the *usual* (not the personal) concept of sin in Christianity and how Judaism treats yetzer-hara: sin and atonement in Christianity is primarily spiritual, whereas in (especially reform) Judaism, spiritual/internal atonement is second to external atonement, with those around you whom you've affected. If you haven't done that immediately, you have something more for which to atone... AaronRosenberg 02:44, 30 Oct 2005 (UTC)

I took the liberty of adding some Biblcal references to texts for the points in this section. S DuPlessie, December 5, 2005.

Atheist view of sin[edit]

There is no god, there are no "commandments", and thus, human behaviour is only delimited by the innate impulse. This type of post-enlightenment view thus allows the modern form of life best defined as guiltless hedonism to flourish in industrialised countries.

I'm not sure that the view of atheism as an entirely hedonistic concept is fair. Secular humanism may not believe in the concept of 'sin,' per se, but that certainly does not denote that atheists lack a set of moral judgements.

I agree with the above. As an atheist, I draw a line of distinction between "sin" and the religionless concept of "wrongdoing" or "evil", which is admittedly a highly subjective term. I think we should consider adding details on this common view--that sin is replaced with the idea of a flexible morality with black, white, and grey areas.Rob 16:50, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
I have made some changes to address the above concerns, adding a footnote. KillerChihuahua 16:18, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps the name of the section should be changed: atheism is by no means a belief system, it's one individual belief. I believe that idea of "sin" relates much more closely to ethics than it does to whether God exists or not, although since 'sin' carries religious connotations it relates to both. Perhaps something like Secular Huminism which is better defined should be used.Leon... 11:14, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

uh. Theism is not a belief system either, in precisely the same way. AaronRosenberg 5:24, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Please keep a nice tone. I never suggested theism was a belief system. The sections in this articles are for individual belief systems: Christianity, Judaism, etc. I don't think we can say that there's a specifically atheistic view of sin: some atheists may believe that the concept is useful for making people better even if it doesn't refer to anything either. Humanism is better defined in this respect. Leon... 01:10, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

I would imagine that some self-righteous users would regard this discussion as outside the parameters of the article. That's not correct, as you know, but a common limitation to an engaging discussion about the content of articles. Thus Spake Good (talk) 17:06, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

I am an atheist, "Sin" is in my opinion, a make-believe,self-inflicted imaginary behaviour, which has no proof of validity, WRT to the sentence above that 'This type of post-enlightenment view thus allows the modern form of life best defined as guiltless hedonism', wthat's a logical fallacy called Argumentum_ad_consequentiam, please provide conclusive evidence or refrain on making such absurd claims. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:07, 2 May 2011 (UTC)


What about Shinto? I do know that Shinto views one's sin absolved after death. Chris 22:52, 12 March 2006 (UTC)


It is redundant and unneccesary to have the Protestant view of sin on this page. Also as the concept of sin does not exist for an Athiest it is illogical to include this section as well.

Perhaps, there isn't much crossover between the comments concerning Protestantism and those concerning other religions though and it'd be wrong to have a general Christianity category given the differences between religions. I'm not sure it's true that for atheists the concept doesn't exist - many would simply argue that it's far more useful to talk about suffering. Anyway whatever the atheist position is it might as well be mentioned.--Lo2u 12:29, 26 May 2006 (UTC)


If there's something wrong with the explanation here it certainly needs to be fixed - I'm not sure removing this section and replacing with a paragraph claiming there's no such concept is the answer - sin doesn't only mean defiance of God. I acknowledge there's a problem with "Buddha (God)" being mentioned and it's something I don't have sufficient knowledge to fix. BUt sentences such as "Sin in Buddhism is also called an Aggregate, and it is a motivational tool." are highly relevant.--Lo2u 09:49, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree there is a lot of Vedic things in the Buddhism views, and not just the God thing. And it looks very unfamiliar to someone who has studied Buddhism for few years. "Indra impregnated Maya.... Buddha an incarnation of God...energies of God (Buddha)...One must practice the Panca-sila because its the only way...Yama, as well as the Ten-Commandments...Divine is the beginning of moksha...God (Buddha) can only manifest through Maya...return to the source...Sanyas...experience eternity...", as I see it, this is more of Hinduism than Buddhism. This whole section needs to be created from scratched. There maybe a few sentence that is actually relevent to the point, but 70-90 percent is more like Hinduism than Buddhism. Monkey Brain 18:15, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

And if you can give me a definition of Sin that will fit with Buddhism, that would be helpful. From the article, I cannot relate any teachings from buddhism. The past few days, I had been reading articles on buddhism trying to find the right replacement for Sin but nothing really fits. So, I will change that to something based on Karma and ignorance as the basis of the whole Samsara. This might be more relative, but I'm still uncertain. I will edit when I can, later today or tomorrow. If you have any thoughts right now, say so. Monkey Brain 14:45, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. To be honest I think the definition's a bit narrow here. The word is used mainly in monotheistic religious contexts but I think Karma is relevant. Personally I would define sin as the term used in certain religious and philosphical schemes of thought and by certain people for a thought, deed, action, omission etc that is considered immoral by them; I'm only giving that because you've asked though and I'm sure there are problems with it. I know very little about Buddhism; I just reverted the deletion of a long section that seemed to be relevant in the (possibly mistaken) belief that the user responsible for the deletion objected to certain points - I didn't realise how incorrect it was and there was no explanation other than the summary. Any work you can do would be much appreciated - by me at least. Best. --Lo2u 21:02, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
To me the definition of Sin works fine, religious/god/Guilt in nature. It's just that some have other concepts dealing with the bad things of life. Anyway, I hope my edits works nicely. I'll add more information when I can learn more of Buddhism, later on. Monkey Brain 21:21, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Ok, now I rewrote the Buddhism part, wikified it, I think. So if there are any major edits, just discuss it here. This discribes better than what was there previously. Any comments? Monkey Brain 21:21, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Ok. I am happy with tthe replacement paragraph, sorry for not returning to correct it. Though even the idea of karma is a Vedic terminology it must not be confused with Buddhist idea of Karma which specifically deals with the mental state of man as opposed to physical reality. My Buddhist background is of the Mahayana school of thought where reality is nothing more than a series of defintions, ie Form. If you do not know the story of Buddha's birth then you must look into it. There is alot of myth involved with the story but Indra and Maya are both in it. Indra impregnated Maya, of which was only the name of Guatama's mother. Coincidence? In the a Buddhist reality there is no such thing. Let's discuss this, Monkey-Brain!

I am somewhat familar with the story of Buddha's birth, aside from that I do not think that it is much of importance. The myths parts are questionable, as most school do not dive into the topic much/at all. :) Also.. BTW, I still think somethings are missing (and not complete) from buddhist's views on "Sin", but I cannot correctly make it into complete sentences(sry). Maybe a bit of dependence origination.. Monkey Brain 00:57, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Hi Monkey Brain! I am in agreement on the importance of the myth, the myths surrounding Buddha are not specifically of any value to one's understanding of of Buddhist thought. Though understanding the culture that Gautama was raised in can help to understand his perceptions and his realizations. It is a shame so much information was destrored by the Muslim invasions of India. Sanskrit is the only real link we have to these connections between Buddhism and Vedic lore. There are many corelations of terminology between the two, there is no way to fully know how much they both have influenced each others growth either. The study of Sanskrit can help one. I believe that the word Sin is actually a reference to Ishtar, the Queen of Heaven, in her aspect Nanna-Sin, the goddess of the moon, though. Maya, Prkriti, Shakti are all Sanskrit words that refer to this Goddess. Is Maya(Illusion) the anti-thesis to Buddha(Reality)? If so then there we have the definition to end all arguements. One may argue these points theologically, philosophically, or scientifically but will arguing help one to understand Truth? Sudarsauna

Sorry for the late answer, I had been busy editing many other works. So ok, the history and the myths surrounding "historic" Buddha are important, but that belongs in the biography of "historic" Buddha. What we need here is clear definition of Sin in Buddhism (but so far I have failed in conveying a correct meaning because the Sin and Buddhist view differs greatly). It is wrong to say Buddhism offers the teaching of Sin. So I will either delete the entry on Buddhism or shorten it and say that Buddhism teaches different method of understanding life (if Sin (god's punishment/against god/(somethings to do with god)) is a method that Judeo-Christianity uses to explain the bad things in life, then Buddhist/Jains/Hindus and some other Eastern religions teaches that Karma (your action), produces result either good or bad (however each tradition slightly differs in explaining what karma is and how it works)).
And let's not go into discussion of origin of the word Sin. It could be or it couldn't be, but no clear research has been done recently.
"Is Maya(Illusion) the the anti-thesis of Buddha(reality)?" No, btw, Buddha translates to "awakened one" or "enlightened one." Nirvana could be seen as an anti-thesis of Samsara (the continious flow), however most/some (including me) would disagree with you on that one too. Furthermore, there is no real anti-thesis in Buddhism as it states, life(samsara) is life, a continious movement/flow. Nirvana is not: life, nor not life, nor both nor neither. If understood properly, Nirvana (buddhist) is unclassified, but it is sometimes explained as the "Extinguish of the flame." Monkey Brain 18:37, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

I guess I could keep the section as it is, it is a reasonable enough for a starting point. Although not really complete, nor satsfied with that. If I start editing now, I think I might just delete the whole chunks of the section. So I'll leave it to others to edit it and in hopes of making it better. Monkey Brain 01:37, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

>I believe that the word Sin is actually a reference to Ishtar, the Queen of Heaven, in her aspect Nanna-Sin, the goddess of the moon, though.

Nanna is a male moon god that is Inanna' father and Sin is merely a Babylonian version of his name. Xuchilbara (talk) 22:14, 26 May 2008 (UTC) 22:14, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

I would seriously question the article's stance that Buddhism has no concept of sin. By the overall article's opening paragraphs criteria, Buddhism certainly does have sin. Firstly, Buddhism is a religious context. Secondly, Buddhism has a clearly established morality in which some acts are wrong, the doing of which inhibit progress to the goal of the Buddhist holy life. Along these lines, there are moral precepts in Buddhism and also a punitive system for monks who break them, all established by the Buddha himself. Thirdly, since the Buddha, while not the creator of the physical universe, and certainly of human birth, is clearly considered and called a divine being (by virtue of his enlightenment) in many sects and root texts of Buddhism, and is the giver of the Dhamma which Buddhists aspire to live by including a moral code, ergo the moral code even in Buddhism is given by a "divine entity". Furthermore, regarding further definition in the second paragraph, the concepts which relate sin in Buddhism can refer to a state of mind rather than a specific action. It can be noted that while sin is admitted in the Hindu section owing largely to the usage of a word (pāpa in Sanskrit), the very same word is used in Buddhism (see for example) to denote the very same concept of deviation from the moral code. So by the definitions: "Sin is a term used mainly in a religious context to describe an act that violates a moral rule, or the state of having committed such a violation. Commonly, the moral code of conduct is decreed by a divine entity, i.e. Divine law." and "Sin is often used to mean an action that is prohibited or considered wrong; in some religions (notably some sects of Christianity), sin can refer to a state of mind rather than a specific action. Colloquially, any thought, word, or act considered immoral, shameful, harmful, or alienating might be termed 'sinful'." Buddhism's notions of moral code certainly qualify as containing the concept of sin. It is therefore highly misleading to say it has no concept of sin because it implies that Buddhism has no concept of wrongdoing, no precepts, no law-giver, and no moral code --all of which it does, quite firmly so. It would be much more helpful to recognize that there is sin in Buddhism and delineate how it differs. Vacchagotta (talk) 18:40, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Adding to Jewish Section[edit]

Being a Conservative Jew, I'll add some Reform and Conservative aspects of repentence of sin (even most Orthadox), especially post-Biblical times and holidays, like Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashana and the days of Atonement between, which I feel is neglected in the article. Jay Kay 06:34, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

re Super Luigi's addition[edit]

Except during the Inquisition, when the church quite improperly (yes, that's my opinion) assumed God's role as judge and took it upon itself to inflict punishment, including execution, for "sin", the church generally teaches that God is the judge and will inflict punishment for sin ("the wages of sin is death"). Somewhat hypocritical of the Inquisitors themselves, as "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". Therefore, the church's role is not to punish, but to offer the information that gives hope to sinners, hope of redemption and eternal life. GBC 19:09, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

origional work[edit]

I am uncomfortable with the statement "the above comes from the works of Saint Augustine..." especialy since it seems like a WP:SYNTH of two different authors, and it dosn't really hold up to what I understand of Saint Augustine. I would like to change it, however don't want to step on toes.Coffeepusher (talk) 07:20, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Two things[edit]

1) The Catholic church made seven things sins recently, dunno if this should be included. Things like polluting, I think 2) The section on Catholic sin is mssing a paragraph. It randomly starts talking about Grace in Mary but doesn't introduce the topic. (talk) 07:49, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Sin against one's will[edit]

In one of the canons from the Council of Nablus lenience is shown towards the passive party in a homosexual relationship if that party be very young or very old. However, the person is considered to have "sinned against his will". Where can I find a discussion of this ontology? __meco (talk) 21:18, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Protestant views[edit]

I posted the weasel word cleanup tag because there is no motion on that page since a couple of months and I want to encourage everyone of you to help with some good sources. I include myself :-) --Inawe talk 15:39, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Sin and sociology[edit]

It would be interesting if the article could add a note on how the concepts of sin and guilt are treated in the modern social sciences. While the social sciences are careful not to judge people and are mostly agnostic about notions of right and wrong, they are capable of evaluating how sinful a society really is, essentially by analyzing relevant statistics such as the divorce rate, the abortion rate, the murder rate, the percentage of people born out of wedlock, etc. ADM (talk) 15:38, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Buddhism again[edit]

This section seems to be entirely original research. Peter jackson (talk) 10:54, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, only just noticed the previous section goes up to date. Peter jackson (talk) 10:56, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Section now updated replacing 'original research' with referenced explanation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:11, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Transmissibility and Consequences of Sin[edit]

The distinction between religious concepts of virtue and sin and secular concepts of right and wrong need exploration and clarification in this article.

One of the most distinctive properties of sin in it's Judaeo-Christian form is its transmissibility - which is reflected in many aspects of Judaeo-Christian belief. The sin of Adam is inherited by all his descendants. Whether this sin was traditionally understood to be transmitted by biological means is unclear, but there are reasons to think that it was traditionally believed to be carried in blood, which was therefore never eaten. St Augustine, who developed the concept of Original Sin appears to have believed that the sin of Adam was passed on to future generations in semen - through the sinful act of sex. The tradition that Jesus was without sin because he was born of a virgin - thereby breaking the transmission of sin through the bloodline of David - appears to reflect this belief. The belief that the sins (including the inherited sins) of a person can be 'taken on' by another again reflects this concept of sin being transmissible. The idea behind the scapegoat appears to be that the sins of a people can be transmitted into the blood of an animal which is then driven into the wilderness. A concept of sin that is more financial than biological appears to be embodied in traditional concepts of child and animal sacrifice - as in the story of Abraham and Isaac. It appears that the release of the sin through the shedding of the blood of a sinner can be avoided, and the sinner saved, through the shedding of the blood of another being, preferably an innocent one whose blood was purer. Both ideas appear to be united in the concept of atonement, whereby the sins (including inherited sins) of the world (or the chosen) are 'taken on' by Jesus and released through the shedding of his blood - which is symbolically compared to the ritual sacrifice of an innocent lamb. Those who are 'chosen' are thereby 'cleansed of their sins' by being 'washed in the blood of the lamb'.

Another distinction between religious concepts of virtue and sin and secular concepts of right and wrong concerns the the complete disconnection between the sinfulness of an act and the consequences of that act. Thus an act that causes great suffering, such as the slaughter of the population of Canaan, including the women and children, is not a sin if it is carried out as an act of obedience and with a pure heart, whereas an act of masturbation, despite the absence of any suffering or any victim, is seen as a grave sin. The most significant distinction would appear to be that in secular morality humans are seen as ends-in-themselves and therefore acts that cause overall harm to them are, by definition, wrong whereas in systems of religious morality humans are merely means towards the achievement of transcendent ends that remain a mystery to mere mortals and therefore acts that cause suffering may not be sinful and acts that cause no harm at all may be grave sins. It would be valuable to compare and contrast these two distinct perspectives. --Tediouspedant (talk) 19:06, 7 March 2010 (UTC)


Alrighty then, do we need the people without so much as underoos parading around the top of the page? What about the picture (which I think is also in the Sistine Chapel) which has it zoomed in on God's hand and the hand of man signifying man's sin and rebellion from God? Invmog (talk) 21:32, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

So the human body itself is sinful? I guess that indicates that you're a Christian of the Augustinian persuasion and not of the Michaelangelo persuasion! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:21, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Michaelangelo was a homosexual which helps to explain why he painted disrobed people. I was wondering if we could instead use the zoomed in view of the two hands (the part of the picture which I've seen put up by itself in a number of places)Invmog (talk) 22:56, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Of course heterosexual artists have never shown the slightest interest in depicting the human form nude...
Seriously though, to crop the image or to use another cropped image would be to deprive it of most of its illustrative power. Sure it might symbolise the subject in a vague way that those already familiar with it would recognise but it would lack the ability to illustrate it for a more general audience. I say we keep it and, in line with policy, we don't crop it either. --DanielRigal (talk) 23:39, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
Imvlog appears to hold the dualist and gnostic concept that the human body, and in particular the genitals, are innately sinful and evil. This may be the view of the Manichaeans and St Augustine, but it is not the general view of world religions or of secular society. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:28, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Hidden reference[edit]

The following reference was hidden:

Thomas McElwain, Islam In The Bible, Printed In Great Britain for Minerva Press, ISBN 0-7541-0217-3

It once was improperly inserted in a 2006 version of this article, probably regarding the paragraph with reference to Thomas McElwain. Maybe this is of interest. -- Tomdo08 (talk) 23:55, 3 November 2010 (UTC)


"That relationship can only be restored through repentance unto Christ and acceptance of Jesus Christ and his death on the cross as a sacrifice for mankind's sin." Why “unto Christ” ? Can we have it in today's English, please? Or is the concept archaic and no word now expresses it? No one says "unto" any more and it doesn't seem to mean anything in the sentence. It sounds like Mr. Chadband in Dickens. (“Then from whence, my friends, do we derive the strength that is necessary to our limbs? Is it from bread in various forms, from butter which is churned from the milk which is yielded unto us by the cow, from the eggs which are laid by the fowl, from ham, from tongue, from sausage, and from such like?”). Campolongo (talk) 11:00, 21 December 2010 (UTC)


okay, here's another try: "Greedy SOBs can't make it to Heaven."

Thus Spake Good (talk) 03:12, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Language in Introduction[edit]

I think the language in the introduction, especially in the first paragraph, is somewhat loaded. The first sentence, for example, states "A sin is an act that violates a known moral rule". The phrase "a known moral rule" seems to be too strong, since it would indicate knowledge that a given rule was known to be true or valid in some ethical sense. Furthermore, and perhaps more to the point of my criticism of this article, the rest of the paragraph seems to insinuate the existence of a god or other "supreme being", which is perhaps not the correct tone for an unbiased article. For instance, the phrase "Commonly, the moral code of conduct is decreed by a divine entity", seems somewhat ridiculous, because implicit in this statement is the idea that such divine entities actually exist, which is totally a loaded claim. I think we can safely say that nowhere in this article will we conclusively give evidence that divine entities have either existed or have indeed actually given people these moral codes. The language in this sentence however would imply that such an occurrence has occurred. The very next sentence states "Fundamentally, sin is rebellion against, or resistance to, the direction of supreme authority, and enmity toward, avoidance of, or hatred of the good.". Firstly, and perhaps most gravely and fundamentally unsound about this sentence is the lack of any sense of what is meant by "good". Secondly, the article cavalierly uses the phrase "the direction of supreme authority" without putting such a term in its proper context within a particular religious system or systems.

Overall my impression of this first paragraph (and much of the rest of the article) is that parts were written by fairly religious individuals, which is totally fine, but I think that we should reword the language so that "sin" and "sins" are referenced only within the context of particular religious systems and not as concepts that extend beyond them, if this makes sense. I think we can all agree that the section on atheist views of sin needs to be added to, but the very concept of atheist conceptions of sin or whatever we want to call that section is contradictory with the language in the beginning since the language in the introduction introduces the concept of sin without referencing a particular religious or belief system and seems to imply that "sin" can only relate to transgression against supernatural authority, in which case atheists could not possibly hold anything to be a sin since they don't believe in any supernatural authority. Perhaps this is the correct conclusion, and in fact we could at this point look to tediouspedant's comment about the distinction between the "religious concept of sin and the secular concepts of right and wrong".

Anyways, my point is that the introduction is in great need of revision. (talk) 20:00, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

i'm going to cut the last 3 words from the line/definition 'A sin is an act that violates a known moral rule in a religion.' Atheists can sin too! Cheesusfreak (talk) 20:24, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Not sure whether I can express something clearly here but..[edit]

I came to this article with some trepidation expecting something awful for some reason, but was very pleasantly surprised by the article and the discussion.

Perhaps there's a nuance that I can add to it.

Elaine Pagels in "The Origin of Satan" describes the gradual evolution of the word sin, from its early Jewish sense of ignorance in the innocent way that a child might transgress because it simply doesn't know enough, to the more severe sense of an association with evil that eventually found its way into some early Christian thought. This is in some ways parallel to the spectrum of views about God: whether God is compassionate loving deity or an angry, punitive, vengeful one. And to return to the metaphor of the child, there are families where a child's transgressions--no matter how severe--are treated with kindness and understanding, and there are other families where even a minor transgression of say table manners is received with anger, judgment, and perhaps even banishment and punishment.

What is evident here is, as I have suggested, a spectrum of view that one suspects appeal to differing psychologies and corresponds roughly with more liberal (or at least loving) at one end, and more traditional, orthodox or at least angry at the other. On this sliding scale, good and evil becoming increasingly polarized, and the same sin is seen in an increasingly harsh light, with punishment and retribution entering the picture.

I suggest that this spectrum of views exists in all populations and people gravitate to the variations in each religion that reflect their personal sentiments, so that all religions reflect this spectrum. However, these belief systems themselves may be tilted in one direction or another. Christianity, because of its early influences and the idea of an actual Satan, made itself, shall we say ripe for those believers--some Protestants, particular in North American--leaning towards a harsher view of sin. Buddhism and the Vedanta generally, leaned in the opposite direction, taking out the influence of God and replacing it with the simple (non-punitive) "consequences" of karma. Even so, there are versions of Christianity (some branches of Catholicism but certainly not all) that offered a more benign view of God and there are versions of Buddhism that drifted back towards theism and perhaps a more severe form of sin.

When I read books on religion, the overlay of the author's particular leaning usually plays a major role in which aspects of the religion they are describing is brought out...and in the implied meaning of sin in that description.

-- (talk) 21:33, 7 December 2011 (UTC)


I'm somewhat fearful..of the procreation. When modern academia...will opens hold its...when it comes to the question of the first man and womens transgression...and deny its tempter the credit of its intoduction. This (to use a metaphor) can be called a mansion out of a molehill. The arguement still being..academics deny/ but true believers believe...When you do partake in 'the forbidden fruit' it does seem enchanting and glamorous (as in mansion) for a while but then the consequences are 'the open eyes, only the shack being only a 'molehill' by comparison. He came as a serpent....enticing... and has been described as 'an angel of light". God help any of us should we ever have a child. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:44, 26 January 2012 (UTC)


MAKING A MANSION OUT OF A MOLEHILL IS EXACTLY WHAT SECULAR ACADEMIA CAN DO...WHEN IT DENYS THE DOCTRINE OF ORIGNAL SIN IN EDEN. But this is what we hold as a school..where debate is open, and all are free to learn (accept) and believe or deny and turn away. bUT THAT IS THE METAPHOR I chose to use for sin....Simply attractive but ultimately disappointing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:57, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

It is a little bit irritating for me as reader that you try to communicate with us WP participants out of the unknown, disclosing to us not more than your IP( But OK, you have all freedom to do that. The only thing is that you make communication more complex. The second thing is that I am trying to figure out in as much your talk contribution can be of constructive help in editing our sin article. Please, be more courageous and let us know.
Inawe 10:00, 26 January 2012 (UTC)