What is a sin

  • Thread starter DR OF DEATH
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  • #1
ok people here is a little test moral charactor, reply to this thread with a list of things you consider to be sins / im-moral.

and we'll discuss them.

[?]
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
plus
178
1
Murder: What is a concrete definition of murder? Does a soldier do murder?

Rape: Everyone agreed that this is a sin?

Theft: Taking something from someone else? Under what conditions is it ok to do this? e.g. if they had first stolen it off you, is this ok?

What other classes of sin are there?
 
  • #3
ok good points

murder: is the killing of another person, so this wrong / a sin / immoral

rape: yep i think we are all agreed on this one

theft: humm ok i would agree completely with you on this one as well.
 
  • #4
Mentat
3,918
3
Well, plus, you named the big ones.

Originally posted by plus
Murder: What is a concrete definition of murder? Does a soldier do murder?

To kill someone else outside of self-defense, is murder. A soldier (conveniently enough) puts him/herself into a situation where others will try to kill him/her, and thus becomes justified in killing (kill or be killed, so to speak).

Thus, a soldier doesn't commit murder, but s/he does kill someone unnecessarily (IMO), which is really just as bad.

Rape: Everyone agreed that this is a sin?

Yes. I don't think it can be emphasized strongly enough, as this is one of the (if not the very) worst sin one can commit against another.

Theft: Taking something from someone else? Under what conditions is it ok to do this?

Actually, theft is taking something from someone else without their permission. The only reason I can think of now, for it to be OK to steal, would be if you were serving a higher purpose (of some kind).

e.g. if they had first stolen it off you, is this ok?

Well, I don't think so, but I guess that (like every other point here) is up for debate.
 
  • #5
Iacchus32
2,313
1
Originally posted by drdeath
ok people here is a little test moral charactor, reply to this thread with a list of things you consider to be sins / im-moral.

and we'll discuss them.

[?]
Don't compromise yourself. It's all you've got. :wink:
 
  • #6
FZ+
1,599
3
Someone calling someone else a sinner.
 
  • #7
megashawn
Science Advisor
443
0
To conceal the truth to promote ones mythology over facts.

To make important life decisions based on a mythology which in the end of the respective book, will have every man, woman, and child dead.

To add to the others.

I think, if one is hungry enough, and none of these good people will take the time to help, and has no other choice but to steal to live, then there is justification. I think most people in this position are probably afraid/ashamed to ask a stranger for help.

And really, saying a soldier is justified by being in a Kill or be killed situation is similar to saying a theif is justified by being in a Steal or starve to death situation.

So, in light of the above, I'd have to add:

Don't be afraid to ask, the worst that can happen is they say no.
 
  • #8
maximus
495
4
i don't believe that one can sin. in the big picture i mean, what does murder or rape, or theft mean? it's just a bunch of organic life forms damaging other life forms. but in a moral civilization like ours we make rules and boundaries that do not really exist. don't take me wrong, i think rape, murder, ect. are wrong and horrible, but only when taken out of context (so to speak).
 
  • #9
but in the context of society what would you say are sins/im-moral,

when you say that the boundraies do not exist you are wrong, they exist becuase we have made them.

to steal from someone is not justified unless the object had already been stolen from you, it then becomes taken back pocession of what is already yours,

i would define murder as the intentional killing of another person, therefore yes although its in self-defense a soldier does murder.

rape obiously wrong.

how about cruelty to animals, is this wrong or is it ok,

premarital sex?

homosexuality?
etc.

come on let's not only discuss the obvious ones.
 
  • #10
Dissident Dan
237
2
I think that the one moral question from which all others spawn is: "How does an action harm others?"

If an action does not harm or inhibit others, then I can see nothing wrong with it.

So, yes, animal cruelty is immoral.
Premarital sex is not necessarily wrong. A specific instance could be, depending on other factors. For example, having unprotected sex with someone when you know that you have HIV or Siphylis would be wrong.
Homosexuality in not inherently wrong either.
 
  • #11
M. Gaspar
679
1
How about this:

Taking that which does not belong to you... which would include murder, rape and theft. What does it NOT include...or, if NOT included, are these then NOT "SINS".

For instance, homosexuality would NOT be a sin if that which is received if freely given.

Cruelty to animals would BE a sin, as we have no right to take the pleasure from their existence ...to replace it with PAIN.

Maybe, then, it is a "sin" to take the life of any animal. Or maybe, on some level, there is an "agreement" that they will "give" their life...but this would not include pain.

I'm just thinking out loud ...well, not exactly ...but am curious to see if this hold water.

And, it occurs to me that posting replies that "disempower" another poster might be a sin...

The REAL question is: Who's the Judge?
 
  • #12
maximus
495
4
Originally posted by M. Gaspar

Cruelty to animals would BE a sin, as we have no right to take the pleasure from their existence ...to replace it with PAIN.
Maybe, then, it is a "sin" to take the life of any animal. Or maybe, on some level, there is an "agreement" that they will "give" their life...but this would not include pain.

to what extent? we are carnivours. (feel those fangs on your upper jaw?) they were designed to rip through the flesh of another creature. this is obviously a painful process for the little critter, but is it wrong?


The REAL question is: Who's the Judge?


exactly my point. it's all relative. just as one cannot preferr your speed relative to another person, you cannot perferr your values/morals relative to another person.
 
  • #13
Iacchus32
2,313
1
Yes, but what do they mean by "sin-ister?" :wink:
 
  • #14
There's no such thing as sin...not in a meaningful way. After all, even rape was socially approved in the Bible...
 
  • #15
FZ+
1,599
3
Originally posted by drdeath
but in the context of society what would you say are sins/im-moral
WHICH society? Because if you accept that "sins" are basically from society and from man, then the conclusion is simple. Everything prohibited in your little book of law is sinful.

Tax evasion is a sin.
Being called Osama Bin Laden is a sin.
Taking drugs in a sin.

Unless you allow the concept of personal morality - that the idea of ethics in each person has capacity to vary, that is...
 
  • #16
M. Gaspar
679
1
Originally posted by Iacchus32
Yes, but what do they mean by "sin-ister?" :wink:
I don't think they're being sin-cere.
 
  • #17
Iacchus32
2,313
1
Originally posted by M. Gaspar
I don't think they're being sin-cere.
Perhaps it all beigins with a lie then? ... To oneself? :wink:
 
  • #18
maximus
495
4
Originally posted by Iacchus32
Perhaps it all beigins with a lie then? ... To oneself? :wink:

speaking of lieing, is lieing a sin? fraud?
 
  • #19
Iacchus32
2,313
1
Originally posted by maximus
speaking of lieing, is lieing a sin? fraud?
I would think so, if it means lying to somebody in order to take advantage of their gullibility. Whereas fraud would be the same as stealing.
 
  • #20
C0mmie
64
0
I think the entire idea of sin is flawed. Sure, we could say that any action that harms another being is a sin, but then any action we take will somehow harm someone else. Driving a car releases pollution, pollution causes lung cancer, therefore driving a car is a sin. Eating a 12 oz steak for dinner is a sin because you are killing an animal for your own selfish needs.

Would it be right to limit the definition of a sin to something that only harms humans? That would make it ok to massacre cats for sheer pleasure but wrong to do the same to humans. That doesn't seem reasonable, since cats are really not to blame for being less intelligent or lacking the ability to hold tools in their hands.

Then you could say that an action is only a sin when its done with the intent of hurting another being. Killing a cow would not be a sin, because the intent is not to harm the how per se, but to feed one's self. But then again, what if you rape an underage girl (which I'm sure most of us would consider wrong) with the intent of, not necessarily hurting her, but fulfilling your sexual desires. How is sexual desire that different from a food craving? We have just as much control over a sexual craving as we do over a craving for a 12 oz steak. Both the cow and the rape victim would get harmed in the process, but in neither case was the intent to harm the being.

Thus I have to conclude that there is no such thing as sin, outside of what the individual defines for himself in his present knowledge of the outside world.

(please don't get me wrong. i am by no means trying to justify massacaring cats or stagetory rape. those were just examples.)
 
  • #21
Iacchus32
2,313
1
Maybe the word you're looking for here is "gratuitous."
 
  • #22
Iacchus32
2,313
1
So why are we here? Is there any sense of purpose to life? Only if there were an "afterlife" I suppose? Otherwise who cares?
 
  • #23
ok let's do away with term sin, let's just ask what is moral / immoral, what do each of you think is immoral/wrong, and why. and what do you think is moral/right and why?
 
  • #24
M. Gaspar
679
1
Originally posted by drdeath
ok let's do away with term sin, let's just ask what is moral / immoral, what do each of you think is immoral/wrong, and why. and what do you think is moral/right and why?

How about something a bit more pragmatic, like: what works and what doesn't work...with regard to running a society, a relationship, or one's life.

AND, if it's a "Cause & Effect Universe" -- AND if "what goes around COMES around" -- and if KARMA is a natural process of the Entity that is the Universe -- then "what works and what doesn't work" would be a good "rudder" if we're also talking about self-directed, spiritual EVOLUTION.

One of the reasons that people do a lot of what doesn't work is that most people don't realize -- let alone have the strength or intention to ACT UPON the FACT that a person can feel one way yet ACT another.

So we indulge our emotions without ENGAGING OUR WILL to do what's "right" based on the LONG-TERM RESULTS we actually want.
 
  • #25
maximus
495
4
Originally posted by M. Gaspar
How about something a bit more pragmatic, like: what works and what doesn't work...with regard to running a society, a relationship, or one's life.

an excellent definition, M. the best post in the whole thread!

if certain actions were condoned in a society, it would work as well as it could with laws. by making this the premise for "sin", we abolish the "bad" sense of the word.
 
  • #26
Mentat
3,918
3
Originally posted by Zero
There's no such thing as sin...not in a meaningful way. After all, even rape was socially approved in the Bible...

I hate to be obvious, but one must come to the defense of one of the oldest, and most widely published books in all of history. Rape is not at all approved of in the Bible.
 
  • #27
Dissident Dan
237
2
I don't follow the argument that goes something like:
"We will never all agree on morality, so there is not really morality. I mean, who's the judge, anyway?"

Let me give a semantically identical sentence:
"We will never all agree on physics, so there is not really physics. I mean, who's the judge, anyway?"

Obviously, there does not need to be a judge for physics. There does not need to be any consciousness directing it. It just follows the rules of logic. And people agreeing on something doesn't really make it true or false, by any means.

Let's look at another example. Let's say that we want to figure out the best way to maximize profits in a business. Now, provided that you have enough people, there will be many different ideas presented, with different people believing that different ones are best. Does this mean that there is no best way to maximize profits? No, there very well could be. People agreeing on stuff has no bearing on its truth, otherwise, nothing could be true, because there is no one thing upon which all people agree, but then this statement could not be true, because not all people would agree upon it...and so forth.
 
  • #28
maximus
495
4
Originally posted by Dissident Dan
I don't follow the argument that goes something like:
"We will never all agree on morality, so there is not really morality. I mean, who's the judge, anyway?"

Let me give a semantically identical sentence:
"We will never all agree on physics, so there is not really physics. I mean, who's the judge, anyway?"



bad analogy. physics is self-evident and it's affects observable. morality is a debatable term. it obeys no laws, has no properties, and cannot really be observed. it's subjective to the point where it can't be said to exist as a constant anywhere. at least in GR physics you have a well defined constant of light.
 
  • #29
M. Gaspar
679
1
Originally posted by Dissident Dan
Let's look at another example. Let's say that we want to figure out the best way to maximize profits in a business. Now, provided that you have enough people, there will be many different ideas presented, with different people believing that different ones are best. Does this mean that there is no best way to maximize profits? No, there very well could be. People agreeing on stuff has no bearing on its truth, otherwise, nothing could be true, because there is no one thing upon which all people agree, but then this statement could not be true, because not all people would agree upon it...and so forth. [/B]
So let's extend this thought to its logical conclusion...

...that the person "in charge" OR, more importantly, the person who has made the INVESTEMENT in the enterprise -- the OWNER -- needs to be the one to hear all the ideas and make a decision according to HIS (or her) own lights.

Thus, one would say that each individual needs to listen to all the ideas going around about, say, "spirituality", then make the best decisions about what ACTIONS they need to take to make it most likely that they will get the RESULTS they're shooting for.
 
  • #30
FZ+
1,599
3
Originally posted by Iacchus32
Yes, but what do they mean by "sin-ister?" :wink:
I thought that was latin for "left handed"...
 
  • #31
Iacchus32
2,313
1
Originally posted by FZ+
I thought that was latin for "left handed"...
Really? Well, on the one hand you have all that's right, and on the other you have all that's left. Get it? ... the difference between right and wrong -- i.e., all that's left? :wink:

Of course I don't think that was meant to imply that all people who are left handed are evil does it?
 
  • #32
plus
178
1
How can left handed people be evil when we don't even have a working definition of a sin yet. Although I am right handed so this does not matter so much to me.
 
  • #33
FZ+
1,599
3
It's just an entymlogical footnote about the origin of the word. It is interesting how it got warped into this current meaning... Or was it just a co-incidence?

Or can we extract some philosophical statement as to the arbitary nature of sin and righteousness (maybe that meant right handed :wink:) from this?

Plus: Then the idea lefthanded = evil would itself present a working definition of sin. A rather pointless and prejudiced one that we probably don't agree with, but one never the less.
 
  • #34
Dissident Dan
237
2
Originally posted by maximus
bad analogy. physics is self-evident and it's affects observable. morality is a debatable term. it obeys no laws, has no properties, and cannot really be observed. it's subjective to the point where it can't be said to exist as a constant anywhere. at least in GR physics you have a well defined constant of light.

Umm, since when is quantum physics self-evident. And you did not address the business example. Anyway, regardless of the analogousness of any example, the point is that people agreeing on something has no bearing on truth, hence you cannot say that there is no such thing as right or wrong because people don't or will never agree on it.

The above argument isn't an attempt at proof of right or wrong, just a counterargument against the anti-morality argument presented, refuting one's ability to say that their isn't right or wrong according to that argument.
 
  • #35
Iacchus32
2,313
1
Originally posted by FZ+
It's just an entymlogical footnote about the origin of the word. It is interesting how it got warped into this current meaning... Or was it just a co-incidence?

Or can we extract some philosophical statement as to the arbitary nature of sin and righteousness (maybe that meant right handed :wink:) from this?

Plus: Then the idea lefthanded = evil would itself present a working definition of sin. A rather pointless and prejudiced one that we probably don't agree with, but one never the less.
Of course there's more than one Biblical reference that says the right-handed choice was the "preferred choice."

For example, http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?language=English&version=KJV&passage=Genesis+48:5-20", etc.
 
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