sin (noun) – an offense against religious or moral law b: an action that is or is felt to be highly reprehensible
Generally speaking, sin is a relative term that really has no meaning. If there is a god, I’m willing to bet he feels the same. A set list of dos and don’ts with no room for leeway is a fundamentalist idea. God is no fundamentalist.
I prefer Rumi’s more open-ended philosophy:
“Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing,
there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.”
Even so, sin is often times explicitly listed for the faithful to follow.
The Eight Sins of Evagrius Ponticus– Evagrius Ponticus was a 4th century monk who compiled the following list that would become a precursor to “The Seven Deadly Sins.
The Seven Deadly Sins– In the late 6th century, Pope Gregory the Great reduced the list to seven items.
Seven modern mortal sins– In April of 2008, Vatican Monsignor Gianfranco Girotti announced a more modern update to the 7 deadly sins.
- genetic engineering
- being obscenely rich
- drug dealing
- causing social injustice
Seven noxious things of Islam -According to Sahih Bukhari, a book of oral tradition of the life of the Prophet Muhammad, there are seven noxious sins that a Muslim must not commit. There is also a list of “70 major sins” compiled by scholars since the death of Muhammad.
- associating anything with Allah
- magic (Equivalent to Witchcraft and Sorcery in English)
- killing one whom Allah has declared inviolate without a just case
- consuming the property of an orphan
- devouring usury
- turning back when the army advances
- and slandering chaste women who are believers but indiscreet
Gandhi’s seven deadly sins– Mahatma Gandhi listed seven things that will destroy us. Notice the social and political slant of his list.
- Wealth without work
- Pleasure without conscience
- Knowledge without character
- Commerce without morality
- Science without humanity
- Religion without sacrifice
- Politics Without Principle
Buddhist Pañcasila– Sin is not recognized in Buddhism, instead there is a philosophy that good deeds produce good results and bad deed produce bad results.
- I undertake the rule to refrain from destroying living creatures.
- I undertake the rule to refrain from taking that which is not given.
- I undertake the rule to refrain from sexual misconduct.
- I undertake the rule to refrain from incorrect speech.
- I undertake the rule to refrain from intoxicants which lead to carelessness.
Nine Satanic Sins– Not to be outdone, Church of Satan founder Anton Szandor LaVey compiled this list in 1987 for his followers to refrain from.
- Herd conformity
- Lack of perspective
- Forgetfulness of past orthodoxies
- Counterproductive pride
- Lack of aesthetics
Quotes about sin
In a closed society where everybody’s guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.
– Hunter S. Thompson
Eskimo: “If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?”
Priest: “No, not if you did not know.”
Eskimo: “Then why did you tell me?”
Never think there is anything impossible for the soul. It is the greatest heresy to think so. If there is sin, this is the only sin; to say that you are weak, or others are weak.
Today I love myself as I love my god: who could charge me with a sin today? I know only sins against my god; but who knows my god?
After the first blush of sin comes its indifference.
–Henry David Thoreau
Everything that used to be a sin is now a disease.
There is no sin except stupidity.
I have a sweet tooth for song and music. This is my Polish sin.
–Pope John Paul II
I am no longer sure of anything. If I satiate my desires, I sin but I deliver myself from them; if I refuse to satisfy them, they infect the whole soul.
The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.
–Dwight L. Moody
Sin is geographical.
Post image by heathbrandon.