Sin Isn’t the Problem, Thinking Sin Exists is a Problem
Sin is defined as “an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law.” The concept of sin is that something you do is against the rules set up by some supreme being. Of course this brings in Euthyphro’s dilemma. Are these sins bad in the first place and that’s why a god has made rules against them, or are they just bad because the god in question says so? If they are bad in the first place, why do we need god to tell us that? If they are only bad because he says so, then why do I have to listen to him?
The mistaken idea that sin is a real thing is the source of many problems. Let’s think about how this works using the example of homosexuality.
People use sin as a reason for inserting themselves in places they don’t belong. Why in the world would you think that they have a right to control what other people do? As long as they are not hurting you or hurting someone who can’t defend themselves how do you think you are involved? If what they are doing makes them happy why do you say it’s bad?
Why because it’s a sin, of course! God knows what you are doing and doesn’t like it. Of course, he is supposed to be all powerful, but somehow he still needs me to enforce his laws.
People also use sin as a crutch to not decide for themselves what is right and wrong. Why is homosexuality a sin? Because god says so!
I wish I could say that people who believe in sin were just being lazy. But the truth is that some of them work very hard. For example, those that understand that there is no reason to stop an activity if no one is hurt by it try very hard to make is sound like someone is harmed by homosexual behavior. After, all, obviously someone is hurt or it wouldn’t be a sin right? God must have a reason for whatever he does, right? So these people will jump on stories they have heard that or lies that they have been told that homosexuality causes damage to people body or that it necessarily leads to sexually transmitted diseases or drug use. They commit the classic fallacy of trying to find evidence to support their conclusion instead of building a conclusion on the evidence.
Humans have relied for too long on what we have been told are divine laws. We need to work on finding out for ourselves what is right and what is wrong and how we are going to get along. It won’t be easy to get people to agree, and declaring yourself (or your god) correct by fiat is not going to cut it. After all, we don’t all even believe that your particular god exists.