a painting depicting Eve offering the apple to Adam

What do you think when you think of sin? Fornication? Alcohol? Apostasy? With so many religions in the world classifying so many actions and thoughts as sinful, can we ever get to the root of this concept that has been around us for so long?

The Original Sin

The concept of the original sin is exclusive to Christianity. The idea goes a notch above being simply capable of sin and puts forth the abstraction that we’re all born in sin. It is worthwhile to note here that all denominations of Christianity do not unanimously believe in original sin. The notion that “Jesus died for our sins” is also very popular.

Interestingly, all of this is connected to the concept of restoring balance to the universe. It’s almost like karma: there was once a bad deed, and now it must be equaled out.

Judaism and Islam

Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are Abrahamic religions—very similar in their shared stories and histories and monotheism.

However, the concept of sin is slightly different in Judaism and Islam. For Jews, humans are all capable of sin—or that we are likely to sin. For Muslims, the idea is that all humans are born pure—and must preserve that purity by abstinence from sin.

Other Religions

Buddhism stands diagrammatically opposed to the religions mentioned above—all of which allow for inherent sinfulness. In Buddhism, people aren’t inherently sinful, but can commit evil. Goodness must, in the end, prevail. Other religions still—such as Hinduism—are not built around the idea of deliverance from sin. All Abrahamic religions are built around that idea that people are prone to sin, and that prophets stop them from doing so for their own good.

But the big question is…

Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden

What is Sin?

If we eliminate subjective religious definitions and delineations of sin—such as eating beef is a sin in Hinduism, but considered to be good in Islam, whereas eating pig meat is sinful in both Islam and Judaism, etc.—we can perhaps come to a conclusion.

At its rawest, sin seems to be something that goes against the ordinance of a God. But all these different gods have their different decrees: some say alcohol is sinful, others say divorce is sinful, and so on.

Is that so, or have we been looking at sin the wrong way all this time?

Crime Against God—or Crime Against Humans?

One of the major issues with religions these days is their insistence on the idea of hell. Of course, the sinful will all go to hell in the end—some for something as heinous as murder, and others for something as small as exposing some inches of skin. The notion that the Creator is an entity that’s inherently malicious and merciless is behind this idea of hell and sins.

The Creator, in truth, is merciful, and extends help when we need it. There are other forces in this world—such as the force of karma—which are responsible for giving back dues. If an evil deed is committed, the perpetrator will pay.

What Does the Creator Say About Sin?

Not satisfied with the answers we have provided? Need to know more? No matter how peculiar your question, divine wisdom is the path towards securing an answer. Ask the Creator anything you want to, or browse the Get Wisdom database for more information.

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