Thursday, September 01, 2005


What is it that makes some actions so bad. In religious terms what trait do some actions have that make them sins?

Of course the obvious answer is that they displease god, offend the spirit etc. However, these answers deal more with the consequences of the action than the characteristics inherit in the actions themselves. I wonder if one aspect of sin is an unwillinglness to see or accept possible consequences.

For instance, if I were to steal, I may be tempted to minimize direct consequences. Insurance companies cover the cost. People expect this to happen. It may be a relatively minor inconvience to those affected when compared to the relative reward for me. Here the action assumes consequences that certainly may not be valid. In many cases the perpertraitor may even feel that consequences don't really matter. Perhaps this is because they happen to other people, not to themselves.

What happens when we look at these actions in the worst case scenario? Are individuals really still as willing to commit these actions? Certainly some aren't. Hence they try to not think about the consequences. However, many people are perfectly willing to commit such actions even in the face of the human consequences.

So what then is the answer? My guess is that part of what makes something a sin, is the lack of good that can be accomplished through these actions. In effect, nothing worthwile is created.

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