I like this definition of sin; what are your thoughts?

“Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other ‘sins’ are invented nonsense.” —Heinlein

I’ll argue that this applies to politics, as well.

  • http://theholycause.blogspot.com/ Greg

    “Sin” is a religious term, not a political one. In religious terms, sin has been described as “missing the mark”. For example, in most religions adultery is a sin, so even if the participants are willful, they have sinned because they have missed the mark of a faithful relationship.

    The above-mentioned example of adultery is not a crime, but I as a Christian would call it a sin. The sin is against God, and against a spouse, but there is no punishable crime committed. Any punishment for the wrong therefore should be from God and the wronged spouse, never from the state or other entity.

    The political term would be “crime”, rather than sin. Most sins are not crimes. The ones, such as murder, which harm other people against their will are both crimes and sins.

    Take his quote and substitute the word “crime” for “sin”, and it is largely true.

  • http://alesrarus.funkydung.com Eric W

    I’ll second Greg’s comment but add that if marriage is a contract, and that contract stipulates fidelity, and infidelity can be proved, then legal recourse might be appropriate. The crime would be breach of contract.

  • Keith

    Eric, you nailed it insofar as marital infidelity goes. The legal remedy would be to void the contract. Breach of contract, however, is not a crime, or even a tort. No punishment can be administered or punitive damages awarded. All that can be done by a law court is make the parties whole and void the contract.

    I like Heinlein’s definition of sin. I would add a definition of “original sin” taken from Heinlein’s definition of sin. Original sin is man’s inability to perfectly adhere to Heinlein’s definition. It doesn’t mean we’re automatically damned from birth or anything so unfair as that. It just means that, since it’s an imperfect world, we need law courts, police, and military forces.

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