Re: The Definition of Sin
I am of the school of thought that nothing you ever do is ever done completely without personal gain.
We do "good" because of he warm fuzzy feelings that other's appreciation and thanks give us. We give food to the starving because it makes us feel better about ourselves. It allows us the chance to see ourselves as generous and kind and giving and all that jazz, and without that increased sensation of self worth, I believe, no one would ever do "good" at all.
So what is sin really?, it's not acting out of self-interest as we all do that all the time.
Sin is, from my standpoint, any action where the self-interest blocks out any thoughts of the effect on others. As in, any regard for others is out the windown because I want what I want and to hell with anyone and everyone else. It's the "choice" to disregard others and the effect you have on them because you want what you want. It's regressing to that state of a two year old (who are excempt from this rule as they do not posess the psychological nor intellectual ability to comprehend that their actions are adversedly affecting others) and choosing to stay in that state, and damn the consequenses.
It's choosing not to pay taxes, not because you can't afford them, not because you think they'er unjust, but because you just don't "want" to.
It's choosing to lie, cheat, and steal, not because of any necessity, not because of any instinct towards your own or others' preservation but expressedly because you "want" to and "choose" to with no regard to what it does to those around you.
I suppose it shows that I don't believe in "good" or "evil" per say, but I do believe that actions are either detrimental or constructive to the society/community that one is a part of and that acting out against that society/community is not only detrimental to the community/society but ultimately to one self as being a member of that "whole", what affects it, affects you, and disregarding that, denying that, and treating the community/society as if it is a seperate enetity that does not affect you and as such is yours to kick around at your leisure is the closest thing to that which I would consider a sin.
(The terms society and community here being used to represent anything from a duality or partnership to an entire country. It represents each and every "network" we belong to, be it family, friends, town, state, country, world or even an interenet forum.)
"Those who can't approach discussion with a basic level of intelligence and maturity shouldn't expect to be taken seriously." ~ Qualia Soup