A sin is a transgression against an established moral law. This law is quite often of a religious nature, and the Catholic Encyclopedia defines a sin as "an act not in accord with reason informed by the Divine law." Note "to sin" may also refer to the commission of such a transgression, and a "sinner" is one who sins.
- Main article: Original sin
Original sin refers to the
children's fairy story about an apple and a talking snake incident in the Bible (Gen. 3:14-19) in which the first man, in disobedience to God, ate the fruit of a particular tree, incurring a curse upon him and all of mankind. The Catholic Encyclopedia defines it as "the sin that Adam committed" and also "a consequence of this first sin, the hereditary stain with which we are born on account of our origin or descent from Adam." Original sin is an explanation for why we seem to be born sinners.
Interestingly the first mention of original sin is not until the New Testament works of Saint Paul (see Rom. 5:12, 17-19; 1 Cor. 15:22). Austin Cline of About.com notes, per the relevant passages in Genesis, Adam and Eve's "lives are supposed to become much more difficult than what they had heretofore experienced; but where in all of that is the 'Sin' being passed along...Even more importantly, where is there any indication that this sin must be 'redeemed' eventually by Jesus?"
Science of sin
Research indicates that sin represents a struggle between human selfish instincts conferring an evolutionary advantage in some situations and moral sense born of our intellect which helps us survive and ensure the survival of our Genes in different situations, see Biological evolution of morality.
Philosophy professor Michael Ruse notes, "Modern biology suggests that sin was around a long time before any two individuals...Rather, we should think of original sin as something that came through our evolution..."
Seven deadly sins
Traditionally the seven deadly sins, as derived from early Christianity, are wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.
- "The Catholic Encyclopedia." New Advent.
- Cline, Austin. "Original Sin in the Bible: A Christian Creation and Imposition on the Jewish Scriptures." About.com.
- Ruse, Michael (Jan. 2011). "Original Sin, Evolution and Human Origins." Huff Post.
- "The human brain: Hardwired to sin." Focus. 2011.