> Eliezer S. Yudkowsky:
> >I think you're objecting to the fact that "sin" lacks a clear definition,
> No, that's not the problem, nearly all the really important things in life
> have no clear definition. My objection is that the idea is pointless.
> John K Clark
Gentlemen: Here are assembled the descriptions of "Sin" presented by
those religious sects who use this term in their scriptures:
Adam and Eve...were tempted by the archangel Lucifer into illicit and forbidden love. Through this, Adam and Eve willfully turned away from God's will and purpose for them, thus bringing themselves and the human race into spiritual death (DUTA).
Sin, sickness, poverty, old age, and death are not real, and they have no power over me. There is nothing in all the universe for me to fear (LT, p. 35).
THE WAY INTERNATIONAL
Man fell because of disobedience to God's Word (JC, p. 66).
By the Law of Karma--"sowing and reaping"--wrong actions inevitably produce punishment, good actions their reward. Salvation consists of doing good in excess of evil in order to evolve to the highest state through successive incarnations. This highest state is Enlightenment--the realization of oneness with the World-Soul, Reality.
Adam cried, "Because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy" (Pearl of Great Price, Moses 5:10-11).
Sin is a falling short of God's mark of perfection, transgression of His righteous law (MS, p. 456).
Man never had a fall.
Whatever is, is right. Evil does not exist. Evil is good. No matter what man's path may be, good or bad, it is the path of divine ordination and destiny. (Childs, Whatever Is, Is Ri
Sin, sickness, and death are to be classified as effects of error. Christ came to destroy the belief of sin (SH, 473 :4-6).
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law, for sin is the transgression of the law (I John 3:4).
I think a univocal meaning of "Sin" could be extracted by induction from these statements, but the result would not be a proper logical definition but rather a metaphor. This is needed to judge whether there is at least a symbolic referent for the term or whether it is literally "pointless".
Unfortunately, this entire page is now beginning to exude Nietzsche's "odor of sanctity"; it is caustic and putrid at once -- a chthonic smell of the subterranean deliquescence of something still partly alive. Unbearable -- why must people talk about things like this? I must dispatch the letter at once!