I grew up in an environment that took the concept of sins for granted. People called certain behaviors wrong by labeling them as “sins.” As a kid I never considered the sources of the classification or even if they corresponded to anything other than opinion.
As a result, accepting someone calling a behavior as a sin seemed as natural as them saying something was green or wet or upside-down.
As an adult I came to question the concept. It hit me that the concept of sin was just something that people made up. No objective way to determine something’s sinfulness exists. As best I can tell, people created the concept to control other people with fear and shame, and possibly to make themselves feel better.
I can see how someone could say a behavior is illegal, hurts others, or many other things, but to call it a sin doesn’t mean much, except that the person saying it wants to influence you by making you feel bad.
If someone finds believing in the concept of sin improves their life, I won’t stop them, but I don’t believe it anymore. The sin model leads to meddling and self-righteousness I don’t find improves my life. Instead, I look at the consequences of people’s actions and, if their behavior affects me in a way I want to change, I try to influence them by showing them those consequences. I also try to stay open to how other people might view those consequences differently than me.
I find evaluating behavior based on its consequences influences others more effectively and liberates me from oppressive beliefs.
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