The word sin is essentially related to religion. We have some idea of what it is but there may be slight differences in its understanding. Sin connotes some kind of “wrong”, something negative, and something that will be “punished by God”. Sin and salvation. Dosa and pahala. Two opposities.
The way to avoid sin in religion it seems is to replace it with salvation. Salvation “cleanses” you of sin. Again, the mode of “cleansing” may differ from beliefs to beliefs.
Some religions teaches that we are born ‘sinful’. What does it really mean? If we are not taught this, we may never know. In fact there are equally many who cannot accept this proposition. They look at the innocent baby who has not learned any words and think : “ she is so pure!”. And indeed it appears that adults infuse most of the good things and the bad things in children. What children see, children do.
The idea of being born sinful has driven some people away to atheism. On the other hand, this very idea has also attracted some others to religion through the “acceptance of a saviour” to attain salvation.
Some other religions divide most actions into sin and salvation. They also calibrate varying degrees of sin and salvation. It is almost like a point system. Such a system probably has served some useful function in society as it does instill a sense of link with a mysterious, invisible force who is ever watchful of your every step, the vast universe notwithstanding. It instills fear in those who need the fear factor. It instills recognition in those that need to feel recognized. So, you orchestrate your behaviour according to your psychological need.
But there are some others where this "notion of religious sin and salvation" does not attract them at all. It seems to such people that it interferes with their understanding of being subservient to God. To these minds, at best, it appears childish and at worst, it sounds like bribery. To these minds, "service to God" must be unconditional.
These sins and salvation need not relate to day to day activities or what may be considered normal human behaviour. These sins or salvation more often relate to what a particular religion says is the mode of behaviour, rituals and so on. If you perform certain rituals, you attain salvation. If you abstain, you are sinful. The sense of sin and salvation has a profound impact on some humans that it can become a basis of aggressive behaviours or even legislation. Ironically, the aggressive behavior or the legislation of what is sinful and what is not is founded on “good intentions”. It is phrased in the thinking that “you need to be saved”.
In other words, what is considered sinful in one religion may be salvation in another. Probably these contradictory positions can never be rationalized nor reconciled because religion is largely in the realm of belief and emotions. Differences in rituals between different religions seem to have become their respective trademarks. However, it can make a difference between sin and salvation.
What do you think?