A child comes into this world with the strong instinct to bond and to survive. As the child grows, he wants to learn. He wants to be happy. He wants to play. He yearns companionship and seeks it out. The need to belong is strong. A growing child is not concerned with faults or negatives, he simply wants to enjoy life, have his sustenance, shelter and security. The growing child acquires all this from the parents or guardian.
As the child continues to grow the responsible parent or guardian teaches the child the 5 basic things in life: Love, sharing the love, no cheating, no insulting and no depriving. The parent teaches discipline and respect. The strong natural instinct for survival makes us all selfish but the natural instinct to bond makes us open to love and affection. A good parent will teach a child to be NICE (leads to respect) and build towards SHARING (leads to kindness).
There is reward for good deeds and punishment for bad but at all times acting with prudence. The parent teaches the child that there are consequences for his/her behavior, good or bad. The parent teaches love and sharing.
Parents or guardians always find it difficult to teach a child. The best tool in teaching the child is love. However, when accountability needs to be explained and consequences must be adhered to, the parents use the base instinct of fear of being hurt and deprived and the exhilaration of reward for being bestowed upon. Humans have developed many ways to impart discipline. Some use the corporeal consequence (punishment) others choose psychological, and some choose the combination. Nevertheless, it all boils down to the lesson of accountability for our thoughts, words and deeds.
It is in human’s nature to protect what belong to them. Be it family, material things or intellectual property. We are proud of our prosperity, accomplishments and possessions. Pride is good, it makes humans accomplish great things. As we achieve more, we also recognize that others look up to us more, this gave us a sense of vanity. People admire our accomplishments and then so do we, which gives us pride. But the craving for more leads to vanity. Vanity leads to self-admiration, unwillingness to share, and to the other negatives in life. We begin to deprive others, we begin to cheat others, we begin to insult others. Vanity lead us to envy, to yearning for what we do not have, which then leads to transgression and to the deprivation of others.
The healer or spiritual leader of the tribe branded these undesirable qualities in humanity as sins. The chieftain or leader of the the tribe branded any contradictions to the rules of the tribe as crimes. The spiritual leader demands consequences and accountability and the tribal leader demands the same. The tribal leader is more direct in his application for the violations to his commands. It is simple corporeal punishment, or deprivation of privileges or assets, or the combination thereof. The spiritual leader has to use psychology in the application of punishment or accountability. His approach was using the instinctive feeling of guilt or shame in every human being. The idea of “sin” to identify these negatives in the human psyche was tossed around in the head of the spiritual leader. He contemplated on it and decided to incorporate the idea of sin in his teachings. Basically, any action that is un-agreeable to his teaching were branded as sin.
As the community developed and man became more sophisticated, these two pillars of society (tribal leader/chief and healer/spiritual leader) were looked up to as protectors.
With the introduction of “sin” the idea of “salvation” and “damnation” went beyond corporeal. It became spiritual. This made the spiritual leader even stronger. Now he has something to hold over his followers.
The idea of “SIN” grew from behavioral faults of individuals punishable through guilt, to Sins punishable in the after life. The idea of sin grew from the sins of individual to the inherent sins of humanity. Inherent sins that humans have before birth. The spiritual leaders then preached this(sin) and the fear of punishment in the afterlife which made his following grow.
Wrong-doings(Contradictions), misdeeds, violations are all labeled as sins. The obsession of spiritual leaders about sins brought forth the beginning of Religions.
When an individual deprives another and in the process hurts this other person, retribution is usually sought after by the person who is hurt. However, retribution can be averted through forgiveness via atonement or repentance for the violation(s) committed.
For the village leader, the accountability for violations (crimes) can only be met in the following ways:
- Immediate warning only for first time violators of simple misdeeds.
- Incremental degrees of corporeal punishments or simple fines (payment) for violations committed.
- Banishment from the protection of the village or death.
- To the village leader a crime unpunished or unaccounted for is a crime itself.
For the spiritual leader it is a little more complicated. He had to rely on the mystery of the unknown. This coupled with fear gave rise to mysticism. The physical, spiritual and intellectual surrender to the unknown gave the spiritual leader a control over his people that the village leader did not have. To build confidence and trust among his people, he had to work with GUILT and the fear of not belonging, and on the loss of Love. He preached that bad luck or bad things happen to those who offend the spirits. So he wielded his tools. SIN and GUILT to enable him to control his influence over his followers.
Behaviors and Acts that has nothing to do with malicious deprivation that religions labelled as sin, mostly revolve around SEX.
- Consensual sex without the blessing of the religious leader is a sin. Consensual sexual acts of individuals that are not sanctioned by the religious community accordingly is a sin.
- Homosexuality is a sin. It goes against the grain. It is controversial so it must be a sin.
In conclusion “sin” is nothing but malicious deprivation. If you insult, you maliciously deprive the dignity and pride of another. If you cheat, you maliciously deprive the opportunity for the prosperity and happiness of another. So do not let these sanctimonious or “holier than thou” leaders talk you down about your actions that has nothing to do with malicious deprivation.