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In a religious context, sin is the act of transgression against divine law. Sin can also be viewed as any thought or action that endangers the ideal relationship between an individual and God; or as any diversion from the perceived ideal order for human living. In Jainism, sin refers to anything that harms the possibility of the jiva (being) to attain moksha (supreme emancipation). In Islamic ethics, Muslims see sin as anything that goes against the commands of Allah (God). Judaism regards the violation of any of the 613 commandments as a sin.

The word derives from "Old English syn(n), for original *sunjō. The stem may be related to that of Latin 'sons, sont-is' guilty. In Old English there are examples of the original general sense, ‘offence, wrong-doing, misdeed'". The English Biblical terms translated as "sin" or "syn" from the Biblical Greek and Jewish terms sometimes originate from words in the latter languages denoting the act or state of missing the mark; the original sense of New Testament Greek ἁμαρτία hamartia "sin", is failure, being in error, missing the mark, especially in spear throwing; Hebrew hata "sin" originates in archery and literally refers to missing the "gold" at the centre of a target, but hitting the target, i.e. error. "To sin" has been defined from a Greek concordance as "to miss the mark".

In the Bahá'í Faith, humans are considered naturally good (perfect), fundamentally spiritual beings. Human beings were created because of God's immeasurable love. However, the Bahá'í teachings compare the human heart to a mirror, which, if turned away from the light of the sun (i.e. God), is incapable of receiving God's love.

Buddhism believes in the principle of karma, whereby suffering is the inevitable consequence of greed, anger, and delusion (known as the Three poisons). While there is no direct Buddhist equivalent of the Abrahamic concept of sin, wrongdoing is recognized in Buddhism. The concept of Buddhist ethics is consequentialist in nature and is not based upon duty towards any deity. Karma means action, and in Buddhist context, motivation is the most important aspect of an action. Whether karma done with mind, body and/or speech is called 'good' or 'bad', depends on whether it would bring pleasant or unpleasant results to the person who does the action. One needs to purify negative karma Four Satipatthanas to free oneself from obstacles to liberation from the vicious circle of rebirth. The purification reduces suffering and in the end one reaches Nirvana, the ultimate purification by realizing selflessness or emptiness. An enlightened being is free of all the suffering and karmas, and will not be automatically born again.

In the Old Testament, some sins were punishable by death in different forms, while most sins are forgiven by burnt offerings. Christians consider the Old Covenant to be fulfilled by the Gospel.

This page was last edited on 19 May 2018, at 03:37.
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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