Sin

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Sin, in religion, is an act that violates a known moral rule. The term sin may also refer to the state of having committed such a violation. Commonly, the moral code of conduct is decreed by a divine entity, i.e. divine law. Sin may also refer to refraining from action or simply desiring to act in violation of a moral norm. Fundamentally, sin is rebellion against, or resistance to, the direction of supreme authority, and enmity toward, avoidance of, or hatred of the good.[citation needed] Sin may also refer to something within human nature that has a proclivity to sin (see concupiscence).

Sin is often used to mean an action that is prohibited or considered wrong. In some religions (notably in Christianity), sin can refer not only to physical actions taken, but also to thoughts and internalized motivations and feelings. Colloquially, any thought, word, or act considered immoral, selfish, shameful, harmful, or alienating might be termed "sinful".

An elementary concept of "sin" concerns acts and elements of mundane earthly living that one cannot take into transcendental living. Food, for example, while a necessary good for the (health of the temporal) body, is not of (eternal) transcendental living and therefore its excessive savoring is considered a sin.[citation needed] A more developed concept of "sin" deals with a distinction between destructive (deadly) sins (mortal sin) and the merely dishonorable (harmful) sins of careless human living (venial sin) frequently tolerated by societies as a whole, or even encouraged by various cultures (e.g. those college fraternities and sororities notorious for their parties). In that context, mortal sins (sacrilege, murder, mortal violence, devastating calumny, hatred) are said to have the dire consequence of mortal penalty, while sins of careless living (gluttony, casual or informal sexuality, constant play, inebriation, gambling) have been philosophically regarded by some as essential spice for "transcendent" living, even though these may be destructive in the context of human living (obesity, drunkenness, vagrancy, infidelity, child abandonment, criminal negligence). See Asceticism, Stoic philosophy, Epicurean philosophy, and Hedonism.

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