Sin

“The idea that we are punished for all our bad deeds after death requires the existence of an afterlife, and atheists generally don’t believe in an afterlife.”

Question from Louis:
Does an atheist believe in the concept of sin? Do they believe they can be punished for sin?

Answer:
Not usually.

The idea that we are punished for all our bad deeds after death requires the existence of an afterlife, and atheists generally don’t believe in an afterlife.

The competing idea that our bad deeds follow us around ethereally in life and cause misfortune requires the existence of either an interventionist god or an unknown and purposeful energy, which ancient Indian religions named karma, and atheists generally don’t believe in that either.

This doesn’t mean that atheists think bad deeds go entirely unpunished. That’s what the law is for, to begin with. Besides judicial punishment for illegal deeds, other selfish and destructive acts turn other people against us, and provoke revenge and grudges. They also make us feel guilty and want to atone.

That’s why we don’t need a god to enforce our morals. We have other people, and we have ourselves.

SmartLX

2 thoughts on “Sin”

  1. Hi,

    What about the punishment for bad deeds, and crimes, that go unsolved and therefore the judicial system cannot administer any form of justice for?

    1. What about it? Sometimes people break the law and get away with it. No one likes that (except the law breaker obviously), but we don’t live in a perfect world. All we can do, as societies and countries, is try to bring justice for victims as much as possible.

      At least the atheist’s view is realistic. Let’s not forget that the god of the Bible made all the descendants of Adam and Eve live in this imperfect world because of what they did. I didn’t take a bite out of the apple, and neither did you, yet we are punished for their sin? Gods aren’t guaranteed justice either. Ask all the first born in Egypt about that.

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