Last modified: 7:58 AM Saturday, 14 January 2017

On sin and free will

Would you punish a child with ADHD for fidgeting and being distractible? Rational people would of course say no, for to punish someone for immutable characteristics, or for actions about which he has no choice, is manifestly unjust. However, some people still, having mostly been made to understand that homosexuality is not a matter of choice, continue illogically to debate whether it is sinful.

Religious icon: David and Jonathan

Religious icon: David and Jonathan (from Old Testament).
[ Image Source ]

Setting aside for a moment specific proscriptive definitions of sin, which vary from source to source, let us examine the fundamental principle. As one would not claim credit for innate advantages and virtues in oneself — and surely any sincerely religious person would humbly attribute them to God — so one cannot apportion blame for innate defects or social unorthodoxies in others. How, then, can a just and merciful God — and surely no decent person would revere any other kind — fix his canon against that which some among his people do in accordance with an inherent nature that they have not chosen?

The ultimate precept, then: Absent free will, there can be no sin.

Originally published as a review of a article on homosexuality and sin.

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