I have often argued with theists that the word sin is not even a real word or concept outside the realm of religion. Sin is strictly a religious idea and outside the context of religious dogma it is entirely meaningless. I feel the same way about words such as divine, holy, etc. I recently went to dictionary.com to attempt to find a dictionary definition of the word sin without all of the holy hoo ha that believers like to add to it. This is what I came up with: 1.'transgression of divine law: the sin of Adam. 2.any act regarded as such a transgression, especially a willful or deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle.'
In the definition above the first thing you may notice is that the word sin is immediately tied to religious ideologies. It is interesting to see that in the end of the first definition it uses the sin of Adam as an example. What exactly was the sin of Adam? Well, according to the creation story as narrated in Genesis it was in the simplest of terms his disobedience to a direct command from God. 16 Then Yahweh God gave the man this command, 'You are free to eat of all the trees in the garden.
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you are not to eat; for, the day you eat of that, you are doomed to die.' Genesis 2: 16,17 (NJB).
Although Adam was induced by Eve who herself was enticed by the serpent to eat of this forbidden tree, They both directly disobeyed a direct command of God. Regardless of how theologians and apologists try to spin this word into some mysterious concept it is nothing more than simple disobedience. There is no mystical meaning to the word or concept of sin, contrary to what an Christian church may tell you.
Why was disobeying God such a bad thing? Well, when you think of it it demonstrates defiance, rebellion, and discord between man and God. But...was this so bad that it could not be repaired and that the sin of this couple would lead to the infection of the entire creation, not just the human race? Absolutely not! According to the bible the one who determines what is moral, just, bad, or good is God, and as is demonstrated in the scriptures he has changed his mind from time to time. Here is an example: 13 'You shall not kill. Genesis 20:13 one of the ten commandments. 17 So kill all the male children and kill all the women who have ever slept with a man;18 but spare the lives of the young girls who have never slept with a man, and keep them for yourselves. Numbers 31: 17,18.
As you can see, although one of the ten commandments specifically prohibits killing others when Israel went to war against the Midianites under God's direct command and through the leadership of Moses it was okay to kill. In the end sin is what God says it is when he says it is, but it is always subject to change from time to time. That is why when I think of all the atrocities committed by the church against humanity I am not surprised nor do I hold it against them because all they are doing is what they learned from their bible.
My biggest problem with the concept of sin is that of accountability. Our own human laws make everyone accountable for his or her own crimes and offenses against society. But God doesn't work that way apparently. He is more like a military boot camp drill sergeant, if one recruit screws up a marching drill the whole platoon pays for the offense. How Christians with this knowledge can continue to call their fictional God perfectly good and just is beyond me.
The bible attributes our sinful natures to the single act of disobedience by Adam and Eve. As a result we are all born in sin and in need of salvation. In closing the idea of sin is stupid, comical, and at the same time outright illogical. We have all fallen short of the impossible standards of this fictional god that only through the fictional incarnation aka Christ can we be made whole again. Sin is not a disease, it's not something genetic, it's not tangible, it's nothing more than a stupid concept.
A real god that was just and true would forgive every man/ woman their transgressions and make everyone accountable for their own shortcomings. He wouldn't condemn an entire creation to utter destruction and torment for all eternity because he was offended by the actions of a few.