The concept of sin is inherently man-made
The concept of sin is inherently man-made

The concept of sin is inherently man-made

The concept of sin is inherently man-made

My thesis for this debate is that the concept of sin originated as a way to justify pre-existing cultural norms and rules, as opposed to the Christian narrative that morality comes from God. The three points I believe prove my thesis are as follows; contradictions on specific rules, vagueness on what is and isn’t a sin, and how Christian morals are not universal among humans.

With my first point, if the Christian God has truly given us rules to live by, why would He ever need to change them? I’ll give a couple of examples. In Exodus 21:24, God ordered Moses and the Israelites that they should practice an eye for an eye as a means for punishment. Yet in the New Testament, we find Jesus (God-incarnate according to Christianity) saying that people must reject that ruling and turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:38 – 39).

Another contradiction can be found in what people can and can’t eat. In Leviticus 11:7, God says that the Jews cannot eat pigs. Yet in Matthew 5:11, Jesus (God-incarnate) basically says people can now eat whatever they want since they are no longer defiled by what they consume. Doesn’t this all seem like relative morality? To me, these Biblical rulings show the change in Jewish cultural norms through the centuries, rather than religious rulings being divinely inspired.

Initially, Jews were opposed to eating pigs. Yet over time and with foreign influence, such as that from the Romans, perhaps some Jews like Jesus became more liberal and open to the idea of eating pigs. Same thing with punishment as revenge. The verse from Exodus dates back to a more ruthless time, while in Jesus’ day, Rome was in a period of peace. Hence, it makes more sense to assume that all these rules are merely a reflection of the culture of the day, rather than rules coming from God Himself.

Secondly, the Bible is vague on what is and isn’t morally acceptable. According to 1 Timothy 2:12, Paul says women should not teach or have any authority over men. However, doesn’t this just seem to be a cultural notion from the day, then an eternal ruling from God? Nowadays, many churches allow women to become priestesses and pastors. Even in the Catholic Church, many women are allowed to go do readings in Mass.

Also, in 1 Corinthians 11:13-16, Paul says women must have their heads covered while praying. Yet this doesn’t happen very often anymore. Once again, we find rules in scripture that seem more like a cultural norm, than a divinely-inspired ruling from God. If God had indeed inspired the Bible and given humans rules to live by, why do they seem so trivial and very similar to the time and place of where the rules came from. The vagueness of these rulings put into doubt whether or not we can trust Paul if his writings come from God, or simply Paul himself?

I mean, most Christians follow Paul’s teachings on sexual morality (1 Corinthians 5:1-13) yet not many seem willing to silence women (anymore) or make them wear head coverings. We even get to things like masturbation and profanity, where many Christians debate if those activities should even be considered sinful. Why is this all vague? Should we and/or God really hold people accountable for sins if some people don’t believe that they were being sinful?

Lastly, if Christian morality truly comes from God, why aren’t they universally known? Why did the Christian God simply communicate to some people in the Middle East thousands of years ago, rather than in areas with millions of more people such as China and India. Or how come the Holy Spirit doesn’t tell everyone what is right and what is wrong? If God did this, why do people debate to this day what is and isn’t moral.

In conclusion, the vagueness and evolution of scripture, as well as Christian morality not being universally known to all humans, show that the concept of sin is not divinely inspired, but rather is just a reflection of the cultural norms of a certain time and place. Thank you very much for reading, I look forward to this debate.

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