Monday, June 20, 2011

Sin As The True Test Of Religious Belief

I previously wrote that the Dati-Leumi community accepts a few core-Mitzvot (Eat, Pray, Kosher, Shabbos) as the signs of a religiosity. However, I'd like to suggest another test, that might be a better reflector of the internal spiritual world of someone who has stopped believing. I think that one is truly no longer religious when he stops believing in the existence of sin.  Sin isn't a question of morality. Many non religious are quite moral (sometimes more then their religious counterparts).  Sin is a feeling that a certain action goes against the will of god. It can overlap morality, or it can be "counter-moral". However sin is a distinct sensation. 

I favor the question of whether you believe in "sin" over an external test of whether you do X or Y, because it reflects more clearly what a person actually believes. I think that many "non religious" are really religious people who for various reasons live in sin.(on this matter read my post "searching for the religious true self"). THis is quite evident by the fact that so many "religious" Jews commit some quite horrendous sins without seeing a conflict to being labeled religious.   

 As long as one has that nagging feeling of guilt stemming from an unshakable belief that God isn't happy (as opposed to guilt stemming from their parents not being happy) he is a religious, if sinful, person. 
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