By Daniel Mallett
The week leading up to Easter Sunday is traditionally celebrated as “Holy Week” in the Christian calendar. To honour holy week, Jerry Coyne over at whyevolutionistrue.com has been featuring a “Sin of the Day”. So far we have:
What immediately struck me is how none of these “sins” is necessarily anything that actually harms self or others. Yes, taken to excess they could cause harm — what can’t? But when committed by responsible consenting adults there is absolutely nothing immoral about masturbation, fornication, blasphemy, divorce or homosexuality. So why does religion such as Catholicism forbid these things? For one it is the general obsession of religionists concerning sex. It is only one of these so far (blasphemy) that does not involve human sexuality in some way. And since sexuality is such a fundamental part of being a human being, perhaps controlling sex is a way of controlling people. What fascinates me is that I do not believe that some Catholic bishop just sat down some day and randomly pulled these sins out of his pontificating hat. These memes evolve from complex tapestries of cultural and religious history. Let us know in the comments what your favourite sin is!