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Sin is a religious term for the violation of a religious rule. These sometimes overlap with moral and ethical rules. For example the 6th commandment: "Thy Shall Not Kill", is generally a moral rule however Deuteronomy 14:21 Bible-icon.png which says "Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk." has no modern ethical or moral ramifications. Often times the suggested punishment for sin is itself immoral. For example, Leviticus 20:13 Bible-icon.png has a punishment of death for homosexual acts. Various punishments exist for planting different crops in the same field, wearing cloth of multiple fibers, eating shellfish, etc. Which are sins but have nothing to do with morality.

This covers evil deeds committed by conscious beings, as well as some acts (thoughts, etc.) that would otherwise seem ethical in a non-religious context.

Unlike the humanist concept of evil, sin is defined entirely in terms of doing things which a god specifically prohibits.

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Since atheists do not believe in God, it is meaningless to accuse an atheist of being a sinner (or to threaten them with the purported consequences of being a sinner). Humanistic atheists recognize the concept of right and wrong actions in terms of their impact on other people, but the idea of sin is basically irrelevant without appealing to a deity.

The declarations of sins by God invariably travels through some medium, such as a book or a pastor. This inevitably makes the concept of sin subjective and completely disconnected from human and animal suffering. Even if one ignores this problem, sin is then subjective to the whims of a deity who may say that killing is wrong or that killing is required as punishment for picking up sticks. The Euthyphro dilemma suggests that this subjectivity means that sin is disconnected from morality.

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