A postulated state of being that results from the breaking of some rule from a moral code. In the Western dualistic religions which were influenced by Zoastrianism, sin is created only by Satan or His equivalent (Ahriman, Shaitan, etc.) and the presence of sin prevents souls from reaching heaven.

From a pragmatic perspective the concept of sin provides two important mechanisms for social control. First, those in charge are able to give a particular set of social regulations an undisputable stamp of divine authority. Second, those in charge are often able claim the power to absolve sin, and, thereby, cheaply reward conformity to the canon.

The Catholic church has the most elaborate dogma of sin. Under that dogma sin may only be absolved through a sequence of exclusively Catholic rituals including confession, penance and the eucharist. Sins in Catholicism are divided into venal and mortal with mortal sins being sufficient in themselves to bar entry to heaven unless the sin is repented, atoned for and absolved.

There have been several lists of The Seven Deadly Sins over the centuries, but one is: pride, envy, lust, greed, sloth, anger and gluttony.

Polynesian cultures thought that it was absurd that any action that did not hurt another human being could be considered evil. Thus, when Missionaries tried to tell them that dancing or taking pleasure in sex was sinful they just laughed. The Hawaiians framed the following moral paradigm in response to the missionaries' efforts: "No hurt, no sin."

Sin nowadays refers almost exclusively to evil or--non-religiously--merely naughty actions, such as murder, rape, or eating chocolate instead of dieting.

This semantic problem makes explaining other kinds of sin, such as Original Sin, because it's become a hot-button word puts people on the defensive, as opposed to being the technical term that Christianity uses it as.

At its most abstract, sin is separation from God. (This is why, by definition, God is sinless.) Not actually a physical separation--although this is also an effect of it--but a sort of conceptual separation. That said, there are two different ways to be separated from God.

First, by direct action. This would be disregarding any of the Ten Commandments or the Golden Rule or the like, actions based in hate or in twisted forms of love. You probably already know about this.

Secondly, by inheritance. If you come from something that's been separated from God--and in Christian theology everyone has--then you also have this separateness condition. It doesn't mean you've done anything wrong yourself, although it does give you a predisposition to do so. This second kind of sin is why even perfect people need salvation, and it's called original sin.

This sin-system is actually something like how children of alcoholics are more likely to become alcoholics themselves. Of course, if they don't drink at all, they won't become alcoholics, but they may still have the tendency.

Yes, this is a "Christian-biased" node. Node what you know, you know. Let me know if I've botched the theology of it.

Perhaps the greatest problem in dealing with the concept of "sin" is humanity's inability to deal with personal responsibility.

For instance, even though the major message of the New Testament is about personal responsibility, love, grace, etc., the church as a whole would prefer to punish people for not following a list of rules. It's much easier to blame the whole thing on God, come up with rules which must not be broken (and which are easy to point out people breaking) and then feel righteous.

Sin, in it's true nature, is short-sighted, selfish thinking.

You push somebody. You lie to somebody. You cheat on somebody. You steal from somebody. It's hurtful, it's "let's be happy right now", it's selfish.

Sin divides us from each other, and breaks apart the connections and trust possible between humans. Look how many of us, by the time we're "grown up", are nigh incapable of true trust, and expect to be betrayed in work, relationships, etc. We think that cheating is normal, and that it's every person for themselves.

Even more insidious than actual actions though (many of us can probably say that we don't go around hurting people, or lying, etc.) is short term thinking. This breaks down into two factors:

  1. "The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions". This isn't just well meaning efforts that screw people over. This includes being fuck buddies and various other like efforts, which are fun in the meantime, but almost always wind up either A. Breaking up the friendship when an emotional attatchment is formed, or B. continue to be fun, but dull us emotionally in our ability to find intimacy with others through sex, something which has become a generic activity for the pure expenditure of stress and horniness.

  2. Thoughts in general. Oops, to qualify: Dwelling on how you dislike somebody. Or how much you'd like to fuck someone. Or on how you'd like to hurt/steal/gossip/ what have you. Seems like no particular big deal, but what's it doing inside your head? You may not act on it now, but it's slowly, bit by bit, making it easier for you to think about doing it next time. And the next. And the next. You're forming habits. Scarring away sensitivities.

Sin isn't about "I'm God, and here's this list of rules you need to obey to please me, because I'm bad like that".

It's about "I'm God, and I created you a certain way, with a certain emotional wiring, and when you do things on a steady basis, you screw that wiring up, you damange yourself and your ability to operate in a healthy way."

But you won't hear that from the church. It's too gray, too middle of the line. Not enforceable, not so easy to point fingers with.

Even though, if God hates anything more than anything else, it's active divisiveness. Anything that drives people away from each other is a bad thing to Him. Interesting.

Sin is a first-person shooter created by Ritual Entertainment from Dallas, Texas and published by Activision. Features a trash-talking buff cop as the hero, a smart-alec hacker sidekick, and a gorgeous, evil CEO/biogeneticist as the villain. Also contains a branching plotline, some fairly decent graphics, Duke Nukem-style interactivity, and a rockin' intro video. It came out just a short time before Half-Life and was berated in the press for being massively buggy. The bugs (which were show-stoppers) were cleared up in the 1.01 patch, but by then it was too late- Half-Life mania was sweeping the gaming industry.

Ritual should be commended for continuing to patch this product, however, even past the point of profitabilty. In one of the later patches, they released SinCTF, which added a new and complex team game for free.
Christianity teaches that sin is that which goes against the will of God, and that He is primarily the injured party when one commits a sinful act. This is an important distinction if you're trying to figure out what makes Christians tick.

Definitions of sin that do not take this into account tend to encompass acts of violence (physical, emotional, or spiritual) against other human beings and perhaps animals. Christians believe that we owe our existence to a loving God who wants us to take care of ourselves and live in harmony with Him, and so their definition also covers acts of violence against one's self and faithlessness toward God. Thus we see Christian opposition to suicide (assisted or otherwise) where a libertarian might say that the person has a right to do whatever he pleases with his life.

Song by Nine Inch Nails (words already noded by yerricde) on the 1989 album Pretty Hate Machine. In addition, it was also released as a single in 1990 by TVT Records (catalogue number: 2617).

track list:

  • US version
    1. Sin Long (5:50)
    2. Sin Dub (4:56)
    3. Get Down Make Love (4:17)
    4. Sin Short (4:19)
  • UK version
    1. Sin Short (4:19)
    2. Sin Long (5:50)
    3. Get Down Make Love (4:17)
    4. Sin Dub (4:56)
Total running time: 19:32.

All the remixes of "Sin" are longer than the album version (even the "Short" one). All of the "Sin" mixes were done by Adrian Sherwood and Keith LeBlanc. "Get Down Make Love" is a cover of a Queen song. The cover was produced by Hypo Luxa and engineered by Jeff "Critter" Newell, Alien Jourgensen (of Ministry fame), Trent Reznor, and Sean Beavan.

Where the samples in the "Get Down Make Love" cover came from, according to Sean Beavan:
I think the sample at the beginning of "Get Down Make Love" is from an old viacom cable access show called 'Video Psychotherapy'... That sample along with the Japanese porno samples were added in Chicago with Al Jourgenson. I did only the basic track recordings in Cleveland. Those samples were added during the mix.1

The single shows off a nifty design for the word "sin" which I would reproduce for here in ASCII art form save that I have no ASCII art talent. Nevertheless, an image of it is easy enough to find online, if not at your local record store. The background is red on the US version and black on the British version. I, currently, have no idea why (same with the altered track list). This and the single for "The Day The World Went Away" are the only NIN releases not to mention who the designer of the package is.2

A music video was partially completed for the song, though didn't see the light of day until 1997 when the Closure video set was released. Apparently Trent Reznor decided not to complete the video due to TVT wanting to censor it so much. The video still remains incomplete on Closure (thus it's much shorter than the song) and contains black and white footage of Reznor bound to what appears to be a gigantic gyroscope being spun by two dominatrixes (whose breasts are exposed), as well as more black and white footage of two topless men smoking a joint (with one putting on and waving around a strap-on). Not MTV-friendly.

1Quote obtained from the Official Unofficial NIN FAQ.
2I recall hearing who designed the "sin" logo but cannot remember now nor find the information online. Anyone who knows please /msg me so I can add that information (or anything else I've not mentioned about Sin) here.

Sin (?), adv., prep., & conj.

Old form of Since.

[Obs. or Prov.Eng. & Scot.]

Sin that his lord was twenty year of age. Chaucer.


© Webster 1913.

Sin, n. [OE. sinne, AS. synn, syn; akin to D. zonde, OS. sundia, OHG. sunta, G. sunde, Icel., Dan. & Sw. synd, L. sons, sontis, guilty, perhaps originally from the p. pr. of the verb signifying, to be, and meaning, the one who it is. Cf. Authentic, Sooth.]


Transgression of the law of God; disobedience of the divine command; any violation of God's will, either in purpose or conduct; moral deficiency in the character; iniquity; as, sins of omission and sins of commission.

Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. John viii. 34.

Sin is the transgression of the law. 1 John iii. 4.

I think 't no sin. To cozen him that would unjustly win. Shak.

Enthralled By sin to foul, exorbitant desires. Milton.


An offense, in general; a violation of propriety; a misdemeanor; as, a sin against good manners.

I grant that poetry's a crying sin. Pope.


A sin offering; a sacrifice for sin.

He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin. 2 Cor. v. 21.


An embodiment of sin; a very wicked person.


Thy ambition, Thou scarlet sin, robbed this bewailing land Of noble Buckingham. Shak.

Sin is used in the formation of some compound words of obvious signification; as, sin-born; sin-bred, sin-oppressed, sin-polluted, and the like.

Actual sin, Canonical sins, Original sin, Venial sin. See under Actual, Canonical, etc. -- Deadly, ∨ Mortal, sins R. C. Ch., willful and deliberate transgressions, which take away divine grace; -- in distinction from vental sins. The seven deadly sins are pride, covetousness, lust, wrath, gluttony, envy, and sloth. -- Sin eater, a man who (according to a former practice in England) for a small gratuity ate a piece of bread laid on the chest of a dead person, whereby he was supposed to have taken the sins of the dead person upon himself. -- Sin offering, a sacrifice for sin; something offered as an expiation for sin.

Syn. -- Iniquity; wickedness; wrong. See Crime.


© Webster 1913.

Sin, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Sinned (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Sinning.] [OE. sinnen, singen, sinegen, AS. syngian. See Sin, n.]


To depart voluntarily from the path of duty prescribed by God to man; to violate the divine law in any particular, by actual transgression or by the neglect or nonobservance of its injunctions; to violate any known rule of duty; -- often followed by against.

Against thee, thee only, have I sinned. Ps. li. 4.

All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Rom. iii. 23.


To violate human rights, law, or propriety; to commit an offense; to trespass; to transgress.

I am a man More sinned against than sinning. Shak.

Who but wishes to invert the laws Of order, sins against the eternal cause. Pope.


© Webster 1913.

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