Defining “sin” is a tricky thing. I’m in no way a theologian, but I recently heard an interesting definition of it that I thought was worth sharing.
In starts in the book “A History of Catholic Theological Ethics“, where author James Keenan argues that “Sin is the failure to bother to love”. Malcolm Gladwell took it further in a recent podcast about guns where he tweaked it to “Sin is the failure to bother to care”.
Gladwell’s podcast is about the problem of gun violence, but in the show he doesn’t argue for better gun control (well, he does a little, but that’s not his main push), but rather for us to find a way to show more compassion. In the case of gun violence, that compassion brings with it a good bit of cost, such as adding more Level I Trauma Centers in areas where they can do more good, rather than just in areas where more profit can be made.
If we don’t bother to care about our fellow humans, you can certainly make an argument for that being one of the biggest sins you could commit. Check out Gladwell’s full episode to hear him explain it further.