Sin is a word that gets thrown around a lot these days, but what does it actually mean? What is a "sin"? How do you know one when you see it? How do you decide what YOU are going to call a "sin"? The short answer is, of course, accept what the preacher tells you and if you have a problem look in the Bible or ask the preacher. That doesn't work for a lot of people who aren't religious or just don't want some minister telling them what to do. I'm especially interested in people like Breathilizer who have taken a strong stand against religion but are intelligent, articulate, thoughtful people. My guess is that Breathilizer is a very moral man within the constraints of his personal philosophy, but I'd like to know how he and others like him decide. Since I'm starting the thread and I've seen some flack being thrown at people who ask questions but don't answer them, I'll start. I think we live in a free-will Universe so the only sin is coercion. Coercion is anything that abrogates someone else's expression of their free-will. From the mildest forms--like managing someone's sources of information to make them do what you want, lying basically--to the most extreme forms of physical or psychological abuse to force compliance from someone. Coercion is any injury or hurt one causes another person with the intent of some sort of personal gain. The personal gain could be something as blatant as money or as subtle as a feeling of power over someone. This ends up being complex when one is dealing with groups of people and one has to weigh competing claims of harm. Putting people in prison is coercive but to a lesser extent than leaving them loose to prey on others. A person is free to do anything they wish as long as no one else is harmed/coerced. The practice of religion is not restricted unless one is using it to restrict the free-will of others. Sex among consenting adults is not restricted unless it ends in coercion--spreading syphilis, or causing unwanted pregnancy. My personal philosophy based on this concept is: Harm none. So far in my life I have found no situation where this has failed to work. If you can think of one I'd like to hear it. (For the two people on this thread who will become hysterical when they see the words "unrestricted sex" and immediately accuse me of promoting child sex abuse: There is more than adequate evidence to show that children are irreparably harmed by sex with adults so it would not be acceptable. Harm none.) So, how about you?