Vantage point

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Real Sin

Thought I'd make my first guest post on this blog with a quote from a fabulous book I'm reading these days - The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

We libertarians often talk of victimless crimes not actually being crimes. This passage from Kite Runner lays down, what according to me, is the best definition of sin that I've ever come across.

In the story, this little kid, Amir, sees his father drinking whiskey and is confused from what his religious teacher, the bearded Mullah Fatiullah Khan, has been telling him about drinking. "... if what he said is true then does it make you a sinner, Baba?", he asks.

And this is what his father tells him:

"... no matter what the mullah teaches, there is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft.
... When you kill a man, you steal a life,.. You steal his wife's right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness
... There is no act more wretched than stealing, Amir, A man who takes what is not his to take, be it a life or a loaf of naan....
... If there is a God out there, then I would hope he has more important things to attend to than my drinking scotch or eating pork."