Translated into plain language, sin is maladaptive behavior, beliefs or thoughts.
Adaptive behavior is that which contributes to the survival and well being of a species. Maladaptive behavior is just the opposite, Maladaptive behavior is what causes a species to go extinct.
According to Jesus anger and other negative emotions constitute sin. A person experiencing anger, is harming himself. Is that not true? It is also written that the wages of sin are death. The wages of maladaptive behavior are also death. Sin and maladaptive behavior are one in the same. Sin is the descriptive term in used in religious circles. Maladaptive is the term used in secular discussions.
Is it a sin to believe lies? Of course it is. Believing lies constitutes maladaptive behavior. The greatest disasters in history have been the result of the massive belief in lies.
What is typical of sin/maladaptive behavior?
Is smoking a cigarette a sin? Is smoking a cigarette maladaptive? Those questions are easy to answer. Does maladaptive behavior offend God? That is a different question. Maladaptive behavior is the same with people who don’t believe in God as it is with people who do.
Are there any benefits to sin? Yes, there are. Where there no benefits no one would want to sin.
The most clear characteristic of sin is that benefits are generally up front. The costs go on for as long a eternity. Lets suppose some sin leads to happiness. Happiness really doesn’t last forever. The cost of temporary happiness, can easily exceed the benefits over time. It constitutes maladaptive behavior when that happens. Is happiness worth the price? Very often it is not.
Maladaptive behavior and sin are one in the same. Terms used in old scriptures have parallels in the secular world. Only the language and co connotations are different.
Steve and I have added a short video Why Judging Others Makes No Sense.
It is only 1.33 minutes.