I am not a believer in the religious concept of sin. Though I do think there is a secular value in the word “sin.” It implies not simply that something is wrong, but that to do it will be to cause problems. And certainly, most things that are considered sinful have the potential to cause us problems.
Regardless, I was doing a radio show a while back on religious attitudes towards sex. I was the secular voice basically saying, enjoy yourself, just take care to not cause any harm while you do so. One of the female pastors who came on before me said something that stuck with me though. This was a black preacher and she said that one of the reasons the white community has fewer problems is because they plan for their sin better. Specifically, she was referring to the fact whites use condom more and so experience fewer problems that are associated with unprotected sex like disease transmission and unplanned pregnancies.
I loved this idea of planning for your sin. From a Humanist perspective, it isn’t that sex is inherently sinful. That’s a nonsense idea to us. However, we do understand that all of our actions have consequences and we should plan for those consequences to maximize the good and minimize the harm.
The idea that you can plan for your sin is actually a Humanistic idea. It is rooted in the idea of human agency, that we humans have the capability to choose our actions and therefore, to a certain extent, choose our consequences. We aren’t victims of fate, we can, in fact, plan for our sin, though I prefer to think of it as accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative.