Sin is ignorance. This is well known Socratic definition of sin which, like everthing Socratic, is an opinion always worthy of attention. The difficulty with the Socratic definition is that it leaves undetermined how ignorance itself is to be more precisely understood, the question of its origin, ect. That is to say. even if sin be ignoranceor what Christianity would perhaps prefer to call stupidity, which in one sense cannot be denied we have to ask, is this an original ignorance, it is always the case that one has not known and hitherto could not know anything about the truth, or is it a superinduced, a subsequent ignorance?Order now
If it is the last question implies, then sin must have its grond in the activity with which a man has labored to odsecure his intelligence. But also when this assumed, the stiff-necked and tough-lived difficulty returns, promoting the question whether at the instant a man began to obsecure his intelligence he was distinctly conscious of what he is doing. If he was not distinctly of this, then his intelligence was already somewhat obsecured before he began, and the question merely returns again.
If it is assumed on the contrary that when he began to obsecure his intelligence he was distinctly conscious of it, then sin even though it be unconsciousness, seeing that this was an induced state would not lie in the intelligence but in the will, and the question which must be raised is about the relation of he intelligence and the will to one another.
With such questions as these and one might continue to augment them for a many a day the Socratic definition does not deal. Socrates therefore never really gets to the determinant we know as sin, which is surely a defect in a definition of sin. Why is this? For if sin is indeed ignorance, then sin properly does not exist, since sin definitely consciousness. If sin consists in being ignorant of what is right, so that one consequently does what is wrong, sin dos not exist.