I commented the following on Griping from Leaving Eden in response to the feeling of guilt brought on by the idea of sin in religious days, and felt like putting it here as well:
I’ve found that nagging feeling of guilt will pop up every now and again. For me, I’ve had to redefine the idea of sin that was taught to me. I no longer believe in a deity that I’ve somehow offended. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to make bad choices and hurt myself or others. The golden rule still applies.
I would rather know that when I screw things up there’s no one who can fix them but myself, than to take the placebo god-pill and assume I can just imagine my mistakes away with a prayer. I believe it to be much healthier to face your mistakes head-on and deal with them rather than to hide behind the forgiveness of a deity. That’s a hard fact of life that can get lost within the world where a god’s forgiveness can take away responsibility from fixing a problem.
Not that this knowledge will make your mistakes any easier to repair, of course. But it does make things more real. And now you can be glad that you no longer have the empty threat of eternal damnation for your mistake.
We all make mistakes, that’s part of life. It’s up to each of us to correct those mistakes.