LETTER : When is a sin not a sin in the varying religions of the 20th century?

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The Independent Online
From Dr Sue Hamilton

Sir: With regard to your table on sin, it is not the case that pre-marital sex, homosexual practices and masturbation are considered "not harmful" in Buddhism.

Rather, (lay) Buddhists undertake a precept to "abstain from sexual misconduct", which is open to subjective interpretation (which would, of course, be culturally influenced), the key criterion being harmlessness.

Yours faithfully,


Lecturer in Indian Religions

King's College, London

London, WC2