Explain human sinfulness and the need for salvation.

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Different religions have different notions of the concepts of sin and salvation. I am not sure which religion, if any in particular, your question refers to. Therefore, I will briefly discuss the themes of sin and salvation as they relate to the three Abrahamic faiths as well as Buddhism.

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Different religions have different notions of the concepts of sin and salvation. I am not sure which religion, if any in particular, your question refers to. Therefore, I will briefly discuss the themes of sin and salvation as they relate to the three Abrahamic faiths as well as Buddhism.

Generally, Christianity links sin with the broken covenant between God and Adam and Eve. In Genesis 2:17, God offers Adam eternal life as long as he does not eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge. The eating of the forbidden fruit represents humankind's choice to exchange a close relationship with God and eternal life for the ability to make moral decisions for themselves. Christianity defines this as the original sin from which faith in Christ provides salvation. Christians believe that it was Jesus's death on the cross that provides the possibility of salvation for people. This is described in the Book of Revelation, in which it is explained that the faithful will have the benefits of the Tree of Life restored if they give their faith to Christ.

Judaism differs sharply from Christianity in its belief in sin and salvation. Faith does not lead to salvation, morality and virtue do. Although the sin of Adam and Eve described above is part of the Torah, Jewish tradition does not apply the notion of original sin to it. To sin is to stray from God's commandments and laws that dictate morality. Living a virtuous life provides the prospect of salvation. However, this salvation is not so much focused on the afterlife or the individual. Judaism is more concerned with universal redemption than individual salvation. Judaism envisions a world in which enough people live morally upright lives that the whole of humankind can be redeemed.

In Islam, salvation is directly tied to faith. One must believe in God to enter Paradise after they die. Following the message of Muhammad grants one entrance into Paradise. Those who believe in God but do not follow Muhammad's message face judgment upon death. To receive salvation, Islam teaches that a person needs to perform good deeds and avoid sin. Sin is something that people accumulate through their actions. Unlike Christian beliefs, they are not born into a state of sin but are still predisposed to it. Following the teachings of Muhammad by seeking God's forgiveness and doing good brings people to a state of redemption.

Buddhism focuses on release from the endless cycle of rebirth. This state is called nirvana. Salvation is a completely personal achievement. One does not reach salvation in the same sense of the Abrahamic religions. Attachment to worldly concerns leads one into a state of sin. However, it is not necessarily sinning itself that one is trying to escape to reach nirvana. It is the worldly attachments. Once total release from the concerns of the world has been reached, one achieves a deep sense of personal peace that allows them to achieve nirvana. Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism have similar, yet distinct, concepts to sin and nirvana as well.

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