Few humans think much about morality except as an artificial construct attached to religious interests. Even rightwing zealots acknowledge that when they proclaim atheists as evil doers who cannot be trusted because they have no religion and, so, no moral sense. They will, however, deny the artificiality. To them, the god named God is real and to doubt that is a sin… to them.
The concept of sin appears to represent the point where religions’ artificial moral sense, based on the dictates “handed down” from a religion’s god, diverges from natural morality derived from a sense of justice, fair play, reciprocity and awareness of the roles pain, pleasure and balance play in the lives of social animals. Even children as young as age three issue negative responses to injustices they observe, and demonstrate awareness of fair play.
Sins against a god quickly morph into sins against humanity for those who would wish to take religion to task for its obstructive nature against learning; that is, indoctrination that condemns the natural world as false and evil and promotes the artificial constructs of religion as valid with no sign of evidence, just as I am doing here. Absence of evidence marks a written piece as opinion, which makes it no more valid than any others—until it can be verified. Verification has become a simple process on the Internet: Type the phrase in question into your favorite search engine, press <ENTER> and select your own choice of authority. Try it now: highlight “sins against humanity”, right click on it and choose “open in new tab”. You may have to open the new tab to deal with your browser’s confusion, but, this way, you can return to your reading under the original tab. And, this way, you can see for yourself, if you care that much, whether whatever I tell you can be verified, choose your own authorities, and your own interests. Religions will provide scriptures and apologetic references but seldom any references pertaining to the real world on which we live. Such secondhand information, referred to as hearsay, still requires verification to validate it.
Without validation, artificial sins that have not been written into law are illegitimate, but law gives the effect of legitimization to all kinds of questionable concepts when the public supports them. Law emphasizes their nature as opinion where a large portion of the public disagrees with them. Such laws are not necessarily bad, it’s just that they arose from artificial constructs that could not be demonstrated as a natural need, that one portion of the public forced onto the other. That does not render them illegitimate, as, again, “law gives the effect of legitimization” to all kinds of questionable concepts when the public supports them.” Laws that lose public support, such as the prohibition laws of the early 20th century, eventually become artifacts of history.
So, we can partially agree with Mr. Huxley’s statement by understanding it as a reference to the human tendency to turn to a central authority—a religion, a government, a parent—to enforce moral behavior. We each determine morality for ourselves, and tend to feel more comfortable in the company of those with whom we agree. I will deal with this aspect later under a similar topic.