Is there a word to concisely say 'an unavoidable sin'?
Or maybe just a better way to say it.

This is in the context for example of someone who habitually does some particular activity and then regrets it afterwards.

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    You first have to ask whether there is such a thing. At least one major religion asserts that a person is not constrained to commit any sin, if he relies on God's strengthening.I Cor 10:13... An unavoidable evil, say having one shot of antivenin and two people suffering from snake bites, may be termed a 'dilemma'. – Edwin Ashworth Dec 3 '13 at 11:04
  • @edwinAshworth:edited the question. – iajnr Dec 3 '13 at 11:15
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    It's only a small step from your edited version to the word you want, surely? – Edwin Ashworth Dec 3 '13 at 11:36
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    Being habituated to doing something does not make it unavoidable. – Andrew Leach Dec 3 '13 at 11:37
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    Buyer's remorse comes to mind, but it's still two words. Why do you need one word? What is wrong with using two? What is wrong with "unavoidable sin" (other than that it's not unavoidable, as has been pointed out)? – RegDwigнt Dec 3 '13 at 11:41

Though the word has Sanskrit origin, I believe that the word karma is common enough nowadays.

From Google,

noun: karma

(in Hinduism and Buddhism) the sum of a person's actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.

(informal) good or bad luck, viewed as resulting from one's actions.

Here are some karma quotes I found on the web,

"Not only is there often a right and wrong, but what goes around does come around, Karma exists, chickens do come home to roost, and as my mother, Phyllis, liked to say, “There is always a day of reckoning."

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."


Edwin has pointed out that, in the Judeo-Christian view, the commission of sin is avoidable. Perhaps these adjectives would help characterize an avoidable sin:

  • A venial sin is minor and forgivable (contrast with a mortal sin).
  • A habitual sin describes one done out of habit (of course!).
  • A besetting sin describes serial sinning, possibly done out of habit, but having a deleterious effect on one's life.

There is a much-discussed passage at Romans 7:22 ff, in which the Apostle Paul laments the strong hold of sin in his life. He might have called what you describe as a captivating sin.

  • Thank you for accepting my answer. Out of curiosity, which of the four words came closest to what you were trying to express? – rajah9 Dec 4 '13 at 18:17

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