There’s lots more we could say about the Gospel Hypothesis and the Myth Hypothesis, but I’m going to wrap up this series with the big one: sin and evil. If the Myth Hypothesis is true, then there’s no reason to expect the universe to be particularly concerned about our well-being and happiness. As material beings, we’re going to be subject to the same limitations, weaknesses, and life expectancy of any other material organism. We’re going to depend on—and compete for—material resources like food and shelter, and sometimes those things are going to be lacking. A certain amount of suffering is going to be normal, but we’re going to care about it and want to avoid it, and so we’re going to identify it as “evil” or some similar concept.
“Sin,” in the sense of offense committed against a deity, won’t exist per se, but offenses against people will. To the extent that we identify certain behaviors as socially unacceptable, we’ll have what you might call sins, even without any gods. And to the extent that people are willing to forgive us for our offenses, we’ll even have forgivable sin, repentance, and redemption, all without God. People may forgive sin, or not, but there won’t be any gods to do so. Thus, there won’t be any divine punishments for sin either. There will, of course, be natural disasters, which superstitious people may arbitrarily attribute to God, but God Himself won’t ever show up and say, “This happened because I was angry about such-and-such.” It will all be superstition.