The term “innocence” is used to describe the lack of guilt of an individual, with respect to a crime. This term is often used in the law and order situations. For example, if a man is charged for any crime such as robbery or molestation or rape, and the court proves that it is a false allegation against him then the court passes a verdict that he is innocent. In general, the term innocent is often used to describe a lack of guilt, concerning any kind of offence, sin, or unlawful activity. The opposite or the antonym of innocence is corruption or something that is done with an intention to harm.
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Several times innocence is also used to refer to a state of unknowing. In this case a comparison is made between two individuals where one of them has less experience than the other. For example, a child is considered as a symbol of innocence. Similarly, a lamb is another symbol of innocence. Additionally, it is also used for people who lack the mental capacity to understand the nature of their acts. These people may be considered as innocent in spite of their behavior. A person who is mentally challenged may not be able to think or act as a normal person and hence they may be considered innocent (Wikipedia n.pag). In general, to be innocent means “not to be guilty of any crime or offense. It refers to a person who is within the law, unspoiled or uncorrupted, and pure in heart” (foundationsinchristianity.org).
The term innocent is often used in the Bible. The first place where the word comes into existence is in the book of Genesis. “The Serpent (Satan) convinced Eve that she would not die if she ate the forbidden fruit. He convinced her that the only reason God didn't want her to eat this fruit is so that she would not become as a god knowing good and evil. Both woman and man eat of the forbidden fruit. Adam and Eve hide themselves. Instead of seeing the great things that Satan had promised, they only felt guilty and ashamed because they were naked. The Lord called unto Adam. Adam said, "I was afraid, because I was naked; and hid myself"” (Genesis 3: 1-10) In this case, we can see that the Satan in the form of the Serpent takes advantage of the innocence or the lack of knowledge of Adam and Eve and tempt them to eat the fruit from the forbidden tree.
There are many poets who have written on this subject of innocence. It is a subject of great interest to many people. For example, the famous poetries of William Blake - Songs of innocence and experience, he tries to bring out several unique descriptions of innocence. Innocence is also linked with words such as simplicity or plainness, harmlessness, free from guilt or sin; purity of heart; blamelessness etc. Though innocence is liked by most of the people, it is lacking in many of them. Today, I feel that in the world of terrorism, crime and cruelty, the term innocence has lost its significance and the people who are innocent are often victimized.
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