I was reading this question and I found interesting comments about tīrtha as follows:
you can get rid of sins simply by dipping in a Tirtha. Numerous scriptures including the Mahabharata mention it.
And one more:
The very act of dipping into a Tirtha is enough to get rid of sins. This is mentioned in numerous scriptures including the Mahabharata.
Assuming this to be true, and since it is mentioned in Hinduism scriptures, I wonder, what kind of message/rational/wisdom is behind such blanket announcements about tirtha?
For sure, it is not written to promote sins in society neither it is meant to promote Tirtha as a holy/sacred place.
This whole notion of thirtha and sins effectively means for a layman's perspective:
do whatever you want: and if you feel it's sin, then no worries, simply get dip in Thirtha and you will be fine
This sounds plain wrong to all of us as civilised citizens, and I too agree with that sentiment, but then what could be the reason why Hindu scriptures mentions such activity?