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SOCIETY
 
Sins & Virtues Part I
The 7 Deadly Sins’ Prevalence In Society
Wednesday July 4, 2012
 
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves,
and the truth is not in us.”
King James Bible - John 1:8 (Cambridge Edition)
 
Literally every one of us has sinned to one degree or another and will continue to commit sins; to deny this would of course be breaking the Ninth of the Ten Commandments “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” Exodus 20:16 or in its more modern and simple form “Thou Shalt Not Lie”. All sins are the cited in the Jewish Torah, Old & New Testaments and the Quran as well as principles in other religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, but also ethics amongst decent nothingness fearing or fearful of nothing Atheists.
 
The Seven Faces of Sin
 
Throughout history the perceptions and styles of Sin have evolved, been refined and simplified; simplification could also be regarded as a Sin in the form of SLOTH as if things are simplified it is for the purpose of convenience which enables laziness.  Originally there were 10 sins these were:
  1. Lust
  2. Gluttony
  3. Greed
  4. Sloth
  5. Acedia
  6. Wrath
  7. Envy
  8. Pride
  9. Vainglory
  10. Tristitia
Or possibly the Catholic Church was too Greedy spending and accumulating Gold for Lust of Power committing the sins of  Pride and Vainglory so didn’t want to spend more money than it had to on Paper and Ink.
 
These were simplified or rationalised by the Catholic Church, possibly because the Cleric writing the Sins was too slothful to write every single sin with individual explanation to:
 
These were simplified or rationalised by the Catholic Church, possibly because the Cleric writing the Sins was too slothful to write every single sin with individual explanation to:
  1. Lust
  2. Gluttony
  3. Greed
  4. Sloth
  5. Wrath
  6. Envy
  7. Pride
One often finds that certain sins work in combination; a person with an impious appetite would commit the sins of, Lust Gluttony and Greed, with Pride or Vanity thrown in. If a person cannot or does not perform lustful activities often associated with Greed and Pride then Wrath comes into play. If a person is discouraged under the sins of Acedia and or Tristitia then the Sin of Sloth is committed. For convenience sake the Catholic Church merged the sins of Acedia and Tristitia merged into Sloth, or possibly the Catholic was too slothful and couldn’t be bothered to go into details with the peasants and serfs of the Medieval ages, who were after all ignorant.
 
So, where can one find Sins being committed habitually?
 
Top Settings for Sin - Number 1: The Seats of Politix
As great a man he was, as well as a War Hero, a leader with ideals of change for good, a peacemaker John F. Kennedy allegedly succumbed to lust under the charms of Marilyn Monroe, who herself had can be regarded as lusting for the position of power by throwing herself at JFK, which would of course mean she had some pride and vanity and envied Jackie Kennedy. It can also be deemed that Marilyn Monroe had a certain amount of avarice by lusting after JFK and the long list of other powerful and influential men.
 
Then of course there is the Bill Clinton and Monica Lewisnki affair. Bill had his Pride and Lust of position of power, Monica lusted after it, and possibly some avarice thrown in by both parties.
 
Power after all is one of the strongest aphrodisiacs and power, lust, greed, even pride and vanity all go hand in hand. Politicians even have image makers and Spin Doctors to help improve their image which can be regarded as a form of vanity or pride.
 
Then of course there is Wrath, when a politician doesn’t get his way, or is caught out and exposed by the media and even colleagues for some scandal usually involving some kind of sin either, Lust, gluttony by abusing public funds for expenses on fine dining, greed through corruption, sloth, for being too lazy to be thorough on reviewing and implementing policies, wrath for being caught out, envy for wanting to be in a superior’s position in government which of leads to pride or vanity.
 
The desire itself to be a President or Prime Minister can be equated to Lust, Greed, and Pride. Very few people go into politics with the aims of being a good leader or policy maker for the benefit of society; plus most political careers do not have longevity as all know who enter politics they can be voted out of the Senate or Parliament at any time, therefore politicians often use politics as a stepping stone to something greater. After resigning as Prime Minister, Tony Blair, a born again Catholic, went to work on his biography A JOURNEY. Why would one want to publish such a book? Possibly for one’s own image or rather vanity and pride by attempting to make peers look stupid, as well as greed from revenues from sales, which in turn would facilitate gluttony to be able to eat well, and of course for sloth, so one can be lazy from remuneration of book sales. Perhaps even some envy to be able to compete with other leaders and peers.
 
In conclusion, Politics can be regarded as the most sinful situation and career, with every sin accounted for.
 
Number 2: The Workplace
Now, for career and the workplace, another set where sin can be found in abundance. We all want to climb up that corporate ladder, excel in our careers; but why?
 
We all want more money, respect or more respect, to buy the latest designer clothes, the latest gadgets, labour saving devices (sloth anyone), the fastest car, the biggest house; in most cases just to impress others for pride, or for envy because we want what others have.
 
Some perhaps want an easier job with a more superior title with power and prestige where the minions doing the work for us, to compete with others, and to gorge oneself at the latest hippest restaurants, for sloth greed pride and gluttony perhaps?
 
Naturally, no workplace is without lust; there are always situations where both men and women fantasise and desire a fling with their peers and superiors, sometimes even to move up the career ladder. Men lust after women even for their own pride; and women lust after men of power, also for their own pride and even greed. If neither men nor women get what they want then envy and wrath will always linger the background arousing lust, greed and pride. However, I can only speak from experience for heterosexuals, and not Gay Lesbian and Trans-Gender professionals.
 
Typical most sinful careers, well we covered politics.
 
Banking speaks for itself where job requirements might as well specify characteristics such LUST, GLUTTONY, GREED, ENVY & PRIDE. Most bankers are passive aggressive types anyway, so we can cite some sort of Wrath as another sin committed by bankers, or BANKSTERS as most people prefer to call them these days. On balance Money is the root of all evil, and the root of all money is Tier 1 Banksters.
 
Lawyers and Accountants, some of whom are ethical diligent and principled or the most despicable repugnant scum of the Earth committing all manners of sin. What lawyers and accountants do is ultimately either about greed, pride or wrath of the lack of pride and money for greed, because the people they represent are too slothful to be thorough in protecting their interests in the first place. There are however some very noble virtuous lawyers who do battle with depraved lawyers and accountants that uncover fraud by corrupt greedy characters.
 
Certain Doctors, or more specifically Plastic Surgeons can be regarded as being advocates of sin, BOOB JOB and other plastic surgery says it all.  There’s good money involved, so greed can be cited, and irrefutably the sins of vanity or pride and lust are facilitated after a patient goes under the knife for plastic surgery.
 
Marketing professionals are without doubt the scourge of humanity; they have no particular skill which means they are too lazy to develop real skills except manipulate people, which is not useful to society whatsoever. Marketers basically lie and exaggerate about the value of products and services, charge ridiculous amounts of money for their services in campaigns, usually 5% of expected total revenue with the sole purpose of leading extravagant lifestyles to satisfy their lust, greed, gluttony which is motivated by envy, but quite often Marketers like Bankers are also passive aggressive.
 
Helpdesk staff are either fairly kind sanguine helpful sickly sweet Pollyannas, or generally the most unhelpful people one can encounter, gossiping slanderous, envious, lustful, know-it-all’s who want it all, but are the slothful under-achievers of most organisations.
 
Most technology jobs careers as one of the key requirements of the job is sitting in front of a computer all day, so to some extent sloth; however  some virtues are required for technology based jobs, so we can forgive the Geeks who are generally antisocial and do not get to mingle outside their fringes of society.
 
Musicians and Artists however, only the greats though, not your Tracy Emin types, can be forgiven for their indiscretions; Ludwig van Beethoven can be forgiven for all his sins, bar sloth which he certainly did not commit. Was Beethoven guilty of Pride, certainly, he had every reason to be proud, but he was also too proud to tell people especially fellow musicians and Patrons of his deafness which started to afflict him since the age of 26. Was Beethoven guilty of Lust? A resounding yes, but that Lust was also a Lust and Passion for Life, a desire to inspire and move people with his music; his passion and desire touched his music which in turn has touched and will touch people for all eternity. He was certainly guilty of Wrath which you can hear throughout his 5th Symphony which he wrote eight years into his deafness between 1804 to 1808. Even the most pious of Popes can forgive Beethoven for his Wrath and frustration of slowly sinking into deafness which must have been the most ironic of Hell’s for a man with such God given gifts. Beethoven’s music is about as close to Godliness as one can aspire to, even more so than the Catholic Church.
 
Number 3: The Family Circle
The Family Dinner Table (or if the family is too slothful to set up the dinner table and resorts to eating dinner on trays on the Sofa) can be like a volcano waiting to erupt.  At the dinner table one person always wants that extra slice of Beef, the extra potato or two, and the generous serving of gravy, though gluttony is a relatively innocent sin compared to others committed by family members. The worst and number one sin that can be committed in most family situations is Pride, by both individuals and as a family unit. Pride always paves the way for other sins to be committed, leading to a breakdown in communication, a lack of empathy leading to wrath for not being understood or even interrupted in mid-speech.
 
Every family unit has its straggler, the bone idle slothful one who never aspires to anything; but perhaps that person does not want to because of a DAMNED IF I DO, DAMNED IF I DON’T attitude. So eventually, the slothful straggler is discouraged to nothing.
 
There is always the autocratic leader of the family unit who can act like a typical dictator who must be listened to at all times, never admits they are wrong even when the evidence is stacked against them, but their Pride never allows them to admit their mistakes. Then of course there is the customary family feud where pride and wrath are is to be expected. Every family unit has its straggler, the bone idle slothful one who never aspires to anything; but perhaps that person does not want to because of a DAMNED IF I DO, DAMNED IF I DON’T attitude.
 
Family arguments are generally tempestuous, because of emotive factors where a family member’s issues are driven by all kinds of emotions making rows irrational; sometimes family members fear opinions of other the rest of the family, so never say a thing, where all those issues build up inside creating an uneasy peace and a passive aggressive person up until the point that family member explodes. There is no place for fear in the family, but as Yoda the Jedi Master from Star Wars said “Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.”
 
Greed in the family is so common but never rears its ugly head until the administering the will and probate. There is always the case of family members feeling they deserve more from a deceased relative’s estate a few weeks after the funeral. And if someone doesn’t get what they want, envy kicks in.
 
However, the worst imaginable sin that can be committed in a family is Lust; it’s just plain wrong, abnormal and incest. There are however some exceptions if you like to “KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY”; as long as it’s not a blood relative and of the same sex, you could always lust after the temptress Sister-In-Law, or rebellious Brother-in-Law, or the wife of your blood uncle in the form of that hot aunt, or the free spirited uncle and husband of your blood aunt, the nymphomaniac niece or naughty nephew by marriage. But we are only human and for those of you who believe that God created Adam and Eve, well he can be blame for getting the wiring and bio-chemistry wrong in humans, so to some extent humans do have a justification
 
Number 4: The Circle of Friendship
In true friendship, where in these hectic stressful times. only true friends are worth having, we should choose our friends wisely. Friendship is based on virtues, mutual respect and a need to be with people who understand us. True Friends bring out the best in us, help to pick us up when we’re down, do those little or big favours for us. However, in some friendships there is always a smidgeon of envy over a job or material possessions. Nevertheless, some people choose to break the bonds of friendship and trust.
 
Likely events in history where the combination of the sins lust and envy were perpetrated were by Marc Anthony for and lust for his trusted friend and brother in arms Julius Caesar’s wife Cleopatra. Marc Anthony fell under the spell of one of the most powerful women in history, his best friend’s widow the seductress Cleopatra and Queen of Egypt. After the assassination of Julius Caesar, a complex power ensued, Julius Caesar’s nephew, adopted son and heir Augustus became rivals for control of the Roman Empire, which was divided between Marc Anthony in the Eastern Mediterranean and Augustus Caesar controlling the Western Mediterranean. Marc Anthony’s Pride was probably offended that a mere boy Augustus, who had never even seen battle took control of half of an empire for which he did not fight but ruled by default.  Nevertheless, the tensions between Marc Anthony and Augustus led to a war for ultimate control of the Roman Empire where the consequences of Marc Anthony’s lust for Cleopatra and power as well as his vainglory led to the fall of the Ptolemaic Dynastic Empire and changing the course of history for Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
 
Another such example of lust in history changing the course of history and wiping out the Trojan civilisation is Paris’ lust for Helen, originally married to the King of Mycenaean Sparta. Paris broke the bonds of a new found friendship and trust with Menelaus, whisked Helen away to Troy, Menelaus was enraged, (wrath), his pride was offended, 100,000 Greeks sailed across the Aegean to Troy, a ten year war followed and the Trojan civilisation was wiped out.
 
So whatever kind of friendship you may have with someone and however recently formed, never commit or even think of a sin.
 
But, whether you are religious or not and if trying to remember all the 7, 8 or 10 Cardinal sins is too much strain on your brain, then there is a much simpler principle to follow in politics, work, family and friendship: ETHICS. Actions and words are either wrong or right. Or as great philosopher once said, “DO UNTO OTHERS WHAT YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO TO YOU”. This is perhaps the one golden rule of Life we should all remember to adhere to. And wouldn’t it be nice if everyone was virtuous.
 
Next month Part II The Seven Virtues and How to Use or Abuse them
 
 
 
 
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"Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall." William Shakespeare
 
 
       
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