Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Seven Deadly Sins – Version 2.0

In these new and wacky times, the Roman Catholic Church has decided to update the 7 Deadly Sins to the 14(!) Deadly Sins. Apparently, creating more pathways to damnation is a real crowd-pleaser.

The Old Sins: Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Greed & Sloth

The New “Sins” (with bonus commentary!):
Polluting – While I’m almost positive they mean in a “protect the planet” sense, this could also be seen to represent psychologically polluting (ie – polluting the spirit). Which isn’t that what sin is all about anyway? So, from that perspective are they making the physical manifestation of your sins, a sin? I mean, you’re already being damned for the Gluttony of planetary resources, Lust for (electric) power and Envy of others consumer goods. But, in addition to all that, you're also gonna burn for polluting. Isn’t that kinda like double jeopardy?

Genetic Engineering – You know, I thought that the Church dedicated itself to alleviating human misery. Being born with genetic diseases is NOT a holy occurrence and I don’t believe placing itself on the side of human misery is good for the Church in the long run. Caution is understandable in my opinion; there are most definitely some serious moral issues that need to be addressed about where we draw the line with genetic engineering. But outright banning is just as thoughtless and short-sighted as blind adoption. Once genetic engineering gets to the point where it can save children from inherited diseases and speed up cures for terrible diseases, this “sin” will be irrelevant. I predict this will end up like the Church’s ban on birth control, a part of the doctrine ignored by most practicing Catholics.

Being Obscenely Rich – I await the announcement of the Vatican liquidating all of its holdings. As one of the largest property owners in the world, surely it intends to avoid hypocrisy by removing any possible misinterpretation that it could perhaps, maybe be guilty of this particular sin? *crickets chirping*

Taking/Dealing Drugs – Wouldn’t this be a form of self-pollution? Kinda redundant if you ask me. Not to mention, some recent studies show genetic reasons for why some people become addicted to drugs (versus can take them once, go "not for me" and move on). Since the Vatican bans genetic engineering, if these studies pan out the Church is basically banning people's ability to reduce the likelihood of this type of sin. I get self-discipline is important but that would be carrying it too far, I think.

Abortion – In terms of their target audience, this is probably most inline with modern conservative thought and the one position on this list that the Church has actually investigated enough to have a coherent argument on.

- *Laughs cynically* Something Biblical comes to mind, a phrase...I vaguely recall a dictum about removing wooden beams from eyes...The details are fuzzy.

Causing Social Injustice – What does this even mean? What do they consider social injustices? And does the Church mean intentionally malicious “causing” or unintentional consequences “causing” social injustice? Frankly, one’s a good deal more clear-cut than the other. This "sin" is so general and wishy-washy that it serves absolutely no purpose at all.

My main quarrel with these new sins is that they are too specific. They speak more toward the Roman Catholic Establishment’s fears in the early 21st century than anything else. However, the “Deadly Sins” aren’t supposed to be a product of their times. They are supposed to represent general temptations. These temptations should be applicable in any time and any place and at any level of technology. That’s why the “Seven Deadly Sins” are so often referenced even by non-Christians. They represent truly universal concerns about mankind’s weaknesses. These additions are too much in the here-and-now too have the wider and timeless meaning needed for a "Deadly Sin".

In conclusion:

1 comment:

heavenquest said...

This reminds me of that old game we used to play as children. We would sit in a big circle and someone would whisper a short story (sometimes only a sentence) to the person to their right, and then the next would whisper what they heard to the next person, and so on until the last person receives the story. Of course it was funny to hear the end story as a child and how it had strayed from the original, but hey, we were children and there were no malintent in changing the story. Of course we know that if any one of those children wanted the real story, they'd stand up, walk over to the source and actually listen to what the original source had to say, but we understand that this is just a child's game and such reactions wouldn't be expected. That is what I mean when I state that this story about the Catholic Church reinventing, changing, adding, etc. what is considered deadly or mortal sins. That is falacious information and although the internet is a great tool for communication and information, it can also be a forum for anybody with a little time to spread erroneous information as if it were the Gospel (no pun intended). I suggest actually reading the original interview and learn why it was given and to which audience it is intended to be directed to, etc. In a short statement, go to the source. If a representative of the Catholic Church states something, doesn't it make sense to look into what they mean by asking them? If I state something which you would like clarification on, it would be senseless to ask some guy in Russia what I meant and what I said when all along you could have asked me. Of course that is only if you really wanted to know the truth.