The 7 Deadly Sins
Posted: 03 September 2007 04:59 PM   [ Ignore ]
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why are these considered bad?

——using my basic definitions——

sloth
working only when you want to

gluttony
eating what you want when you want

greed
wanting certain things

lust
wanting certain people

hatred
not hiding your feelings for your enemies

envy
realizing your wants of things you do not have

pride
wanting to be your best

———————————————————-
I’ve seen it argued that if one of these gets excessive, pride can bring it down. (such as too much food to obesity to pride to lost weight or liposuction)

Are these feelings bad?

Or are the expression of these feelings (not too much though) an good reflection on human nature?

Either way, what is your rationale?

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Posted: 03 September 2007 05:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It depends on how you define right and wrong.  The seven deadly sins come from early Christian teaching.  They are probably best understood within the context of that theology.  Are you looking for input using that or a different ethical context? 

The other problems here will be the matter of definitions, where to draw the lines, who decides, and how are the decisions enforced.  Eventually the topic will boil down to justification: How can any claim of rightness or wrongness be ultimately justified?

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PC

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Posted: 03 September 2007 05:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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You make a valid argument, however, it only applies if one is not a member of a society.  If your behavior in each of these areas is modified to assure that you don’t hurt the other members of your society and that you don’t avoid helping them whenever you can, then I wouldn’t see these as sins.  If you behave only for your own benefit in these seven areas, then I could understand it if someone shot you.  While against one of the Commandments, it’s not one of these Seven Sins, especially if the person did it quite calmly and without any hatred, but merely recognized that you were a destructive influence to the community and needed to be extirpated.  LOL

Occam

edited to delete a semi-colon

[ Edited: 03 September 2007 06:03 PM by Occam ]
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Posted: 03 September 2007 05:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Yes, as Occam says, you make a good point. Each of these has its good and its bad elements—they are not bad in and of themselves. This points up the flaws in a naïve Christian sort of ethical system. One can find similar problems with the Ten Commandments.

I do think it’s clear that these seven “sins” do have their bad points. There are bad things about all seven of them. But as you point out, that’s only part of the story.

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Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

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Posted: 03 September 2007 06:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Occam - 03 September 2007 05:26 PM

You make a valid argument, however, it only applies if one is not a member of a society.

I’m not sure if this was in response to my response.  What I wrote still applies when one is a member of society.  One may decide if conforming to societal norms is right or wrong.  Those norms are no more justified than any other stance - unless you stipulate that as a basis for justification. 

For the record my sense of right and wrong mostly matches up with that of my society (not coincidentally, thanks to both nature and nurture).  Fortunately (from the perspective of here and now) there have been dissenters whose ideas have caught on.  We now call them reformers.

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Posted: 03 September 2007 06:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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PC apeman, I think what Occam and Doug are saying is these things can do harm not just others, as in the hate part, but also to the self. One can hate or detest the actions of another and be just fine, but to actually hate another person for being this or that, ultimately gets turned back on oneself.  Gluttony, if done constantly, hurts yourself and sometimes others.  We could go down the list, but I think that would be how it would apply in a secular sense, but they are not really “sins”.  In all honesty, I’m not really sure how Christains got the idea they are sins.  Of course a lot of things do not make sense to me when it comes to Christianity.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 03 September 2007 07:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Mriana - 03 September 2007 06:41 PM

PC apeman, I think what Occam and Doug are saying is these things can do harm not just others, as in the hate part, but also to the self. One can hate or detest the actions of another and be just fine, but to actually hate another person for being this or that, ultimately gets turned back on oneself.  Gluttony, if done constantly, hurts yourself and sometimes others.  We could go down the list, but I think that would be how it would apply in a secular sense, but they are not really “sins”.  In all honesty, I’m not really sure how Christains got the idea they are sins.  Of course a lot of things do not make sense to me when it comes to Christianity.

Mriana, harming others is certainly frowned upon in most moral systems, including my own.  At the same time, don’t harm others as a basic axiom for morality isn’t ultimately justifiable, just widespread.  Don’t get me wrong - I have no problem with us abiding by an unjustified moral system.  I don’t see an alternative.


-PC-

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Posted: 03 September 2007 10:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I think your definitions are misleading, as they imply only the mildest and most potentially positive aspects of the “sins.” It is the excessiveness and succeeding negative consequences of the behavior that makes them bad, and the names are shorthand labels for these. “Lust” is really stronger than “wanting certain people.” It implies uncontrolled desire leading to socially harmful behavior. Now, if you feel that not harming others is not a “justifiable” moral axiom, I suspect you’re not going to find any argument for why anything is labeled “bad” or a :sin” convincing. But most ethical systems, as you say, find it a good starting place, and I don’t think this is accidental. I think it is because it is both useful in utilitarian terms as well as intrinsically comfortable or satisfying to most people, possibly for reasons of how our psychology evolved for living in groups.

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Posted: 03 September 2007 10:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Sorry, PCA.  I was writing my response at the same time you were writing yours so I didn’t see yours before I posted.  Mine was directed at redmartin89, not you. 

Occam

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Posted: 04 September 2007 01:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I think Pascal defined a virtue as two vices that balance each other out.

Also, those may be your definitions of those sins, but they aren’t the usual definitions.  You can redefine any ethical wrong you want in order to make it out to be good.

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Posted: 04 September 2007 02:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Occam - 03 September 2007 10:26 PM

Sorry, PCA.  I was writing my response at the same time you were writing yours so I didn’t see yours before I posted.  Mine was directed at redmartin89, not you. 

Occam

I see that now.  Color me embarrassed.  Apologies to all.

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PC

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