Thursday, March 13, 2008

Seven (Updated) Deadly Sins

Pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed and sloth.

SO 1500 years ago!

So on Sunday the Vatican issued a new list of seven deadlies, also dubbed the "social sins":

    ``Bioethical' violations such as birth control

    ``Morally dubious'' experiments such as stem cell research

    Drug abuse

    Polluting the environment

    Contributing to widening divide between rich and poor

    Excessive wealth

    Creating poverty

If you are unfamiliar with the Catholic philosophy of sin, here's a good primer from Slate.

So, why the updated list now?

The Rev. John Wauck from Rome's Pontifical University of the Holy Cross: "In different times, in moments of history, cultural moments, technological moments, sins dress themselves up, so to speak, in a different way," speaking to CNN.

"The underlying sin tends to be the same -- a variation of a theme of selfishness, a lack of respect for others, of lying, cheating , stealing or killing," Wauck said.

In the modern age, people find new ways to commit the seven deadly sins.

"Our wrath has new outlets and we have new technology with which to deceive people or even kill people," Wauck said.

Technology is a blessing, he said, but it can also be a danger. Take pollution, for example. Wauck said it's a variation of the original mortal sin of gluttony or selfishness.

Protecting the environment comes from the Bible's book of Genesis, he said: God created the world and placed man in it to thrive and not destroy. But the population explosion and the production of extremely toxic materials make the stakes much higher.

"We're seeing now that the kinds of sin that have an impact not on particular individuals -- I stole my neighbor's property or I damaged his property -- but [rather] I polluted in a way that damaged the entire environment, which doesn't belong to me and doesn't belong to my neighbor either. It belongs to mankind and so it's a sin in a certain sense against all of us," Wauck said.

Pope Benedict XVI "wants every person to stop and think about their actions and how it affects not only their own soul but the community and the world at large," said CNN's Vatican correspondent, Delia Gallagher.

"I think he thinks that by doing so this, by making people reflect on what they are doing, in the long term that is what is going to create a better world."

Discuss amongst yourselves!

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