Seven Deadly Sins debate

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/07/2011 ( 59 moms have responded )

12,224

26

264

The 7 Deadly Sins, also known as the Capital Vices or Cardinal Sins, is a classification of objectionable vices that have been used since early Christian times to educate and instruct followers concerning fallen humanity's tendency to sin. The currently recognized version of the sins are usually given as wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.



-Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_deadl...




Do you think this (wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony) is an inherent aspect of humans as a species, something we learned, or something that has sort of come to life and developed over time? Why?



P.S. Not a religious debate. Just discussing sins

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Elizabeth - posted on 12/07/2011

3,701

0

7

Good question Niki, one that makes me really have to think. I'll take each one individually.

Lust: a lesser version of lust is desire. My 9 1/2 month old experiences desire. Desire to chew on mom's shoelaces, electric cords, and to walk. At times these desires consume him. So it would appear that although there was no training, lust is inherent.

Wrath: Many toddlers have retaliated a toy being taken away or some such thing by hitting the offender, even if they have never been spanked/slapped or seen the behavior before. So I would have to say that wrath as well is inherrent.

Gluttony: Hmmm excessive indulgence. I would say that this is NOT inherent. Babies eat and drink ONLY what their bodies need. Children who are allowed to eat and drink healthy foods on demand, and are not given food as reward or punishment and do not have negative associations with food, maintain healthy eating habits into their adult lives. So this I feel is a learned behavior.

Sloth: When a well baby is awake and not feeding, they are always on the go. Even if it is just staring at other's actions, or flexing hands. A child has to be taught to slow down. To sit and be quiet. I would say that this is definatly a learned behavior.

I think I'm going to have to give more thought to pride, envy and greed.

Jenni - posted on 12/09/2011

5,928

34

393

This is just a personal observation... but If I were so bold as to compare the liberal/conservative parties in the US compared to Canada. The US is far more right leaning. Your left party is comparable to our Conservative party.



Both parties (or multiple parties in other governments) serve their purpose and they are both essential to maintaining a balance in their societies that everyone can be happy with. But the problem is becoming (and the US isn't alone in this, other countries are beginning to follow suit) our countries are adopting Crony Capitalistic economies. Which is basically the government is working for business, small interests rather then its citizens.



Now, I by no means am trying to bash on the right. It's just that the right happens to serve business better. This does not mean the left doesn't serve them as well and are also accountable. It just happens that the right's ideologies, fits the needs of corporations and big business better than the left that emphasizes community, socialism. I believe what's going on is that big business is behind the right-wing agenda and big organizations are behind the left.



At any rate, neither give two craps what average citizens want and both are working in the best interest of small interests with large influence through lobbying.



It's just interesting that all these sins are beneficial to big businesses as individualism is more beneficial to big business. And I dare say that the left in America appears to be very right-minded to me at least compared to our political parties in Canada. It may just be a cultural difference.



We tend to be more socialist and put the needs of the community before the needs of the individual. But were still pretty similar to the US when compared to most of Europe.



I think it's just individualism benefits business more than community. Community would be pooling our resources together for the common good of society. Whereas individualism is hoarding the resources by the strongest and most fit.

Jenni - posted on 12/09/2011

5,928

34

393

Most mental illnesses are both nature and nurture. You generally don't find too many "psychopaths" who had a well-adjusted, normal, loving upbringing. Usually a traumatic childhood does something to people's ability to empathize. However, it tends to be something only certain people are predispositioned for.



Recent research of PS (paranoid schizophrenia) shows a vast deterioration of the frontal lobe of the brain from the time it is first diagnosed, to years after diagnosis (when delusions begin to occur). It has also been observed that in many cases a traumatic, stressful childhood or event triggers the condition.



So it's not too far fetched to say that a lot of other mental illness are both physical and environment.



I personally don't believe in the nature vs. nurture "argument". Everything is generally a mixture of both. They intertwine to create our own personal moral compass. Including our ability to empathize.



I also don't believe these "sins" are evil. They are necessary to species survival and Darwinism. They become less necessary and cause more conflict in social groupings where it is more beneficial for the group to harmonize. Rather than in solitary animals where it is survival of the fittest individual, social animals are survival of the fittest group. These "sins" cause conflict within the community because the emphasis survival of the fittest individual rather than the community.



For some species, like humans, it is far more beneficial to our survival to *work together* for the greater good of the community. As it is with Great Apes, Dolphins, Elephants... notice how these social animals are all considered highly intelligent, more self-aware and have exhibited higher levels of empathy than animals that are more solitary. It is simply functional to social animals who do better as a species living in social groupings.



Being very self aware has allowed humans to recognize the things that help our community to live more harmoniously, thus ensuring even more success for our species.

Charlie - posted on 12/08/2011

11,203

111

409

There is plenty of evidence to show animals also have a moral compass , given that we ARE animals it is hardly surprising.




"Living within a group requires a moral code of behaviour... Most animals that live in communities exhibit similar moral codes to humans. " CIWF.

59 Comments

View replies by

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/11/2011

12,224

26

264

Where does morality come from? What defines bad and good acts?

[deleted account]

I do not think such a thing as sin exists. The definition of sin is that an act is upsetting to a deity. Many things are considered sins which make no sense. People can commit bad acts and crimes. We're not all that evolved from basic pack animals. We're still leaning better morality. We'll get there.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/09/2011

12,224

26

264

Sorry to hear Canada is heading in that direction as well now........ yikes.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/09/2011

12,224

26

264

Ah. I see what you mean now. I do agree that our left is more indivisualistic than they used to be which is why you say they are more right-winged now. I would have never made that connection, even though the same thoughts are floating around in my head up there lol

Jenni - posted on 12/09/2011

5,928

34

393

So... yeah... the problem isn't right or left so much as it is business and organizations in bed with politics. Get money out of politics... if it's possible and most of the problem is solved.



We actually just passed legislation here in Canada that mirrors Citizen's United in the US. Our politicians *use to be* publicaly funded (ie: tax dollars paid for their campaigns. Harper passed legislation to force them to look else where for donations.... what does that mean?



Big business/organizations will be funding them. So who will they be working for? Who's paying their salaries and getting them into office now?

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/09/2011

12,224

26

264

I don't know about all that. I can't think much right now, my kid is taking his plastic toy and banging it on a shelf LOL

You hit dead on when you said it doesn't matter if you vote left or right anymore. I don't even want to get into liberal vs conservatism because I believe both parties have gotten waaaaaaay too far away from their original goals, morals, purposes and stances. Because of all of that, neither party stands for anything anymore and I could care less about either one of them. We need a new party in my mind. One that is for the people. Which is why I usually lean independant.

Fox News is notoriously known as the hard leaning right winged conservative station, so of course they'd dog liberals in such a manner. However, I think all the other news stations are liberal?

It's been a few years since I've cared to follow mainstream media so it could have changed some but during the last election it was aweful. No one wanted to give Palin and McCain air time. Oprah didn't invite them onto her show.

It seems to be happening right now too. The only interesting candidate for the Republican party is Ron Paul and they don't give him any air time. So even the parties are controlling who they want to be voted in. They don't care about the people at all.

Everything is corrupt. Influenced, lobbied, biased, mushed, shaped and brainstormed into what these big corperations want.

What do they want from us now? That's the question. They have divided us, pitted us against eachother, seperated us by race again, seperated us by immigration status, divided us by fear mongering and brainwashing people into lies about the other political party. It's all BS

Jenni - posted on 12/09/2011

5,928

34

393

Actually, Fox News just did a cover on how the Liberals are using the Muppets to brainwash children against Capitalism. I'm thinking they were referring to the Muppet's Christmas Carol.



The needs/desires of businesses have pushed the US so far to the right, they are now right of cartoon supervillains (like Scrouge in the Muppet's Christmas Carol). So now cartoons are liberally biased. Altruism, sharing, fair play, teamwork, community and heroism are now against current conservative ideology. So normal, basic, quality children's entertainment is now liberal propaganda. Why do you think America throws around so much fear mongering around anything that even alludes to Socialism and immediately labels it Communism to scare its citizens off of it. Like UHC.



The seven deadly sins are now encouraged in American society. As is individualism. Working against the community and for the individual. Business Darwinism.

Jenni - posted on 12/09/2011

5,928

34

393

That's why a lot of people are awakening to the fact it doesn't matter who you vote for in America; right or left. Neither party is working for citizens anymore. They're working for these non-human entities (ie: businesses).

Jenni - posted on 12/09/2011

5,928

34

393

That's because America has traveled down a very dangerous road for society as a whole. One in which they anointed non-human entities with human status. They have very different requirements and needs than *actual* humans. Mix that with power to influence government through their vast commodities of wealth. And the American government is no longer working for actual humans but non-human entities.



American is creating a perfect environment for business (non-human entities) rather than working towards a perfect environment for citizens (actual humans). That's why you're seeing more and more regulations, laws, less rights for humans and less regulations, laws and more rights for business.



ETA: This is why America is becoming extremely right winged. Because it emphasizes individualism which is in the best interest of business. Community is definitely not best for businesses.

Notice how these seven deadly sins are very strong in the US right now?

Some are admired and even encouraged? Individualism: Greed, lust, sloth, gluttony, envy, pride, wrath.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/09/2011

12,224

26

264

Well, I think what America has is great. We just aren't doing the correct things in order to *keep* it great.

We shipped jobs (telecommunications) and industry (cars, appliances) overseas. We don't tariff imports enough, which would balance it out. We're letting big corperations get away with murder by not holding them accountable. We're doing this to ourselves and we have no one else to blame. I truly believe in this system, if only more people would care again, we could fix it.

Jenni - posted on 12/09/2011

5,928

34

393

This is exactly why most of our governments have a right and left political party. The left emphasizes community and the right emphasizes individualism.

Jenni - posted on 12/09/2011

5,928

34

393

Right Niki... imo I think the perfect environment for us humans would be one that takes into account both requirements. A balance between community and individualism. Probably leaning a bit more towards community than the latter.

Jenni - posted on 12/09/2011

5,928

34

393

We're both Jenny. As are all social animals. Think of it as a spectrum. More social animals will lean towards more emphasis on community goals, but individualism is still there. Just not as strong as it would be in solitary animals.

Humans clearly do better in communities or social groupings. It is a big part of our success as a species. Our ancestors lived in communities because we were more successful hunters as group, the group offered more protection from predators, it was more beneficial to our offspring. Much like chimps.

But that need to ensure our own individual seed, still exists. As it does in all animals regardless of them tending to be more social or more solitary. I just believe it's strong in solitary animals. Survival of the fittest individual vs. survival of the fittest group. In social animals this seems to be a conflict. As SoftheFI works against the group and SoftheFG works against the individual. Did that make sense? :S

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/09/2011

12,224

26

264

We work best in groups because we have to in order to survive and thrive as a species. As humans, there is too much work to be done in order to live. We don't have much of a choice as to whether we rely on others or not. We live in tribes for a reason. It's only more recently, since the industrial revolution and specialization, have we been able to live life with more free time with an illusion that we don't need others. Which is dangerous and the cause of what is bringing us down as a society. However, we are too instinctually hardwired for individualism in the end for something like Communism to ever succeed properly. That's why Communism hasn't worked and probably will never work.

Jenny - posted on 12/09/2011

4,426

16

129

"For some species, like humans, it is far more beneficial to our survival to *work together* for the greater good of the community. As it is with Great Apes, Dolphins, Elephants... notice how these social animals are all considered highly intelligent, more self-aware and have exhibited higher levels of empathy than animals that are more solitary. It is simply functional to social animals who do better as a species living in social groupings. "

"This is exactly why Communism would *never* work. Because individualism is innate in us. "

So are we too individual or do we work best in a group?

Jenni - posted on 12/09/2011

5,928

34

393

This is exactly why Communism would *never* work. Because individualism is innate in us.



Communism *would* work if we could somehow cut out these instinctual needs to ensure the survival of ourselves as individuals (or our individual genes).



Communism is a utopoic/perfect community environment.



And I apologize for the lengthy essay. :P

Good topic Niki ;)

Jenni - posted on 12/09/2011

5,928

34

393

Basically, the seven deadly sins work against community success and emphasize individual success.



wrath- could lead to deaths of other individuals within the group.



greed- if we're working together to acquire food and one individual hoards all they find. They are not benefiting the group.



sloth- if you're lying around not contributing to the community, letting everyone else do the work. You're not benefiting the community.



Pride- You think you as an individual deserve more privilege than the rest of the community.



Lust- It is more beneficial for us to have monogamous long term mating partnerships to raise our offspring as they take a very long time to raise to maturity. Lust breaks apart these partnerships and is detrimental to our offspring. If a child is created out of lust, it is less likely the father will stick around to raise the child. It is also difficult to determine paternity. Most males do not want to waste energy raising offspring that are not their own. Look at male lions. :S



Envy- wanting more than you've earned. Also, in a completely harmonious society no individual would have more than another. I think this one could also lead to a few of the other deadly sins.



gluttony- taking more than your fair share from the group. Causes others within the group to have less.



It seems all of these "sins" encourage individualism over community. Although they are important and innate in us to carry on our own individual seeds. They are detrimental to the community as whole. Other social animals exhibit this instinctual individualism. I think on a spectrum social animals would lean further towards instincts that emphasis community over individualism. But individualism is still innate.

[deleted account]

Psychopaths did not learn to be that way, its bad wiring in the brain... chemically unbalanced. I had to take a rough course class on that for the type of facility I worked in as a cna.

Jenny - posted on 12/08/2011

4,426

16

129

Very true Feen. I guess what I mean is other animals are still natural. They live and learn from their parents and continue onto the next generation. There is not a lot of outside influence or awareness of their morality. They just be.

I'm using the term morals to describe:

ENVY
SLOTH
GLUTTONY
WRATH
PRIDE
LUST
GREED

Of course morals encompass much more but the OP was talking of the 7 deadly sins in particular. I don't know if animals deal with these so much. These seem to be born of privilege and not a life of necessity. I could certainly see wrath playing out in nature though. If we went back to basic living perhaps our issues with these would become insignificant too.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/08/2011

12,224

26

264

This has brought about something I have never thought about in association with this topic. I always lumped moral with sin. Hmm..... Not everyone believes in sin though, as it's a religious concept. Thanks guys.

[deleted account]

Yes! I can respond to that. :)

I believe that animals are mostly instinctual. I do not think that animals have morals, because I believe that morals require cognizance of intentional behaviors (right or wrong). I believe that they can be trained to mimic behaviors, such as what we believe is affection. In the wild animals are not affectionate to other species, that would lead me to believe that it is learned.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/08/2011

12,224

26

264

Ah, that's it. Thanks Jenny! Can you talk about morals then, Debb?

Jenny - posted on 12/08/2011

4,426

16

129

Well if the word sin is used, it automatically brings religion into it. That's why I call them morals instead, I don't believe in sin.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/08/2011

12,224

26

264

What were these people like, who grew up alone, who lacked morality as you say?



They survived obviously. How? By what means? They might not have been taught the concepts of which we are discussing but they had to use them.



Whether to kill or not in order to eat. How much joy they naturally experianced in the rush of the kill, persay? How much did they eat? Did they ever over eat? Or eat just to eat, because they liked the taste? Did these people ever squish bugs without thinking about it, just because it was fun? Even if they were trying to learn about something, they killed life in the process?



Do you have any literature about this? I'd love to read it.

Jenny - posted on 12/08/2011

4,426

16

129

We are taught morality through memetic evolution. It is taught by oberserving our parents and surrounds as well as directly being taught. Morality is neccessary for us to live as a group, especially when we were literally hunting and gathering. There have been cases of children being brought up alone and they did not inherently have morality. It does bad things to society to assume we are born moral and take it for granted that we will learn to live that way. As we start living more solitary and comparmentalised lives we can see the ill effects on society as we lose empathy.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/08/2011

12,224

26

264

It's ok. I really don't want to discourage anyone here. Expecially Jenny. I actually started this because of a discussion we were having from another post that wasn't related much to the OP so I thought it would be interesting to just talk about this.

Stifler's - posted on 12/08/2011

15,141

154

604

Oh I thought I wrote that they were human nature in my post. Sorry.

[deleted account]

Oooh! Interesting question! Ok, without getting all religious here.. I believe that they are inherent to our species.

[deleted account]

OK... I think I understand the question now. ;) Yep. Sorry, can't answer it w/ my beliefs w/out it being a religious debate.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/08/2011

12,224

26

264

Emma, this debate doesn't have anything to do with religion. I'm just curious about the sins themselves and whether or not you think they are inherent, learned, or have evolved in our species over time?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/08/2011

21,273

9

3058

I am comitting gluttony right now. This happens when my pride is bruised, often because I am envious, I tend to not share my food...I get greedy with it when I am comitting gluttony, I tend to lust for more chocolate, and I am turning into a sloth because of it. WOW, my seven sins revolve around gluttony! LOL

Jenni - posted on 12/08/2011

5,928

34

393

haha, exactly as Cathy said. And I'm willing to bet that you'll find these instincts much stronger in solitary species than in more social species who live in groups, herds, what have you.

Jenni - posted on 12/08/2011

5,928

34

393

All of us are "guilty" of these sins on a spectrum. They are innate in our human nature, instinctual. In fact, a few I can say for sure had significance in our evolutionary past.

Greed and Gluttony- attributed to Darwinism, ensures an individual's survival and therefore likelihood of passing on their genes. Gluttony, when food was harder to find (and you'll see this innate in many other animals) they gorge in case they don't find food over the next few days.



Envy (or jealousy)- I would say has something to do with mating competition. Males don't want other males breeding with their female(s). Females don't want their males experiencing emotions for other females because it jeopardizes the likelihood of raising their offspring successfully. If the male was to leave with another female.

Envy for possessions would be like in the animal kingdom desiring another individual's better nesting location, food sources etc to ensure that individual's survival.



Lust- is innate to encourage procreation



Pride and wraith I'm not as sure about. But for the most part these are all instinctual in most animals. We all experience these emotions on different levels. Early Christianity has tried to turn human beings against their nature as animals because they believe us to be higher beings than our animal brethren. Humans pride themselves on being civilized and in order to be 'civilized' you must keep your innate animal instincts in check.



These *sins* really only create conflict in our modernized societies. And humans recognized this, named them, and preached against them to encourage a more harmonized society.

Stifler's - posted on 12/08/2011

15,141

154

604

These are "sins" because they infringe on the rights of others. If you ask me. I don't think it has anything to do with religion. Just common sense. People who rise above them have empathy and people who don't are self serving.

Elizabeth - posted on 12/07/2011

3,701

0

7

Jenny, first of all, I am open-minded. I enjoy a debate that challenges my beliefs enough to change my mind.



Your reasoning was: because of A, then B must be true.



Because of people rising above it, it must be learned.



Following this logic, this could be said of medical conditions:



Because of people rising above it, it must be learned.



Exactly the same reasoning that you used. Either medical conditions CANNOT be risen above, morality is NOT a learned behavior, or the reasoning used is wrong.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/07/2011

12,224

26

264

Elizabeth, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around gluttony being a learned behavior. Somehow my mind wants to tie it into lust and desire. The way babies pick and choose foods to me seems like the beginning of it and then it just escalates. I don't really consider that it's learned? It seems pretty inherent? I'm all ears. I can barely make sense of this thought as it's trying to figure out some connection between anchient times too. Something about bears hibernating and also people storing food for periods of time when there will be less food available (ex: winter) and then during the summer they are able to eat more so they do?? This is why I'm not posting it in the chat, just yet, if ever. I can't make a complete thought of out it. Help me out :)

Jenny - posted on 12/07/2011

4,426

16

129

You're right, those medical conditions aren't learned. How do they compare to morality exactly?

Elizabeth - posted on 12/07/2011

3,701

0

7

Jenny, none of the following are learned behaviors, yet there are people who have risen above each: some (or all) ADHD, autism, physical handicaps, speech difficulties, clumsiness just to name a few. These things are inherent and yet they can be risen above. Thus your reasoning that because people rise above these "sins" they are learned would appear to be inaccurate.



Beautiful, are you able to ignore that these seven items are considered sins? The question itself is not a religious one.

Lacye - posted on 12/07/2011

2,011

31

164

I'm just posting because I want to keep up with this post. ;D I'll probably state an opinion later.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 12/07/2011

12,224

26

264

Why do you think it was learned, Jenny? How? When?

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms