In case you didn’t remember, anger, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride and sloth are the seven deadly sins, classified as cardinal sins or vices by antiquated Christian teachings. They are actually older than Greek civilization, and centuries later are mentioned in writing in both Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and Dante’s Purgatory.
It wasn’t until the fourth-century A.D. that seven deadly sins link up to ‘evil thoughts.’ There are long, long treatises on sin and vice, and opposite virtuous habits such as ‘good acts.’
Sin involves a voluntary intended act, as described by Roman African Christian theologian Augustine in his Confessions. He worries about his motive to ‘steal pears,’ is it simply to do something lawless? He observes himself trying to avoid his own intentions, which causes a separation between ‘carnal and spiritual pleasure. Anger, envy, pride and sloth’ are carnal, of the body and mental sins of thinking. Sins of ‘lust and gluttony’ are different, stemming from corporeal pleasures.
As we all know, sensuality is one problem leading to lack of reason. A sin is also classified as being against God and one’s neighbor, not divided by degrees of guilt and punishment, and not all equal.
It amazes me so much antiquity of thinking and writing is about sin of gluttony. According to Italian Catholic Church leader Thomas Aquinas, there are five types of gluttony, eating too expensively, too daintily, too much, too soon, and too eagerly. The most serious extreme of gluttony is enjoyment.
God must forbid enjoyment.
What history. What relief to live in our modern world, where we can choose to be spiritualists or choose to go in a specific religious direction or choose atheism. For most Americans, it’s not a requirement to follow specific teachings, like it was in antiquity.
On a personal note, my biggest sin is gluttony. I suffer from extreme versions of wanting and desiring enjoyment, and I know I’m not alone. I usually want it all, and I want it to go on forever. There may be some hellish location waiting for me on judgment day, so why not go for it before I get there?
In my opinion, sin is not cool primarily because it takes me away from ‘sunlight of the spirit.’ I get absorbed in my own thing to the exclusion of anything else. But, do not try to separate me from my pleasures, or it could get ugly.
According to history, it’s ugly either way.
I’m right there with ya, baby!