In Virtue and Verity

Somebody who reeks of an obvious hatred towards me, told me today that I suffer from all the seven deadly sins. Aside of the fact that I never claimed to be a virtous human being, I think the concept of the seven deadly sins needs deep examination. So here goes:

“Pride is excessive belief in one’s own abilities, that interferes with the individual’s recognition of the grace of God. It has been called the sin from which all others arise. Pride is also known as Vanity”

Pride from this is reality evasion toward optimism. The correct term here should be “hubris.”

“Envy is the desire for others’ traits, status, abilities, or situation.”

Recognizing virtue and desiring to achieve that virtue isn’t a bad thing at all. This would only be bad if you went and attacked a person to get those things.

“Gluttony is an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires.”

The definition seems to be saying that everyone should live at mere subsistence; and almost everything is more than one requires. A car? More than you require because you can walk. I support the acquisition and consumption of VAST amounts above the requisit.

“Lust is an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body”

What is an inordinate craving? I’m going to be generous and translate this to “hedonism? which represents an epistemologically short-sighted view of reality; one essentially ignores the longer term impact of action.

“Anger is manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury. It is also known as Wrath.”

Recognizing vice for vice and hating it as such is right and proper. Evil people are people who do evil. One cannot separate the person from the action without evading reality. So, I just plain reject this one as a none-too-subtle part of altruism. (*gasp!* Not in religion! Say it ain’t so!)

“Greed is the desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual. It is also called Avarice or Covetousness.”

I reject this one, too. It goes back to that subsistence level living thing.

“Sloth is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work”

Sloth. Now, here’s one with which an Objectivist can get on board. One of the primary virtues in Objectivism is being productive. Sloth is a bad thing.

In sum, the only sin I accept is that of sloth. And anybody who accuses me of being slothful is just plain Blind. I stand defended.