The Magnificent Seven…Rate them for yourself!

Posted: June 27, 2011 in Humans, Personal

(side note, if you ever wanna scare people from your blog, put an animated gif of some anime psycho painting his face with blood right there on the front page…)

Moving on…Watch out, I am gettin’ Biblical…

No, I do not mean the movie “The Magnificent Seven”, which hey, would be a good topic, but I am rather stealing the title as it was used in “Supernatural” to discuss something else.  A topic of much speculation by everything from scholars to religious leaders, subject of countless artistic, literary and media depictions  (personal favorites being Full Metal Alchemists and that Truly Creepy movie with Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt…”Se7en”)…..ah yes, lets dig on in with The Seven Deadly Sins.

So yeah, last night after reading some truly over the top morally superior comments elsewhere from those kinds of christians who make the good ones look bad- you know, from the sorts of holy and god-fearing folk who have apparently forgotten “do unto others” and “judge not lest ye be judged” or well, just figure that sort of holy advice given unto humanity doesn’t apply to them- yeah, well, I went to bed where I could not sleep right away because my back sucks eggs in hell, and I got to thinking about the Seven Deadly Sins and such.  Now, aside from loving depictions of ’em in everything from TV to comics, I also think having doses of Seven Deadly is not necessarily bad for a person, all things in moderation and all, but yeah, I could not sleep so I got to thinking about the Seven Deadlies and how they fall in order for me.., and well, I am bored and don’t have much else on my mind to write about at the moment, so I’ll share.

Wrath:  Um, yeah, far and away Wrath is the one I suffer from the most.  Sometimes it serves as a good motivator, but yep, sometimes just being full o’ wrath for no reason does get old.   I once had someone ask me if I had always been so angry.  And I honestly stopped and thought about it.  And the answer?  Yep, I sorta always have.  Me and Wrath there?  We are totally on a first name bases so yeah, without question, my number one of the Seven.

Envy:  Yep, I have this one in spades too, and I figure it probably comes from growing up without much, but yes, Envy I got.  I don’t much envy other people for who they are, but more for what they have…I totally fail at that “thou shall not covet thy neighbors goods” shit.  Heck, I envy people for having everything from straight teeth to time and money for cool vacations to nice houses to cool guns.  So yeah, while Wrath is king, Envy is up there too.

Greed:  This would prolly be my number three.  I kinda figure it goes hand in hand with the whole Envy being number two thing.    I am not exceptionally greedy, like I am sorta exceptionally wrathful and envious, but yeah, I have my moments.  And it is not even for the worldy goods kinda stuff, but like….If I am asleep, I refuse to get up first, or if someone gets ME something like a new video game or, hell, a box of snickers bars, I am REAL reluctant to share until I have had my fill of it, or if I have a free day, I only wanna do what I wanna do…things like that.

Pride:  Now see, Pride is a tricky one, because I think in moderation, Pride is totally not a bad thing.  If Pride falls into an area where it is self-confidence and knowledge that you do various things well, then I think it is good.  If it edges over into flat-out arrogance and the thought that one is better at everything than others, then it is not good.  There is a line there, and one that not all folk- even me included sometimes- manage to stay on one side of.    But, I will admit, in the most basic sense, I do have a sense of Pride and I do take Pride in things I do well.  Like, I am Proud to be the Leader in my CoX group and have to most high level toons.  I am Proud that at age 39 and even with some pretty screwy medical stuff, I have a flat stomach.  I am Proud that I was the One to be first in my family to get through college-in four years- with two degrees…..shit like that.  Is it bad?  I guess it could be. 

Lust:  Some of y’all prolly expected this one to be higher on my list, and a few years back, it might have been, but well, things change.  Now, can I still want to fall madly into bed with someone cause I find them physically attractive?  Yep, I sure can, but it really is more like a passing thought than something that is harbored deep down in my heart or whatever, and I guess in an over all sense, already having the Greed and Envy thing up there sorta covers some of my Lust things too- in the wider sense, like, I have Lust for a nicer house, not so much for things like sex and physical awesomeness in the sack with people.  So, I have some, sure, but it ain’t top three levels.

Gluttony:  This is not a big one for me.  Do I over indulge in things sometimes?  Sure…but not often, and when I do, it is not out of a desire to do so but more often by mistake. I am not the person who orders the large whatever when I really only need the small one to fill my stomach, I do not buy more than what I will use or need, I am not by nature a wasteful person at all, and thus, I don’t really ever see the point of being truly gluttonous intentionally….ever. 

Sloth:  I actually do not suffer from this one- willingly- often at all.  I’m not a particularly lazy person ever, and the fact that I currently due to medical shit have to be sorta lazy is driving me batshit insane.  Sloth is not something I have issues with at all, or really feel I have much at all in that Seven Deadly way.  Being forced into inactivity by medical shit is not the same thing as willingly indulging in it- so yeah, Sloth and Me?  We’re not buddies.  Do I in any sorta health sometimes have a lazy day?  Sure, but that’s usually because I have been busting my ass for however many days prior to that lazy one. 

So there you have it:  Ren’s Ranked Seven Deadly Sins.  Who knows, maybe I will do the Virtues next….and well….there’s mine….what about y’all?


* and yes, for a Jew, I do know a lot about this stuff, in fact, I am extremely familiar with Catholicism- I went to a Catholic School even and have lots of Catholic friends and family…


  1. Roy Kay says:

    Odd that somethings I consider neutral or positive as in many religions considered negative.

    Lust strikes me as fundamentally positive. Sex is pretty much a win-win situation when there is mutual lust.

    Envy, I contrast with Jealousy. I see Envy as desiring to have, while Jealousy I see as a desire to interdict. Envy may lead to larceny, but it mainly leads to productivity, the effort to earn that which we want. Jealousy, OTOH, tends to lead to efforts to destroy people, their rights and their property.

    Pride – I’m with you there. Balanced with honest self-assessment, Pride is good for self-confidence and great for the self-assurance necessary to assume leadership. I am far more wary of people who value humility and self-abnegation.

  2. Roy, lust is not defined simply as sexual desire, but sexual desire eclipsing all else and harming your life in other ways.

    I think our lists are reversed, Ren. LOL

    Then again, I am a sweet little peacenik until riled up, then it gets pretty nasty and bad. So, maybe your #1 is mine too, since when it happens, it gets ugly. That’s why I am so careful to guard against it.

    Also, I was taught in AA that drug abuse and alcoholism are forms of gluttony. So, I rank it first, since substance abuse (all kinds) has given me the most trouble throughout my life.

    • Ren says:

      See, I would say that, well, you loose your temper sometimes and when ya do, it’s ugly. Brother Evolution is like that- mellow and calm and generally non-confrontational, but if he gets there, run. I think that is different than being Wrathful to the point that it can honestly ,actually be problematic, which is, well, yeah, raises hand.

      When my dad was in an AA type group for Gambling, they said the same thing (but hey, gambling, throw some lust and greed in there too), but yes, it is a life-wrecking over indulgence- so makes sense to me.

      (and you don’t strike me as particularly sloth ridden at all, really- you seem to do lots of stuff and busy yourself in various ways)

    • Roy Kay says:

      Daisy, lust has a number of definitions and has tended to be fungible over the ages and the place. In the present age and in the West “sexual desire eclipsing all else and harming your life in other ways” is more a way of preserving the words of proscription rather than the original meaning. The first reference to such was Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians (including:adultery, fornication, uncleanness [whatever that means, maybe masturbation?], lasciviousness) ; and Paul, at best, looked askance at ALL sexual desire and pleasure. What he manifestly did NOT do, was add the qualifier “eclipsing all else and harming your life in other ways”. Mainly Paul said that if you absolutely MUST fuck, at least get properly married first.

      • Ren says:

        I am somewhere between y’all on the Lust thing. I am of the mind if not for Lust, we’d die out as a species, or at least, procreation would not be NEARLY so enjoyable (not too fun to screw folk you don’t have a wee bit of lust for at least). BUT, it surely can lead to ruin or at least whole lotta bullshit – and not just for the person over-ridden with it, but those close to them as well.

  3. My main one is Wrath. I have increasingly less patience for stupidity/laziness these days. If I had god-like superpowers (fuck it, if I WAS god), humanity would be in a shitload of trouble right now. Compared to the sort of Apocalypse I’d give humanity at this point, the Biblical Apocalypse would look like a Happy Endings massage.

    I agree with Roy Kay regarding Envy and it’s difference with jealousy. Ditto Lust, which is just plain ol’ fun.

  4. antiprincess says:

    I love sloth. sloth is my favorite. I was almost too lazy to even comment…

  5. Catlover says:

    They are ‘deadly’ when you let them control your life. That’s where religion usually starts, “We feel these animal desires but if we just respond to any impulse like an animal, then we might as well be a bunch of monkeys throwing shit at each other”. Then the Priests and Ayatollahs and L.Ron Hubbards come on the scene to tell us that it doesn’t just mean that if you fancy an ice-cream you don’t grab one from the nearest child, if you like the look of somebody you don’t rape them, and if your neighbor’s car is bigger than yours you don’t spend your nights burning with the injustice of it, because those are all as bad for you as for a civilized society.

    If you spend all your time resentful and obsessed with getting, you’re an addict with what you miss controlling your life. That’s how we get used sometimes – get a fancier title, a bigger office, a smarter uniform – who the hell cares except the guy on top doling those things out for good behavior?

    So fair enough, when it started, all that stuff was good advice amounting to “Run your own life, don’t let other people tell what it should be”. That’s when it started. It’s not what the religious guilt industry has made of it.

    Granted, there’s some religious crazies who genuinely do apply the extreme to themselves that you wouldn’t want to be near because they’ll happily blow themselves and you up, but who pushes that stuff the most? “If you don’t contribute to my Ministry, God told me he will take me to Heaven” So? Don’t you want to be with God in Heaven? Seems not, since the dosh came pouring in. “We are all sinners and I admit I sinned with That Woman (or boy or sheep)” Bless you, and keep the tithes coming in because we all know temptation – sure we do, but we do not all yield to using religious charisma to get our leg over.

    There’s a lot of good sense in all ‘scripture’, but religion has spent centuries burying it. Look at the ‘sins’ from the perspective of “Would I want to enjoy this or would I want this to dominate my thinking”? Would you want to enjoy a bottle of wine, decent food, good sex – and turn bad offers down – or would you want to be so desperate that any hooch will do, you must have a Big Mac, you’d screw anything?

    It started with good advice to live your own life making your own decisions. Religious leaders turn it into a guilt trip that they can get control from.

    • Ren says:

      Serious Question: Can you EVER just freakin’ read something and make a comment or have some fun with it and NOT make it some righteous diatribe?

  6. kingschwarz says:

    Well, at last a post that goes directly to two of my areas of expertise: theology and moral philosophy. Instead of saying something illuminating, however, I am going to take this occasion to brag. To wit, I am a champion of sloth and gluttony. The defining question of my morning: should I linger in bed or get up and eat a crabmeat omelette, cheese grits, hash browns, biscuits and a Belgian waffle?

    You crazy kids with energy to burn may be having fun with wrath, envy, greed, pride,and lust – and I had my innings with all of them – but the truly experienced and mature sinner can narrow it down to sloth and gluttony. Daisy and antiprincess, a tip of the hat to you both, though I am feeling too enervated from gorging on oysters and port to actually lift the Panama off my head.

    Oh, and Ren – about that Catholic/Jewish thing? While it is true that John Cassian made the 7 Deadlies canonical, so to speak, for the Latin Church, they were first conceived by a Jew. Like all the fundamentals of Christianity (yeah, I know about the Greeks and the mystery cults, but their contributions while important were not foundational). King Solomon’s list was rather different, but he should still get the credit and the royalties.

  7. rootietoot says:

    “all things in moderation” That’s the whole issue with the deadly sins- they’re not about moderation.
    Sloth and gluttony…those are absolutely mine. I”m lazy and I love to eat really, really good food and lots of it. Tho I’m working on that and eat much less than I used to. 10 years ago I could absolutely destroy an enormous plate of Shrimp and Grits and cheerfuly follow it up with a slab of cheesecake. I still love those things but have learned that it’s not so smart to eat so much.
    Envy-nope. The concept of envy involves not just wishing you had what someone else has, but wishing that to the point that you begrudge them having it. Yes, I wish I had Beth’s beautiful house and huge swimming pool (sometimes… but I have too much sloth to keep it up the way she does) but I don’t wish she *didn’t* have it.
    Pride- It’s not the pride that says “yes, I am good at this and i know it” but the pride that says “I’m better than everyone else and I know it” I used to think that, about my mind…because I’m smart and I know it, but being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and being told that the one thing I was most prideful of was deeply flawed took care of that. It’s a matter of how you view others. Do you see yourself as better than them? Or do you see them as also being children of God, and worthy of respect? (from my perspective). That’s a tough one, when you see someone who disgusts you. (I have a terrible time with The Blackhearted Bastard on this one.)
    Lust- while it helps perpetuate the species can also be destructive to relationships. Again, from my perspective as completely monogamous, I know that if I indulged in pure Lust (Holy cow look at the cable guy! Woohoo! I think I’ll…) it would be the end of this 25 year marriage that I cherish. Likewise if Terry responded lustfully to the advances of Kelly whatsername that’s always trying to get him alone in his office. Again, my perspective as a Christian.
    Wrath is another one I used to indulge in. Not as much as sloth and gluttony, and I control it as best i can by taking that energy and putting it behind the stock of a rifle and destroying the heck out of targets shaped like people’s faces. (It started with Idi Amin when I was 12, now it’s The Blackhearted Bastard)
    You know I am a Reformed Christian…Reformed doesn’t mean I used to be that way and now I’m this, but rather that I hold to the Calvinist doctrine of the Reformation. But not all of it so maybe I am a poorly reformed Christian. I believe that we all are hopeless sinners. I also do not hold people who are non Christians to a Christian standard of behavior. That would be silly. Our doctrine states that apart from Christ we are given to our natural lives- that is that we are controlled by our natural impulses (the 7 deadly sins). Coming into a faith requires us to reject the control of natural impulses by recognizing them as sin…which is essentialy impossible (the control, not the recognition), and we have to recognize *that* as well. There’s also that lovely verse in Matthew 7 everyone likes to wave around but conveniently forget the following verses:
    “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1-5) Basically,it doesn’t say don’t ever judge, but you’d better make sure your own act is cleaned up and that you’re not guilty of the same sins before you start pointing fingers.
    One of the things I have to do,both because it is required, and because I simply must in order to pray, is to recognize and confess my sins. It’s a tough thing to do because some of those sins I am quite fond of and really don’t want to call them sin or have to confess them. I also know I am going to turn right around the next day (or hour, or minute) and do them again (mmmm cheeeesecake! Woohoo! Netflix has the whole 10 years of XFiles! The floors can wait). This is what I mean about being a hopeless sinner.
    Etc, and ad nauseum about being a Christian….

    • rootietoot says:

      there’s my righteous diatribe 🙂

    • kingschwarz says:

      Calvinist, eh. So are you a Supralapsarian or an Infralapsarian? You need not answer that personal and perhaps impertinent question. Thanks for your most interesting comment. I love it when people let their theologies out to play. These days theology is a taboo subject in polite bourgeois society. We talk about our sexual proclivities, business investments, dysfunctions and maladies – but risk a frown and worse from our host or hostess if we stray into soteriology. Ren is due credit for creating a space that is safe for such talk.

      I am an Episcopalian (Anglican) so my Christian perspective is somewhat different from yours. Our church conceives of itself as a via media between Rome and Geneva. We tend to see “natural impulses” as gifts of God (excepting the natural impulse to overpour the Vermouth in a Martini, which comes directly from Beelzebub) that need to be conformed to Christian life rather than rejected. And I think we struggle a bit less with confession, since we usually do it collectively and liturgically. Our doctrine of grace, however, is closer to yours than many would suspect.

      • Ren says:

        Shrug. I like talking about religion, and while not particularly religious myself or practicing or anything, well, I have been inside a few temples and churches of various sorts in my day. I also really do not have a problem with religious people or hearing about their beliefs and such, so long as they do not try and force things on other folk- which Rootie, Daisy, and various others of the practicing sorts who are around never do. Discuss their feelings and beleifs and the roles religion play for them? Yep, and I think that is both fine and interesting- and in truth, I I have prolly run across just as many atheists who are pushy and rude as religious folk. Hell, I have a fair amount of friends and family who are pretty religious people: temple/church on the deignated weekly days, the high holy days, so on, and I look at it like this: If being involved in ones temple/church, and going to and doing things with them, and studying and working on their faith and such makes them better people, stronger, happier, more comfortable or at peace or gives them something good in their life- then I am happy for them and am glad they have that. Heck, I think it is awesome for them to have that, and won’t ever begrudge or shit on em in any way for it- even if I do not believe what they believe or see things the same way. I guess, in short, I am HUGE on religious tolerance and freedom- for ALL people.

        Heh, I also have a huge life long obsession with various scripture and biblical/religious figures. mostly the Four Horsemen 🙂

      • rootietoot says:

        oh good grief, that’s so beyond my theological comprehension. supra? infra? I have no idea.I consider myself Dee to have though it through far enough to wrapmymind around the idea of free will vs predestination. Let’s not take it any further than that lest i get a headache and require a drink. I do agree tho, that too much vermouth in a martini is a travesty. My husband (a Free Will Baptist) once built a set of cabinets for an Episcopal church and was stunned, shocked and dismayed to discover BEER CANS in the trash can there! ALCOHOL IN A CHURCH! WOT?!

        • kingschwarz says:

          Alcohol in church? Well, yes, we do have this odd little Sacrament called the Eucharist, which we tend to celebrate “under both species,” the bread and the wine. Okay, that does not account for the presence of beer cans. Probably left over from Confirmation class.

          • rootietoot says:

            When we started at the church we’re at now, we discovered they use wine for communion. I’m fine with it, but it tooke Terry some getting used to. The outside ring of cups in the tray are grape juice, so we have the option.

            • kingschwarz says:

              I like your church’s adaptation of grape juice as well as wine. That seems hospitable and theologically sound to me. Though I am personally attached to the ancient practice of the shared chalice of wine (unless I have a cold), I like to see communicants presented with other options. Btw, you do not have to receive either wine or grape juice to fully experience the Eucharist, since both the body and blood of Christ are present in each species. In the Episcopal Church, recovering alcoholics (we have lots of ’em) and other non-drinkers generally refuse the chalice. No one would dare suggest they have been less fully Communed than the rest of us.

      • rootietoot says:

        the thing about Supralapsarianism vs infraladeeda, is that both seem to deny the omnipresence of God, saying that He decided something before or after something else, rather than, being GOD and all, He decided it all at the same time (which is what i think happened). No scripture to back that up, just what i think happened.

        • kingschwarz says:

          As a member of a modern Reformed church, you are probably an Infralapsarian though you may never have suspected it. A big synod in the early 17th c. pretty much settled the matter, and the Westminster Assembly confirmed it some 30 years later (and also declared the Pope to be the Antichrist). No worries: the doctrine denies not the omnipresence of God but rather the idea that He selected before the Fall precisely who among us is to be damned.

          • rootietoot says:

            The first class you’re asked to take upon joining our church (PCA) is called Inquirer’s, and it’s essentially Reformed 101. The pastor goes over the bulk of reformed beliefs (not so in depth as X-lapsanarianism thought) and makes the point over and over that there is one belief that he calls The Bullseye, that is required of anyone joining the church, and everything beyond that is what he calls Important Doctrine or Pious Opinion. Those are beliefs are things like evolution vs creation, method of baptism. The Bullseye is the obvious one is outlined in the Apostles Creed: Triune God, life, death and resurrection of Jesus, etc. Anything beyond that essential belief is intellectual speculation and he loves to talk about it, but says difference in those beliefs are nonessential. Upon reading up onX-lapsanarianism I am not sure I believe either one of them. I think some people think too much and lose the essentials in all the wordy stuff. I am kind of like a Baptist that way.

            • kingschwarz says:

              PCA…”but you haven’t got bishops to show you the way!” Sorry, that’s a line from the old Flanders and Swann “Song of Patriotic Prejudice.” Episcopal parishes have Inquirer’s Classes too, and the Apostles Creed is catechetically central. I must admit that something in me resists creedal statements – the Nicene is more problematic for me than the Apostles but still… As for Baptists, my goodness they can get as theologically fine-grained as any other denomination. The scholars at Andover Newton or Baylor or NOBTS or dozens of other Baptist seminaries will make your head spin.

              • rootietoot says:

                Being essentially a reductionist about everything from theology to biscuit recipes, I cling to the basics (see Apostle’s Creed, because it works and I can remember it) and try not to worry about the fancy stuff. I enjoy a theological debate as long as I can be assured that the other person won’t get hot under the collar. Nicene Creed is too wordy, imo. I like scholars,and look for a well educated pastor (the ones who have a church because they “had a calling” and don’t feel the need for further education annoy me). Tiddling about the details of When God Did What,while fun, is what makes the difference between religion and faith.

  8. kingschwarz says:

    I am much in agreement. Theological colloquy can be fun, but I step away if things get nasty. God eludes our grasp anyway, and at best theology only points us in the right direction. For me the basics are to love God and each other. The rest is commentary. Per Rabbis Jesus and Hillel (had to include the latter for Ren, our Jewish sage).

    • rootietoot says:

      Maimonades (sp?) had a lot of cool things to say as well. I kinda love Jewish scholars. They can pick an idea to pieces then make up stuff to go in between. But yes, it all boils down to The 2 Greatest Commandments per Jesus: Love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor. (paraphrased).

      • kingschwarz says:

        Did you know that ben-Maimon wrote in Arabic and had to be translated into Hebrew? A bit surprising for someone now considered to be so quintessentially Jewish. Of course Jesus, more than a millennium earlier, probably spoke Aramaic as his first language. Though both were fluent in Hebrew (I think ben-Maimon wrote one Hebrew text) and likely other Mediterranean languages.

      • kingschwarz says:

        P.S. Ren has been very indulgent in letting us conduct this somewhat off-topic conversation. We owe her thanks. Perhaps in focusing on ben-Maimon, or Maimonides, we have returned to the topic, since he is one of the all-time great thinkers about the sources of vice and virtue.

  9. rootietoot says:

    Thanks, Ren, for letting us hijack the thread and turn it into a long winded discussion of religious philosophy and attempt to outdo each other with big fancy words and concepts! (how’s that?)

    • kingschwarz says:

      Very nice thank-you note to Ren. Can it be from both of us?

      As for fancy concepts – I think we kept it pretty basic except for a bit of fun with Supralapsarianism. Big words, well yes, but in their defense, they allow for more precision. Scientists use big words too, in pursuit of accuracy. And big theology words can actually be a shortcut, since they encode whole schools of thought and annals in religious history. In another post, we were talking about Arminianism. Much quicker to just use the term rather than to say “a late Renaissance doctrine within Protestant Christianity regarding…”

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