Sins 2.0: New 7 deadly sins

Was actually waiting for the release of WordPress 2.5 but I never expected to read about the update made to the seven deadly sins according to the Catholic Church.

Just as the ancient wonders of the world were matched by seven modern wonders, the deadly sins have a 21st-century version.

Polluting, genetic engineering, obscene riches, taking drugs, abortion, pedophilia and causing social injustice join the original seven deadly sins defined by Pope Gregory the Great in the sixth century: pride, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, wrath and sloth.

We thank the famous classical writer Dante for popularizing these 7 sins in the human memory. So what are the new 7 deadly sins? There are various versions of the new list but they are summarized in this one:

  1. Pride
  2. Envy
  3. Gluttony
  4. Lust
  5. Anger
  6. Greed
  7. Sloth
  8. Polluting
  9. Genetic engineering
  10. obscene wealth
  11. taking drugs
  12. abortion
  13. pedophilia
  14. causing social injustice

I simly called it “Sins 2.0” hence the title of this entry. The original list referred to a more individualistic approach but now in our modern world of globalisation, internet and web 2.0 sins have taken a more “global” or wider dimension.

Science vs Religion…again

The reactions in the blogosphere are varied and interesting. Jam notes that the first two depicted well yet again another science and religion conflict. Eye on DNA, a leading blog about genetics and health, helps out the Vatican by further extending the list with particular focus on genetic engineering. And here I am dreaming of being a geneticist one day…thanks Darth Pope Gregory!

Making money off the internets

Interesting and something I find a bit more intriguing is the addition of having “obscene wealth” to the new list. Watch out Bill Gates and the rest of the world’s billionaires, God and the Vatican’s eyes are on you. The same goes for the Google gods Larry Page and Sergey Brin and M$ bigman Steve Ballmer, told ya Micro$oft is evil! Now I wonder, if becoming a dot com mogul like John Chow, Jeremy Schoemaker, Kevin Rowse, Yuga and the other top probloggers would also fall as sin under this category? I’m just thinking out loud here, okay?

Father, forgive me.

But wait, isn’t that priests are amongst the wealthiest in our community too? They drive around the parishes in SUVs, they have the latest Nokia phones, they recieve fat envelopes from source of evil in this country and so on. Are they sinners too?

an even more inconvenient truth

Something more welcoming on the other hand is inclusion of polluting as a deadly sin. Well if Al Gore’s documentary/Hollywood film about the impending doom of our planet doesn’t wake you up perhaps the floods and landslides in the Bicol region will be enough to convince you that it’s time to clean up our acts. Imagine that, first sins of commission and ommision, and now sins of emission!

I just hope that this would help the environmental movement, I want my grandson’s grandchildren to see a real flowing river that’s clean and safe enough to bathe in.

Confess sinners

When was the last time you had a confession? Frankly, I can’t remember mine. Apparently, the decline in practice of this sacrament is what has led Pope Benedict VXI to update the list of deadly sins. And this is at the crux of this whole new update, Joe Buckley drives home a sharp point;

The seven deadly sins are still deadly. The Vatican’s attempt to make confession more relevant, if that’s what this is, will fail badly in the case of the American laity, because it appears to merely make Political CorrectnessTM a virtue. It has the unfortunate effect of trivializing sin and the sacrament of confession.

It reminds me of my very first confession back in my 3rd grade of elementary school. We hardly understood all the previous rituals and prayers the priest had us recite and perform. Things got exciting and difficult when we were told to write down all of our sins on a piece of paper which later would be burned, which in turn would grant us pardon by the Big Guy in the sky.

Can you write all of your sins on a single piece of paper? When I ask all sins, I mean ALL sins because back then, we were whispering to each other if we included this particular bad thing we did yesterday or that awful naughty thing we did last week and so on. The same questions I asked myself, do I include the one when I took 10 pesos from my mom’s wallet or when I bought some fancy toy instead of the stuff I needed for my school project? Some of my classmates were even copying what others have written on their paper!

So Joe has a good point, requiring people to step into a booth with a man in a skirt, I mean robes and confessing up their sins trivializes the whole thing. I say, why bother to tell the priest if God himself knows every little thing we do and in the times we give in and follow our conscience, say silently and sincerely to ourselves, even if not in the presence of others, we’re sorry and we repent for our wrongdoings.

A good discussion by Ed Morrisey in Hot Air about confession and the new seven sins could wrap this up for now:

It’s an exercise I find challenging, unpleasant, but necessary on at least an occasional basis. A hazy and private “My bad!” to God every once in a while doesn’t force me into that level of introspection. With a priest, I know that the actual verbalization of these issues will go no farther, and he acts as a mechanism between penitent and God to ensure that process occurs at all.

However, the addition of sins based on political correctness demeans the process. If pollution is a sin, do I have to give up driving a car? Lighting my house? Burning wood in the fireplace? Or is there a level at which sin arises; if so, will the Vatican provide the formulas? It’s silly, because excessive consumption is already covered by gluttony. This looks like a desperate attempt at temporal relevancy when the Church should be concerned about eternal truths. It’s like watching your parents try to rap.

If the Vatican wonders why Catholics feel that reconciliation has become less relevant, perhaps it’s because the Church tries to impose faddish notions of sin on its members. If the Vatican doesn’t take sin and repentance seriously, why should Catholics?

7 Replies to “Sins 2.0: New 7 deadly sins”

  1. I dunno… Polluting can actually be classified under sloth, Genetic engineering can be classified under pride, obscene wealth under greed, taking drugs under anger and pride, abortion under greed, pedophilia under lust, causing social injustice can be caused by all 7 original sins.

    The list is kinda redundant, isn't it?

    I'm not against genetic engineering BTW.

    Ade's last blog post..New Job, Nervous Wreck, Strangebrew

    1. It is redundant. They just gave modern-day samples for each of the original items in the list so that we could relate to it much easier…or so they thought. 🙄

  2. jhay,

    Thanks for the quote and generous feedback.

    I had one other notion that I edited out for the sake of clarity. But along with Jam's realization that two of the "sins 2.0" (I like that!) speak to the conflict between science and religion, it fits here.

    The obscene wealth, social injustice, and perhaps abortion and pollution sins are about the conflict between individual and community. It struck me that this was a recapitualation of the ideas that came from Vatican II, to make the Church (and the Mass in particular) much more horizontal, and subsequently, less vertical.

    Oh, and I agree with Ade that the new list seems real redundant. Even if the idea was to replace Dante's/Gregory's list with the 2.0 version, I don't see the improvement.

    Joe Buckley's last blog post..Should Scientists Date Astrologers?

    1. You're welcome Joe, I actually found Ed Morrisey's post from yours so I should be thanking you. :mrgreen:

      You have a good point, it seems that they have reverted back to the pre-Vatican II days with modern words! 😆

  3. I agree with Ade, though the usual problem with religion is that its teachings are too general/vague. That's not so bad except that since humans are imperfect, we can't exactly interpret them perfectly, either. I remember reading this pamphlet for confession that expounds on the 10 commandments and one of the "guide questions" asked was: did I spend time in the dark with a person of the opposite sex? (Not verbatim) I can't even remember under what commandment did that fall under. Anyway.

    The list is too specific this time because they probably wanted to be really relevant today. Despite the shortcomings of the original list, it was more "elegant" (in a Computer Science sort of way).

    ia's last blog post..HTML5: and tags are going to be useful (read: semantic) again!

    1. Spot on ia! I wonder how the Philippine Catholic church would react to this update. It would pretty interesting and it could finally be a reason for them to grow a spine and call for GMA's resignation because GMA is guilty of almost every sin especially #14: causing social injustice! 😀

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