The seven, “New” deadly sins!


William Bougereau Dante and Virgil in Hell 1850
The newly revised list of the seven deadly sins is indeed an announcement that makes everyone step back and consider our moral actions in terms of a much larger global perspective. The original deadly sins, embodied in the Divine Comedy, (lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy & pride) have received a long overdue modification. This modification updates the sins with a global perspective in mind as the world becomes increasingly more globalized in our thoughts and actions. The updated deadly sins include, genetic modification, human experimentations, polluting the environment, social injustice, causing poverty, financial gluttony and taking drugs.

While the new list does not abrogate the old list of seven deadly sins, it places them in a new context that permit the modern believer an opportunity to apply Catholic moral and social teachings to understand the communal effect that sin indeed presents to humanity. Especially important are the inclusion of the sinful potentials in genetic modification and the immoral use of human beings in scientific experimentation. Modern advances in life sciences make it especially critical to note that human experimentation and genetic modification in the pursuit of a greater common good are serious immoral occasions that degrade the sacredness and dignity of human life. In addition to making note of scientific dangers presented in the new deadly sins, social injustice and causing poverty are noted as acts of immorality as well. What is interesting to note is these two sins have a deeply global and universal sense of immorality that collectively unite all of the people of the world. Most appropriately then, in listing these two actions as deadly sins, the communal nature of immorality is called to mind as well.

As the world increases in its secular and materialistic affections financial, gluttony makes the top list of the seven deadly sins. That makes a lot of sense because the inability and unwillingness to share resources between all aspects of humankind does indeed create a larger chasm that divides all of humanity. Finally, taking drugs for illicit purposes finishes the list of the seven most deadly sins. Finally, a clear and concise modern listing of the most detrimental actions to the fulfillment of human happiness and sanctity.

The new list of course does not replace the deadly sins made famous by Dante in the Purgatorial sufferings of the Divine Comedy; it just places them in a modern 21st century perspective. Sin and its effects are always issues for the modern believer to worry about. Now, in addition to the subjective nature of sinful actions, modern Catholics and indeed all people can understand more fully that deadly sins affect each person individually and collectively as a global society.

Maybe this new listing of the seven “new” and improved deadly sins is indicative of the direction, which our Catholic faith is obviously developing. That is a clearer integration of our Catholic moral and ethical principles onto a larger and universal stage of global implications and effects. Sin indeed not only provides an individual with a hiatus from grace, but also collectively produces a division between people, nations and societies.
Our new list of deadly sins clearly indicates our global relationship with each other in not only actions of personal immorality, but also the interrelated aspects of global relationships that immoral actions cause for all of God’s children.

Hugh McNichol is a Catholic author that writes on Catholic religious subjects. He wites daily @ http://catholicsacredarts.blogspot.com & http://verbumcarofactumest.blogspot.com

Comments and feedback can be sent to hugh.mcnichol@trinettc.com

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