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The Seven Deadly Sins

 

Explanations > Values > The Seven Deadly Sins

 

Sins have always been popular areas of focus in the church. An early 2nd century document, the Didache, contains a list of five. Origen produced a sevenfold list and at the end of the 4th century Cassian amended this sevenfold list. Eventually, the Seven Deadly Sins (or Vices) we know today were defined in the 6th century by Pope Gregory the Great, as a set of negative values: the values that you are supposed to adopt is that you will avoid these things and actually adopt their opposites.

 

  1. Pride is an excessive belief in one's own abilities.
  2. Envy is wanting what others have, be it status, abilities, or possessions.
  3. Gluttony is the desire to eat or consume more than you require.
  4. Lust is a powerful craving for such as sex, power and money. 
  5. Anger is the loss of rational self-control and the desire to harm others.
  6. Greed is the desire for material wealth or gain.
  7. Sloth is laziness and the avoidance of work.

Note how many of these are very similar: envy, gluttony, lust and greed are all about desire. There is also a hidden lack of concern for others in at least envy and anger.

As with other religious rule-sets, these pretty much hit the nail on the head in terms of a system for social harmonization or social control (depending on your viewpoint). Few people will openly admit to any of them (which attests to the success in the inculcation of these as anti-values in the Christian world).

The number seven, by the way, is not only a cabbalistic magical number, it also just happens to be the size of our short-term memory, which is a real limit to the number of things we can hold in mind at one time. 

So what?

Do not demonstrate these values yourself. Suggest that the other person is succumbing to one or more of these values and they will likely head in the opposite direction.

Another approach is to play the Devil and encourage the other person to give in to these natural tendencies.

You can then either use this 'rule-breaking' as evidence that they can do things they previously would not consider. You can even use it then as a guilt lever, maybe even as a form of blackmail (this is far more common than may be supposed).

See also

The Ten Commandments, The Seven Virtues, Attraction-avoidance, Greed

http://www.whitestonejournal.com/seven/, http://deadlysins.com/

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