- Religion and Philosophy
The Importance of Balance and Their Relation to the Seven Deadly Sins
What The Seven Deadly Sins Are
The seven deadly sins are seven powerful human emotions. The emotions can be felt strong and can drive a person to perform tremendous feats - good and terrible. In Christianity, especially in the (main) branch of Roman Catholicism, it is taught that these emotions are (potentially) dangerous and can lead to a person walking the path of darkness. As such they are referred to as the seven deadly sins. I refer to Roman Catholicism as the main branch of Christianity because the lineage of the Popes can be traced back directly to St. Peter, the apostle closest to Jesus, the one to who Jesus entrusted the Church to(as seen in Matthew 16:18 that says " And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it")and the very first Pope(although he wasn't actually referred to necessarily as the Pope in his time).
Now don't get me wrong in this article. While the Vatican do have their reasons for stating these emotions as "deadly sins", the Vatican tends to rebuke all things that can possibly lead to sin, even if there is some good to be seen in them. As goes the age old saying, "Better to be safe than sorry!" So here are the seven deadly sins and why they're not all that bad.
Pride is the belief that one is superior to others or can perform a task better than others or with a higher degree or perfection. When we look at the case of Adolf Hitler, thought a somewhat extreme case it is nonetheless relevant, he believed that he and others like him were superior to others dissimilar to them. Hilter was not necessarily a bloodthirsty killer, in fact, he held and reserved much love in his heart for the men(especially boys) and women who were of his preferred physical characteristics. He was, however, responsible for the death of over 60 million people, which at the time was more than 3% of the world population. This was simply because he believed persons of the Aryan race with blond hair and blue eyes to be superior to be superior to other races and he needed to establish leadership and dominance over the other races. His code did later develop into a lust for power but this all did begin from pride.
All that said, pride is not all bad. When we think about it any human without pride would be quite dysfunctional. Persons wouldn't believe in themselves and their ability to perform tasks and take on challenges. Persons would have no pride in themselves and hence no pride in their history and traditions. This could increase the occurrence of cultural erasure. Human beings need pride to function.
Envy is a tricky one. Defined as the intense desire for the possession or achievement of another it is typically associated with being a negative emotion. Envy can surely lead to hate, stealing, lying and an assortment of many other wicked deeds but there are some benefits to being envious.
Provided one was the correct upbringing and self-control, desiring another's possessions or some achievement can motivate someone to get off their butt and work or strive toward something. Truthful it is envy that has made all great persons great. It is the initial desire for something that motivates a person to pursue something, and in the end getting recognized for it.
This can be defined as the desire to take or consume more than one needs and goes hand in hand with selfishness. Truth be told, gluttony deserves its place as one of the seven deadly sins. There is not many a proper reason to take more of something than you should. However, if a man buys ten suits, his rationale being that if one of them is soiled or damaged he has another. Or, he eats two plates of food even when he is full from eating just one and because he does this because he does not know when next he will eat. Then, by definition, this man is being gluttonous. Some may say that the man is simply careful and witty but that does not change the fact that his actions are gluttonous. Take advantage of what you have now because you do not know what shall come next.
Lust can be defined as craving for physical pleasures or pleasures of the body. We typically associate lust with sexual desires but it is not minute to such. Clearly lust can lead to gluttony, greed and sexual immorality but controlled lust is absolutely essential. Lust is needed so that we would find some kind of happiness in life, by doing some action we love and keeps us searching for good things in life while ignoring the bad. Most notably, it is of grand importance in the continuation of human beings as a species, for the process of procreation.
Broadly speaking, anger is the display of violent and aggressive behaviour and is typically seen as a negative emotion. It can lead to persons being hurt and scarred physically, mentally and emotionally. While its effects can be quite damaging, truthfully the absence of anger would cause more than a few problems. Some times anger is the only way to get people to take us seriously or to communicate our disagreement with a statement or situation. It gets people to pay attention when they would otherwise turn their backs.
Greed can be seen as a desire for that of a physical nature, that is, the material gain of wealth, substance, power or status. Similar to gluttony greed is simply wants but not needs. But it is greed that gives us and aspirations. It is true that greed can be very distasteful in some situations however it is greed that causes us to work hard to achieve dreams, it gives us ambition and purpose. A tool is nothing without a purpose.
Sloth is the avoidance of any kind of work, be it physical mental or spiritual labour, also referred to as laziness. Sloth can reduce a great man to nothing, simply because he chooses to be nothing. A tool that cannot do its work is only a burden. That said, it is sloth that makes us slow down and take a break from the hustle of life. To lie back and take a breath to refresh ourselves. Often times we are traveling too fast, and life blurs by, and fail to see the beauty in life and to see and hear God's voice
While it is true all these emotions can lead to us making decisions with positively disastrous consequences that can affect both ourselves and those around us, there is also value in them. These emotions can also lead to good things in moderate amounts, but it is in high amounts where they become destructive. It is in excess where they become, the seven deadly sins. And so, it is important to always strive for balance.