Monday, March 10, 2008

Seven Stupid Sins

Caught this one on the news this morning: Vatican Updates Seven Deadly Sins For Modern World. You would think the Catholic Church, with all it's emphasis on tradition, would be beyond such nonsense. But nope, here are the new sins, in all their modern glory:

Genetic Engineering
Being Obscenely Rich
Drug Dealing
Causing Social Injustice

Quoting from Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, The Times reported that certain actions were so unholy that they needed to be deemed as “mortal sins” – not the less serious “venial sins”.

The man in charge of examining confessions and indulgences for the Vatican, Monsignor Gianfranco Girotti, told the Vatican newspaper that priests should be aware of the “new” sins.

“New sins have appeared on the horizon of humanity as a corollary of the unstoppable process of globalisation,” Monsignor Girotti said.

“You offend God not only by stealing, blaspheming or coveting your neighbour’s wife – but also by ruining the environment, carrying out morally debatable scientific experiments, or allowing genetic manipulations which alter DNA or compromise embryos.”

As those of you who know me know, I'm not at all religious- I'm really the exact opposite of religious. But I always thought the seven deadly sins- lust, gluttony, avarice, sloth, anger, envy and pride- were about what was in your heart and soul, and not as much about the actions you'd taken. I thought the seven deadly sins were supposed to be a bit different from the ten commandments.

But even so, however you want to look at these ... they're still stupid. I understand a few of them- pedophilia, abortion, genetic engineering. I don't understand the rest. What's being obscenely rich anyways? How do you know if you're just rich and not obscenely rich? And drug dealing? Not to drag my libertarian-ness into a religious question, but isn't God's law supposed to be different than man's law? We have laws about illegal drugs and we have laws about legal drugs, but what does that mean in terms of the marijuana dealer and the pharmaceutical rep selling potentially addictive pain killers?

Then there's pollution, which I've written about before in this blog. Industry pollutes and pollution laws are designed to limit the amount of pollution industry produces. So what's the deadly sin? Any and all polluting (meaning any and all industry) or just pollution exceeding of permit levels? I certainly hope exceeding your regulatory permit doesn't make you guilty of a deadly sin. And finally, there's the liberal canard, causing social injustice ... good luck trying to figure out if you're guilty of that.


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