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The 7 New Deadly Sins

March 10, 2008

The Roman Catholic church has added seven more “deadly” sins to the prior seven. Among the new deadlies are genetic engineering, social injustice that causes poverty, and excessive accumulation of wealth.

“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.” – Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary

The complete list is here. The news article here.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. March 10, 2008 8:08 pm

    I’ve just blogged about this myself ( I’m an atheist myself, so please don’t take this as an attack or anything, but I can honestly say that if I wanted to leave by these rules, I wouldn’t have a clue where to start – they just seem so vague.

  2. March 10, 2008 9:33 pm

    No offense at all. Yeah, the way they are presented certainly come off as a bunch of rules, though they don’t really seem vague to me…seems like the Vatican is being really clear what they are denouncing! :) What seemed vague to you?

    The cool thing about what Jesus preached is that is was anything but a bunch of rules. Rules are for religion–“Obey God and you are accepted”—but the gospel of Jesus was “I accepted you, then obey,” as an act of love. Everyone has to have reasons for their morality. The Vatican makes it earning heaven; Jesus makes it loving God.

    thanks for stopping by.

  3. March 11, 2008 10:04 am

    “though they don’t really seem vague to me…seems like the Vatican is being really clear what they are denouncing!”

    They *look* clear at first glance, but they’re all wide open to interpretation. I mean, you’re rich enough to own a computer and blog – to many that might make you “excessively”. If you happen to own Microsoft and be worth billions on paper than you’re “excessively wealthy”, even though in reality it’s just that you own the business you built, and you donate billions of dollars to charity.

    As for things like the attack on genetics, that seems to be purely down to an opinion. For example, I don’t see what can be sinful about scientists working to genetically engineer a drought-resistant form of wheat to ease famine in the third world. This seems to be just the opinion of the Vatican, rather than having anything to do with the word of God.

    Drugs and pollution, like wealth above, are very arbitrarily defined. I mean, what’s a drug? Are they just going by the list of substances that a particular nation has deemed illegal (which varies from nation to nation) or is there some bible passage that discusses the relative merits of alcohol and tobacco (easily the most destructive drugs in society) and opium, cannabis, etc.

    And pollution.. well you and I are creating pollution by using our energy consuming computers made of petro-chemicals to write blogs. Using the internet, as far as the guidelines go, is a sin, as is virtually any other activity in the industrialized world. But surely it’s a question of quantity? All living things “pollute” to some extent, no matter how they behave, even if it’s just breathing CO2 or expelling methane. At what point does it become a sin to breathe?

    So yes, I see them as extremely vague!

  4. March 11, 2008 10:14 am

    Very helpful Martin!

    I hope my readers will take the time to read through your points. I wondered if those were the kinds of things you were referring to…the sins are very sweeping categories and fail to deal with motives and intentions in the respective areas i.e. genetic engineering, pollution, etc. Probably just the beginning of a protracted discussion in the RC church.

  5. March 17, 2008 9:06 am

    this is pretty radical stuff. Thanks for sharing the article link

  6. G.S. permalink
    May 18, 2008 5:39 am

    Fourth sin ‘taking drugs’ – this sin isn’t clear to me and correct me if I’m wrong but I think it should be ‘abusing drugs’ because isn’t medicine a drug too? would I be committing a sin if i used medicine?


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