15 November 2004 | Uncompleted

Accepting God's Will for the World

Understanding the Christian mandate given through George Bush

- / -

God, wrath and weaponry
Reframing, promotion, exploitation and incarceration


The world can now be deeply grateful to the American people -- the greatest people on Earth -- for confirming so clearly God's mandate for their Christian leader -- the most powerful leader on Earth -- in the furtherance of the Christian-inspired policies of the world's only superpower. The prayers of American Christians have evoked the comprehensible guidance from God that the world so desperately needs for the 21st century. As the most developed country, the spiritual guidance is reflected in the convictions of the majority of American voters -- the remainder will, as is their custom as loyal citizens, stand dutifully behind their President in whatever actions he deems appropriate.

As noted in the UK by Martin Kettle (The fervour behind the push to put 'America first' : Don't underestimate the centrality of the old belief in manifest destiny, The Guardian, 2 November 2004):

Bush's apparent acceptance of the view that he may be doing God's work in the White House has been much noted in this country as the campaign has wound through the autumn. But this is not some idiosyncratic hubris on the president's part. It is shared by millions of American conservative evangelical protestants, many of whom believe, along with the attorney-general John Ashcroft, that the very existence of the United States is proof of a divine purpose. In that context, the idea that America should reject ties with necessarily less blessed nations becomes existential, an exceptionalism of another order altogether.

The world should be in no doubt that, thanks to the prescience of the American people and their privileged understanding of God's will, the 21st century calls for the following.

God, wrath and weaponry


  • Action in God's name: constant proclamation that every action is done in the name of the God of Christianity and to ensure his peaceful reign -- in order to obscure any recognition of the level of destruction wrecked upon other cultures and the tragic cruelties to their peoples

  • Prayer: for praying for guidance so assiduously to the God whom as yet you know not how to share with ours -- may your God truly bless you for your sacrificial use of us to increase your understanding

  • Trust: for your God-given trust, and lack of doubt, that you have a historical mission to safeguard civilization -- including our own, even though it is so distant from yours in many ways
  • Understanding God's Will: for endangering your own souls in the higher scheme of things by taking into your hands an understanding of God's will, guided by your Leader’s spiritual advisors -- in dying we pray that you have made the right choice

Wrath (ira) includes madness, blasphemy, insanity, provoking others to wrath, spreading scandal, homicide, and ferocity. Its contrary virtue is Hope (spes), because it rejoices in the future, rather than dwelling on the turmoil of the present.


    • development: more weaponry of every kind imaginable to Christian creativity -- to keep God's people safe and enable them to completely annihilate any who oppose their will / developing every more horrific weapons of war, purportedly for defence -- whilst prohibiting access to weapons by those in need of defence

    • deployment: for bringing weapons of mass destruction ("daisy cutters", "toxics" and depleted uranium shells) to our country so we can be reminded what they look like -- since your inspectors have been unable to find traces of those you sold to our Leader or enabled him to make

    • sales: for the weapons you sold to our Leader in the past that enabled him to attack and slaughter our neighbours -- and allowed us to be slaughtered in return

    • manufacture: for the chemical and other factories you built for our Leader -- to enable him to manufacture weapons to attack and slaughter the minorities in our country

    • Disarmament: repeated appeals for other peoples to disarm as the only basis for appropriate Christian dialogue -- whilst holding the right to bear arms as fundamental to constitutional democracy

    • Non-proliferation of WMD: every effort to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction that may be a threat to God's country -- whilst making careful efforts to acquire, develop and maintain such weaponry

Reframing, promotion, exploitation and incarceration


  • Stereotyping: stigmatizing and threatening dissidents, even those of one's own culture, to the point of labelling them as the instruments of Satan
  • dissidents, to the point of condemning as traitors and demonizing them
  • tolerating, if not ensuring, the assassinaton of opponents
  • Reinforcing democratic processes: for demonstrating to us and the world, through the UN Security Council, that the democracy you seek to bring to our country really only works through tying votes to collateral aid and trade -- those of us who survive will endeavour to apply these lessons more assiduously, although the approach is long familiar to our people

  • Reinventing democracy: defining democracy as availing citizens of weapons (2nd Amendment)
  • requiring an investment of some $300 per voter (cost of democracy: $1.8)

  • Censorship: for the strict censorship that you will ensure on media coverage of your method of killing us in order not to offend your audience worldwide and spoil their appreciation of the skills of the precision bombing of your heroic pilots -- who are all family men
  • Evidence: for your conviction that after our deaths you will find additional evidence to justify the acts you undertake against us -- we sincerely hope that you will not subsequently be discredited if you are obliged to secretly fabricate and plant such evidence of our Leader's misdeeds in order to fully justify our deaths to the world
  • misrepresenting the validity of information, and using it deceptively, even to the point of lying


  • of inequality: exacerbating the inequality between the richer and the poorer, and ensuring that a significant proportion of the population lives below the poverty line
  • Polarization: polarizing opinion in society, and dividing families, by promotoing "with us or against us"
  • Fear-mongering: promoting fear rather than hope
  • scaremongering to promote and sustain a climate of fear

  • Xenophobia: promoting suspicion of foreigners and xenoophobia
  • engendering the dislike and hatred of other cultures
  • promoting fear of foreign terrorist threat -- over and above that of domestic armed criminals and irresponsbile gun users
  • Cultivation of double standards: condemning vigorously corruption in others whilst being complicit in covert arrangements of equivalent dubiousness
  • condemning vigorously the acts of moral turpitude of others whilst being complicit in $$$$$


  • Reversing development: regressing the development of a significant proportion of its population consistent with policies enforced upon other cultures and peoples
  • Resource appropriation: tolerating, if not justifying, corporate kleptocracy
  • promotion of companies under the protection of God's manadate (Haliburton, Carlyle group, etc)

  • exploilting exclusively, to the degree possible, scarce planetary resources to which the access of others is thereby severely constrained
  • participating complicitly in acquisition and use of funds in the interests of the very few and against the interests of the many

  • Indebtedness: accumulating a unique trillion dollar debt

Incarceration: incarcerating a significant proportion of the population following failure to address the conditions giving rise to their crime


  • Denial

    • Avoidance of responsibility: Denial of responavoiding responsibility for the health care of many, except where it is to the advantage of the few
    • Indifference to the future: acting towards the environment with indifference to the condition of future generations
    • Marginalizing alternatives: acting vigorously against emergence of any strategic alternatives, notably by labelling themas a mark of weakness
  • Sacrifice: for the sacrifice of your own soldiers abroad in ensuring our salvation -- especially given the probability that most will die from friendly fire or suffer for years from radiation-related illnesses associated with the use of the depleted uranium missiles you intend to use

  • Reframing values:

    • Honour: for the honour you do us in selecting us as a living sacrifice to your God -- we hope that shedding our heart's blood will nourish new insights for humanity's future as believed by cultures of the past.
    • Lawlessness: abandoning efforts to promote the safeguards of international law: Who needs international treaties: Kyoto, ICC, Geneva
    • Restriction of human rights: curtailing of human rights to the point of tolerating, if not justifying, the use of humiliation and torture as in Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghriab
    • Righteousness: for your superior insight in recognizing the desirability of moulding our cultures and institutions in your image -- even whilst you are forced by the importance of your mission to neglect the many intractable challenges that are becoming so powerfully evident in your own way of life.

    • Loyalty: for the loyal support you have given so effectively, as an ally and as a trading partner, to our Leader -- who has acted so repressively with your knowledge for so long
    • Affirmation of bravery: acclamation of the bravery of the military called to defend God's country (if protected by adequate body armour) -- whilst disparaging the ordinary people of other cultures that are prepared to die for their beliefs even when only armed with stones
    • Freedom

    • Conflation of symbols: confusing the visual imagery and associations of Jesus (caster out of money changers) with that of Osama bin Laden (destroyer of the temple of capitalism)

    • Mercifulness: for giving some of us the possibility to live after your liberation -- whether traumatized, bereft of family, maimed, burnt, blinded, incurably affected by "toxics", or suffering from the radioactive effects of depleted uranium shells that will empower some of us to pass genetic abhorrent defects on to our children
    • Grace: for granting us the opportunity to sacrifice ourselves in celebration of the values and vision you claim to be universal -- without questioning the possibility that we might have preferred to live with values of which you may have no understanding

    • Courage: for the courage of your leadership in secretly abandoning the many interwoven values that have sustained your society in favour of the blatant pursuit of naked power in our region and elsewhere -- we hope that the resulting moral vacuum in your leadership will bring you to fruitful learnings for the future and avoid making your culture as arid as our lands

    • Vengefulness: for your Leader's mobilization of the world to avenge a failure of his father -- a degree of familial devotion and tribal loyalty that we also admire in our culture, although never having practiced it to such a degree
    • cultivating a spirit of vengefulness
  • Disdain for other worldviews: for your principled rejection of any need to understand our culture, our communities and our language, and your conviction that you can export your democratic values to displace ours -- and that we desire this wholeheartedly to affirm our cultural identity

  • Demonisation:
    • Recoognition of evil: for your uncanny ability to recognize our country and our Leader as embodying the greatest evil in our region -- when our paltry weapons and skills are acknowledged to be insignificant in comparison with some of our neighbours, whose ability to systematically abuse their minorities, flaunting the will of the international community, exceeds ours by far
  • Diplomacy: for your diplomatic ability to assemble a "Coalition of the Willing" -- we trust that they will be paid off as promised, now that they can no longer confidently appeal any contractual breach within the framework of the international law that you have undermined in order to kill us

  • Historical sensitivity: r for your respectful observance of historical pattern in engaging once again in the heroic endeavour in which your forefathers engaged over several centuries long ago -- recognizing that neither of our peoples seem to have learned much of consequence since then
  • for your method of honouring history through seeking to bomb the region which gave birth to your civilization and culture thousands of years ago -- we wonder whether you will ensure that any remnants of that glorious past period of our culture have been carefully added to your target list to demean us further
  • Modernization of others: for your undeclared efforts as Christians to reform and modernize our Muslim societies and culture -- although we wonder at the relevance of these efforts given the increasing difficulties you have in sustaining the qualities of life and authenticity in your modern cultures.

  • Mobilizing capacity: for mobilizing an honourable core group of former Christian crusading nations to lead a new crusade to liberate and occupy our Muslim region as did your forefathers -- the Franks -- in the time of the earlier crusades

  • Expertise: for the wisdom of your advisors, in their networks of excellence and think tanks, in choosing such a simple method to resolve a complex problem of humanity -- having learned so well from their past failures in effectively addressing the issues of poverty, injustice, unemployment, arms proliferation, shelter, disease, and pollution around the world

  • Envy (invidia) consisted of two main categories: sadness at another's good fortune, or glee at another's misfortune. Its contrary virtue is charity (charitas), which is sometimes translated as love, since it desires that your neighbor prosper, rather than wishing him ill luck.

  • Covetousness: or valuing our arid land and its resources above those of our neighbours -- condemning them to continuing abuse by their leaders, in the absence of your humanitarian intervention, in order to privilege the salvation of our people

  • Stealth: for your consideration in killing us stealthily and from so far away, so that we can never fully recognize how honourable an antagonist you are -- and then discretely to relieve any personal discomfort arising from your stressful slaughter with pool-side relaxation and video war games. ** shame

  • Concealment: for the manner in which you clean and cover up the messy effects of your deliverance of death, with unmarked mass graves of unnamed people, filled by bulldozers with industrial efficiency -- in such curious contrast to the sorrowful memorialized religious celebration of any deaths amongst your own soldiers

  • Reliance on technology: for your unquestioning confidence in the technology that will enable you to kill us with such great precision -- and your fatalistic acceptance that if your weapons unfortunately go astray, any level of collateral damage will be as Allah willed it

  • Destabilization: for the considerable resources discretely allocated by you over recent years in developing a more suitable governance structure for our peoples -- although we wonder at your preference for associates who have been indicted or convicted for a variety of offences

  • Nation-building: for your efforts to engage in nation-building to provide structures to receive your gift of democracy to our culture -- despite the modesty of your success on previous occasions

  • Promises: for making such wonderful promises to us through your propaganda tracts and broadcasts -- even though you have had to suffer embarrassment in keeping such promises on other occasions

  • Sanctions: for the sanctions that you have applied to our country for so many years to teach us the basic humanity we have been so slow in learning -- depriving us of essential medical and food supplies, clearly a necessary punishment even though it has unfortunately resulted in the death of so many

  • Leadership: for the inspired European leadership, notably in the person of Winston Churchill, regarding the use of gas on Kurds and Iraqis in the 1920s as a "scientific expedient" not to be prevented "by the prejudices of those who do not think clearly":  "I do not understand this squeamishness... I am strongly in favour of using poison gas against uncivilised tribes" -- leaving us perplexed by the righteous insistence of your Leader (known to model himself on Churchill) to remove our Leader who so assiduously followed this prescription in years past.

  • Strength: for the amazing power you demonstrate so simply and dramatically through your instruments of war -- a power that contrasts so significantly with your total impotence in response to the more complex problems of the billions around the world whose condition you neglect, exemplified by your continuing need to increase the numbers  that you incarcerate.
  • lack of strength

  • Conviction: for your conviction that the level of guilt of our brutal Leader justifies the disruption that you plan to cause to our region -- in the absence of evidence (now that you seem to have mislaid the receipts) other than your secret and highly sensitive knowledge of what you and your agents have supplied to our Leader

  • Personalization: for honouring our people by elevating our Leader to be the most wanted man in the history of mankind, as measured by the unprecedented resources the Coalition of the Willing is devoting to his removal -- we trust that you will in future continue to devote a significant proportion of such resources to the conditions of people in need around the world

  • Risk-taking: for the risks you take in relying increasingly on methods developed in totalitarian societies you formerly claimed to deplore, although emulated by our Leader -- in dying we wonder at the possibility that unknowingly your society may become essentially indistinguishable from theirs

  • Appreciation of death: celebration through every cinematic device the processes of causing excruciating pain and death -- whilst pretending that such entertainment has as little to do with the maintenance of modern civilization as the "games"

  • Death: conscientious application of the highest moral and ethical values as a justification for the need to kill others -- claiming to sincerely believe that such deaths will be for the highest cause and that the price will be worth paying, despite a specific Christian commandment against such acts

  • Demonisation: presentation of the prime enemy of civilization in the garb of the Christian redeemer (as displayed in every place of worship) -- as a prime tool for rendering ambiguous the values of Christian civilization

  • who do not welcome ensure his for your courage in seeking to ensure that we disarm before unleashing your long intended attack on us -- history has few examples of great armies requiring that their opponents lay down their weapons before a battle

  • Any who previously questioned the mandate given to George Bush should now realize that "they no longer have an alibi"
    With such Christian-inspired leadership, who needs Satan?

    for the conviction of your expert advisors in the efficacy of direct action in killing us -- and avoiding any wasteful investment in the futile hope that those holding radically opposed views could ever dialogue fruitfully, other than on your terms
  • collective attunement


    right is right and left is left behind

    real problems



    Middle East



    using freely available arms



    Declaration of Human Rights

    Ten Commandments



    The Seven Vices Pride Covetousness Lust Anger Gluttony Envy Sloth

    The Seven Virtues Humility Liberality Chastity Meekness Temperance Brotherly Love Diligence

    Prudence vs Foolishness Fortitude vs Inconstancy Temperence vs Ire Justice vs Injustice Faith vs Faithlessness Hope vs Desperation Charity vs Envy

  • Pride (superbia). As we have seen earlier, pride was often viewed as the root of all of the vices. Pride, simply put, is placing oneself above God, so its contrary virtue is Faith (fides). Subcategories included disobedience, bragging or ostentation, hypocrisy, contempt, arrogance, impudence, and taking pride in one's bad deeds.
    • righteousness
    • xoenophobia
  • Sloth (accidia) includes pettiness, cowardice, negligence, being remiss in one's duties, mistrustfulness, indolence, and sluggishness. Its contrary virtue is fortitude (fortitudo), whose active forms include magnanimity and constancy and passive include security and good faith.
    • obesity
    • vehicles
  • Avarice (Avaritia) includes simony (the sale of clerical offices), sacrilege (or usurping the place of God), usury, fraud, theft, blind ambition, and desiring the goods of others. Its contrary virtue is justice (justitia), because justice gives to each their due, rather than stealing and retaining the things of another.
    • oil, resources
    • kleptocracy
  • Gluttony (Gula) includes drunkenness, gluttonous eating, and soft living. Its opposite is Temperance (temperantia) which suppresses extremes, and includes abstinence, continence, and modesty.
    • excess
  • Lust (Luxuria) includes fornication, adultery, incest, sodomy, sex with those in orders or under vows, masturbation, and "abuse" (any sex outside the "marital debt). It also includes love of worldly luxuries. Its opposite virtue is Prudence (prudentia), which keeps the incorrupt from corruption and includes providence, circumspection, caution, and docility.
    • hedonism

Kristena West. The seven vices are considered to be the veils of illusion that occlude us from Sophia, holy wisdom, the Beloved of every human heart. These seven vices today are considered to be behavioral patterns adopted by us as coping mechanisms. Eventually, these behaviors can become addictions which cause us pain, limit our growth, and are considered obstacles to the spiritual path. [more]

Wikipedia: One way of organising the vices is as the corruption of the virtues. A virtue can be corrupted by nonuse, misuse, or overuse. Thus the cardinal vices would be lust (nonuse of temperance), cowardice (nonuse of courage), folly (misuse of an virtue, opposite of wisdom), and venality (nonuse of justice). See: The four virtues.

The Christian vices would be blasphemy (faith betrayed), unforgiveness (hope betrayed), apostasy (nonuse of piety), and indifference (scripturally, a "hardened heart"), the betrayal of perfect love: charity.

Transforming Your Dragons: Turning Personality Fear Patterns into Personal Power by José Stevens, Ph.D. Bear and Co. 1994

What then are these seven dragons but the most familiar of all human limitations. Throughout the ages they have been called many names: The seven deadly sins; the seven vices; bad blood; original sin; base human nature; plagues; the fall of man; Satan, evil spirits, and so on. These notions of the dragons suggest that evil is visited upon human beings by the devil, demons, or by humankind's own innate wickedness and sinfulness. According to this view, people are helpless in the face of these dragons and it is only in crying out to the gods through prayer and ritual, or by offering sacrifice that these demons can be avoided. The limitation of this perspective is that while creating temporary relief, in the long run it is disempowering and offers little in the way of effective solution to the problem.

In modern times we sometimes call the seven dragons by more scientific names: Dysfunction, psychopathology, abnormal psychology, defense mechanisms, addiction, aberrant behavior, neurosis, and anti-social behavior. We attribute these modern demons to familial conditioning, poor social conditions, chemical imbalances, and genetic makeup. However, with all the modern science in the world we have not arrived one step closer to slaying the age old dragons that continue to plague us. Why? Because we do not understand the fundamental nature of the dragons we seek to slay. The dragons are swift and sly and have led us on merry goose chases that lead to a false sense of security. They continue to reign supreme on the world scene. In fact, more commonly we call the dragons by the name, ordinary everyday behavior. We regard destructive, callous, insensitive, self defeating behavior as not only ordinary, but we reward it socially with fame, fortune, and social status.

Truly, the seven dragons lie at the heart of every major dysfunction and addiction known to human kind. These are the addictions underlying every addiction. These are the dragons behind every obstacle to human potential. These are the dragons that masquerade as power, brilliance, modesty, strength, colorfulness, sacrifice, and fortitude.

For the purposes of this book these dragons will be called by simple, blunt names: Arrogance; Self-Deprecation; Impatience; Martyrdom; Self- Destruction; Greed; and Stubbornness. These are seven familiar words to describe the cause of all human suffering. Judging by human history, there would seem to be no hope of erasing these scourges that erode the best intentions of even the most developed of our races. And yet, it is possible to defeat the seven dragons if you are armed with accurate information, an intense desire, perseverance, and the courage to admit difficulty and the humility to ask for help. This book is dedicated to arming you with the tools to eradicate the seven obstacles.

Is God a terrorist



Pope Gregory the Great (d. 604) described Seven Deadly Sins in his Moralia in Job. 1. Superbia Pride 2. Invidia Envy 3. Ira Anger 4. Avaritia Avarice 5. Tristia Sadness 6. Gula Gluttony 7. Luxuria Lust (Moralia in Job, XXXI cap. xlv).


RENEE LAPOINTE-DAOUD. The Seven Deadly Sins? are there seven? are they deadly? are they even sins? 2001 [text]

Virtues and Vices, Aristotle, trans. H. Rackman, Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press, l992.

WILLIAM P. MARSHALL. Conservatives and the Seven Sins of Judicial Activism. University of Colorado Law Review, Vol. 73, 2002 [abstract]

Michael Lewis. Poisoning the Ivy: The Seven Deadly Sins and Other Vices of Higher Education in America, 1997 [contents]

Jean Bannon The Seven Deadly Sins Managers Commit. New Mexico Labor Letter, Fall 1999 [text]

  • Failing to Address Problems
  • Promoting Employees Without Management Training
  • Assigning New Management to "Clean House"
  • Improper Documentation
  • Ignoring Informal Complaints
  • Mishandling Medical Information
  • Retaliation

Karen Horst Cobb. No Longer a Christian. Published on Monday, October 25, 2004 by CommonDreams.org by [text]

D.A. Blyler. The Seven Vices of Highly Creative People. 2001 [text]

Steven D. Strauss. The Seven Deadly Sins of Advertising. Online Digest of the Small Business Association of Michigan, 11 August 2003 [text]

Thomas P.M. Barnett. The Seven Deadly Sins of Network-Centric Warfare. Proceedings (U.S. Naval Institute, 1999) [text]

  1. Lust: NCW Longs for an Enemy Worthy of Its Technological Prowess
  2. Sloth: NCW Slows the U.S. Military's Adaptation to a MOOTW World
  3. Avarice: NCW Favors the Many and Cheap; the U.S. Military Prefers the Few and Costly
  4. Pride: NCW's Lock-Out Strategies Resurrect Old Myths about Strategic Bombing
  5. Anger: NCW's Speed-of-Command Philosophy Can Push Us into Shooting First and Asking Questions Later
  6. Envy: NCW Covets the Business World's Self-Synchronization
  7. Gluttony: NCW's Common Operating Picture Could Lead to Information Overload

Ron Robinson. Seven Sins of Strategic Planning. CharityVillage.com 4 March 2002 [text]

  • Believing the strategic plan is a panacea
  • Viewing the plan as the end product
  • Developing the plan in isolation
  • Failing to gather the necessary information
  • Developing paralysis by analysis
  • Failing to communicate
  • Failing to implement

Bob Post. Seven Deadly Sins of Seven Deadly Sins of Contingency Planning. Booz Allen Hamilton, 2002 [text]

  • Not having a plan(s)
  • Not maintaining plans
  • Not exercising or testing plans
  • Not raising awareness of plans
  • Not identifying essential functions
  • Not identifying key roles and responsibilities
  • Not coordinating plans with partners

Bob Lewis. The seven deadly sins of information systems. InfoWorld, 1998 [text]

  • Arrogance
  • Grandiosity
  • Project-itis
  • Jargon
  • Methodologism
  • Control
  • Supplier mentality

Steven S. Ross. "Lies, damned lies, and statistics": the seven deadly sins. 21stC, Fall 1998 [text]

  • Non-response bias, or the non-representative sample.
  • Mistaking statistical association for causality
  • Poisoned control
  • Data enhancement.
  • Absoluteness.
  • Partiality
  • A bad measuring stick

The Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. Seven Capital Sins. 1959 [contents]

Justice Michael Kirby. Freedom of Information: The Seven Deadly Sins. Paper delivered to British section of International Commission of Jurists, 17 December 1997 [abstract]

Drue Miller. Seven Deadly Sins of Information Design. 1999 [text]

Eric Matson. The Seven Sins of Deadly Meetings. FastCompany, Issue 02, April/May 1996 [text]

Chris Buckingham. The seven deadly sins of the information professional. Scip.online, 1, 11, 17 November 2004 [text]

Niccolo Machiavelli. The Seven Books on the Art of War. 1520 [text] [review]

Ian Demack. The Modern Machiavelli: the seven principles of power in business. Allen and Unwin, 2004

  • Trust People to Serve Their Own Interests
  • Everyone is Delusional
  • Power Must Be Contested
  • Your Allies Are Not Your Friends
  • Congruence is Power
  • Fortune Favours the Wise
  • Power Demands Submission

Seven Deadly Sins. NYPL and Oxford University Press, 7 vols, 2004

  • Envy: The Seven Deadly Sins Joseph Epstein
  • Greed (New York Public Library Lectures in Humanities Series): The Seven Deadly Sins Phyllis A. Tickle
  • Lust: The Seven Deadly Sins Simon Blackburn
  • Anger: The Seven Deadly Sins Robert A. F. Thurman
  • Gluttony: The Seven Deadly Sins Francine Prose

Kenneth Rexroth's Classics Revisited. New Directions, 1968

Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Criseyde are dynamic structures of evolving interpersonal relations. On each type of character, like sculpture on an armature, a unique individual is erected with a minimum of rhetoric and a maximum of effective characterization. At the end of the "Prologue" a crowd of people have come to life. The tensions and affections that exist between them have been defined. From then on the Canterbury Pilgrims jostle, argue, push and pull, and twist in the fields of force set up by their manifold personalities, each one a center of power. However interesting in themselves, the Tales are each a metaphor of the personality of the teller; each Tale affects the listeners. In the "links" between Tales the narrators are represented and redefined in special relationships, much as the characters in a play are intensified in each new scene. Chaucer's pilgrims can be sorted into categories -- the Seven Deadly Sins: pride, sloth, anger, lust, avarice, gluttony, envy; the Seven Cardinal Virtues: faith, hope, charity, prudence, temperance, justice, fortitude; the four humours: blood, bile, black bile, phlegm; the influence of the known planets and the Houses of the Zodiac -- but this is far from reducing his psychology or philosophy of the personality to schematization. These thirty-five factors, their commutations and permutations, can be figured out arithmetically and are a tidy sum. Besides, each traveler is defined in the first instance by occupation and most of them by native province; each person is strongly characterized by individually developed sexuality; each is a special, complex aspect of maleness or femaleness. This is a larger apparatus for a theory of character than that employed by modern novelists raised on the simple Old Testament schemata of psychoanalysis. [more]

The Seven Deadly Sins board game can best be described as a New Age Snakes and Ladders with attitude. The board is made up of a long, winding and overlapping path of 234 consecutive squares divided into seven different incarnations (first killer, then thief, liar, servant, lover, healer, and prophet). On squares where the paths cross over, called Time Warp squares, players must change path if required. [more]

The seven deadly memes?, 1996. I was thinking about evolutionary psychology and about the "seven deadly sins" and I began to notice an interesting correspondence between the deadly sins and the basic instincts we get from evolution:

  • pride = us-vs.-them instinct, also maintain status in hierarchy
  • idleness = conserving energy
  • gluttony = drive to eat, gone wild in this time of abundance
  • lechery = maximize mating opportunities
  • avarice = drive to grow in power so as to have more reproductive options
  • envy = look for opportunities to rise in the hierarchy so as to have more reproductive options
  • wrath = "tit for tat" strategy, most effective simple prisoner's dilemma strategy [more]

Stephen R. Covey. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

  1. Wealth without work
  2. Pleasure without conscience
  3. Knowledge without character
  4. Commerce (business) without morality (ethics)
  5. Science without humanity
  6. Religion without sacrifice
  7. Politics without principle

Walter Lippman. Public Opinion. Free Press, 1997

Chapter XXVIII. The Appeal To Reason: There is, however, a noble counterfeit in that charity which comes from self-knowledge and an unarguable belief that no one of our gregarious species is alone in his longing for a friendlier world. So many of the grimaces men make at each other go with a flutter of their pulse, that they are not all of them important. And where so much is uncertain, where so many actions have to be carried out on guesses, the demand upon the reserves of mere decency is enormous, and it is necessary to live as if good will would work. We cannot prove in every instance that it will, nor why hatred, intolerance, suspicion, bigotry, secrecy, fear, and lying are the seven deadly sins against public opinion. We can only insist that they have no place in the appeal to reason, that in the longer run they are a poison; and taking our stand upon a view of the world which outlasts our own predicaments, and our own lives, we can cherish a hearty prejudice against them.

2004: Denery is one of only 11 scholars selected to participate in a National Endowment for the Humanities seminar, "The Seven Deadly Sins as Cultural Constructions in the Middle Ages," at Cambridge University this summer.

Lousie Cowan. The Terrain of Comedy. The Dallas Institute of Humanities, 1984 [text]

These three quite different "places" objectifying the three states of the soul can consequently be seen to represent the three possible regions of the comic terrain. The first, infernal comedy, is a state in which grace is utterly absent and where selfishness and malice prevail. The community has accepted its fallen condition and cynically attributes its corruption to "the way of the world." .... Deception and disguise, characterizing marks of comedy, are used in infernal society for the purpose or gaining advantage, usually to the harm of others. Even the guardians, those figures of disinterested benevolence who manifest themselves from time to time within the comic tradition, realize their helplessness to change the general situation and either withdraw as does Alceste or concentrate their efforts on the rescue of the feminine victim, as do Ligurio, Paulina, Sir Henry Harcourt-Reilly and Julia, and Gavin Stevens and Ratliff. The wicked are in control of the city, though frequently in the end they are outwitted by someone even more tricky than they. Face is outfaced; Shylock is outlegalized; Flem Snopes is destroyed by something within Snopesism itself. The bitter bit, the gull gulled--- these eventualities are often the outcome of infernal comedy, since wickedness multiplies incrementally and gives the appearance of infinite resource. Yet there is usually a reckoning, in which the community is reaffirmed, even if in the sternest possible way; justice is meted out to offenders, and the innocent are vindicated. This is the realm of dirty jokes, of harmful trickery, of cruel deceit. The Greeks were only imperfectly aware of it as a human possibility, the Old Testament portrays it but seldom, for it is less the world of sin than of abomination--- Sodom and Gomorrah, the false prophets in Pharaoh's court, Jezebel, the Tower of Babel. But the medieval world, fully aware of its implications, found it in daily experience: Chaucer's pardoner and his friar inhabit this world, as do the characters in the miller's and the merchant's tales. Piers Plowman's vision of the seven deadly sins is in this infernal mold. Machiavelli continues it into the Renaissance in his Mandragola, Ben Jonson in his Volpone and The Alchemist, Shakespeare in Troilus and Cressida, and the characters of Shylock, Lucio, Cloten, and Iachimo. Moliere and Restoration comedy are in this mode also, a fact that explains the frequent charge of "immortality" leveled against them. Blake's "London," Flaubert's Madame Bovary, Gogal's Dead Souls, Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Dostoevsky's The Possessed, Eliot's The Waste Land, Katherine Anne Porter's Ship of Fools, O'Connor's Wise Blood exhibit its dark and malevolent lineage. William Faulkner, as one can judge from his early drafts of the Snopes sage, gradually turned from tragedy to comedy in conceiving his trilogy over the years, coming to see the evil engulfing the human enterprise as contemptible and ultimately defeatable.

Deirdre McCloskey. The Secret Sins of Economics. Prickly Paradigm Press, 2002 [text]

Daniel L. Schacter. The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001) [summary]

  • transience affects weakening memory over time
  • absent-mindedness, when failures of attention sabotage memory
  • blocking, when a well-known nalme cannot be retrieved
  • misattribution: assigning a memory to the wrong source
  • suggestibility: implanting false memories
  • bias: rewriting the past based on present beliefs
  • persistence: intrusiver recollections that cannot be forgotten

The Seven Deadly Sins, 2004 [text]

Virtue against which it sins
Brief description
Pride (1) Humility Seeing ourselves as we are and not comparing ourselves to others is humility. Pride and vanity are competitive. If someone else's pride really bothers you, you have a lot of pride.
Avarice/Greed (5) Generosity This is about more than money. Generosity means letting others get the credit or praise. It is giving without having expectations of the other person. Greed wants to get its "fair share" or a bit more.
Envy (2) Love "Love is patient, love is kind…" Love actively seeks the good of others for their sake. Envy resents the good others receive or even might receive. Envy is almost indistinguishable from pride at times.
Wrath/Anger (3) Kindness Kindness means taking the tender approach, with patience and compassion. Anger is often our first reaction to the problems of others. Impatience with the faults of others is related to this.
Lust (7) Self control Self control and self mastery prevent pleasure from killing the soul by suffocation. Legitimate pleasures are controlled in the same way an athlete's muscles are: for maximum efficiency without damage. Lust is the self-destructive drive for pleasure out of proportion to its worth. Sex, power, or image can be used well, but they tend to go out of control.
Gluttony (6) Faith and Temperance Temperance accepts the natural limits of pleasures and preserves this natural balance. This does not pertain only to food, but to entertainment and other legitimate goods, and even the company of others.
Sloth (4) Zeal Zeal is the energetic response of the heart to God's commands. The other sins work together to deaden the spiritual senses so we first become slow to respond to God and then drift completely into the sleep of complacency.

Seven deadly forums:

  • Vanity The forum from which all other forums arise. solidsharkey.com / #finalfight / pyoko.org discussion 215 10157 Nov 16 2004, 01:00 AM In: Last PostThe Bragging Thread By: Glames No New Posts
  • Envy The desire for others' traits, status, abilities, or situation. miscellaneous people / site / organization discussion 78 6689 Nov 16 2004, 06:07 AM In: Last PostAvatar By: Fried_Octopus No New Posts
  • Gluttony The inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires. food / drink / snack discussion 94 3227 Nov 17 2004, 02:42 AM In: Last PostThanksgiving By: R^2 No New Posts
  • Wrath "Wrath is the most seductive of the sins. Welcome to the dark side." 228 10682 Nov 16 2004, 10:21 PM In: Last PostSpyware By: Thad No New Posts
  • Avarice The desire for material wealth or gain. bargain / entrepreneurial / ripoff discussion 111 3452 Nov 17 2004, 01:01 AM In: Last PostVoice Actors By: Thad No New Posts
  • Sloth The avoidance of physical or spiritual work. game / movie / music / book discussion [more]

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