Pride has been labeled the father of all sins and has been deemed the devil’s most essential trait. C.S. Lewis writes in Mere Christianity that pride is the “anti-God” state, the position in which the ego and the self are directly opposed to God: “Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.” Pride is understood to sever the spirit from God, as well as His life-and-grace-giving Presence.
Sloth subverts the livelihood of the body, taking no care for its day-to-day provisions, and slows down the mind, halting its attention to matters of great importance. Sloth hinders the man in his righteous undertakings and thus becomes a terrible source of human’s undoing. The seven deadly sins are discussed in treatises and depicted in paintings and sculpture decorations on Catholic churches as well as older textbooks. The seven deadly sins, along with the sins against the Holy Ghost and the sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance, are taught especially in Western Christian traditions as things to be deplored. Bertrand Russell said that envy was one of the most potent causes of unhappiness, bringing sorrow to committers of envy, while giving them the urge to inflict pain upon others.Pride (superbia), also known as hubris (from Ancient Greek ὕβρις) or futility. It is considered the original and worst of the seven deadly sins on almost every list, the most demonic. It is also thought to be the source of the other capital sins. Pride is the opposite of humility.According to a 2009 study by the Jesuit scholar Fr. Roberto Busa, the most common deadly sin confessed by men is lust and the most common deadly sin confessed by women is pride. It was unclear whether these differences were due to the actual number of transgressions committed by each sex or whether differing views on what “counts” or should be confessed caused the observed pattern.
What is sloth vs laziness?
Sloth and laziness, are voluntary, with this difference, that sloth, implies, utter in|activity, an absolute aversion to work; laziness, an inclination, but, a fear of trou|ble and fatigue: whereas, sluggishness, is, often, involuntary; proceeding, sometimes, from constitution, and, is discovered, by its dull, heavy …
In AD 590, Pope Gregory I revised the list to form a more common list. Gregory combined tristitia with acedia and vanagloria with superbia, adding envy, which is invidia in Latin. Gregory’s list became the standard list of sins. Thomas Aquinas uses and defends Gregory’s list in his Summa Theologica, although he calls them the “capital sins” because they are the head and form of all the others. Christian denominations, such as the Anglican Communion, Lutheran Church, and Methodist Church, still retain this list, and modern evangelists such as Billy Graham have explicated the seven deadly sins. Acedia is currently defined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church as spiritual sloth, believing spiritual tasks to be too difficult. In the fourth century, Christian monks believed that acedia was primarily caused by a state of melancholia that caused spiritual detachment instead of laziness. People feel angry when they sense that they or someone they care about has been offended, when they are certain about the nature and cause of the angering event, when they are certain someone else is responsible, and when they feel that they can still influence the situation or cope with it.
The seven deadly sins, also known as the capital vices or cardinal sins, is a grouping and classification of vices within Christian teachings. Although they are not directly mentioned in the Bible, there are parallels with the seven things God is said to dislike in the Book of Proverbs. Behaviours or habits are classified under this category if they directly give rise to other immoralities. According to the standard list, they are pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony and sloth, which are contrary to the seven capital virtues. These sins are often thought to be abuses or excessive versions of one’s natural faculties or passions (for example, gluttony abuses one’s desire to eat).
The modern concept of the seven deadly sins is linked to the monastic tradition of early Christian Egypt, which was itself influenced by the neoplatonist teachings of the school of Alexandria. Roman writers such as Horace extolled virtues, and they listed and warned against vices. His first epistles say that “to flee vice is the beginning of virtue and to have got rid of folly is the beginning of wisdom.” Pope Gregory combined this with tristitia into sloth for his list. When Thomas Aquinas described acedia in his interpretation of the list, he described it as an “uneasiness of the mind”, being a progenitor for lesser sins such as restlessness and instability. Dante refined this definition further, describing acedia as the “failure to love God with all one’s heart, all one’s mind and all one’s soul”. To him, it was the “middle sin”, the only one characterised by an absence or insufficiency of love. As defined outside Christian writings, greed is an inordinate desire to acquire or possess more than one needs, especially with respect to material wealth. Like pride, it can lead to evil. Malicious envy is similar to jealousy in that they both feel discontent towards someone’s traits, status, abilities, or rewards. A difference is that the envious also desire the entity and covet it. Envy can be directly related to the Ten Commandments, specifically, “Neither shall you covet … anything that belongs to your neighbour”—a statement that may also be related to greed. Dante defined envy as “a desire to deprive other men of theirs”. In Dante’s Purgatory, the punishment for the envious is to have their eyes sewn shut with wire because they gained sinful pleasure from seeing others brought low. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, the struggle aroused by envy has three stages: during the first stage, the envious person attempts to lower another’s reputation; in the middle stage, the envious person receives either “joy at another’s misfortune” (if he succeeds in defaming the other person) or “grief at another’s prosperity” (if he fails); and the third stage is hatred because “sorrow causes hatred”.The Latin term gloria roughly means boasting, although its English cognate glory has come to have an exclusively positive meaning. Historically, the term vain roughly meant futile (a meaning retained in the modern expression “in vain”), but had come to have the strong narcissistic undertones by the fourteenth century which it still retains today.
The scope of sloth is wide. Spiritually, acedia first referred to an affliction attending religious persons, especially monks, wherein they became indifferent to their duties and obligations to God. Mentally, acedia has a number of distinctive components; the most important of these is affectlessness, a lack of any feeling about self or other, a mind-state that gives rise to boredom, rancor, apathy, and a passive inert or sluggish mentation. Physically, acedia is fundamentally associated with a cessation of motion and an indifference to work; it finds expression in laziness, idleness, and indolence.
Evagrius’s list was translated into the Latin of Western Christianity in many writings of John Cassian, thus becoming part of the Western tradition’s spiritual pietas or Catholic devotions as follows:One can be prideful for different reasons. Author Ichabod Spencer states that “spiritual pride is the worst kind of pride, if not worst snare of the devil. The heart is particularly deceitful on this one thing.” Jonathan Edwards said: “remember that pride is the worst viper that is in the heart, the greatest disturber of the soul’s peace and sweet communion with Christ; it was the first sin that ever was and lies lowest in the foundation of Satan’s whole building and is the most difficultly rooted out and is the most hidden, secret and deceitful of all lusts and often creeps in, insensibly, into the midst of religion and sometimes under the disguise of humility.”
Are sloths smart or dumb?
In fact, sloths benefit by slowly reacting to danger. The tropical tree dweller evolved alongside the harpy eagle, a bird of prey that can detect even the tiniest of movements. “They’re as smart as they need to be, in their own way.”
Lust or lechery (Latin: luxuria “carnal”) is intense longing. It is usually thought of as intense or unbridled sexual desire, which may lead to fornication (including adultery), rape, bestiality, and other sinful and sexual acts; oftentimes, however, it could also mean other forms of unbridled desire, such as for money, or power. Henry Edward Manning explains that the impurity of lust transforms one into “a slave of the devil”.In the platonic tradition, the human being is composed of three components: the body, the soul, and the mind. Each component has its own primary function: appetite or desire (epithymia), feeling (thymos), and mind (nous). For each of these functions, the Egyptian monks identified three “thoughts” or logismoi that lead to disorders.
Why is sloth the worst sin?
Sloth not only subverts the livelihood of the body, taking no care for its day-to-day provisions but also slows down the mind, halting its attention to matters of great importance. Sloth hinders man in his righteous undertakings and becomes a path to ruin.
Acēdia is the negative form of the Greek term κηδεία (Kēdeia), which has a more restricted usage. ‘Kēdeia’ refers specifically to spousal love and respect for the dead. The positive term ‘kēdeia’ thus indicates love for one’s family, even through death. It also indicates love for those outside one’s immediate family, specifically forming a new family with one’s “beloved”. Seen in this way, acēdia indicates a rejection of familial love. Nonetheless, the meaning of acēdia is far more broad, signifying indifference to everything one experiences.The modern use of pride may be summed up in the biblical proverb, “Pride goeth before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (abbreviated “Pride goes before a fall”, Proverbs 16:18). The “pride that blinds” causes foolish actions against common sense. In political analysis, “hubris” is often used to describe how leaders with great power over many years become more and more irrationally self-confident and contemptuous of advice, leading them to act impulsively.
This classification originated with the Desert Fathers, especially Evagrius Ponticus. Evagrius’ pupil John Cassian with his book The Institutes brought the classification to Europe, where it became fundamental to Catholic confessional practices as documented in penitential manuals, sermons such as “The Parson’s Tale” from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and artworks such as Dante’s Purgatory where the penitents of Mount Purgatory are grouped and penanced according to their worst sin. Church teaching especially focused on pride, which was thought to be the root of all sin since it turns the soul away from God; and also on greed or covetousness. Both of these were to undercut other sins.
Vainglory (Latin, vanagloria) is unjustified boasting. Pope Gregory viewed it as a form of pride, so he folded vainglory into pride for his listing of sins. According to Aquinas, it is the progenitor of envy.Medieval church leaders such as Thomas Aquinas took a more expansive view of gluttony, arguing that it could also include an obsessive anticipation of meals and over-indulgence in delicacies and costly foods. Aquinas also listed five forms of gluttony:
Gluttony (Latin: gula) is the overindulgence and overconsumption of anything to the point of waste. The word derives from the Latin gluttire, meaning to gulp down or swallow. One reason for its condemnation is that the gorging of the prosperous may leave the needy hungry.
In her introduction to Purgatory, Dorothy L. Sayers describes wrath as “love of justice perverted to revenge and spite”. In accordance with Henry Edward, angry people are “slaves to themselves”.
Dante defined lust as the disordered love for individuals. It is generally thought to be the least serious capital sin, as it is an abuse of a faculty that humans share with animals and sins of the flesh are less grievous than spiritual sins. In Dante’s Purgatorio, the penitent walks within flames to purge himself of lustful thoughts and feelings. Unforgiven souls guilty of lust are also eternally blown about in restless hurricane-like winds symbolic of their own lack of self-control of their lustful passions in earthly life and as shown in Dante’s Inferno.
Emotionally, and cognitively, the evil of acedia finds expression in a lack of any feeling for the world, for the people in it, or for the self. Acedia takes form as an alienation of the sentient self first from the world and then from itself. The most profound versions of this condition are found in a withdrawal from all forms of participation in or care for others or oneself, but a lesser yet more noisome element was also noted by theologians. Gregory the Great asserted that, “from tristitia, there arise malice, rancour, cowardice, [and] despair”. Chaucer also dealt with this attribute of acedia, counting the characteristics of the sin to include despair, somnolence, idleness, tardiness, negligence, indolence, and wrawnesse, the last variously translated as “anger” or better as “peevishness”. For Chaucer, human’s sin consists of languishing and holding back, refusing to undertake works of goodness because, he/she tells him/herself, the circumstances surrounding the establishment of good are too grievous and too difficult to suffer. Acedia in Chaucer’s view is thus the enemy of every source and motive for work.
Greed (Latin: avaritia), also known as avarice, cupidity, or covetousness, is a sin of desire like lust and gluttony. However, greed (as seen by the Church) is applied to an artificial, rapacious desire as well as the pursuit of material possessions. Thomas Aquinas wrote: “Greed is a sin against God, just as all mortal sins, in as much as man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things.” In Dante’s Purgatory, the penitents are bound and laid face down on the ground for having concentrated excessively on earthly thoughts. Hoarding of materials or objects, theft, and robbery, especially by means of violence, trickery, or manipulation of authority, are all actions that may be inspired by greed. Such misdeeds can include simony, where one attempts to purchase or sell sacraments, including Holy Orders and, therefore, positions of authority in the Church hierarchy.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the neutral act of anger becomes the sin of wrath when it is directed against an innocent person, when it is unduly strong or long-lasting, or when it desires excessive punishment. “If anger reaches the point of a deliberate desire to kill or seriously wound a neighbor, it is gravely against charity; it is a mortal sin.” (CCC 2302) Hatred is the sin of desiring that someone else may suffer misfortune or evil and is a mortal sin when one desires grave harm (CCC 2302–03).
Sloth (Latin: tristitia, or acedia “without care”) refers to a peculiar jumble of notions, dating from antiquity and including mental, spiritual, pathological, and physical states. It may be defined as absence of interest or habitual disinclination to exertion.
Sloth includes ceasing to utilize the seven gifts of grace given by the Holy Spirit (Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Knowledge, Piety, Fortitude, and Fear of the Lord); such disregard may lead to the slowing of spiritual progress towards eternal life, the neglect of manifold duties of charity towards the neighbor, and animosity towards those who love God.
According to the most widely accepted views, only pride weighs down the soul more than envy among the capital sins. Like pride, envy has been associated directly with the devil, for Wisdom 2:24 states: “the envy of the devil brought death to the world”.
Envy (invidia) is characterized by an insatiable desire like greed and lust. It can be described as a sad or resentful covetousness towards the traits or possessions of someone else. It comes from vainglory and severs a man from his neighbor.Most of the seven deadly sins are defined by Dante Alighieri (c. 1264–1321) as perverse or corrupt versions of love; lust, gluttony, and greed are all excessive or disordered love of good things; and wrath, envy, and pride are perverted love directed toward others’ harm. The sole exception is sloth, which is a deficiency of love. In the seven deadly sins are seven ways of eternal death. Pride is often thought to be the father and promoter of all the other sins.
Unlike the other seven deadly sins, which are sins of committing immorality, sloth is a sin of omitting responsibilities. It may arise from any of the other capital vices; for example, a son may omit his duty to his father through anger. The state and habit of sloth is a mortal sin, while the habit of the soul tending towards the last mortal state of sloth is not mortal in and of itself except under certain circumstances.Acedia (Latin, acedia “without care”; from Greek ἀκηδία) is the neglect to take care of something that one should do. It is translated to apathetic listlessness; depression without joy. It is related to melancholy; acedia describes the behaviour and melancholy suggests the emotion producing it. In early Christian thought, the lack of joy was regarded as a willful refusal to enjoy the goodness of God. By contrast, apathy was considered a refusal to help others in times of need.
Sloth has also been defined as a failure to do things that one should do, though the understanding of the sin in antiquity was that this laziness or lack of work was simply a symptom of the vice of apathy or indifference, particularly an apathy or boredom with God. Concurrently, this apathy can be seen as an inadequate amount of love.Christian author and Clinical Psychologist Dr. William Backus has pointed out the similarities between sloth and depression. “Depression involves aversion to effort, and the moral danger of sloth lies in this characteristic. The work involved in exercising one’s will to make moral and spiritual decisions seems particularly undesirable and demanding. Thus the slothful person drifts along in habits of sin, convinced that he has no willpower and aided in this claim by those who persist in seeking only biological and environmental causes and medical remedies for sloth.”
Sloth not only subverts the livelihood of the body, taking no care for its day-to-day provisions but also slows down the mind, halting its attention to matters of great importance. Sloth hinders man in his righteous undertakings and becomes a path to ruin.The word “sloth” is a translation of the Latin term acedia (Middle English, acciditties) and means “without care”. Spiritually, acedia first referred to an affliction to women, religious persons, wherein they became indifferent to their duties and obligations to God. Mentally, acedia has a number of distinctive components of which the most important is affectlessness, a lack of any feeling about self or others, a mind-state that gives rise to boredom, rancor, apathy, and a passive, inert, or sluggish mentation. Physically, acedia is fundamentally a cessation of motion and an indifference to work; it finds expression in [sloth can also be referred as Laziness], idleness, and indolence. Two commentators consider the most accurate translation of acedia to be “self-pity,” for it “conveys both the melancholy of the condition and self-centeredness upon which it is founded.”
What is God's punishment for sloth?
Sloth is a habitual disinclination to exertion. This sin is unique in that it’s the only one characterized by a lack of something rather than an abundance of something. For your slothful ways, your eternal home in hell will be a pit of snakes (a pit of sloths would be better).
Views concerning the virtue of work to support society and further God’s plan suggest that through inactivity, one invites sin: “For Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do.” (“Against Idleness and Mischief” by Isaac Watts).
Is sloth laziness?
Sloth is the Biblical term for what is more commonly referred to as “laziness.” Lazy people have an aversion to work, effort, expending energy, and pulling their share of the load.
Italian poet Dante Alighieri contemplates the nature of sloth as a capital vice in Canto 18 of Purgatorio, the second canticle of the Divine Comedy. Dante encounters the slothful on the fourth terrace of Mount Purgatory, where his guide, the Roman poet Virgil, explains that sloth can be seen as the effect of an insufficient amount of love. Following the logics of contrapasso, the slothful work to purge themselves of their vice through continuous running.Sloth is one of the seven deadly sins in Catholic teachings. It is the most difficult sin to define and credit as sin, since it refers to an assortment of ideas, dating from antiquity and including mental, spiritual, pathological, and physical states. One definition is a habitual disinclination to exertion, or laziness.
In his Summa Theologica, Saint Thomas Aquinas defined sloth as “sorrow about spiritual good” and as “facetiousness of the mind which neglects to being good… [it] is evil in its effect, if it so oppresses men as to draw him away entirely from good deeds.” According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “acedia or sloth goes so far to refuse joy from God and is repelled by goodness.”
Sloth ignores the seven gifts of grace given by the Holy Ghost (wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, piety, fortitude, and fear of the Lord); such disregard slows spiritual progress towards life—to neglect manifold duties of charity towards the neighbour, and animosity towards God.
Unlike the other capital sins, sloth is a sin of omission, being a lack of desire and/or performance. It may arise from any of the other capital vices; for example, a son may omit his duty to his father through anger. Henry Edward Manning argued that while the state and habit of sloth is a mortal sin, the habit of the soul tending towards the last mortal state of sloth is not mortal in and of itself except under certain circumstances.
Emotionally and cognitively, the evil of acedia finds expression in a lack of any feeling for the world, for the people in it, or for the self. Acedia takes form as an alienation of the sentient self first from the world and then from itself. Although the most profound versions of this condition are found in a withdrawal from all forms of participation in or care for others or oneself, a lesser but more noisome element was also noted by theologians. From tristitia, asserted Gregory the Great, “there arise malice, rancour, cowardice, [and] despair…” Geoffrey Chaucer, too, dealt with this attribute of acedia, counting the characteristics of the sin to include despair, somnolence, idleness, tardiness, negligence, indolence, and wrawnesse, the last variously translated as “anger” or better as “peevishness”. For Chaucer, human’s sin consists of languishing and holding back, refusing to undertake works of goodness because, he/she tells him/her self, the circumstances surrounding the establishment of good are too grievous and too difficult to suffer. Acedia in Chaucer’s view is thus the enemy of every source and motive for work.
Birthdays! Why do Americans prefer Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July to theirs? Why do they make Stephen think of molasses and chicken feed? And is “Happy Birthday” the worst song ever written?
What does the Seven Deadly Sins survey tell us about the people who listen to this podcast? Are we more afflicted by sloth or by lust? And what does Angela mutter under her breath?What’s the difference between anger and indignation? What’s Angela’s problem with turkey sandwiches? And why wasn’t a No Stupid Questions listener angry at the men who assaulted him?
What’s the difference between people who preserve special things and people who devour them right away? Why do we love to binge-watch? And did Adam really eat an apple?
Who’s greedier — gamblers or casinos? What’s the difference between betting on sports and entering a charity raffle? And does Angela know the name of her city’s football team?How can we distinguish between laziness and patience? Why do people do crossword puzzles? And how is Angie like a combination of a quantum computer and a Sherman tank?
We asked you to nominate the worst sins of the modern age. Which one do Stephen and Angela think belongs on the list? And which does Angie struggle with the most?
What’s the connection between conversations about money and financial literacy? Could the taboo against talking about your salary be fading? And why did Angie’s teenage daughter call Vanguard to learn about I.R.A.s?Are highly effective people quicker to share credit? What does poverty do to your brain? And how did Stephen’s mother teach him about opportunity costs? Plus: an announcement about the future of the show.
Is it because they’re not heinous enough? If so, what about heresy (which is only not going by the Bible’s story) and lust (which is just extreme affection)?
“The seven deadly sins series is a fun way to dig deeper into how these ‘sins,’ which are hundreds of years old, affect our lives today,” Duckworth explains. “Everyone has different temptations. How can we change the way we think about them? What sort of situations get us into trouble? And what got left out of that list of seven?”
Stephen Dubner, host of Freakonomics Radio, and Angela Duckworth, author of Grit, have spent decades exploring the weird and wonderful ways in which humans behave — Dubner as a journalist and writer, Duckworth as an academic and researcher — and the two have been asking each other interesting questions ever since they became friends years ago. In each episode of No Stupid Questions, Stephen and Angela take turns asking each other a question like:
You want to listen to Freakonomics Radio? That’s great! Most people use a podcast app on their smartphone. It’s free (with the purchase of a phone, of course). Looking for more guidance? We’ve got you covered.I am a South Jersey-based writer who manages Podcast Reports on Blogger and have a book available on Amazon about podcasts and podcasting called “Ear Worthy.”
Freakonomics Radio Network’s behavioral science podcast No Stupid Questions is beginning a special series exploring the seven deadly sins. In each weekly episode for the next two months, show co-hosts Stephen J. Dubner (co-author of the Freakonomics books) and psychologist Angela Duckworth (author of Grit) will choose one sin and discuss a related question. Like: “Is sloth actually a…
And if you missed Stafford’s presentation on the Seven Deadly Sins of Crisis Communication at the recent Baton Rouge and Shreveport Rotaries, or the Louisiana Governor’s Conference on Health and Safety, you can catch her next at the DRI Annual Meeting in New Orleans to be held on Oct. 16-19. So, lawyer up and learn how to defend yourself in a crisis. Hell is thought to hold specific punishments for those who commit one — or many (plenty of overachievers out there) — of the seven deadly sins. We’re not sure how these “traditional” punishments came to be, since most of them don’t seem that closely related to the sin itself.
What is slothful behavior?
Slothfulness is about a disinclination to action or labor. The slothful person is sluggish, lazy, idle, or inactive because of a love of ease or aversion to work.
And if you missed Stafford’s presentation on the Seven Deadly Sins of Crisis Communication at the recent Baton Rouge and Shreveport Rotaries, or the Louisiana Governor’s Conference on Health and Safety, you can catch her next at the DRI Annual Meeting in New Orleans to be held on Oct. 16-19. So, lawyer up and learn how to defend yourself in a crisis.
Pride is dangerously corrupt selfishness, putting one’s own desires, urges, wants and whims before the welfare of other people. It’s considered the gateway sin that leads to every other vice. It’s also the sin that separates you from God’s grace (see: Lucifer), so it’s seen as the worst of the worst.
Just so you know what you’re potentially getting yourself into with your favorite vices, we’ve put together a brief review of each sin and what type of welcome you can expect in the afterlife if you choose to indulge.
The wrathful will be enraged to learn that their punishment is to be dismembered “alive” (you’ll be in hell, so technically dead…The point is, you’ll feel it).Affectionately referred to as PAGGLES, the seven deadly sins we know and love are pride, anger, greed, gluttony, lust, envy and sloth. The modern concept of the seven deadly sins is most often attributed to Pope Gregory I, who in 400 A.D. refined lists of “evil thoughts” from ancient Sumerian, Greek and Egyptian cultures into seven particularly egregious moral errors. He used these to help guide Christians away from a hell-bound afterlife.
What animal is sloth sin?
An allegorical image depicting the human heart subject to the seven deadly sins, each represented by an animal (clockwise: toad = avarice; snake = envy; lion = wrath; snail = sloth; pig = gluttony; goat = lust; peacock = pride).
Just so you know what you’re potentially getting yourself into with your favorite vices, we’ve put together a brief review of each sin and what type of welcome you can expect in the afterlife if you choose to indulge. The seven deadly sins are meant to keep us aware of our common, sinful pitfalls, so make Pope Gregory I proud and mind your PAGGLES. Unless you’re a glutton for punishment. The seven deadly sins are meant to keep us aware of our common, sinful pitfalls, so make Pope Gregory I proud and mind your PAGGLES. Unless you’re a glutton for punishment.
Gluttony is overindulgence and overconsumption to the point of waste. It’s commonly associated with eating. St. Thomas Aquinas took his criticism of gluttony to another level by breaking down various ways it can be committed. Do you like expensive food? Glutton. Do you look forward to your meals? Glutton. Anyone else feeling attacked?
Gluttony is overindulgence and overconsumption to the point of waste. It’s commonly associated with eating. St. Thomas Aquinas took his criticism of gluttony to another level by breaking down various ways it can be committed. Do you like expensive food? Glutton. Do you look forward to your meals? Glutton. Anyone else feeling attacked?Anger is actually considered neutral (even Jesus flipped tables). But when you feel uncontrollable anger, rage or hatred, it becomes the sin of wrath. “Wrath” really messes up the mnemonic device, though. PWGGLES? Not helpful.
Affectionately referred to as PAGGLES, the seven deadly sins we know and love are pride, anger, greed, gluttony, lust, envy and sloth. The modern concept of the seven deadly sins is most often attributed to Pope Gregory I, who in 400 A.D. refined lists of “evil thoughts” from ancient Sumerian, Greek and Egyptian cultures into seven particularly egregious moral errors. He used these to help guide Christians away from a hell-bound afterlife.
Sloth is a habitual disinclination to exertion. This sin is unique in that it’s the only one characterized by a lack of something rather than an abundance of something.
Hell is thought to hold specific punishments for those who commit one — or many (plenty of overachievers out there) — of the seven deadly sins. We’re not sure how these “traditional” punishments came to be, since most of them don’t seem that closely related to the sin itself.
Sloth is a habitual disinclination to exertion. This sin is unique in that it’s the only one characterized by a lack of something rather than an abundance of something.The wrathful will be enraged to learn that their punishment is to be dismembered “alive” (you’ll be in hell, so technically dead…The point is, you’ll feel it).
Who is a slothful person?
Someone who is slothful is lazy and unwilling to make an effort to work. [formal] He was not slothful: he had been busy all night. Synonyms: lazy, idle, inactive, indolent More Synonyms of slothful.
Pride is dangerously corrupt selfishness, putting one’s own desires, urges, wants and whims before the welfare of other people. It’s considered the gateway sin that leads to every other vice. It’s also the sin that separates you from God’s grace (see: Lucifer), so it’s seen as the worst of the worst.Wait, there’s more: Stafford will also be presenting on “Online Digital PR – How To Virtually Get And Keep The Limited Media Attention Span With Automagical Solutions” at the Southwest Louisiana Public Relations Officers (PROs) in Lake Charles on Aug. 14. Lust is the uncontrolled desire for money or power. Henry Edward Manning, a 19th century Cardinal, said that lust makes you “a slave of the devil.” So, not great. Feeling pretty good about yourself? Or kind of hungry? Or miffed about the guy who cut you off in traffic? Careful, you may be slipping into one of the seven deadly sins.Lust is the uncontrolled desire for money or power. Henry Edward Manning, a 19th century Cardinal, said that lust makes you “a slave of the devil.” So, not great.
We get that often. Sign up for our Obligatory Agency Newsletter if you’d like this and more delivered directly to your inbox. Or, better yet, let us craft spot-on content for your organization.Anger is actually considered neutral (even Jesus flipped tables). But when you feel uncontrollable anger, rage or hatred, it becomes the sin of wrath. “Wrath” really messes up the mnemonic device, though. PWGGLES? Not helpful. Research psychologist Angela Duckworth (author of Grit) really likes to ask people questions, and believes there’s no such thing as a stupid one. So she has a podcast where she and her smartest friends can ask each other as many “stupid questions” as they want. New episodes each week. No Stupid Questions is a production of the Freakonomics Radio Network. How do you express yourself when you’re not sure what you want to say? What’s the number one way to get people to listen to you? And why are letters to advice columns always well-written? Plus: An update to the NSQ drinking game.
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How do you know when it’s the right time to retire? What does a “good” retirement look like? And will Stephen and Angela ever really hang up their hats?How many bottles of wine are regifted? What’s wrong with giving cash? And should Angela give her husband a subscription to the Sausage of the Month Club?Are highly effective people quicker to share credit? What does poverty do to your brain? And how did Stephen’s mother teach him about opportunity costs? Plus: an announcement about the future of the show.DUBNER: I think this conversation is already pointing to a deeply salient fact, which is that the concept of seven deadly sins is probably wildly outdated.Paul LUKAS: I have a great birthday ritual. When I was 8 or 9 years old, we had some sort of outdoor activity plan for my birthday, but it rained and I was pretty inconsolable. So my father, thinking quickly, said, “Oh, don’t you know, rain on your birthday? That’s a sign of good luck in the year to come,” which was a really sweet lie that he made up on the spot, and it made me feel better at that moment. And then it rained again the following year on my birthday, and the year after that. And in the ensuing about 50 years, almost every year on my birthday, except a couple of times it snowed and one time it hailed, which seemed like, you know, a sign of even better luck. So that’s something I look forward to every year and I think of my father who’s no longer with us. And, I don’t know that everybody can necessarily, duplicate that kind of meteorological birthday connection, but it’s something that works for me.
DUBNER: Yeah. The universe needs to stay in balance. If the sloth was moving as fast as Angela Duckworth, the earth would probably spin off its axis and just float into space.
Early in the episode, Angela refers to a definition of play, but she can’t remember the name of the philosopher who came up with it. That was Bernard Suits, who said in his book, The Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia, that game play, in particular, is “the voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles.”DUBNER: God, I love the sloth. So Angela, we’ve got a question here from a listener that I thought might be a fantastic way into a discussion about sloth. The listener is named Yoni Buckman, and Yoni writes to say, “What strategies can we use to differentiate between the, quote, ‘sin,’” end quote, “of sloth and other similar behaviors that might be virtuous, like patience, deliberateness, caution, equanimity. I tend to think of sloth,” Yoni writes, “either as laziness or inaction, and the image of the animal the sloth brings to mind the idea of being slow moving. But sometimes these behaviors might be more useful than sinful.” Yoni writes, “I often think of the Navy SEAL phrase, ‘Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.’” So Angie, Yoni here wants to know how to differentiate between sinful sloth and let’s call it a deliberate, smooth, patient approach, which I think most of us would consider virtuous. So, where do we start? DUCKWORTH: Okay. So my point is that in this distinction between thinking fast, using system one, using heuristics, rules of thumb, but often making mental errors when coming to judgments about, you know, what stock to pick or what decision to make. That’s system one in Danny Kahneman’s — and other scientists’ — language. System two is on balance more favorable if you have the time for it, which is, you know, you get out a piece of paper and a pencil and you think about pros and cons and you really methodically look at all the evidence. So here’s a case where being slow shouldn’t be confused with being slothful. I mean, being slow and reflective in your judgment and your thinking through of big decisions like buying a house or whatever is not the same thing as being, well, let’s use a more contemporary word, like lazy, right? DUBNER: So let me ask you this though. So when you’re looking at your results from sloth, you’re seeing basically zero bars that your work and your exercise —DUCKWORTH: Let’s begin by saying, I think Yoni is right to distinguish between sloth in the sense of, “gosh, I should really get off this couch and go work out, but I don’t feel like it,” or — I think there’s not a human being alive who hasn’t procrastinated. Like, “I should really get started on X, Y, or Z, but before that I’ll do A, B, or C.” So, I think the idea that sloth is something that’s, on balance, bad — we could talk about exceptions to that — is right, and that’s not the same thing as being thoughtful or reflective. So, think about system one and system two, a distinction in judgment and reasoning that our good friend — wait for it — Danny Kahneman has made. Cheers.
Is sloth a grave sin?
Finally, the capital sins are also considered grave matter. These sins are vices and are defined as contrary to the Christian virtues of holiness. They are pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth (acedia).
DUCKWORTH: Well, actually for the sloth items, since that’s the topic of conversation here, I think I answered “never” for all them, right? So, for the work items, right? There are three items on this abbreviated version of the survey for our listeners: “I procrastinate.” Yeah. Never. “I quit when I’m frustrated.” I mean, I might be kidding myself, but approximately never. “I avoid hard work.” Absolutely never. So I remember taking these and thinking like, Wow, I think maybe something’s wrong with me, but no, no, no. For exercise, I think it’s less extreme. But, you know, “I avoid physical exercise.” I probably said “never” for that.This episode of No Stupid Questions was produced by me, Katherine Moncure. Rebecca Lee Douglas is on parental leave. And now, here is a fact-check of today’s conversation. DUCKWORTH: I can update that with the data that I’ve collected with my collaborators on the modern seven deadly sins. When you ask people nowadays “What problems do you have in self-control?” There are two things that I would consider modern-day sloth problems that come up again and again in every focus group we’ve ever done. One is sloth for work, and that is typically procrastination. No Stupid Questions is part of the Freakonomics Radio Network, which also includes Freakonomics Radio, People I (Mostly) Admire, and Freakonomics, M.D. All our shows are produced by Stitcher and Renbud Radio. This episode was mixed by Eleanor Osborne, with help from Jeremy Johnston. We had research from Rebecca Lee Douglas. Our executive team is Neal Carruth, Gabriel Roth, and Stephen Dubner. Our theme song is “And She Was” by Talking Heads — special thanks to David Byrne and Warner Chappell Music. If you’d like to listen to the show ad-free, subscribe to Stitcher Premium. You can follow us on Twitter @NSQ_Show and on Facebook @NSQShow. If you have a question for a future episode, please email it to [email protected]. To learn more, or to read episode transcripts, visit Freakonomics.com/NSQ. Thanks for listening!
DUBNER: Right. The list doesn’t exist as such in the Old Testament, or Torah, or any of the Jewish writings. But all the sins certainly do, because they’re human. And we should say, they certainly existed long before there was a Jewish religion or any other religions. So, there is a list of sins that the Catholic Church likes to maintain, and we’re not going to really deal with that directly. And in fact, here’s how heretical we are being. We’re not even going to discuss them in the order in which they’re typically rendered. And we’ve chosen as the first one, I think, maybe a favorite of yours and mine. And that is — do you want a drum roll? Sloth.
Later, Angela calls the three-toed sloth the slowest animal in the world. As we noted in our recent episode on temptation, the three-toed sloth is actually the slowest mammal, according to The Guinness Book of World Records, PBS, and National Geographic. There’s some dispute over which animal is the slowest on Earth. Another extremely slow organism is the sea anemone, which has a recorded pace of one centimeter per hour. There are many other slow animals, including the sea star and the Galápagos tortoise.Then, Angela mispronounces the name of one of the authors of the paper “Leisure Engagement and Subjective Wellbeing: A Meta-Analysis.” The author’s name is Lauren KIRK-en-doll. DUCKWORTH: They just hang. They really do. And I think they sleep like almost all day. Yeah, you think that they’re going to take all of the heat and the blame for being so un-industrious. Maybe that’s why they’re so slow, because the burden that we’ve put on them. Victoria ATKINSON: Hi Stephen and Angela. My name’s Victoria. In primary school, after we had duly stood before our classmates to receive their rendition of the birthday song, the teacher would knock on our backs the number of years old we were, while everyone chanted the numbers. And I was so sensitive as a child that I cried the night before my birthday because I had spent the whole previous year dreading a repeat of this ordeal. Pretty sure this ritual has fallen out of favor now, along with getting the birch for wrong answers. So instead, every year on my sons’ birthday, I write them a letter. It’s usually just a snapshot of who they are in that developmental moment and what I love and enjoy about them. I think it is a gift a lot more so than pummeling on the back. That’s for sure.DUBNER: So the godly prohibition against sloth in my mind could have been the way for our, you know, these days we say corporate overlords, but then it would’ve been our institutional, maybe religious overlords to say, “Hey, you’re not allowed to feel lazy. You must always prepare yourself to work very, very hard because it’s service to God,” and so on. Whereas really, “I just need to get that fort built or that pyramid built.” But if I can use a little guilt to, make you do that work, and feel like you’re a loser if you don’t, I’m going to do that too.
DUCKWORTH: So I am sure that you’re at least partly, if not largely right. I think what’s interesting about self-control, and I’m talking about modern times that people feel like they’re at war, but they’re not at war with some other enemy outside of themselves. They’re at war with the self who doesn’t want to get off the couch.DUCKWORTH: You know Stephen I also want to bring up this meta-analysis that was done. It was in 2015. So this is a meta-analysis by Louis Tay, a good friend. He’s at Purdue University. His co-authors are Lauren Kuykendall and Vincent Ng, and it’s called “Leisure Engagement and Subjective Wellbeing: A Meta-Analysis.” So the question here is what, according to all the research that’s been done, up to 2015, is the relationship between leisure, how correlated is that with being a happy person? What they did was aggregate lots of data, including experimental studies that randomly assign people to doing leisure or not doing leisure. And the data are really convincing that there is a really strong relationship, that basically happiness and enjoying yourself through these non-productive activities, it’s really, you know, maybe obvious to some, but not to others. So if anybody wants an excuse to go and have little fun and not work all the time, you can cite this meta-analysis from 2015.
DUCKWORTH: That is correct and I want to just get a little bit of credit here, because we had this academic survey and it was in a portal that was really ugly and cumbersome and I thought, let’s make a really elegant, quick version of the Seven Deadly Sins Survey. And we made this little report at the end, so you actually get your own profile of the seven deadly sins and at the very end you get to see a graph of the seven deadly sins profiles averaged across all the No Stupid Questions listeners.DUCKWORTH: So let’s first distinguish between effort for productivity. I mean, work is almost literally productivity and even thinking about getting your daily physical exercise, right? These are goals that are good for us in the long run, et cetera, but it’s not the only place in our lives where we exert effort. The other one is leisure. Much of leisure activity, I think it’s sometimes called active leisure as opposed to passive leisure. Active leisure is like gardening, or for some people, believe it or not, their exercise is leisure for them. It’s a pleasurable activity. Kids building sandcastles on the beach, that takes energy and effort. So I think when you —
DUBNER: I mean, we may discuss some of the results later in the series, but again, we’re not identifying anyone — I mean, it’s anonymous, I assume, correct?
Jill STRUZYNKSI: Hi, Stephen and Angela. Cupcakes — way better than cakes. It’s got the right cake to, frosting ratio. You can put one on a plate and the boogery kid can blow all over it and then eat it himself. And all the rest of them are nice and hygienic for everybody else.
DUCKWORTH: I know what you’re talking about, Stephen, because I never toast people with an alcoholic drink. I don’t think, I have finished a complete serving of alcohol since I had a big keg party in my house, and I was 18.
DUBNER: Yeah. So, I think the two things, can coexist. I can think of a few people that you and I both know, in whom these two seemingly contradictory-ish things very much coexist. The seemingly contradictory-ish things being sloth or laziness, if you want to call it that, and extraordinarily high levels of accomplishment. I think of Richard Thaler, the economist, the University of Chicago.
DUCKWORTH: I think this idea that Thomas Schelling, the Nobel laureate and game theorist, the idea that, as he put it you play tricks on yourself. He was like, everyone has little tricks that they play on themselves. And then I do think in a way what you’re doing is like rigging a game. I mean, these are the things that he himself found were helpful. And by the way, he did quit smoking. He wrote the same essay over and over again, over decades. You know, they all have different names, but they’re all about self-command. My favorite title is Egonomics, or The Art of Self-Management, because economics, egonomics. But the antagonist in this narrative for Schelling was willpower. And he quotes Adam Smith. He’s like, “You know, if you go back and read the Theory of Moral Sentiments, Smith goes on and on about just like strength of will and overpowering our weaknesses.” And Schelling thought that was silly, right? Like, why would you do that? You should just play la game with yourself.
What are sloth sins examples?
Sloth. One example of sloth is plagiarism. “In this Internet culture, cut and paste is so easy,” said Franke. “And attributing sources is something students don’t quite get so very often.” Faculty must think about how to define plagiarism, model ethical values for students and respond to violations of those values.
DUBNER: You know, I think there is a conflict that we should spend a little time with our appetite for industry and accomplishment and so on. And our appreciation for not letting that appetite for productivity get out of hand or rule your life. So let me give an example. This is from Bertrand Russell, the writer and philosopher.DUBNER: I think in Smith’s defense, he was living on that edge of religiosity, permeating society so much. And I think this whole notion of willpower was a kind of transitional phase to say like, I don’t believe that my every move is ruled by God. DUCKWORTH: There is a sense in which all of the seven deadly sins are battles that we fight within our own minds. And I’m going to argue that, there are ways to get out of your mind, get out of your head in order to win these battles. But Thomas Schelling, the 2005 Nobel Laureate in economics, he won his Nobel Prize, for game theory he was a smoker himself. And for I think seven years, he served on this special commission of scientists who were trying to understand how to get people to quit smoking. He had this fascination with self-control because he himself struggled with it. And then he brought his game theorizing to the problem, and he said the way to win the battle of self-command, as he put it, is that you have to think about it as a game between your present self and your future self. And you have to play tricks on the self that you’re going to be when you’re going to cave into temptation. But right now your motivation is at a high. DUCKWORTH: Every single one of them, brilliant. And he was backstage. And I was backstage and he was going to go on, and I remember asking him something, I think it was a favor, “Would you do this? Do you want to come talk to teachers?” Something like that. And all I recall, and again, I could have this wrong, is that —.DUCKWORTH: Yes. And I’m going to, going to, tell you about my own sloth scores, on the survey that we developed in a moment. But just let me say there’s another set of questions that we ask about sloth on this survey that is about sloth for exercise. Something that it’s hard to believe that in the fourth century or the 13th century, whatever, that people would have to go out and like exercise because I don’t know, maybe I have the wrong view of history, but it seemed to me life was hard and you had to walk everywhere and get water from the well or whatever. At least now in 2023, people have this problem of being physically inactive.