The seven deadly sins

Seven dealdy sins signpost

The seven deadly sins

“I had a chance to give a talk to some newspaper publishers last May. They wanted me to say something sensible about the future of newspapers. I suggested to them that instead of organizing their paper according to international news, national news, regional news and so on, they should use the seven deadly sins and have lust, greed, gluttony, sloth, and so on, and then categorize the stories in those ways.” ~ Neil Postman

VIDEO – Neil Postman: Informing Ourselves to Death | Richard Heffner’s Open Mind | THIRTEEN –

The seven deadly sins are seven good, normal, and healthy aspects of the human personality which, when taken to excessive extremes, become sinful.

The seven deadly sins are: pride, wrath, greed, sloth, lust, envy, and gluttony

Pride is the first and most deadly of the seven deadly sins, and from it all others flow…

Pride is the healthy self-image, which is taken to a sinful extreme, becoming arrogance and hubris.

Greed is the healthy accumulation of goods and money, which is taken to the extreme of hoarding these for the sake gaining personal pleasure.

Lust is the healthy sexual drive and desire, which runs amok in a never ending pursuit of fleeting, personal, sexual pleasure.

Envy is the healthy ambition to improve oneʼs own condition, which goes beyond ambition into a resentment of those who have what we want, yet cannot have, or have not yet attained.

Gluttony is the desire to make oneʼs body feel good, such as by eating and drinking in order to remove the pangs of hunger and thirst, or of enjoying the pleasures of food and drink by taking pleasure in them, which are healthy desires, that has removed these healthy limits by pursuing food and drink to an excess of pleasure, even to the point of being in bondage to them, in the form of the habitual abuse of these things, which goes far beyond what these good things are intended for.

Sloth is the good of rest and sleep taken to the sinful extreme of laziness and the loss of the desire to work.

Anger is our natural sense that justice has (somehow) been violated, which is taken to a sinful extreme, resulting in the fury of violence and vengeance.


Pride is excessive belief in one’s own abilities, that interferes with the individual’s recognition of the grace of God. It has been called the sin from which all others arise. Pride is also known as Vanity.

Envy is the desire for others’ traits, status, abilities, or situation.

Gluttony is an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires.

Lust is an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body.

Anger is manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury. It is also known as Wrath.

Greed is the desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual. It is also called Avarice or Covetousness.

Sloth is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work.




How to conquer the seven deadly sins, and bring our lives into balance

The seven contrary virtues are: humility, kindness, abstinence, chastity, patience, liberality, diligence

The Contrary Virtues were derived from the Psychomachia (“Battle for the Soul”), an epic poem written by Prudentius (c. 410). Practicing these virtues is alledged to protect one against temptation toward the Seven Deadly Sins: humility against pride, kindness against envy, abstinence against gluttony, chastity against lust, patience against anger, liberality against greed, and diligence against sloth.



Pride (vanity) – Humility (humbleness)

Lust (excessive sexual appetites) – Chastity (purity)

Gluttony (over-indulgence) – Temperance (self-restraint)

Greed (avarice) – Charity (giving)

Sloth (laziness/idleness) – Diligence (zeal/integrity/Labor)

Wrath (anger) – Forgiveness (composure)

Envy (jealousy) – Kindness (admiration)


All of us are engaged in a personal, ongoing battle with sin and vice. The seven deadly sins–lust, greed, envy, anger, pride, gluttony, and sloth–are our main antagonists in this struggle. They are primary causes of unhappiness and immorality, and because of their pervasive nature, have been of perennial interest to religious thinkers, philosophers, dramatists, and poets.

Although our anger doesn’t make most of us murderers, our lust doesn’t make most of us rapists, and our greed and envy don’t make most of us outright criminals, they, together with gluttony, arrogance, and sloth, often make us, and those who have to live with us, miserable. One need only read the daily paper to see that these seven sins are alive and well, deadlier than ever, spawning violence and suffering, illness and anxiety, loss of meaning and depression. An arrogant yuppie considers suicide after losing his job on Wall Street, which had been the fragile basis of his false pride. A distinguished senator and a prominent judge destroy their careers and wound their female victims with their lust. Millions of men and women, distraught about their body image, subject themselves to liposuction, breast and hair implants because of their gluttony or vanity.

People at the pinnacle of economic power fall into the abyss of prison because they could not control their avarice.

In The Seven Deadly Sins, Solomon Schimmel explains why psychology must incorporate many of the ethical and spiritual values of religion and moral philosophy if it is to effectively address the emotional problems faced by modern men and women, be they believers or agnostics. Drawing on the psychological insights of the Bible, Aristotle, Maimonides, Aquinas, and Shakespeare, among others, he shows how all of us can learn from them about the relationship between virtue and psychological well-being and vice and emotional distress.

This insightful and fascinating work guides us to master our passions rather than be enslaved by them so that we can become more humane and build a happier, caring society.

The Seven Deadly Sins: Jewish, Christian, and Classical Reflections on Human Psychology –

VIDEO – SE7EN – Trailer – HQ – (1995) –



About ajmacdonaldjr

writer, author, blogger
This entry was posted in Bible, Charity, Church, Crime, Culture, Entertainment, Ethics, Law, Literary Theory, Media, Mental Health, Money, Philosophy, Psychology, Religion, Society, Symbolism, Theology, Violence and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The seven deadly sins

  1. Very apt observation. I love that you also balanced the article by adding the contrary virtues. A good reminder for us all. Thank you.

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