Monday, 25 April 2022

The 28 Deadly Sins

My leftist, atheist and “green” friend Opher Goodwin recently re-published a list, which he made seven years ago, of what he called “obscenities.” He didn’t mean violations of traditional Christian views on sexual conduct; nor, indeed, did he mean deficiencies in dress code, even when committed by emperors. Or even violations of bad “laws” made by even worse politicians. What he meant was things that happen in the human world, that are in his words “cruel, vicious and mean.”

His list is worth recording. It was: the destruction of the environment, war, the indoctrination of children, overpopulation, cynical exploitation, cruelty to animals and people, grotesque disparity of wealth, de-forestation, fanaticism in politics and religion, and pollution.

Now, I must say that I come from an opposite position from Opher on environmentalism. I regard planet Earth, not as a pristine thing which must be frozen in some particular state and never again disturbed, but as a resource to be wisely used by us human beings to make a home and garden fit for a civilized species. Despite this, I agree with the thrust of most if not all of the ideas he listed, if not with his specific statements of them.

So, I set myself to write my own list. I ended up with 28 as against Opher’s 10. And since I am a mere agnostic rather than an atheist, I felt myself free to use religious phraseology when it helps make my case. So, I called my list “The 28 Deadly Sins.”

Here’s my first-cut list:

1)     Fanaticism in politics or religion

2)     Disregard for the moral equality of all human beings

3)     Disregard for the ideal of justice for every individual; that is, that every individual deserves, as far as practicable, to be treated as he or she treats others

4)     Interfering in, disrupting or lowering the quality of others’ lives without good and provable reason

5)     Promoting, supporting, making or enforcing harmful or unjust laws

6)     Intentionally harming, harassing, impoverishing or inconveniencing people who do not harm you or others

7)     Seeking to compel people who do not harm you or others to do things against their wills

8)     War, aggressive violence, pre-meditated homicide

9)     Lies, spin, hype, promulgating falsehoods, spreading unfounded or exaggerated scares

10) Dishonesty, deceit, cheating, bullshit, insincerity, unscrupulousness, bad faith

11) Arrogance, claiming superiority over others, authoritarianism

12) Hypocrisy; failing to practise what you preach

13) Lack of empathy; failing to recognize that every person is different and an individual

14) Violating the rights of human beings, such as dignity, property, privacy and the right to make individual choices

15) Violating human freedoms such as freedom of speech, association, movement, opinion, religion, expression, communication, peaceful assembly and protest against injustice

16) Violating procedural rights such as the presumption of innocence, due process, an independent and impartial hearing, and no punishment unless and until guilt has been proven beyond reasonable doubt

17) Untrustworthiness, empty promises

18) Recklessness towards others

19) Failing to accept responsibility and accountability for the consequences of willed actions on others; lack of remorse

20) Taking wealth away from people without delivering equivalent value to them in return

21) Putting obstacles in the way of the free market economy, or of people’s access to it

22) Unjust and unearned enrichment

23) Cronyism, unjust favouritism

24) Indoctrinating children

25) Seeking to indoctrinate people with falsehoods or emotional manipulation

26) Cynical exploitation of people

27) Cruelty to people

28) Unnecessary cruelty to animals

Does anyone out there have constructive comments, or additions?


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