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The Seven Deadly Sins – 七宗罪

The whole world is in deep chaos (not just economically but also socially and politically).

The modern capitalist economy is in deep shit, and on the brink of destruction.

Although many politicians and elites all over the world are trying hard in cleaning up the mess, it looks like the situation is only getting worse.  “What had gone wrong so badly that have brought us to such circumstances, so suddenly? ” …. Many people would ask. I have also been reflecting on similar questions myself recently.

The recent auction of Mahatma Gandhi’s  stuffs suddenly reminded me of the “Seven Deadly Sins” he had mentioned in describing the sins that people were committing that would eventually lead to our own destruction.  I think it’s rather timely for us (including all the leaders of leading countries, politicians and elites) to reflect on these things, instead of just focusing on the financial and economical issues.

As far as I know, there are 2 versions of “Seven Deathly Sins” — one is the “Biblical version” (which was much earlier) and the “Gandhi’s version”. The Biblical version of Seven Deathly Sins are: Pride, Greed, Envy, Anger, Lust, Gluttony (貪食), and Sloth (laziness). These are also very good for our self-reflection, butI think the Gandhi’s version is more “contextual” and would be more appropriate in describing the current situation we are in.  They are:

  • Wealth Without Work
  • Pleasure Without Conscience
  • Knowledge Without Character
  • Commerce (Business) Without Morality (Ethics)
  • Science Without Humanity
  • Worship Without Sacrifice
  • Politics Without Principle

Concerning the question “why things happened so suddenly?”. This has made me think of the “Parable of the Boiling Frog”, one of the learning disabilities we have learnt in the book “The Fifth Discipline”. In fact, people have been enjoying themselves swimming in the pot of gradually heated up water long enough.

What do you think? Please share your views with us.


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One Response

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  1. John says

    Interesting post, and I agree that in the context of our various economies, we have been swimming in the pot a very long time.

    I reflect on what we “know” about our societies and what might be known if we put aside that we think we know in favour of what can be discerned and proved. Taking a leaf from Ghandi’s book, what evidence do we have that confirms or contradicts “wealth without work”? To me, the increasing levels of consumer debt and the social expectation of showing off relative wealth that is out of sync with the reality of personal wealth confirm that wealth without work is an accepted norm. The work and a lot of other efforts is not about wealth, but rather about preventing the false foundation from being revealed. This is, IMO, the story of the US financial crisis.

    Can a similar assessment be made with the other “sins”? I think so. How does this play into our ways of knowing?

    How, in fact, do we know at all?