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Martin Hash
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Post by Martin Hash » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:59 am

Somewhere, church perhaps, many people gain the preconception that you are born good or evil, depending on the religion. The truth is you are born neither - you are born with the same instincts and motivations as wild animals. Because we ARE animals – animals with big brains. Those big brains allow us to think abstract thoughts which separate us from the lower species, but the instincts and motivations are still the same. Religions recognize a danger to society from these basic instincts and prescribe many strictures against them; for example, the famous Seven Deadly Sins are: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.

Christianity’s list of sins is almost entirely a reflection of what society required a millennium ago, without emphasizing the relative power and importance of each, or identifying the motivations, nor subsequent behaviors. Because people are the master of their own universe, and how they conduct affairs that are entirely related to them is a matter of personal growth, the traditional sins of lust, greed, sloth, pride, gluttony, and wrath are less important. Wrath is strong, stern, or fierce anger. Sloth is habitual disinclination to exertion. Pride is a high opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority. Lust is uncontrolled sexual desire or appetite. Greed is excessive desire for wealth or possessions. Gluttony is excessive consumption.

It is the sins that compel people to actions that are destructive to others that we are concerned with: like envy, and its handmaidens, jealously, and resentment. Envy is discontent or covetousness with regard to another's advantages, success, possessions, etc. Jealousy is uneasiness from suspicion or fear of rivalry, unfaithfulness, etc., as in love or aims. Resentment is displeasure or indignation at some act, remark, person, etc., regarded as causing injury or insult.

Ironically, the same abstract thought that separates us from animals also inspire a host of sociopathic behaviors, such as: spite, perversity, and vindictiveness. Spite is a malicious desire to harm, annoy, frustrate, or humiliate another person. Perversity is a willful determination to act counter to someone else’s interests, even at one’s own detriment. Vindictiveness is the intention to cause anguish and hurt. Obviously, since lower animals do not exhibit these behaviors, these are psychological weapons humans have additionally evolved to overcome each other in the competition for mating success.
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