Seven Deadly Sins

UPDATE: 2014-03-17 Back in February 2007, I chatted with Jessica Hagy and she gave me permission to post her diagram then. It seems that lots of people have suddenly come to the party late and retweeted the graphic only without giving credit to where they found it and implying that I didn’t give Jessica a credit so I have updated the graphic itself, because those people are tweeting just the picture rather than the blog post itself, bizarrely. Why would you do that?

This post touches on the links between the seven deadly sins, offering a psychological perspective. But, do check out the amazing quasi-mathematical strips from Jessica Hagy, think Venn diagrams, charts, and graphs but amazingly clever and witty.

Seven deadly sins

Rather than being simply mystical or wiccan pointed stars enneagrams have been used in analysis providing a diagramatic representation of a personality based on nine types and motivations. Hagy’s enneagram reproduced here, instead focuses on the seven deadly sins and provides definitions of how each possible pair of sins combines to create a particular behaviour. Strictly speaking it should be a heptagram, or septegram, not an ennea-gram (ennea from the Greek for nine, hepta for seven). Deception and fear might have been added to the heptagram to make a true enneagram.

I don’t know if this kind of thing would stand up in psy class, but it’s a nice diagram and offers some rather intriguing insights into the human mind, including the notion of edible undies, where lust and gluttony intersect.

The image comes from this page of Hagy’s. I asked her how she came up with the enneagram, “I was just playing with the idea that everything under the sun is linked to everything else,” she told me, “The ‘7 sins’ card is just a verbal play on the idea.”

If there’s a psychologist in the house, I’m sure Sciencebase readers would be interested in your thoughts on this. What do you make of the seven deadly sins enneagram?

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13 thoughts on “Seven Deadly Sins”

  1. For those mulling over the immorality of condom use, consider this. There are so many problems with the idea of spray-on-condoms that if you ever had difficulty explaining lipstick on your collar, then you’re really going to struggle explaining a lurid smear of yellow rubber on your underwear.

  2. I did something similar with some Meat Loaf song titles only to discover subsequently that there are thousands of people doing something similar with his and everyone else’s songs too. I posted about it on SciScoop and there is a link there to a flickr group who have extended these quasi-mathematical representations to everything from Alanis to Pearl Jam.

  3. Rythm, Rythm, Rythm. I don’t get it. Aren’t the seven deadly sins a list of anthropogenic constructs first mooted in the middle ages by a fire and brimstone preacher? Aren’t these “new” sins pretty much the same thing with a 21st century twist, but again, created by a man? Whatever happened to “Do not have any other gods before me”? Aren’t we all supposed to follow the law of God as laid down in the Bible (from the Greek word for book, by the way) and not rules and regulations created by man? Or, did they move the goalposts at some point? Moreover, you state that “without him we can do nothing”. Do you mean that we actually have no choice and exist in a Calvanist state of predetermination? If not, then what do you mean? Surely, we can do a whole lot “without him”, such as taking part in those so-called sins. I thought it was through him that we would be redeemed for doing so, assuming we repent, and that without him there is a whole lot we can do…

  4. we must avoid to do those 7 DEADLY SINS…
    PRAISE GOD for everything that his done for us…
    coz without him we can do nothing…
    just give your life to him..
    GOD BLESS EVERYONE..!!!

  5. Nothing new under the sun, to be honest. Those original seven deadly sins were not really anything new at the time, were they, they just couched conventional morals in a new way. However, in this day and age, I really cannot see how anyone can justify the continued interference of those who sustain mythological world viewpoints in politics.

    db

  6. Sorry about that – you may be typing too fast, but I’m apparently reading too fast. : ) The social injustice reference is interesting though – I posted this news item on my site as well (though I hadn’t thought to put together a neat-o heptagram!), and a commenter made the interesting point that refusing international aid to people who refuse to convert doesn’t seem consistent with social justice. You could argue that an insistence on the immorality of condom use in AIDS-ravaged Africa isn’t either.

    But then again, you could make a pretty convincing case for good old-fashioned pride and wrath, too. And isn’t greed a lot like “obscene wealth”?

  7. Mark that was an error of typing to fast. I really didn’t mean to include 4 alongside 2 and 3! I’ve edited my comment. My allusion to the ancient organisation pre-echoes your mention of the Pope, at least that was my intent. How can an organisation that has spent two millennia accumulating wealth and power and, some would say, seriously abusing that position then have the right to list obscene wealth as a mortal sin? Ludicrous.

    db

  8. The chart is fantastic! But David, I’m not sure you can say “no one” would disagree with the inclusion of abortion as a mortal sin. Or obscene wealth, for that matter – some people might point out that the Pope seems to do pretty well for himself…

  9. Apparently, the Vatican has updated the 1500 year old list of seven deadly sins to encompass the zeitgeist. The now runs as follows:

    1. genetic engineering
    2. polluting
    3. drug dealing
    4. abortion
    5. causing social injustice
    6. pedophilia
    7. obscene wealth

    many people are not going to disagree with 2 and 3, 5 and 6, although any combination of those are common practice among certain sections of any religion. But, item #1 is a bit off, especially given its potential to preclude at least a few of sins 2-6. As to, item 7, who’s to decide what’s obscene? Is the accumulated wealth of any ancient organisation an obscenity or does it have to have been accrued in the web 2.0 bubble to be called obscene?

    db

  10. I’m sorry you feel this post is a disgrace to “anything”, although I’m not exactly sure what that means…yes, some of the connections made by Hagy are quite bizarre, but in terms of a modern cultural spin on the seven deadly sins I think they’re quite apt. After all, who is to decide what is sin in the first place and whether or not it’s a disgrace. The 7DS are not exactly a sacred didact that everyone must consider untouchable.

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