The Only Sin: Virtue Turns Vice When Misapplied

It seems to me that there is really only one sin (if you’re speaking religiously/spiritually) or vice (if you’re speaking morally/philosophically). That one bad thing is perversion. I’m talking about the dictionary definition here. Perversion is “a distortion or corruption of something’s original state or meaning”. As Shakespeare said: virtue turns vice when it’s misapplied.

The perversion of desirable human traits is the cause of most of humanities faults. The path to goodness is not found in Aristotle’s mean between the two extremes. It is not found in moderation. There is no middle path, there is no left or right. There are only virtues and their perversions.

So avoiding vice/sin, while never easy, is at least straightforward when you look at it this way. Of course, you still have to think it through for yourself. You have to look at the virtues (which pretty-much all people of all walks of life agree on) and avoid perverting them from their purity. So here’s my tentative list of some of the biggest vices and the virtues they are perverting:

Freedom perverted is Irresponsibility

Respect perverted is Authoritarianism/Blind Obedience

Loyalty perverted is Nationalism

Selectivity perverted is Intolerance/Racism

Discretion perverted is Ignorance

Skepticism perverted is Cynicism

Diplomacy perverted is Deceit

Harmony perverted is  Mindless Conformity

Cooperation perverted is Docileness

Acceptance perverted is Apathy

Innocence perverted is Denial

Emotion perverted is Anger

Fear perverted is Violence

 

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