New! Improved! Deadlier sins.

It's hard to know how to sin properly in these values-oriented times, and Richard Jinman reports in The Guardian that it is also important to keep up to date. A BBC survey shows that of the seven deadly sins originally set forth by St Thomas Aquinas (at least he is still current, considering that the tune "St Thomas" first popularised by Sonny Rollins is in the repertoire of Joshua Redman and Cubismo!), only greed still holds any currency. Sloth, gluttony and lust are strictly venal. Our friends at The Guardian offer a handy comparative reference guide comparing the original list of pale gases to the survey results:

Seven deadly sins
1 Pride
2 Envy
3 Anger
4 Sloth
5 Greed
6 Gluttony
7 Lust

New sins
1 Cruelty
2 Adultery
3 Bigotry
4 Dishonesty
5 Hypocrisy
6 Greed
7 Selfishness

BBC presenter Ross Kelly tries to put the changed sin hierarchy in context, explaining that "We're less concerned with the seven deadly sins and more concerned with actions that hurt others. For instance, we're less bothered about anger than we are about cruelty; and, while many of us actually enjoy lust, we still frown on adultery." Meanwhile, the Reverend Tim Silk, a C of E minister, adopts a more straightforward marketing perspective, recognising that "whether we could ever find seven we all agree on is anyone's guess."

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