“Greed” and “Gluttony”April 18, 2009 at 6:21 pm | Posted in Nonfiction | 8 Comments
I finished Greed, a theological discussion of that particular vice. I couldn’t help but find it a little abstract, given today’s economic climate and the extremes we see there, which would make such fascinating examples.
I also finished Gluttony, and it got my goat. Francine Prose argues that gluttony isn’t much of a deadly sin, and that since it doesn’t hurt anyone else the way other sins do, its consideration as a sinful behavior is based more on social opprobrium than anything actually spiritually harmful. I’m focusing more on reading today, so I’ll summarize my argument: gluttony on the personal level which becomes acceptable on the social level leads to overconsumption of resources on a national level which leads to deprivation for people who live in other nations. Maybe it doesn’t have to be this way. But anyone who can eat a whole cake and then look unflinchingly at a photograph of a starving child with flies on its eyes may have bigger spiritual problems than just gluttony.
Ugh. Sorry. That was a downer. Can you tell I was raised Catholic? I never thought I would find myself agreeing with the Church on anything, but here I am, a doctrinaire believer in the essential wrongness of all seven sins.
So far I’ve finished five books, at a total of 720 pages. That’s like 120 pages an hour. I am almost guilty that I chose these small-format books, but in my defense, they did cover fairly weighty topics. I’ll definitely be slowing down from here on out. Now I’m reading a novel, The Song is You.