Sin is the expression of evil in human actions. What motivates us to commit such deeds? The medieval philosophers isolated seven classes of sin, distinguished primarily by motivation: avarice, envy, gluttony, lust, pride, sloth and wrath. Notice that in each case the sinner does not desire the sin itself - no one seeks to become a glutton, or to be excessively wrathful. Indeed, the sins are defined as excesses, since the human need of hunger must be satisfied and there are times when anger is justified and appropriate. We act according to our own principles of reason, and each of us has a unique logic to his deeds; accordingly, we sin only as we are able to justify (or manage to avoid thinking about) what we do. Often, we do things that we know to be wrong because we believe them to be necessary, and therefore justified... but in truth, the only necessity is virtue.


A Fiery Likeness