The world is not a perfect place because of sins, which cause human beings to become evil. Sins result in people offending others or acting in a manner that is detrimental to the well being of society. Human beings have come to acknowledge that not all sins are equal. While some have minor repercussions, others have devastating effects. These more damaging sins are referred to as the “deadly sins.” In my opinion, gluttony is one of the deadliest sins, and it is the primary reason for the breakdown of society.
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Gluttony slowly turns the individual into a self-centered being who only cares about his wellbeing. A key characteristic of gluttony is the obsession with self-satisfaction. The glutton will not be willing to consider the interest of other people. He/she will only engage in activities that bring about some direct benefit to his/her. If there is no personal reward for an activity, the glutton will not engage in the task. This will easily cause a breakdown of society since, in many instances, we are required to engage in activities that do not directly benefit us.
To build a better society, people are sometimes called upon to make small personal sacrifices. For example, individuals are encouraged to utilize water carefully in times of drought in order to ensure that there is enough water for all. Gluttony makes it impossible for individuals to exercise restraint even when this quality is mandatory for the good of society. Gluttony is characterized by the inability to consume in moderation. As such, the glutton will be unable to ration our resources even when this is necessary for the good of society.
The ideal human society is characterized by kindness and concern for others. People demonstrate a sense of goodwill towards others and show compassion for the less fortunate. This concern leads us to engage in altruistic acts such as giving to the needy and volunteering our time for a good cause. Through such actions, we become better individuals since we show that we are concerned with humanity. People who engage in kind acts get in touch with the good side of their human nature. They are, therefore, likely to engage in other good acts that are necessary for the positive development of society. On the contrary, gluttony discourages any act of kindness since the primary concern for the glutton is a personal indulgence. This sin, therefore, prevents the individual from being in touch with their good nature. Such individuals will be more likely to be drawn to their evil side and take part in other sins.
One of the bases of a well functioning society is justice and fairness for all. The society that gluttony creates is one where injustices are prevalent since no one is willing to speak out against them. Gluttony inevitably makes a person cold and unsympathetic to the needs of others. The glutton is only concerned with self-satisfaction and will, in fact, avoid situations where he/she might be forced to share with others. This cold and unsympathetic attitude will lead to greater degeneration of society. The cold and unsympathetic person will be willing to overlook injustices.
This sin has a negative impact on the development of a collective identity. For human beings to coexist harmoniously, they need to have a sense of community and belonging. A well-developed collective identity makes it possible for a person to put the interests of others before his own. The individual is willing to assume risks for the good of the community to which he belongs. Gluttony makes it impossible for a person to develop a collective identity with others. The glutton will not be willing to give up his needs for the sake of others.
Gluttony has changed the human value system for the worse, instead of encouraging a society where the concern of many triumphs the concern of the individual, gluttony promotes a society where the individual desires take precedence over those of the society. This value system is detrimental to society since the person can engage in damaging actions, as long as he benefits from them.
For these reasons, I believe that gluttony is behind the breakdown of society currently being experienced. Without gluttony, people would be more concerned about the well-being of their neighbors. The individual’s actions would not be guided by his or her own self-interests. Instead, people would act in a manner that is likely to result in the greatest benefit for all members of society. However, because of gluttony, this is not the case, and society continues to experience a great breakdown. In my opinion, the breakdown in society can only be prevented if the sin of gluttony is addressed. By exposing this sin and the ills that it brings to society, it is possible to sensitize people on its dangers. People will be more likely to identify instances of gluttony in their lives and take action against them for the good of society.