Seven Deadly Sins and the Antidote for Them
THE chairman of International Harvester, Brooks McCormick, delivered an address in which he listed his version of the seven deadly sins.
Business without morality. “What I find disturbing today is the perception that almost anything justifies profit.” When social responsibility is discussed, it’s lip service or the result of government mandate.
Politics without principle. There was a time when government was the butt of jokes, but it is no laughing matter now. This bureaucratic octopus reaches out to entwine every facet of our existence. To gain its ends it stoops to any means, and the credibility gap between public and politician is wide indeed.
Science without humanity. It has toppled from its pedestal as a public idol. Suddenly its blessings have turned into curses, as its technologies ruin the environment on which our lives depend.
Pleasure without conscience. McCormick comments: “Our society seems inebriated with the ‘new’ freedom from established rules of conduct. In the process, we have obscured the fact that most of the old rules met the test of pragmatism . . . they worked. They help prevent one person from hurting another in the pursuit of pleasure, and from hurting himself.”
Wealth without work. As examples he points out welfare fraud, welfare as a way of life for two or three successive generations in some families. “However, this greed to Get Something for Nothing spreads beyond the welfare levels . . . It permeates the craftsmen and industrial workers whose pride in the job they could do is being replaced with ‘punch in, put in your time, and punch out.’”
Worship without sacrifice. “Worship must involve sacrifice—in the form of financial contribution, church attendance or simply giving more of yourself than you might comfortably choose to allocate to the disciplines of your creed.”
Knowledge without character. McCormick’s discussion of this point blends into the conclusion of his speech, published in Vital Speeches of the Day, May 1979:
“What we do need and will never have enough of is good judgment based on moral standards and only backed up with true character. Which, in my opinion, are the antidotes for my Seven Deadly Sins. This, then, would suggest that defeating the Seven Deadly Sins of modern society and bridging the gap between our social resources and desired social results pivots more than anything else on the individual’s loyalty to his own sense of worth, his own sense of quality in everything he or she does or thinks. That sense of excellence must be strong enough to withstand the swings of fad or fashion, and even the disapproval of one’s peers.”
Christ Jesus is loyal to his own sense of worth, unswayed by the failings of others. “If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.”—2 Tim. 2:13.