Vice

Last updated
Allegorical representation of the Vice of Envy, by Federico Zuccari Federico zuccari, porta virtutis, 1585 circa (urbino, gn delle marche) 07 invidia.jpg
Allegorical representation of the Vice of Envy, by Federico Zuccari

A vice is a practice, behaviour, or habit generally considered immoral, sinful, criminal, rude, taboo, depraved, degrading, deviant or perverted in the associated society. In more minor usage, vice can refer to a fault, a negative character trait, a defect, an infirmity, or a bad or unhealthy habit. Vices are usually associated with a transgression in a person's character or temperament rather than their morality. [1] Synonyms for vice include fault, sin, depravity, iniquity, wickedness, and corruption.

Contents

The opposite of vice is virtue. [2]

Etymology

The modern English term that best captures its original meaning is the word vicious, which means "full of vice". In this sense, the word vice comes from the Latin word vitium , meaning "failing or defect". [3]

(This meaning is completely separate from the word vice when used as an official title to indicate a deputy, substitute or subordinate, as in vice president, vice-chancellor or viceroy. The etymology of this usage derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of".)

Law enforcement

Depending on the country or jurisdiction, vice crimes may or may not be treated as a separate category in the criminal codes. Even in jurisdictions where vice is not explicitly delineated in the legal code, the term vice is often used in law enforcement and judicial systems as an umbrella for crimes involving activities that are considered inherently immoral, regardless of the legality or objective harm involved.

In the United Kingdom, the term vice is commonly used in law and law enforcement to refer to criminal offences related to prostitution and pornography. [4] In the United States, the term is also used to refer to crimes related to drugs, alcohol, and gambling. [5]

Vice squad

A 1912 portrait of Frankie Fore, sitting in a room during a vice raid in Calumet City (formerly known as West Hammond), Illinois. Vice squad interrogation in Calumet City 1912 ichicdn n059451.jpg
A 1912 portrait of Frankie Fore, sitting in a room during a vice raid in Calumet City (formerly known as West Hammond), Illinois.

A vice squad, also called a vice unit or a morality squad, is generally, though not always, a police division, whose focus is to restrain or suppress moral crimes. Though what is considered or accepted as a moral crime by society often varies considerably according to local laws or customs between nations, countries, or states, it often includes activities such as gambling, narcotics, pornography and illegal sales of alcoholic beverages. [6] Vice squads do not concentrate on more serious crimes like fraud and murder.

Religion

Religious police, for example islamic religious police units or sharia police in certain parts of the Arab-speaking world, are morality squads that also monitors for example dress codes, observance of store-closures during prayer time, consumption of unlawful beverages or foods, unrelated males and females socializing, and homosexual behavior.

Buddhism

In the Sarvastivadin tradition of Buddhism, there are 108 defilements, or vices, which are prohibited. These are subdivided into 10 bonds and 98 proclivities. [7] The 10 bonds are the following: [7]

Judaism

Avoiding vice is an important theme in Jewish ethics, especially within musar literature.

Christianity

Virtues fighting vices, stained glass window (14th century) in the Niederhaslach Church Stiftskirche Niederhaslach Glasfenster (Kampf der Tugenden mit dem Laster).jpg
Virtues fighting vices, stained glass window (14th century) in the Niederhaslach Church

Christians believe there are two kinds of vice:[ citation needed ]

The first kind of vice, though sinful, is believed less serious than the second. Vices recognized as spiritual by Christians include blasphemy (holiness betrayed), apostasy (faith betrayed), despair (hope betrayed), hatred (love betrayed), and indifference (scripturally, a "hardened heart"). Christian theologians have reasoned that the most destructive vice equates to a certain type of pride or the complete idolatry of the self. It is argued that through this vice, which is essentially competitive, all the worst evils come into being. In Christian theology, it originally led to the Fall of Man, and, as a purely diabolical spiritual vice, it outweighs anything else often condemned by the Church.

Roman Catholicism

The Roman Catholic Church distinguishes between vice, which is a habit of sin, and the sin itself, which is an individual morally wrong act. Note that in Roman Catholicism, the word "sin" also refers to the state that befalls one upon committing a morally wrong act. In this section, the word always means the sinful act. It is the sin, and not the vice, that deprives one of God's sanctifying grace and renders one deserving of God's punishment. Thomas Aquinas taught that "absolutely speaking, the sin surpasses the vice in wickedness". [8] On the other hand, even after a person's sins have been forgiven, the underlying habit (the vice) may remain. Just as vice was created in the first place by repeatedly yielding to the temptation to sin, so vice may be removed only by repeatedly resisting temptation and performing virtuous acts; the more entrenched the vice, the more time and effort needed to remove it. Saint Thomas Aquinas says that following rehabilitation and the acquisition of virtues, the vice does not persist as a habit, but rather as a mere disposition, and one that is in the process of being eliminated. Medieval illuminated manuscripts circulated with colorful schemas for developing proper attitudes, with scriptural allusions modelled on nature: the tree of virtues as blossoming flowers or vices bearing sterile fruit, The Renaissance writer Pietro Bembo is credited with reaffirming and promoting the Christian perfection of classical humanism. Deriving all from love (or the lack thereof) his [9] schemas were added as supplements [10] in the newly invented technology of printing by Aldus Manutius in his editions of Dante's Divine Comedy dating from early in the 16th century.

Dante's seven deadly vices

The poet Dante Alighieri listed the following seven deadly vices, associating them structurally [11] as flaws in the soul's inherent capacity for goodness as made in the Divine Image yet perverted by the Fall:

  1. Pride or vanity: an excessive love of the self (holding the self outside of its proper position regarding God or fellows; Dante's definition was "love of self perverted to hatred and contempt for one's neighbour"). In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, pride is referred to as superbia.
  2. Envy or jealousy: resentment of others for their possessions (Dante: "love of one's own good perverted to a desire to deprive other men of theirs"). In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, envy is referred to as invidia.
  3. Wrath or anger: feelings of hatred, revenge or denial, as well as punitive desires outside of justice (Dante's description was "love of justice perverted to revenge and spite"). In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, wrath is referred to as ira, which primitive vices tempt astray by increasingly perverting the proper purpose of charity, directing it inwards, leading to a disordered navel-gazing preoccupation with personal goods in isolation absent proper harmonious relations leading to violent disruption of balance with others.
  4. Sloth or laziness: idleness and wastefulness of time or other allotted resources. Laziness is condemned because it results in others having to work harder; also, useful work will not be done. Sloth is referred to in Latin as accidie or acedia, which vice tempts a self-aware soul to be too easily satisfied, thwarting charity's purpose as insufficiently perceptible within the soul itself or abjectly indifferent in relationship with the needs of others and their satisfaction, an escalation in evil, more odious than the passion of hate
  5. Avarice (covetousness, greed): a desire to possess more than one has need or use for (or according to Dante, "excessive love of money and power"). In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, avarice is referred to as avaritia.
  6. Gluttony: overindulgence in food, drink or intoxicants, or misplaced desire of food as a pleasure for its sensuality ("excessive love of pleasure" was Dante's rendering). In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, gluttony is referred to as gula.
  7. Lust: excessive sexual desire. Dante's criterion was that "lust detracts from true love". In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, lust is referred to as luxuria, which vices tempt cultivated souls in their ability to direct charity's proper purpose to good things or actions, by indulging excess. Thus in Dante's estimation the soul's detachment from sensual appetites become the vices most difficult to tame, urges not as easily curbed by mere good manners since inflamed via appropriate use rather than inappropriate misuse. Hence conventional respect for the ninth and tenth commandments against coveting and social customs that encourage custody of the eyes and ears become prudent adjuncts to training against vice.

The first three terraces of purgatory expiate the sins which can be considered to arise from love perverted, that is, sins which arise from the heart of the sinner being set upon something which is wrong in the eyes of God. Those being purged here must have their love set upon the right path. The fourth terrace of purgatory expiates the sins which can be considered to arise from love defective, that is, love which, although directed towards the correct subjects is too weak to drive the sinner to act as they should. Those being purged here must have their love strengthened so as to drive them correctly. The fifth, sixth, and seventh terraces of purgatory expiate the sins which can be considered to arise from love excessive, that is, love which although directed towards ends which God considers good is directed towards them too much for the sinner to gain bliss from them, and also so that the sinner is distracted from the love of other things of which God approves. Their love must be cooled to a more sensible level.

Islam

The Qur'an and many other Islamic religious writings provide prohibitions against acts that are seen as immoral.

Ibn abi Dunya, a 9th-century scholar and tutor to the caliphs, described seven censures (prohibitions against vices) in his writings: [12]

Epicureanism

Although not strictly a religion but a Hellenistic philosophy, Epicurean ethics prescribes a therapeutic approach to the vices with the goal of attaining a life of pleasure with the aid of the virtues. Most of the techniques used in Epicureanism involve challenging false beliefs and attaining beliefs that are aligned with nature. In this, Epicureanism posits an entirely naturalistic, non-religious theory of virtue and vice based on the rational pursuit of pleasure. [13]

See also

In Sanskrit काम (lust) क्रोध (anger) लोभ (greed) मद(pride) मोह (temptation) मत्सर (jealousy)

Notes

  1. Louis, Chevalier de Jaucourt (Biography) (October 2002). "'Jaucourt, Louis, chevalier de. "Vice." The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project. Translated by Mary McAlpin. Ann Arbor: Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library, 2002. Web. 1 April 2015. <http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.did2222.0000.010>. Trans. of "Vice," Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, vol. 17. Paris, 1765.'". Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert - Collaborative Translation Project. hdl:2027/spo.did2222.0000.010.External link in |title= (help)[ permanent dead link ]
  2. "Vice". Thesaurus.com. Archived from the original on 2012-05-24. Retrieved 2012-06-30.
  3. "Vice". Online Etymology Dictionary. Archived from the original on 2014-11-29. Retrieved 2012-06-30.
  4. "Metropolitan Police Service - Please Wait..." met.police.uk. Archived from the original on 2013-05-11. Retrieved 2014-09-13.
  5. Hess (2008), p. 209.
  6. "Vice squad". The Free Dictionary By Farlex. Archived from the original on 2005-09-21. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
  7. 1 2 Hirakawa (1998), p. 202.
  8. Entry for vice Archived 2007-04-05 at the Wayback Machine at NewAdvent.org online Catholic Encyclopedia.
  9. Flow diagram leading to the deeper-seated vices in purgatory Archived 2012-05-05 at the Wayback Machine
  10. Aldus' second edition printing of Dante's Divine Comedy, Venice 1502. Archived 2012-02-05 at the Wayback Machine
  11. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-05. Retrieved 2012-02-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. Goodman (2005), p. 37.
  13. "Philodemus' Method of Studying and Cultivating the Virtues" . Retrieved 2020-05-26.

Related Research Articles

<i>Divine Comedy</i> Long Italian narrative poem by Dante Alighieri

The Divine Comedy is a long Italian narrative poem by Dante Alighieri, begun c. 1308 and completed in 1320, a year before his death in 1321. It is widely considered to be the pre-eminent work in Italian literature and one of the greatest works of world literature. The poem's imaginative vision of the afterlife is representative of the medieval world-view as it had developed in the Western Church by the 14th century. It helped establish the Tuscan language, in which it is written, as the standardized Italian language. It is divided into three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.

Epicureanism system of philosophy

Epicureanism is a system of philosophy founded around 307 BC based upon the teachings of the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus. Epicureanism was originally a challenge to Platonism. Later its main opponent became Stoicism.

Seven deadly sins Set of vices in Christian theology and western philosophy

The seven deadly sins, also known as the capital vices, or cardinal sins, is a grouping and classification of vices within Christian teachings, although they are not mentioned in the Bible. Behaviours or habits are classified under this category if they directly give rise to other immoralities. According to the standard list, they are pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony, and sloth, which are contrary to the seven heavenly virtues.

Virtue Positive trait or quality deemed to be morally good

Virtue is a moral excellence. A virtue is a trait or quality that is deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting collective and individual greatness. In other words, it is a behavior that shows high moral standards. Doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong. The opposite of virtue is vice, another example of this notion is merit in Asian traditions and De.

Lust Human emotion

Lust is a psychological force producing intense desire for an object, or circumstance while already having a significant other or amount of the desired object. Lust can take any form such as the lust for sexuality, money, or power. It can take such mundane forms as the lust for food as distinct from the need for food. It is similar to but distinguished from passion, in that passion propels individuals to achieve benevolent goals whilst lust does not.

Penance Repentance of sins

Penance is repentance of sins as well as an alternate name for the Catholic, Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession. It also plays a part in confession among Anglicans and Methodists, in which it is a rite, as well as among other Protestants. The word penance derives from Old French and Latin paenitentia, both of which derive from the same root meaning repentance, the desire to be forgiven. Penance and repentance, similar in their derivation and original sense, have come to symbolize conflicting views of the essence of repentance, arising from the controversy as to the respective merits of "faith" and "good works". Word derivations occur in many languages.

Gluttony

Gluttony means over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink, or wealth items, particularly as status symbols.

Charity (virtue) One of Christianitys seven theological virtues

In Christian theology, Charity is considered as one of the seven virtues and is understood by Thomas Aquinas as "the friendship of man for God", which "unites us to God". He holds it as "the most excellent of the virtues". Further, Aquinas holds that "the habit of charity extends not only to the love of God, but also to the love of our neighbor".

Hedone is the Greek word meaning "pleasure." It was an important concept in Ancient Greek philosophy, especially in the Epicurean school. It is also the root of the English word "hedonism".

Sloth (deadly sin)

Sloth is one of the seven capital sins in Catholic teachings. It is the most difficult sin to define and credit as sin, since it refers to an assortment of ideas, dating from antiquity and including mental, spiritual, pathological, and physical states. One definition is a habitual disinclination to exertion, or laziness.

<i>Purgatorio</i> Second part of Dantes Divine Comedy

Purgatorio is the second part of Dante's Divine Comedy, following the Inferno and preceding the Paradiso. The poem was written in the early 14th century. It is an allegory telling of the climb of Dante up the Mount of Purgatory, guided by the Roman poet Virgil, except for the last four cantos at which point Beatrice takes over as Dante's guide.

Cardinal virtues

Cardinal virtues are four virtues of mind and character in both classical philosophy and Christian theology. They are Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Temperance. They form a virtue theory of ethics. The term cardinal comes from the Latin cardo (hinge); virtues are so called because they are regarded as the basic virtues required for a virtuous life.

Gourmand Person who takes great pleasure and interest in consuming good food and drink

A gourmand is a person who takes great pleasure and interest in consuming good food and drink. Gourmand originally referred to a person who was "a glutton for food and drink", a person who eats and drinks excessively; this usage is now rare.

According to Western Christianity, actual sin, as distinguished from original sin, is an act contrary to the will and law of God whether by doing evil or refraining from doing good. It can be either "mortal" or "venial".

The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines virtue as "a habitual and firm disposition to do the good." Traditionally, the seven Christian virtues or heavenly virtues combine the four classical cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, temperance, and courage with the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity. These were adopted by the Church Fathers as the seven virtues.

<i>Inferno</i> (Dante) First part of Dantes Divine Comedy

Inferno is the first part of Italian writer Dante Alighieri's 14th-century epic poem Divine Comedy. It is followed by Purgatorio and Paradiso. The Inferno describes Dante's journey through Hell, guided by the ancient Roman poet Virgil. In the poem, Hell is depicted as nine concentric circles of torment located within the Earth; it is the "realm ... of those who have rejected spiritual values by yielding to bestial appetites or violence, or by perverting their human intellect to fraud or malice against their fellowmen".

Christian views on sin Christian views on sin

Sin is an immoral act considered to be a transgression of divine law. The doctrine of sin is central to Christianity, since its basic message is about redemption in Christ.

Purgatory Religious belief of Christianity, primarily Catholicism

Purgatory is, according to the belief of some Christians, an intermediate state after physical death for expiatory purification. There is disagreement among Christians whether such a state exists. Some forms of Western Christianity, particularly within Protestantism, deny its existence. Other strands of Western Christianity see purgatory as a place, perhaps filled with fire. Some concepts of Gehenna in Judaism are similar to that of purgatory.

In Christian tradition, the love of money is condemned as a sin primarily based on texts such as Ecclesiastes 5:10 and 1 Timothy 6:10. The Christian condemnation relates to avarice and greed rather than money itself. The Christian texts (scriptures) are full of parables and use easy-to-understand subjects, such as money, to convey the actual message, there are further parallels in Solon and Aristotle, and Massinissa—who ascribed love of money to Hannibal and the Carthaginians. Avarice is one of the Seven deadly sins in the Christian classifications of vices (sins).

References