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Sloth is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work.

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erika smith

on 19 January 2014

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Transcript of Sloth is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work.

Definition: Sloth is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work.
From the Essay
Short Story
Bartleby just sits there in an office on Wall Street repeating, ‘I would prefer not to.’ While his options go rapidly narrowing, his employer, a man of affairs and substance, is actually brought to question the assumptions of his own life by this miserable scrivener—this writer!—who, though among the lowest of the low in the bilges of capitalism, nevertheless refuses to go on interacting anymore with the daily order, thus bringing up the interesting question: who is more guilty of sloth, a person who collaborates with the root of all evil, accepting things-as-they-are in return for a paycheck and a hassle-free life, or one who does nothing, finally, but persist in sorrow?
Written Media
"sluggishness of the mind which neglects to begin good... [it] is evil in its effect, if it so oppresses man as to draw him away entirely from good deeds" - Thomas Aquinas (Medieval theologian)
Writers opinion: Greed is not a sin
Beliefnet : Sloth: Look Where Hard Work Got Us

I believe sloth should be stricken from the list of deadly sins. This "sin" has become mired in a theological cul de sac: sloth is bad because it impedes progress; progress is good because it enables us to be slothful
"Sloth ultimately seems to be less a sin than a run-of-the-mill negative personality trait"
" The benefits of lethargy. Laziness is a costless protection against the really serious sins like greed, lust and wrath, which, say what you will, do require great amounts of energy. Truly slothful people do not have the stamina to be wrathful, lustful or envious
"Writers quotes"
In our words
Slothfulness is a sin because being lazy impedes our ability to progress as a civilization, yet technological advancement has allowed so much free time that it creates the appearance of everybody not working so hard. Modern inventions make us lazy because it makes things easier. The car, for instance, allows people to travel long distances without having any physical strain on their body.
Laziness is not as bad as the other sins and in fact may even prevent us from having the energy to be wrathful, lustful or envious.
Multi religion guide : How world religions view Sloth
My Opinion
There is nothing sinful about using technology to make our lives more efficient and create more free time. The question of sin really revolves around how we use that time. if we use that time productively to help others then that is a good use of the time. It’s when we use the time sitting on the couch watching tv, surfing the web, browsing face book then technology has made us more slothful.
The Catholics originally knew sloth as sadness then slothfulness and “both qualities were deemed sinful because it meant we were not sufficiently energetic in doing good deeds and therefore working towards salvation”.

The world’s religions generally take a negative view on slothfulness. However it is usually viewed both in terms of spiritual laziness and physical laziness. Most religions look at both the motivations of the heart as well as the outward behavior so being slothful is often anything that prevents an individual from doing virtuous deeds
Quote “procrastination, forgetfulness, laziness and sleep-these four form the coveted ship which bears men to their destined ruin”
The protestants saw slothfulness as sinful because it was counter to their belief in the virtues of "hard work". They believed that slothfulness stopped progress and therefore hurt God and God’s creation.
Buddhism à believes that mediation is the opposite of slothfulness because it involves concentration. One who is slothful under Buddhism is likely to result in continuous rebirth. Being reborn again and again doesn’t get you to nirvana .
Christianity talks about how the master gave his three servants money. Two increased their money and the third buried it. The third did not go out and prosper and was viewed as lazy . Slothful people do not expend the energy of leading a virtuous life (doing good deeds)
Hinduism if you give in to slothfulness you may lead a life of despair. Talks about procrastination and how it is a part of laziness and men who are lazy will not achieve anything special, and they have to endure the people who are doing to scorn them
Islam yawning vs sneezing. They talk about how when someone yawns the devil laughs. Yawning is a sign of lazy and when someone sneezes they say Allah ”praise be with you”
Judaism they connect slothfulness, define it in terms of time and procrastination. Honoring time is sanctifying life. So if you just waste your time then you are not honoring life, to value life.

The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.Proverbs 13:4
Paul denounced idleness for Christians: "If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies" (2 Thess. 3:10-11). Furthermore, Christians are expected both to provide for their families and to give sacrificially to the church and to the poor (e.g., 2 Cor. 8-9); failure to do so means that one "has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever" (1 Tim. 5:8).
How it affects us
Why is it a struggle for humans?
The dilemma inherent in this sin
Slothfulness effects us as individuals as well as a society. Lazy individuals become a burden on society. If we were all lazy and unmotivated then we would not have technological advances and developed culture. Someone needs to create the institutions we take for granted such as municipal, state, and federal government which form the basis for our society or we would all be living in a chaotic society with no common currency where we were still trading chickens for bags of grain.
idea or philosophy on how to deal with that sin or temptation

The dilemma or interesting paradox related to slothfulness is that it could be argued that it is the desire for more "free time" which has prompted the demand for technology like dishwashers and TV remotes. It is interesting that the desire to have more free time creates more opportunities for some people to waste that time mindlessly surfing the web, sleeping, or checking out pictures on face book. So some people are working hard creating the very technology that is creating the additional leisure time that will temp many to more easily lead slothful lives.
Technology itself is not sinful. It is good that technological advances create more leisure time and hopefully that time is being spent in "productive ways". It you live a life with a purpose then you will always be using your resources such as time and money to fulfill that purpose. It is up to everyone to figure out their purpose in life but as long as that purpose has something to do with helping others or even self improvement, it will lead to motivated and engaged individuals. The only purpose that would not work with this philosophy is if one determines that the purpose of their life was to sleep all day and have others wait on them hand and foot. So the solution to being a sloth is to have a purpose in one's life.
Interestingly, it is possible, even within christian Doctrine, to overly emphasize the importance of relying on God's Providential care to the point that one becomes lazy thinking that God will provide for all of one's needs. A more traditional and balanced view of Christian doctrine would equally emphasize the responsibility to use God's gifts to the fullest of one's ability to better the human condition and human civilization.
Fundamental humans are self-centered and lazy and the temptation to use technology to create idle unproductive leisure time is hard to resist.
Bhola owns a donkey called Khandya. Bhola is a very tolerant and kind master. The donkey is lazy and is always finding ways to avoid workOnce while returning with loads of salt on his back, Khandya falls in the river. He realizes that the fall has lessened the weights of the sacks as the salt has dissolved in the water.
The next few days Khandya purposely falls into the water everyday. Bhola is unhappy at the way Khandya is behaving because he is losing money in the process. He decides to teach Khandya a lesson.
The next day instead of salt bags he loads Khandya with bags of cotton. Khandya is unaware of the change. As planned, he falls into the water and gets the bags wet. He is surprised to find the load unbearable. His otherwise master also starts beating him.
Khandya learns his lesson and starts behaving.
Lazy Donkey
Moral: Work with honesty and sincerity because laziness will ruin you.
Seven Deadly Sins ~ Sloth ~

Lazy and slow

stuck in one place

unable to move

weighed down

suppressed and forgotten

eyes closed against the world

you forget to live and life forgets you

Sloth . . .

It strikes away your will.

-by aniytlia

"Lazy Phone"
- In this clip, a man has to put his hands on the ‘smartphone’s’ stomach in order to play a song
- The newer smartphone however, is hands-free and plays music through a vocal command
- In this case, sloth is a good thing because it enables the user to have hands-free capability when they are busy with their hands
- This is the kind of sloth that leads to useful inventions and technology

Forever Lazy
Forever Lazy
- This commercial is advertising a warm jumpsuit that acts as a full-body blanket
- It promotes a bad kind of sloth because it advertises uses of the Forever Lazy in place of simple tasks such as getting up and turning on the heat or covering yourself completely in a blanket
- It is also advertised for a lazy day and lazy time - “Warm, comfortable, and lazy”
Pulco Fruit Juice
Pulco Fruit Juice

- This is a funny commercial that advertises an easily accessible product that is ready for immediate consumption
- It doesn’t suggest that laziness is bad, but rather targets this group of people because the product is convenient for them
- In fact, the product is actually like any ordinary drink

"Lazy Phone"
In Bartleby, the scribe is outwardly the sloth since he is refering to do anything but internally it is possible that his defiance requires active courage and resolute character. The boss is outwardly hard working but it is possible that he is passively accepting his role in the system. The interesting thing is the story makes us reflect on one's motivations as we discuss slothfulness. However, it is hard to know why people do things so we usually are left deciding if someone is lazy or not based on their outward behavioir.
The poem points out that some people may appear to be lazy and slothful because the are not actively engaged in work or living but that it might be because they were not given opportunities to be engaged and stimulated. I believe that is what is meant by the phrase "suppressed and forgotten".
"Acedia" - Peter Brueghel
This drawing is called “Acedia” by Peter Brueghel, 1557
- Acedia is spiritual laziness, similar to apathy or indifference toward something that leads to an inability to perform one’s duties in life
- In the drawing, people are asleep, lounged across the ground, being drawn in beds by others, and otherwise sitting around doing nothing
- The drawing is filled with demons, beasts, and ugly creatures suggesting the presence of evil and sin, and maybe representing what those people could become if they continue their sloth

Electronic Media
Because I got high
Video Game Clip
TV- Patrick Star
"Man starts writing hillside message to win back ex"
...but gets tired and gives up
- This article is about a man who had plans to woo his girlfriend back with a grand romantic gesture, but instead got too lazy and gave up
- This is another example of bad sloth which does not achieve his end goal of writing his girlfriend’s name on the hill or winning her back
- This ad promotes sloth by suggesting that people “waste the day” by doing something unproductive that does not require much thought and that they continue being bored
7 Capital Vices: Acedia
- This is an image of Vivian van Blerk’s photograph depicting acedia, or sloth
- The man is lounging and relaxing in an obscure place outside (no home) with all his belongings strewn around him in a mess
- It seems like there is no organization or structure to his life and this is another example of bad sloth
- He should get a job in order to buy a house where he can put all his belongings and not live outside like some outlaw

Luther, Inkwell, and Satan
- This painting depicts Luther, a superstitious man who was plagued by demons for much of his life, throwing ink at the Devil who appeared at noon - the time most dangerous to those prone to sloth

Print Media or Advertisement
Visual media
Theories:The Purpose oriented Life Philosophy and the pursuit of happiness
The Purpose Oriented Life Philosophy
one life philosophy that i would suggest which would reduce the temptation to be lazy and slothful would be to have a Purpose Oriented Life. Having a purpose in life (other than sleeping all day) keeps one physically, mentally, and emotionally engaged and leaves little room for being a sluggard. When one has a focused and working towards achieving a goal then resources of time and money are being spent and energy exerted to use them efficiently. Having a focus keeps people motivated and active and a purpose can be anything from developing the perfect golf swing to trying to find a cure for cancer.
Theories: Is Slothfulness really a sin?
As a religious concept, sin is separation from God caused by behavior that is not pleasing to God. All the great religious of the world seem to be in agreement that being lazy is self-centered and unproductive and not using the time given by God in a way that is pleasing to God. There is no sense that technological advancement is sinful even if technological advancement is creating more leisure time and more temptation to be lazy.
The Purpose Oriented Life not only will reduce the temptation to lead a slothful life but should also bring a more full and happy life. Happiness is not the abscene of stress or pain but the confidence and fulfillment that comes from striving towards a goal and the relationships with like minded people that are forged along the way
Ralph Hagen
Stress Management
Lazy Homer
Lazy Homer
- Homer Simpson is known as a lazy, overweight, and incompetent drinker
I Majored in Procrastination
Mike Flanagan
Joe Issid
"Because I Got High" is both the song title and the chorus which is repeated over and over in a song which lists several things that this guy was supposed to do like clean up his room but in each case he chose to get high. This song reminds us that sometimes people are lazy because they are in an altered state of mind, in this case from drugs, which prevents them from being productive. In this song the heroine accomplishes absolutely nothing but getting high.
This song makes it seem as though having a lazy day isn't a bad thing. The lyrics imply that "today" is unique and that he has chosen not to do anything. It leaves the listener with the impression that the guy is usually busy and productive. The message of this fun simple some is that sometimes it is okay to relax.
The commercial for this video game, which allows the player to role play as a medieval king and rule over some fantasy kingdom, shows a would-be king being waited on hand and foot and doing nothing for himself. Later in the ad, his wife brings him back to reality when he asks her to fetch him some grapes and she responds with "get your own". This commercial shows that being a sloth will effect your relationships with others around you . When you get lazy and start asking people for things you can do on your own they will get annoyed. It is a vivid reminder that in a marriage relationship, working relationship, or in any team effort people expect you to pull your own weight and being slothful can make people around you angry. Unless you are a real king where people wait on you hand and foot, being a lazy sloth is probably not good for your relationships.
TV - Simpsons
Homer is making a habit of being slothful. This is part of why the major religions of the world are probably concerned with slothfulness being a sin. Slothfulness can be habit forming, become a way of life, and you can lose track of time. Unlike The Lazy Song we discussed elsewhere that celebrates the occasional day of relaxation, Homer reminds us how quickly it can become a way of life.
It is usually nice to be the best, but some things are just not worth being the best at. Being a lazy sloth got Patrick an award for doing nothing the longest in the episode "Big Pink Loser". Even in popular culture being a sloth is a bad thing and associated with being a lower.
Symbol: Sloth is linked with the goat

The Idle Rich
In F. Scott Fitzgerald's book "The Great Gatsby", 1920's american society is
depicted as being divided between the upper class rich and the lower class poor.
In his book there are several characters which fit the mode of "the idle rich".
People who don't seem to be working hard but have lots of money. Somehow that
stereotype has changed today. Today the stereotype might look something more
like the idle poor with time to burn and the active rich too busy to enjoy life.
Whether idle rich or idle poor, either way it does not appear to be a complement
or appreciated by those around them that are working hard


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