The Cardinal and The Deadly
by: Karl Clifton-Soderstrom
What makes for a good life? The seven deadly vices and seven holy virtues, ingrained in our cultural imagination, help us answer this perennial question. For two millennia, these fourteen character traits have stirred our imagination of human nature and desire. Sometimes, however, lists like the seven deadly sins remain mere caricatures that shame and exclude. The world, however, is not divided up into priests and convicts, saints and sinners, virtuous and vicious people. Much of the time, we live between the boundaries of vice and virtue.