Bad Catholic on Nothing
Without doubt the clearest meditation on this theme I have ever read.
… the modern world sees destruction as something bold, brave and ballsy. We see sin — always destructive — as a solid in an otherwise watery universe. The vandals, arsonists, gangsters, home wreckers, and serial killers; the self-destructive, self-righteous, and self-serving; the womanizers, tyrants, and abusers – we are most of these things, and we think at least one or two of them badass.
But if we come from Nothing and are going to Nothing, what boldness can there be in destruction? The law of entropy will kill our families, reduce our houses to dust, and slowly, steadily, bring about all the super-hardcore-ness we can imagine. There is no rebellion in hastening the inevitable. A killing spree may shock society, but it is a boredom to the universe, who ultimately kills everyone. To objectify a woman into a sex object might give men a thrill, but it is a pathetic to the universe, who is busy rendering her into a corpse.
Sin is weak. Sin is a white flag of surrender waved to the oncoming Nothingness.
Sin is always the easiest action to perform in any given situation. All it requires is Nothing.
To commit the sin of wrath or anger, a man doesn’t have to do anything, he merely has to lose something — his temper. He breaks, he snaps, he “gives in”, all of which merely points out the obvious, that he stops doing something. There is no boldness in wrath, any more than there is in rot, though they amount to the same thing, an acquiescence into Nothingness.
To commit the sin of pride, a man need not do anything. He does not know — nor can he — if his family and friends are having the same experience of life, or the same depth of thought and feeling that he is. He does not know them as selves — that is, as he knows himself — but as others. … All Pride requires is not doing anything.
Lust is merely the absence of love in the erotic. Sloth is the simply the absence of diligence and love for life. (It requires nothing, as a man standing straight requires nothing to slouch. He only needs to stop doing something, to stop standing straight. Sloth is a spiritual slouch.) Envy is the absence of kindness. Greed is the absence of charity. Gluttony is the absence of temperance.
So to summarize: Man comes from Nothing and goes to Nothing. In the brief interval of time in which he exists, he has the free choice to give in to the Nothingness that surrounds his existence — to sin — or to fight it with joy — to practice virtue. Sin is surrender and virtue is resistance.