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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

Scribner Seminar Program
Course Description

Cost and Benefits of the 7 Deadly Sins

Instructor(s): Rodrigo Schneider, Economics

This course will analyze The Seven Deadly Sins: Pride, Envy, Wrath, Sloth, Greed, Gluttony, and Lust, which are culturally proscribed set of moral transgressions whose use is wide but not universal. In this course, sin will be defined as growing far from God, which can also be interpreted as growing far from the truth or getting closer to the denial of mortality and human limitations. For each sin, we will have three lectures dedicated to its analysis: one covering the philosophical understanding of the sin, another one covering the application of the sin in our daily life, and a last one analyzing the costs and benefits of the sin. For instance, as far as the cost-benefit analysis of greed is concerned, we will address the following questions to elucidate how one can think about how private vices (or sins) can also generate public benefits: Is capitalism a natural extension of greed?  In what ways has capitalism been beneficial to you, your communities, and to the world?  In what ways has capitalism been costly?  In what ways can these benefits and costs be demonstrated?

Course Offered: