Post #5: Gluttony

28 Jan

Add a “comment” below to post your ideas about DeYoung, Glittering Vices, chapter 7. Your post should be explanatory of some major idea in the chapter, as well as take an argumentative stance on that topic.

By the way, the image is of Monty Python’s gluttonous Mr. Cresote, who can be viewed here.

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17 Responses to “Post #5: Gluttony”

  1. kourtneyrogers January 28, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    When we hear the word “glutton” most of us think of an obese person stuffing their face with massive quantities of food that no normal person could consume. That is the mental image I had whenever I heard the word glutton until I read this chapter and learned that there were other various ways that one could be considered gluttonous. Obesity is not a necessary consequence of being a glutton, rather an accidental one that not all people who are gluttons experience.
    When analyzing the qualifications of a glutton, as well as most of the characteristics of vices, it is important to see that gluttony is a fixation on material things. The object of the glutton’s affection is food, many become captivated and almost overly obsessed with food, whether is quantity or quality. This love affair with food has become increasingly prominent in today’s society because of the easy accessibility of food that we have today. Eating is a basic necessity for life, it cannot be avoided, as metabolizing humans, we require an energy source and that is food. Hundreds of years ago, people had to forage and hunt just to have a meal, and were limited to the food that was in the area they were able to travel in. People ate only out of necessity in order to survive and continue on, and people also worked for the food they had.
    Today, we have food everywhere, all kinds of food, massive amounts of food, and all we have to do is drive to the local Wegmans and get it off the shelves. We don’t have to hunt any more, or travel to a field to hunt, in fact we can even call restaurants and have food from China delivered right to our door. Because accessing food has become so easy today, we have become almost spoiled in what and how we can eat. Many of us don’t know what it is like to be hungry for a few hours, let alone a few days, because there is food everywhere. This increased presence of food has also led to a rise in the gluttonous life style. We have become picky and overindulgent. Look for example at how many items are on the menu at a restaurant, and how many options there are for how we want it cooked or what toppings we want, or sides…it goes on and on. Most of us even schedule our day around our meals and snacks, for example how many people can’t stop thinking about that morning coffee until they get it.
    Food as a natural requirement for living, is not in itself a bad thing, however, it is when we begin to overindulge ourselves in it or obsess over it that we have a real problem. As humans we have physical needs like food and water, but we also have spiritual needs that materialistic objects cannot fill. How is it that human hundreds of years ago who a: did more physical activity a day than most of us do and b: ate less then most of us do thrived better than we do today? Advertising agencies and large food corporations have convinced us that we need all of these fancy and diverse foods and that we should ‘have it our way’ when that simply is not true. Yes, we are allowed to eat, and yes we are allowed to enjoy our food, however as with all virtues we need to enjoy it in moderation.
    The author brings up the issue of chewing gum and calorie free soda and how they violate the natural human goods of our body. The purpose of eating is to nourish the body with calories, but these foods are devoid of the very purpose that they should have. These foods allow us to indulge in the physical act of eating without actually suffering any of the consequences, which they consider calories to be. I see no problem in chewing gum, I do it everyday but mainly to avoid bad breath, however it is when people overdo it on the diet foods and attempt to avoid exercise or hard work to get thin. Contrary to modern belief there is not always an easy fix to every problem. If one wants to get thin then they should put the work in and can supplement their diet with these calorie free treats, however should not come to rely solely upon them, that is the flaw of a glutton.

  2. bamore January 29, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    People tend to have the common idea that gluttony is when people eat way too much food; however glutton is much more than just over eating. In fact a gluttonous person doesn’t have to over eat at all. Gluttony as defined in Glittering Vices as over indulging in the pleasure of eating and how one eats. What I found to be rather interesting is that there can be five different kinds of gluttony. Gluttony is when someone eats fastidiously, ravenously, excessively, sumptuously, hastily, or some combination thereof.

    On page 145 of Glittering Vices, states how gluttony is a question of if “we are eating to satisfy our own wants, in a way that elevates our own satisfaction above other good things.” This statement is intriguing because it shows many different things. First, it is showing how all vices, in this particular case gluttony, are completely selfish. A person is gluttonous for the soul purpose of making themselves happy and over indulging in one’s own pleasures without regard for others. We have to keep in mind that all the things that we do have more than one purpose or intention. Eating in this case is for the purpose of nourishing the body, however at the same time it can be rather pleasurable (as long as the pleasure is not taken to an extreme) as well as having a social aspect. If people are eating with the intent of pleasure, being picky, eating ravenously, etc. to the point that they are neglecting other needs or wants not just for themselves but that effect the world or others around them the habit becomes detrimental. (The key word is habit. Yes, Dr. Schulz daughter may eat way too much ice cream every once in a while when they go to cracker barrel. Or at Thanksgiving a person might be constantly thinking of all the food they are going to get all day, however these events only happen on rare occasions, they are not habitual. It is important to notice the difference between habits and rare sip up occurrences.) It is important for people to find a balance in life figuring out how to do the right thing in the right time and manner. “We cannot live by bread alone.” Noticing that there are so many pleasures in life and not focusing specifically on or indulging in on specifically over all else helps create a more balanced life style so that people do not get into unhealthy habits. Eating is a temporary physical pleasure not a constant one. Since humans are physical, spiritual, and social creatures they need to fulfill more needs than just physical pleasures. Balance and moderation are necessary to living a fulfilling life.

    A common theme in the last few weeks has been that if a person can be informed about what the right thing is to do the manner in which to conduct them, then they can see what aspects of their lives they need to improve/work on, “restrain sand train” is a nice catch phrase Glittering Vices uses. Appreciation and gratitude are two important ways of life to keep and/or create for good habits. Unfortunately vices cause people to not hold these two concepts as a part of everyday actions. In Foodies some of the people are grateful when they see how the pig or goat is slaughtered for their meal, while other food critics are harsher on the preparation or taste of their food. It is unfortunate if eating, preparing, and critiquing food is their occupation because it may cause them to lose the gratitude and appreciation that goes into preparing food and the fact that those people can have a life style of gourmet meals 24/7 while other people eat to live instead of living to eat. Pleasure is good and indeed necessary, although not to the point where one pleasure becomes detrimental to other needs/goods and right pleasures.

  3. catherinerosemccarthy January 29, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    Glittering Vices did a perfect job of explain gluttony in a new light to me, personally. I always understood this vice to be simply overeating, but we discussed the five different ways in which one can be a glutton. This vice does not only focus on how much one eats, but in what way, for what reasons, and with what surrounding circumstances. For instances, as social beings, we desires communion with other humans. Therefore, eating can be a bonding, celebratory, welcoming occasion where conversation and stories are shared. A table is not just a place for food, but a place for communion with each other. In addition, we are creative beings; hence the field of the culinary arts. Thousands of books are dictated to the art of cooking and presentation and any true chief will pride himself in the aesthetic beauty of his dish. Food, therefore, is the means to express ourselves in ways other than to nourish our bodies. We can find pleasure in food because it not only attains to the physical part of our nature that enjoys tastes and requires bodily nutrition, but food also attains to our social and creative needs. Therefore gluttony isn’t just a sin against one’s health, but it is a sin of reducing the human person to a purely animalistic creature. By hording, one is breaking the communal bonding that could take place. If one eats ravenously, then he does not appreciate the art of the dish and is wasting an opportunity to reflect on beauty.
    As we continue to discuss in class, we are not simply physical beings, so the food can only satisfy us while we are full. All physical pleasures come to an end. So instead of looking for spiritual pleasure, or even seeking the social and creative benefits of food, a glutton must manipulate the food to extract every last ounce of possible pleasure from it. This is where technology comes into play at the perfect moment. By manipulating nature, we can ring the fruits from them without bringing with them the negatives. Diet soft drinks are the least of our concerns. Bulimia is often a practice of those who indulge ravenously in food, feel guilty, and then purge. This eating disorder shows how far we will go to redeem ourselves from the vice of gluttony. In addition, diet commercials flock television and radio commercials, ads in magazines, and anywhere else the media can control. Instead of encouraging each other to maybe skip the fries today, or go for a run a few times a week, we avoid surrendering our desires or enduring the pain of exercising with a simple pill that will eradicate the love handles. We will binge at buffets and then complain that our slightly curvy bodies are “fat.” This is absolutely ridiculous.
    Gluttony is such a dangerous sin because it teaches the self to focus on its desires. Yet it has many loopholes so we can degrade food as an object we can manipulate without barring many physical signs of it. With diet pills or bulimia, gluttony is not publicly brandied to a person like a scarlet letter. However, the self becomes a god, slaving to the wills and desire of animalistic appetite. Food cannot be seen as a work of art, it cannot be enjoyed in a communal sense; and therefore, while the glutton is never hungry, he is starved none the less.

  4. sarahshaller January 29, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    I actually got alot out of this DeYoung chapter. I have been guilty of attributing physical attributes to the vices, but this chapter of Gluttony opened up my eyes to how much more it involves. Gluttony doesn’t go hand in hand with being overweight (not in every case anyway). There are many types of Gluttony- Fastidiously, Ravenously, Excessively, Sumptuously, and Hastily are the five that DeYoung points out. Before reading this, I was one who believed that eating too much was the only way to describe Gluttony. But that is clearly not the case. Gluttony can include the way you demand food to be prepared, hoarding food from others, eating very quickly or eating to the point of being completely full. And being Glutton in any one of these ways takes other things away from you, such as appreciation, fortitude, gratitude, justice, etc. Even more than that being Glutton can also be unhealthy depending on how your eating, what your eating or when your eating.

    As humans, it is common knowledge that we have desires and are constantly searching for pleasure. Food is essential for our survival and therefore, is a basic desire that everyone has. Eating gives us pleasure, as God meant it to, but at what point is the desire no longer meant to bring pleasure. For example if a person eats an 11 doughnuts (to the point of being completely full and not sharing.saving any) and there is still on doughnut left, eating it may still be pleasure to our taste buds but to our bodies it certainly doesn’t. And furthermore, it is being glutton which is not what we are to strive for. We are meant to desire things well, that includes food. Also, because food is a bodily craveing it will never be gone permanently. No matter how much we eat for dinner, we will be hungry again. The desire will always be there and we will always be able to get pleasure from eating. It is a necessary evil (in terms of the glutton).

    Food is not only meant to keep us alive and offer us pleasure. There is a spiritual/intellectual aspect thats also meant to be offered through eating. Sitting down with your family, having that communion with others is another way meals can offer us pleasure. Even if you are a glutton, working and socializing with others is an important concept for anyone. Not only that but food can help an individual with their jobs, their health (in the case of diabetes, etc.) or their bond with others or events. Food is mean to bring about more then one pleasure, but more and more that is being overlooked in todays society. People are to busy to sit down for a meal. Millions of dollars are made from prescription drugs for people with disease so that a person doesn’t have to rely on specific food instructions. Once you realize exactly what all Gluttony includes, its easy to see that it is showing up more and more in the world, just in the different forms.

  5. arhymeforreason January 29, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    Gluttony is a vice that today is usually only seen in the form of obesity. Gargantuan people who literally cannot feed themselves or roll out of bed are usually our society’s targets for this particular vice. But as we learned, this is not necessarily the case. Even the skinniest of the skinny can be Gluttons because their entire lives could be focused around food and drink. But what does this mean for technological advances we’ve made in combating the effects of our oral obsession?

    DeYoung makes a case against simple “gluttonous” pleasures such as diet coke and bubble gum that provide us with zero sustenance or nutritional value, but satiate our cravings for a particular flavor. Now these small pleasures really aren’t all that bad but what I was surprised wasn’t addressed was the operation known as a liposuction. This procedure removes fat from the body via surgery under anesthetic. It is an extremely low risk, almost routine surgery that leaves the patient in an almost painless state. What could this mean for the vice of Gluttony?

    With the invention of this surgery, the results of gluttony can literally be sucked out of someone. The question now becomes is this surgery immoral? Like with most all other moral questions, the answer is both yes and no. This surgery was meant for people with extreme obesity to obtain a level of health where they can physically operate and lose the rest of the weight themselves. It was not created for models to use twice a year to maintain their unstable, unnatural figure. So in a way, technology has made the vice of Gluttony worse because it’s now harder to draw the line on what Gluttony entails.

    ~John Pinto~

  6. atrick015 January 29, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    Gluttony, one of the most revolting vices of all, is a disordered desire of the sensual pleasures; it is a vice that hits close to home. I have first handily seen too many gluttons. I have seen skinny people eat obnoxiously, I have seen bigger people eat unhealthily; they all can be considered gluttons in one way or another. Extremely picky eaters can be considered under the fastidious glutton category. I have witnessed people who order a meal, but change multiple details about it. I have also witnessed, a time or two, the customer who sends back their plate multiple times because their steak wasn’t cooked just right, or their fries were salted too much. Others order a meal with no seasonings on it so that they fix it up themselves. These picky eaters displace the joy of meal that has been prepared for them. The second category, the ravenous glutton, is not seen as often. These people hoard food even if they are no longer hungry. People who act this way seem to be more quiet about their vice. I personally, have not come in contact with this type of glutton. Thirdly, the person who eats excessively; I have seen this way too much. This is the glutton that actually makes me sick if I watch them eat. They pile food in as if they haven’t eaten in weeks. I’ve also seen this glutton not care about the nutritious value of the food they are inhaling. These gluttons tend to gain weight gradually because of the size of the portions they eat at each meal. I feel as though this type of eating MIGHT be okay during a holiday event with the family or other similar events, but doing this on a daily is not safe and not attractive. Sumptuous gluttons are those who eat when they aren’t hungry but need it for comfort. A typical stereotype for this could be when girls are upset, they eat their feelings; they may eat ice cream or chocolates to comfort their sadness. Others do this when they feel uncomfortable in a situation, like a nervous habit. They displace the characteristic of bravery. Lastly, a glutton can eat hastily. These people eat too quickly; also known to shovel in food as if they haven’t eaten in weeks. They may feel as if there won’t be any left for them. They also may do this because they like the taste and want to make sure they can get as much as possible.

    To be honest, I have found myself in this situation and I’m not proud of it. Ever since I realized I had this flaw, I have changed the way I eat; like as we said in class, to those diets of all fruit and vegetables. They aren’t fun, but I never wanted to see myself be classified in the vice category of a glutton. And this chapter has actually taught me that this pleasure I’m getting from the tastiness of food is and will always only be temporary. I never knew that with age, our tastebuds grow dull. This is what makes people gluttons. They spice up their foods more and more with each meal; they become the shovelers and hoarders. Because, as a nation, we rely on the taste of food, we keep eating in extreme ways. We must find restaurants that sell the highest quality of food, despite the prices and calorie counts. The better something tastes, the worse it is in nutritional value.

    I am happy to say I never became so extreme with my eating that I searched for foods with no nutritional value but also nothing that is harmful to my diet or that has a low calorie/carb count. Yes, food is definitely an oral fixation for me, but no I have never practiced this vice with foods that have no consequences. Therefore, maybe this means I was never a glutton. I’d like to think that what I was eating was relative to my situation; that because I was an athlete, I could continue eating more than others because I was burning off the food I was eating more than those other people. But still, anything is excess can be bad. So therefore, with the help of this lesson, I want to continue fixing the ways I eat. I want to eat less and less often, as well as eating better foods (whether they taste good or not).

  7. juliamcmahon January 29, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

    In the seventh chapter of her book, Glittering Vices, DeYoung discusses the deadly sin of gluttony. DeYoung explains that contrary to popular belief, a person does not need to be overweight to be a glutton. She states that there are five forms of gluttony that follow the acronym FRESH: eating fastidiously, ravenously, sumptuously, and hastily. According to DeYoung, a person doesn’t need to eat that much, they could simply be overly picky and not grateful for their food, or they could be eating greedily. Gluttony makes a person only consider himself when it comes to eating. Simply put, gluttony is a preoccupation with food in which a person only considers his own pleasure and thinks nothing of others.
    DeYoung discusses how our appetites have grown so much we needed to make diet foods so to enjoy food without consequence. She clearly believes that diet sodas and chewing gum are the inventions of gluttons, but is this really the case? Is anyone who drinks diet Coke or uses Splenda in her coffee a glutton? I do not think so. In some aspects I agree with DeYoung; certainly, people can use these products to overindulge or eat in gluttonous ways, just like they can with other food. In this respect, diet foods may enable some people to become gluttons because they are able to escape gaining weight from overeating. However, for the most part I think these inventions are harmless as long as one refrains from FRESH. Diet foods along with decreased portion size can really help a person get to a healthy weight. I do not think someone who uses diet food to loose weight or become healthy is a glutton. Someone who drinks ten diet Cokes a day or hoards sugar free puddings on the other hand is probably a glutton, and is definitely not someone interested in losing weight or being healthy. All in all I do not share in DeYoung’s attitude against diet foods or beverages; just like normal food they can be eaten properly or gluttonously.

  8. katelynrichmond January 29, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    All human beings consume food for survival. Since eating is an activity and activity proper to human nature is activity that follows reason, food is to be consumed in reasonable ways and amounts. Being preoccupied with food encompasses the vice of gluttony. According to Mattison, there are five different types of gluttony. There is the glutton who expects their food prepared in a certain way (fastiously), the glutton who hoards food (ravenously), the glutton who eats large amounts (excessively) , the glutton who eats to beyond the point of mere content (sumptuously) and finally the glutton who eats too fast (hastily). Each form of gluttony distorts different types of goods. For example the ravenous glutton desires food for themselves which gives rise to their hoarding. Hoarding food out of selfish desires displaces the virtue of generosity because their vice has made them not want to share with others and displaces the virtue of justice because their surplus in food results in another’s loss of food. Gluttons become slaves to food because of their fictitious sense of authority they place in food. Sure food brings gluttons pleasure but this pleasure is only temporary and the more and more a glutton seeks pleasure in food, the harder the pleasure will take to fulfill. As Mattison points out some gluttons will seek extreme alternatives to satisfy their desire for food such as eating rare and sometimes repulsive foods and bragging about it. Gluttons are blinded by their desire of food that they lose sight of the fulfilling pleasures of life that will make them truly happy instead of temporarily artificially happy that food provides them.

    Since society influences a person’s actions and therefore character, society has a great influence over people’s perception of human nature and perception of the correct manner in which people eat. In chapter 7 Mattison gives the example of diet foods and gum as a means to promote gluttony. That these foods are ways of enjoying the pleasure of eating without the consequence of perhaps unwanted calories. This is an example of the ways in which society uses technology to satisfy people’s superficial desires without any consequences. Some technologies such as gum do no harm to the human person but some recent technologies involving food do in fact cause harm to the human body. Genetically modified crops uses modern technology to modify plan’s DNA as a cost-efficient means of growing crops that repel insects and other agents that would cause harm to crop as well as increasing the amount of crop that can be grown. Monstanto is one of the most well known agricultural biotechnology corporation that manufactures and profits immensely off of GMOs (genetically modified organisms). This company provides technology that although may seem cost-efficient has the potential to harm people’s bodies and all the crops in the world. They have sued numerous hard working farmers who allegedly illegally using their patented seeds. Any person with a decent knowledge of plants, ESPECIALLY scientists such as the ones who produce GMOs, know cross pollination occurs in nature frequently and there is a great possibility their patented seeds blew off a truck and onto an unnoticing farmer’s land which could cross pollinate with the farmer’s seed and hence the farmer’s seed will now possess a part of Monsanto’s patented seed’s DNA. Not only is Monsanto ruthless and greedy in suing innocent farmers but their greed for money could very well harm millions of people. Monsanto is developing a technology that enables a seed to grow but the seed becomes sterile after the crop has been grown. This selfish technology could mean global disaster due to cross pollination. Not only are terminator seeds an effect of GMOs but since GMOs involve the modification of DNA this could very well lead to cancer since cancer involves damaged DNA and GMOs’ long term side effects on the human person have not been tested. Monsanto promotes gluttony in that GMOs promote food to be produced cheaper and faster with no regard to health or justice. I personally believe Monsanto is an immoral company that has been blinded by greed and promotes gluttony.

  9. mdamiter January 30, 2013 at 12:10 am #

    I found the Gluttony chapter an interesting read. The author makes some good points in the beginning regarding the first part of gluttony I can agree with. Being a picky eater and being brunt about it is never good. You should go into ordering a meal and knowing what to order and be tolerant within the means of what you will receive. When the other makes a comment in the next section, about eating fastidiously, I cannot help but disagree. She says quoting William Miller that we should eat not only to taste what we eat but to also fill ourselves. To me this does not make sense, you do not need to eat to feel full, you as a person need to eat to fill your nutritional goals. If that calls for being full so be it, but generally that is not the case. You also do not necessarily need to eat something for the taste. Enjoying food is nice, and eating what you enjoy is even better, even I will attest to that, but I don’t always find my self eating what I think tastes good, even if it is in moderation. These things need to be removed from a diet and your taste buds will alter and follow suit with building a taste for better food. The author also alludes to her foregoing sweets for a awhile and although she gained a taste for vegetables and other foods, she claims she was acting on food like a starving animal. This only says to me that she did not tailor her diet properly and acclimate herself accordingly. I also do not understand the idea that eating fast is a bad thing. Yes, if you are eating fast to get down as much as you can, simply to eat more, that is certainly a problem, however, some people just eat fast. I usually find myself finishing meals well before my friends, and it happens purely out of me being a fast eater. I have no intentions of eating in this manner to consume, it is simply how I eat.

    While food is a good and necessary thing in our lives, you do not have to always enjoy food. I have come to find that most of what we consider “enjoyable” food is actually the worst for us, this being being foods high in carbohydrates. Through the act of eating things that promote a healthier lifestyle, we can begin to enjoy foods we otherwise never would before. The author does mention that while certain people have different goals and circumstances that we tailor our food eating towards, I agree that overeating should never be one of these practices. However, eating smart and properly, no matter what your vocation should also be a thing practiced. You may have to go to a function or out to dinner with others and not be able to eat as they do, but this only adds to your own fortitude, which is a virtue all its own.

    • professorschulz February 9, 2013 at 8:45 am #

      Be careful to distinguish the symptoms of gluttony from its causes. Eating quickly is not in itself bad in all circumstances, but when it is a habitual symptom of some kind of obsession or preoccupation with food (the definition of gluttony), then it is. You tend to elide the distinction, and then wonder why there’s a distinction in teh first place!

  10. robertwarrenjohnson January 30, 2013 at 1:02 am #

    DeYoung’s chapter on Gluttony outlines an interesting vice that, quite honestly, I didn’t take seriously. Like most people in today’s age, I tended to think of Gluttony as simply “overeating.” And while overeating isn’t very healthy, of course, for it to make the list next to Greed, Lust, and Pride seemed…overdoing it a touch. Sure, God wants me to be healthy. But was I really going to get in THAT much trouble for eating the a whole pizza, or more cookies than I should? Didn’t God have better things to do than make sure I only had one dessert, or didn’t stop for thirds?

    But, when DeYoung finally explained what Gluttony REALLY did – how it took our love of food to excessive levels and made us ignore our other needs – it was so obvious I was embarrassed to think I never really thought of it that way. The different kinds of Gluttony (shown through the acronym F.R.E.S.H.) make clear that the vice is not just overeating – though that, of course, can be part of it. Gluttony can take many forms…and many times, we go to great lengths to avoid its consequences. This is where technology and advances in foods come into play.

    Talking about the use of technology in class to alter our foods and diets got me thinking. Is having a Diet Coke or Fat Free Ice Cream really automatically a bad thing? Do we use our technological advances simply so that we can have more and more tasty foods and drinks without the consequences? Is “technology” really just a mask for us to be more gluttonous?

    I think it’s hard to take a stand either way with this idea. Most technology – I’d argue the vast majority – is neither good nor bad. It’s all in how we use it. If a person is drinking 8 Diet Cokes a day to get that taste of soda, and uses the fact that they’re “diet” as an excuse to drink that much – then it’s gluttony. That “technology” that we used to create that Diet Coke is being put to bad use. But if someone drinks an occasional Diet instead of regular Coke in an attempt to be slightly more healthy, then there’s nothing wrong with that. (Of course, many argue that Diet’s actually worse…but that’s for another time).

    The same example can be used for any product that we alter. We can look at sugar substitutes, fat free ice cream, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!”, and so on. If people consume unhealthy amounts of it and take too much pleasure out of the food, but don’t necessarily suffer the health risks because they’re not the “real” products, it’s bad for society. It’s still gluttony. Just because someone who ate 2 tubs of Breyer’s Fat Free Vanilla didn’t gain as much weight as they would have eating the regular brand, doesn’t make them “un-gluttonous.”

    At the same time, though, these “alternate” products provide much healthier options for those that enjoy them in moderation. It’s really all about temperance. The issue doesn’t lie so much in whether scientists can create brownies without health risks. The issue is whether our society is moral and temperate enough to responsibly enjoy what they can create and purchase. It’s an endless struggle.

  11. nicholasfrederickjohnson January 30, 2013 at 9:13 am #

    While reading about Gluttony in Glittering Vices, a few questions rose to mind. Firstly, why does Gluttony belong in a list of deadly sins. Obviously it’s not deadly in a physically bodily sense, and is thus deadly because of the damage done to the soul. Yet, gluttony was included by all of the early theologians in the first explanatory chapter of Glittering Vices. What about this issue is so severe that it be included in a list pride, wrath, greed and lust? It would seem, especially, into today’s world (in the first world), we are all gluttonous. So how deadly can be it; it seems like a common venial sin, not sin of grave matter? So why focus on it so strongly.

    My guess is it is a gateway sin. It is a sin that teaches how to sin elsewhere. Bad habits probably spring up from characteristics we learn in eating. Eating is a vulnerable and critical and yet inescapable experience for man. I would guess that a lot of us exercise and refine our vicious tendencies and perceptions when we experience food because it gives off such a strong illusion that we are utterly dependent of it. When we eat, we often have the mindset that food is the most important thing in life. And this misperception, this disordered way of life that too often afflicts the majority off life most likely, I believe both arises and is refined, unfortunately, with our eating habits. I believe gluttony to be an extremely sneaky sin because it is so negligible and seemingly natural. Who hasn’t eaten too ravenously, too hastily, too excessively? Gluttony is deadly because the occasion of sin arises so regularly, and within our failures at the table we learn to experience and act upon our envy or lust, like a little arena to train our more ugly natures.
    It is the opportunity to train ourselves to sin in little ways. In other words, when we grow from kids to adults and enter the age of reason, gluttony is probably the first sin we fall into.

    My second question was a matter of specifics, or at least, refinement. How do we tell when our eating becomes to F.R.E.S.H.? I guess the answer is frustratingly vague: it becomes wrong whenever we try to derive pleasure from behind the simply enjoyment of bodily nourishment. But then how do we really tell? Is eating candy almost always wrong, for its made to be a guilty indulgence. Are we only allowed to feast with others, or can me make ourselves a rich meal to reward ourselves for good behavior, a little pick me up on our trek to get closer to God? I don’t know. Either modern America is full to the brim with gluttony so high we have forgotten what its like to not be gluttonous, or gluttonous is a very personal and individual sin that we all deal with and only really arises in times of grave excess or deficiencies.

  12. bethanywall January 30, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    In the last chapter, Mattison brought up the point that the first step from vice towards virtue requires a change in belief. Only from there can our actions be changed, and eventually our emotions be shaped. In DeYoung’s chapter on Gluttony, as well as in our class discussion, it was made clear that this is certainly the case for the glutton. We often associate gluttony with its symptoms—the visible appearance or behavior of someone we judge to be gluttonous. However, the cause of gluttony is much more important if we are to understand this vice and seek to correct it.

    We have already established that pleasure follows goodness; food is good in that it is necessary for our survival, and we therefore find eating pleasurable. Because we are not simply animalistic, it is also good for us as humans as a means to communion with others, and as rational creatures we ascribe a certain kind of aesthtetic to the preparation and presentation of food. When any of the five forms of gluttony arise in a person, we can be sure that this pleasure has in some way become inordinate. The glutton will have strong feelings and desires for eating either fastidiously, ravenously, excessively, sumptuously, or hastily—feelings that have been engrained by habituated action that are ultimately the result of a false belief, a defect somewhere in the worldview of the glutton. Ultimately, gluttony rests on a false view of the human person—to whom food is given neither merely for the sake of survival, as with animals, nor for purely aesthetically elitist reasons, as the “foodies” believe.

    In either of the two extremes, the vice of gluttony forcibly turns a person’s attention heavily towards their physical needs and desires, and in doing so displaces the intellectual and spiritual aspects that make us fully human. DeYoung rightfully claims that “the effect of this focus is, inevitable, dissatisfaction” (146). Though the material world is certainly tied into a person’s natural end, and many of its aspects point toward our ultimate goal of happiness, to seek only physical pleasures is to seek in vain because it is clear that they are not lasting. This particular vice, like all evils, are simply a perversion of the good towards which we strive. As we have said, food is a very necessary good for us as human beings—but only insofar as it is appropriated to our human nature. The glutton wishes food to satisfy him in a way that he certainly, by nature, longs to be satisfied, but in a way that food, by nature, simply can never satisfy him. He gives a role to food that it can never fulfill, and in doing so replaces the very thing which is meant to have such a role, and which could truly yield that satisfaction. This is why the vices can never bring us happiness—they simply are not in accord with the truth of reality and the human person.

  13. nickgardetto February 2, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    DeYoung had given several very descriptive examples of people who were living very gluttonous lives without the stereotypical morbidly obese over-eater. In every example from the “All I want” to the gluttony of delicacy, the common link between these people in the metal preoccupation with the desire. There is nothing wrong with eating or even enjoying food because it satisfies a basic human need; however these people are so engrossed in the experience that satisfying a need never crosses their mind. Like any obsession these people think that they are doing something beneficial when really they are putting the object they desire (food in this case) above everything else. These gluttonous people have shown tendencies toward being inconsiderate, and almost intolerable because they don’t see their own problem. The most destructive aspect of this obsession is the effect it has on the person suffering with it. The need to satisfy these particular preferences and the lack of understanding when it is not up to their standards must be very frustrating. There is probably a gap between people with extreme gluttony and the rest of the world because of how they view the person’s obsession.

    The source of gluttony seems to be mostly a mental fixation and a rational beings we try to control these urges. Throughout history mankind has tried to shape and control survival instinct in an attempt to distance ourselves from animals; the view and management of food however has been regressing. In the U.S. we have been labeled as the fat nation. We are associated with McDonald’s and the obese; The other extreme of this has been people with eating disorders. These extreme conditions are both the most prominent in America and as a result we have the highest mortality rate of food related death. The entire country has developed a severe preoccupation with food and excess. As a country where just about everything is accessible people have slipped into a craving of excess toward everything including food.

  14. mcromendio February 3, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    In our culture, gluttony is known as the vice of the obese, the overeaters, the Honey-Boo-Boo’s of our world. When explaining gluttony, I could not find a better definition of its true meaning than from DeYoung, “It is not whether we are fat or thin, polite or impolite, but whether we are eating to satisfy our own wants, in a way that elevates our own satisfaction above other good things” (145). DeYoung’s chapter delves deeper into this vice by unfolding how this habitual act could ultimately impact one’s spiritual life.

    DeYoung distinguishes that gluttony’s simple focus is on pleasure. The pleasure of good food, the pleasure of food that maybe isn’t so high class, and the pleasure of food that you know only a desperate truck-driver on I-95 would eat. This distinction could be seen from the point of view of the Honey-Boo-Boos as well. DeYoung states, “Gluttony is not about how much food one eats, but how much pleasure one takes in eating food and why” (140).

    We see on billboards, magazines and television, every new diet secret, every new way to be a new, sexier you this new year, and every way how our culture sees food as bad. But food is fundamentally good for the human person. It is necessary because it nourishes our bodies, it supports ourselves as social beings when we share meals with each other, and its presentation points towards beauty that humans are always seeking. Our culture has come up with the idea that food is everyone’s problem. The idea is incorrect because it only skims the surface of the human person. Ever heard of emotional eaters? Exactly.

    Now, I don’t want to get into an over-detailed explanation of the Eucharist, but our humaneness (spirit & body) was not meant for food alone. For the gluttonous person, food has become the ultimate good, whereas for the temperate eater food is a good, given by God, and their hunger will only be perfected in God. The gluttonous person is unable to make this distinction, but through their eating habits they are ultimately trying to compensate for the lack of their spiritual food.

    I’d like to finish with a quote by Lewis on humanity’s fuel, which I think fits perfectly when we talk about gluttony:

    “A car is made to run on gasoline, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on himself. He himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other” (Mere Christianity).

  15. sa52872014 February 26, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

    Like all of the vices, gluttony is a disordered desire, more specifically, a preoccupation with food. It can be broken up between the symptomology, which is the acting out of the desire, and etiology, which is the inside cause of the desire. One reason why gluttony is such a tempting vice to fall into is that food is actually necessary to life, it is nourishing and good, it brings people together as a sign of hospitality and something we can communicate over and is also has an aesthetically pleasing quality. However, simply because food is necessary does not mean that it should be our number one priority, and that it should consume our thoughts and actions.
    Gluttony can be expressed in five different ways. Fastidiously, in which the glutton must have everything their own way, one loses gratitude toward the provider. Ravenously, in which the glutton is greedy, they must always have the last, even if they have to take from others. Excessively, in which (as the title suggests) the glutton simply wants too much food. Sumptuously, in which the glutton always wants the best, is preoccupied with the “label.” And hastily, in which the glutton eats too quickly, and loses patience.
    As this shows, a glutton may not always be the obvious choice, there can be a skinny glutton. Also, one should take into account the circumstances of the individual. For example, a professional football player ought to eat more than a professor, and a pregnant woman more than others, and a sick person differently than a healthy person. If, however, we ignore the fact that we are spiritual as well as physical beings, our desires for food will become misplaced.
    One aspect of gluttony that I find interesting is, like the other vices do as well, that it relates so much to other vices. They all seem to be interconnected. Gluttony, however, seems to be the beginning. If we cannot be virtuous regarding our food, a necessary element to our existence, how can we be virtuous people regarding our passions? We must first learn how to regulate our physical desires, then our passions.

  16. Ashley Cosme May 10, 2013 at 12:24 am #

    Frederick Buechner stated in Wishful Thinking, “A glutton is one who raids the icebox for a cure for spiritual malnutrition.” Gluttonous people try to satisfy their spiritual void with food. DeYoung used the acronym F.R.E.S.H. to explain the types of gluttonous people there are. This acronym represents the fastidious, the ravenous, the excessive, the sumptuous, and the haste eaters. Those who are considered fastidious and sumptuous are concerned with what they eat, while the ravenous, excessive, and haste are concerned with how they eat (142).

    The guidelines to consider when deciding if a person is gluttonous are assuring that their desire for pleasure isn’t interfering with their good health, the good health of others, and that they were created for a spiritual purpose (151). If any of these guidelines are interfered with, then this person is acting in a gluttonous manner. The remedy for the gluttonous person is fasting. Giving something up, like certain drinks or food altogether, for a period of time will cause the body to gain a better appreciation for the basic foods that provide the body with health and sustenance.

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