Sinful nations on earth

People don't do what they believe in
they just do what's most convenient
and then they repent
(Bob Dylan)

Most human culture have a moral code to govern behavior. How much choice do we really have in resisting sin? Are we merely acting as Mother Nature wishes us to?

Lust, gluttony greed, sloth wrath, envy and pride have been used since early Christian times,  to educate and instruct followers against the humanity’s tendency to sin. Originally the sins were eight but 590 AD pope Gregory revisited the list, cutting it down to seven. Vainglory was rolled into pride and aecidia made a part of sadness. According to the Catholic Church the best thing to do to avoid them is to adhere to the seven holy virtues: chastity, temperance, abstinence, diligence, patience, humility and kindness. If we don’t avoid them, each of the seven deadly sins is said to come with its own unique punishment in hell:

  1. Pride: being broken on a wheel
  2. Envy: spending eternity in freezing water
  3. Anger: being dismembered alive
  4. Sloth: thrown in a pit of snakes
  5. Greed: boiler in a cauldrons of hot oil
  6. Gluttony: forced to eat toads and rats
  7. Lust: smothered in fire and brimstone

Whether we’re greedy, have a roaming eye or are just plain lazy, most of us are sinners of one sort or another. Which country has the greatest moral lassitude?

BBC Knowledge Magazine recasts the seven deadly sins in terms of their modern equivalents, then through statistical databases to reveal the worst offenders.


GLUTTONY

Failure to exercise self-control when food is plentiful is reflect in how much money we waste on calorie rich fast food. The magazine took the total annual spend on fast food per capita for each nation and divided it by the price of a Big Mac – their measure of the cost of living.

Sources: euromonitor.com, nationmaster.com, oxfordseminars.com.

Most sinful nations:

  1. United States = BM 179,7
  2. Canada = BM 151,5
  3. Australia = BM 148,8
  4. Japan = BM 126,9
  5. United Kingdom = BM 117,5
  6. South Korea  = BM 93,4
  7. Austria  = BM 43,8
  8. Netherlands = BM 45
  9. Sweden  = BM 40,2
  10. Switzerland   = BM 28,2

 

GREED

A nation’s greed is reflected by the fraction of people whose annual income falls within the lowest band. If this number is particularly high, then many are therefore living in relative poverty to fund the greedy rich. The magazine looked at the percentage of the population with annual earnings less than 50 per cent of the media value.

A nation’s greed is reflected by the fraction of people whose annual income falls within the lowest band. If this number is particularly high, then many are therefore living in relative poverty to fund the greedy rich. The magazine looked at the percentage of the population with annual earnings less than 50 per cent of the media value.

Source: nationmaster.com

Most sinful nations:

  1. Mexico = 22,1%
  2. Russia = 20,1%
  3. United States = 17%
  4. Australia = 17%
  5. Italy = 14,2%
  6. Israel  = 13,5%
  7. Canada  =12,8%
  8. United Kingdom = 12,5%
  9. Ireland = 12,3%
  10. Estonia   = 12,3%

 

LUST

They gauged excessive sexual thoughts for each nation using the average annual income per capita from the porn industry, divided by the price of a Big Mac. Hamburger – a measure of the cost of living in that nation. This gives an indication of respective amount spent on pornography per person.

Source: nationmaster.com, oxfordseminars.com

Most sinful nations:

  1. South Korea = $205,77
  2. Japan = $ 71,58
  3. Australia = $ 40,45
  4. Finland = $22,8
  5. China  = $21,08
  6. Brazil  = $19,41
  7. Czech republic  = $17,28
  8. Taiwan = $18,47
  9. United states  = $14,18
  10. Canada   = $10,04


SLOTH

Everybody has the occassional day when they just don’t feel like working, but how many of us act on the impulse to feign illness take the day off? The magazine measured this by looking at the total number of sick days off work per year per 1000 salaried workers to find out which is the most bone-idle nation in the world.

Source: nationmaster.com

Most sinful nations:

  1. Iceland = 367 days
  2. Spain = 316 days
  3. Norway = 239 days
  4. United States = 163 days
  5. Finland = 126 days
  6. Canada  =125 days
  7. France  = 117 days
  8. Ireland = 72 days
  9. Australia  = 61 days
  10. Italy   = 59 days


WRATH

Where are you most likely to find a disagreement turn to fisticuffs? The magazine measured national proclivities for getting cross by looking at statistics for its ultimate manifestation as violent crime. Specifically, the magazine combined incidence rates for assault, rape, and murder per thousand members of the population in each country.

Source: nationmaster.com

Most sinful nations:

  1. South Africa = 13,8
  2. Montserrat = 11,0
  3. Seychelles = 9,5
  4. Mauritius = 8,8
  5. Zimbabwe = 8,2
  6. United States = 7,9
  7. Australia  = 7,8
  8. New Zealand = 7,7
  9. United Kingdom = 7,6
  10. Canada  = 7,1

ENVY

Who are the world’s biggest green-eyed monsters?Envying the possession of others, taken to the extreme, is what makes people steal stuff. Therefore to work out the most envious nation the magazine combined national statistics for burglary, robbery and car theft, expressed per thousand people.

Source: nationmaster.com

Most sinful nations:

  1. Australia = 29,8
  2. Denmark = 24,8
  3. Estonia = 22,8
  4. New Zealand= 22,2
  5. United Kingdom = 21,0
  6. Dominica= 20,7
  7. Finland  = 20,4
  8. Spain = 16,3
  9. South Africa = 15,6
  10. Canada  = 14,7


PRIDE

The magazine combined feelings of national pride and personal vanity to compile their index of he vainglorious and superior. They looked at statistics for countries whose citizens have the highest regard for their own nationality, as well as figures for the number of plastic surgery procedures per capita.

Source: nationmaster.com, The Reputation Institute


Most sinful nations:

  1. Switzerland = 295
  2. Cyprus = 254
  3. Spain = 178
  4. Australia = 158
  5. Greece = 146
  6. Finland = 134
  7. Sweden  = 125
  8. Canada = 124
  9. Mexico = 119
  10. Norway  = 119

Main Source: Andy Ridgway Deputy Editor of BBC Focus

14 thoughts on “Sinful nations on earth

  • April 30, 2010 at 2:46 pm
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  • May 1, 2010 at 6:57 am
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  • May 15, 2010 at 6:30 am
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    Just killing some time on Digg and I found your entry. Not normally what I like to learn about, but it was certainly worth my time. Thanks.

  • May 21, 2010 at 2:06 pm
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  • June 3, 2010 at 5:35 am
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    Great points…I would note that as someone who really doesn’t comment to blogs much (in fact, this may be my first post), I don’t think the term “lurker” is very flattering to a non-posting reader. It’s not your fault in the least , but perhaps the blogosphere could come up with a better, non-creepy name for the 90% of us that enjoy reading the posts.

  • June 6, 2010 at 2:06 am
    Permalink

    Great points…I would note that as someone who really doesn’t comment to blogs much (in fact, this may be my first post), I don’t think the term “lurker” is very flattering to a non-posting reader. It’s not your fault in the least , but perhaps the blogosphere could come up with a better, non-creepy name for the 90% of us that enjoy reading the posts.

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  • June 21, 2010 at 6:11 pm
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    I like the first point you made there, but I am not sure I could pratcially apply that in a contructive way.

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