Fraud: the Gravest Sin of All

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“Abandon all hope ye who enter here” (Alighieri, 1321/1954, p.18) ---- an inscription that is found on the gates of Inferno which foreshadows the fate of the soul of the sinner as said in “Inferno” by Dante Alighieri. The book tackles different natures of sins that individuals have committed and the corresponding punishment that they will receive in different circles of Hell (Ciardi, 1954). Alighieri (1321/1954) notes that although incontinence and violence are serious sins, fraud is considered as the worst type of sin because it betrays a whole community of people and breaks the trust of one’s kin. According to the Shmoop Editorial Team (2008), fraudulent people are worse than incontinent and violent people because they have the ability…show more content…
According to SparkNotes Editors (2002), the reason why Dante considers fraud as the most serious sin is that one must realize that his narration follows strict Christian values. He values not human happiness or harmony on Earth but rather God’s will in Heaven. Dante considers violence and incontinence less evil than fraud. Fraud constitutes the greater opposition to God’s will. God states that love is the greatest gift of all and that we should share this love to others (Shmoop Editorial Team, 2008). Ciardi (1954) strongly emphasizes that evil is evil simply because it contradicts God’s will and no explanation is needed why Dante considers fraud as the gravest sin of all. As mentioned in “Inferno”, fraud is the greatest sin of all. Therefore, those who have committed fraud will receive the most penetrating punishments compared to those who committed incontinence (lack of self-control) and violence. While reading the book, one must also remember that: “Inferno is not a philosophical text; its intention is not to think critically about evil but rather to teach and reinforce the relevant Christian doctrines“ (SparkNotes Editors, 2002). REFERENCES Alighieri, D.(1954).Dante Alighieri: The inferno(J. Ciardi, Trans.). New York: Signet Classics. (Original work published 1321). Fernando, I.(2013, April 1).A proactive stance against fraud. Manila-Bulletin. Retrieved July 22, 2013, from
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