I am fascinated by the way the “official” ontology of human behavior is constantly shifting, but it’s a hard thing thing to discuss. In the last hundred years, for instance, homosexuality has gone from a vice crime to a perversion to a sexual disorder to a political choice to a sexuality. At the same time, alcoholism has gone from a vice to an addiction to a disease.
I suspect that these categories don’t have much descriptive value, but they do allow us to categorize our reactions. You feel contempt for people with a vice, disgust for perverts, pity for people with a disease, etc.
In the image macro above, part of a series on chronic illness, there’s a rare chance to see this process at work. Currently, we all know that depression is a disease, and has nothing to do with being lazy. The culturally appropriate reaction to depressed people is to feel sorry for them and give them medication. But apathy is still widely considered a vice, and closely related to laziness. The appropriate reaction to apathy is to berate people for not voting, etc.