The Seven Deadly Sins: Pride

FOTSthumb2A StubbornThings Symposium10/6/15
Introduction  •  It was Pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels. – St. Augustine  •  In the campy, but entertaining, series, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, one of the catchier episode titles was “Pride Comes Before a Brawl”. Pride has positive connotations, but one of the negative ones is to expect bad things to happen because of arrogance or a lack of humility…including a good brawl. Pride is like walking down the street with your head tilted up at the clouds as if one was an Olympian god…and then falling into an open manhole.

As one website put it, “The Sin of Pride is said by some to the the foremost of the Seven Deadly Sins. Hubris is the gateway through which all other sin enters the mortal soul. Pride is excessive belief in one’s own abilities, that interferes with the individual’s recognition of the grace of God.”

Another website says, “It was this sin, we’re told, which transformed Lucifer, an anointed cherub of God, the very ‘seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty,’ into Satan, the devil, the father of lies, the one for whom Hell itself was created. We’re warned to guard our hearts against pride lest we too ‘fall into the same condemnation as the devil.'”

But what about being proud of one’s children? Proud of one’s real accomplishments? Humility is all well and good, but is a negative picture of oneself particularly good? Isn’t a little pride okay? Well, we’ll see how the proud StubbornThings brain-trust handles this complex issue.

The Editor


Seven Deadly Sins: Pride


 

KUNG FU ZU

When used in the case of the seven deadly sins, I define pride as self-worship. This is dangerous enough for the well-being of the individual who, simultaneously, worships and is being worshipped. But it is potentially much more dangerous for those around said person. Understanding this potential danger, it seems all cultures have attempted to control this common emotion through moral teachings of one sort or another. Nevertheless, too often, such narcissistic self worshippers do make their way into positions of power, thus are able to spread pain and suffering far beyond themselves.

A good contemporary example of the enormous damage such a person can wreak is obvious to all in the person of Barak Hussein Obama. Here are a few quotes that are good indications of his overweening pride, which leads to his lack of perspective.

“I think I could probably do every job on the campaign better than the people I’ll hire to do it,”

“I think I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,”

“I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.”

“That was pretty impressive. I got the sucker!” (after killing a miserable fly during an interview)

It is a sad commentary on humanity that such persons are those who, too often, achieve the power to lead nations.

Kung Fu Zu is a conservative prognosticator who has traveled widely and lived outside the United States. He’d proud of the fact that he knows so much about Winston Churchill.

 

PAT TARZWELL

Contrary to popular opinion, money is not the root of all evil. Pride is. Besides, the saying should be the love of money is.

Simply stated, pride drives all the other sins, (that I can think of anyway). It allows us to think more highly of ourselves than we ought. If you were to take a look at the self-esteem movement or the I can do what I want movement, you will find that pride is the main source for the nihilism of both the leftist and most libertarians. (I mean really, who are you to tell “ME” what I can and cannot do.)

They have been spoon-fed the unearned self-esteem crap since they were very small children, and boy has it worked to a tee. The yutes of today are so very proud about how they feel about their educational performance that it just doesn’t matter that most are so inferior to the rest of the world that if we as a nation are faced with the type of catastrophizes we have had to face in the past, well, they are screwed. (I hope not to be around to see it.). But they sure will be proud of how they feel so tolerant and accepting. Sorry for the rant.

We can go to another venue for an example of just how pride destroys us and those around us — death row! You will not find a group with higher self-pride or self-esteem than on death row. Why would they think that killing another human being was bad or wrong? There is just nobody else on the planet that is worthy or deserves to be breathing their air. For those of us that have not gone that far, can you imagine what it takes to kill a number of people with no remorse, talk about your god complex? Obviously this is an extreme example, but since we are trying to point out why this sin can be deadly, I think it is appropriate.

Fo this one, like all the rest, moderation is the key. Is it okay to feel good about a job well done? Is it okay to take pride in your country or others around you? Just do not take it to the extreme, lest it goes over to the dark side of pride, nihilism.

Why did God give us these things, these sins anyway? Could he not have just made us the better angels and let it be at that? Well I think not, because just like the rest of these sins, we would not know what the opposite was without them. Paul says in the Bible that he would not know not to covet if the law did not say do not covet. The law exposed all kinds of covetousness in him, and the opposite, the contentment with what he had.

So without Pride there can be no humility, without humility, there can be no understanding of the vastness of God and the smallness of Man. And without that understanding, there is no limit to the evil we can do. You see it is pride that tells us that we are smarter than anyone else, we are kinder than anyone else and, dog gone it, people just like me! Whether they do or not.

— Pat Tarzwell was born conservative, runs a successful hi-tech business, and lives a red-state life in a deep blue one. He was last seen marching in a gun pride parade.

 

TIMOTHY LANE

As with Greed, the harmful effects of Pride are indirect, and result from excessive indulgence. A certain amount of pride in one’s abilities and accomplishments ia reasonable and acceptable. I can recall, for example, when I first earned a couple of ribbons attending a WorldCon (one as a program participant, and one as a Hugo nominee — we never came close to winning,though). I noted that this made it understandable that the military similarly rely on such awards. But one should never go too far. Other people (most of them, anyway) have their own reasons for pride, and won’t appreciate someone who acts as if only he does/ Even more serious is pride for no good reason, which is the key issue in the modern “self-esteem” campaign in schools. This leads to an unrealistic self-appraisal, which then leads to rejecting those who see you as you are rather than as you wish to be thought of.

One should note that one can be very capable but still overrate oneself. Ayn Rand, for example, was a truly brilliant woman, and it was naturally for her to collect a circle of admirers. But their sycophancy encouraged her to develop the delusion that she was infallible. This problem is not confined to political philosophers; in the American Revolution, several continental generals with prior regular experience in the British Army (such as Horatio Gates and Charles Lee), were at least somewhat competent officers who unfortunately thought they were much better than really were. This hurt the Patriot cause at Monmouth and Camden, and also hurt the men themselves as they lost their previously good reputations.

Pride can be linked to anger and (even more so) envy. There are those who resent the successes of others because it makes them feel inadequate (or some such feeling; this isn’t one of my many flaws). And many such losers decide to assuage their pride by reveling in destruction. Those who can, build or produce (or help do so). Some of those who can’t choose to destroy instead, due to a hyper-toxic combination of wounded pride, anger, and envy.

As with all the Sins we’ve discussed so far, the practical concern is primarily going too far. Perhaps the best way to avoid this is to make sure that one’s pride is thoroughly grounded in reality — including a realistic assessment of flaws as well. There’s a reason why truth is associated with Good and falsehood with Evil.

— Timothy Lane writes from Louisville, Kentucky and publishes the FOSFAX fanzine. He is sufficiently proud of his literary knowledge.

 

ANNIEL

THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS AS SET FORTH IN PROVERBS 6:16-19.
#3: Hands That Shed Innocent Blood. The same in the KJV, the TANAKH, and the Peshitta.

The most deadly of all sins is the shedding of innocent blood. If these murders do not cause discord we are of all people most desolated by sin.
Whether it is abortion, infanticide, sacrifice or murder to get power and gain matters not at all.

If you can stand it, look today at the innocents whose blood is shed, and few even notice, as long as it isn’t HERE. But it is HERE and NOW and the people and land are corrupted without a thought. Children sent into slavery and battle, murdered in their mother’s arms, boys and girls trained to hate and kill, to give their lives for what they are taught is glory. And the world is largely silent.

The #ShareYourAbortion movement is so nauseating that it is a desecration to even speak of it, and yet we must. Not speaking only affirms evil and allows it to continue. The head of Planned Parenthood refuses to admit that there has ever been a botched abortion where the baby survived. That never happens, she says. Abortion really is a sacrament for those who pursue ungodly ends and it separates people into opposing camps.

The separation between those would protect innocent life and those who call it’s taking “noble” has never been more visible to anyone who has eyes to see.

The Rules of the Deadly Sins:

The Rule of the First Deadly Sin: By their haughty look ye shall know them.

The Rule of the Second Deadly Sin: The Lying Tongues blanket the whole
land in Deceit.

The Rule of the Third Deadly Sin: In all ages the blood of the innocent is shed by those who want to sow discord among the people.

— Anniel is a frequent contributor to StubbornThings. And that’s bloody nice.

 

BRAD NELSON

I remain ambivalent about the sin of pride…even given that I’ve generally been defending most of these sins. Pride, much like the word, “dignity,” can mean damn near anything. It’s another Silly Putty word.

Generally speaking, arrogance and obnoxiousness are bad things. But when does confidence blend into arrogance? That’s part of the problem, because the world is always full of mousy little people who resent the accomplishments of others and define “pride” as they will according to their sometimes fragile or guilty temperament.

Is Donald Trump, for instance, boisterous? Yes, but he has a business empire to back it up. It’s not idle boating. And shouldn’t we be proud of our children or at least want to be proud of them? Isn’t one of the things eating away at our society the lack of pride, including the lack of pride in how we look, how we dress, the quality of the work we do, and how we feel about our country?

I guess one can push the word, “pride,” all the way up the Cosmic scale and say that it was pride that started Lucifer on his rebellion. But wouldn’t pride in God have stopped that? Was it “pride” or instead “arrogance” or a lust for power that was the real motivation of this Cosmic split?

My general and quick reading around the internet on the religious definition of the sin of pride has left me thinking that tea leaf reading is more accurate and unambiguous. Pride seems to be a word that can be interpreted at will.

But I would say the desire to be proud of things is an animating and good influence. Here’s what I find to be the inherently squishy part. Here’s a quote from an article describing the Sin of Pride:

One way to determine whether or not you are preoccupied with yourself is to evaluate your motives. Take the pursuit knowledge for example. If you study hard because that’s what the Lord wants you to do and you’re being obedient to Him, that’s good. That’s obedience to God. Or if you study hard because you want to become a teacher so that you can edify others and help them to grow, that’s good too. That’s love for others. But if you study hard solely to amass knowledge for yourself, just so you can say that you know more than everyone else, that’s bad! Your focus is upon yourself and your own glory. That’s preoccupation with self. That’s pride.

Sorry, but competition is inherent to our state of being. It goes with the territory. Wanting to know more than others for the sake of doing so is not only not a problem, it’s a good thing. The real sin, if there is one, is being arrogant about it. Is that pride then? Is the sin articulated above really just arrogance? I haven’t a clue because the word seems so fungible as evidenced by the fact that it’s clearly okay to be proud of your son for having just won his Little League baseball game. No one argues with that. But they would, of course, look down on rubbing that victory in the losing team’s face. When does that happen? Well…it’s complicated and not at all encapsulated in the one word of “pride.”

This is one reason I was dubious about doing this symposium. Many of these concepts are little more than placeholders of whatever meaning you want them to have. Here’s more fortune cookie wisdom from the same site:

The sin of pride is a preoccupation with self. It is thus very fitting that the middle letter in the word is “i.” Pride is all about “me, myself, and I.” So even as the word “pride” is centered upon an “i,” the sin itself is also centered upon “I.”

So the alternative is what, communism, where the individual never thinks of himself but is lost in an amorphous collective? There’s certainly such thing as being too selfish, arrogant, or anti-social. But, good god, if you’re not looking out for #1, you’re on a fast track to being a victim, to being another bubble boy or bubble girl expecting the government to take care of you. Let’s have a hand for those people who are for “me, myself, and I” because they are doing us a heck of a favor.

Of course, the question is if one is taking care of oneself in an ethical way. But that is a different question from the supposed inherent selfishness of the “I” rule as stated above. I just find this kind of fortune cookie gibberish to be unhelpful, at best.

We should be proud of our accomplishments. And we should mix in a dose of humility here and there, for there is sometimes little to be gained by provoking people. Still, with the right attitude, we should understand that our accomplishments help to shine a light for other people. Christians are told, “You are the light of the world–like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.”

Frankly, I see a heck of a lot more harm from false humility in the world than I do pride. I wish, for example, that our idiot Marxist president was proud of his country. Instead, he hates it. His arrogance, ignorance, and radicalism are his problems, not pride.

So I guess this word, pride, can mean about anything you want it to mean. And that’s a problem because if something can mean anything then it ultimately means very little. Shine your light. Develop your talents. Mix in a dose of humility. But do not let the Pride Police constrain you.

And speaking of the fungibility of “pride,” note the “Gay Pride” movement. Goodness, one might tolerate homosexual behavior in the legal or social sense. But sticking your penis in another guy’s anus isn’t anything particular to be proud of. I’ll stick to the kind of pride where one has actually accomplished something worthy, such as a cure for cancer or at least inventing the next great electronic convenience.

— Brad Nelson is editor and publisher of StubbornThings.org. He is a sinner but assures you that he “did not have sexual relations with that woman…not a single time.”

See Also:
The Seven Deadly Sins: Lust
The Seven Deadly Sins: Gluttony
The Seven Deadly Sins: Greed • (1193 views)

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35 Responses to The Seven Deadly Sins: Pride

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Actually, Lucifer does indeed show off the harmful effects of overweening pride. When he rebelled, he should have known he had no chance — but he convinced himself that he could pull it off, and only rationalized his failure (“better to reign in Hell than be a subject in Heaven”) later. What’s the difference between that and the self-esteem movement other than the scale of his grandiosity?

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      The thing about pride or hubris is, you don’t know ahead of time whether or not you’re over-reaching. If you succeed, you’re a visionary, a risk-taker, and entrepreneur. If you fail it was because of pride, hubris, the usual suspects. This is perhaps why “pride” is my least favorite of these sins. Like the notion of “dignity,” it’s meaningless for the most part. It means whatever you want it to mean. And this is inherent to a word that can mean both good (proud of my child) and bad.

      We can use our juicy chess-club brains and intellectualize any formula or rationale for pride. But are we actually saying anything? Are we learning anything? Are we teaching anything?

      I’d feel on stronger ground talking about the pitfalls of arrogance, obnoxiousness, carelessness, and over-exuberance.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Pat swallowed his pride (or at least set aside work for a second) and has submitted his humble essay. I like it, Pat.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Yes, it is a very nice piece, particularly given the similarity between his view and mine (and several other essays) — the concept of overrating one’s merits (and, as a corollary, underrating one’s flaws). I especially liked his death row point, noting the essentially solipsistic nature of many murderers. (An interesting fictional take on this is Fredric Brown’s “It Didn’t Happen”, which appeared in his collection Paradox Lost.)

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Pat is one of those people who speaks and writes very naturally. And I hope I don’t embarrass him by saying so because it’s a trait I admire. He put the “spun” in homespun.

        • Pst4usa says:

          Thanks Brad, it is always good to do something you are not comfortable doing.
          Spun is right, that one just spun off the top of my head in a few minutes, maybe that is why it was a bit more choppy than my usual scribble. I understand and agree with your concerns over the marshmellowness of the word pride. I tried to avoid going too Biblical in my piece, but I am fairly certain, that pride in the Biblical sense really has more to do with the sin of not believing in or trusting in God, that I can do anything without Him kind of thought.
          For me it seems clear, that I only exist because of His grace and forgiveness, and no matter how I succeed or fail here on earth, do not get too proud of my accomplishments or too down because of my failures.
          That is the kind of pride I think is the deadly part, not the pride in a job well done, the pride of a father when his son graduates Honor Guide from the Marine Boot camp, or your child has an outstanding report card in a subject they struggle with, or when you see good values in some one you have influenced. Those can be good reasons to have pride in someone or something.
          I saw an example of the pride, I think we are talking about, in someone this morning. I was at our Constitution class and as happens, we were off topic and one of the guys was lamenting that there will not be enough time for the whole world to here the name of Jesus before He will return. And how can that happen when there are those in the world that have no written language. He was down in New Guinea, (I think) on a mission trip and a group has been working with the natives there for over ten years to develop a written language, so they can translate the Bible into this new language. His pride was in thinking that these natives could not come to know Christ unless they got the translation done and the natives could read the Bible. Well I disagreed, I said something to this affect, it will not be by the works of man, but through the Holy Spirit that they will come to know God.
          Is he a sinful man, no more than the rest of us, probably better than most. I just use that as an tiny example of how the version of pride creeps into our thoughts and our lives.
          I am not sure if this adds to this topic, but it is what I thought as I read your post.

      • Pst4usa says:

        Yes Timothy, I liked your piece, not just because we approached it from the same angle, but, yours was well written. I am not familiar with the collection Paradox Lost, it sounds interesting.
        I have long wondered, when will it occur that we can no longer believe our own eyes,(based on a movie from the early 90’s, “Black Rain” I think), where video evidence was forged to frame someone. Well I thought then that we would see a day, and we may be there now where video evidence can be made to create any appearance such as the “It Didn’t Happen” fiction from above.
        A bit off topic but that line reminded me of that movie.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          That theme was also used in The Running Man, in which a police helicopter pilot who refused to fire on a food riot was replaced by his co-pilot, who did fire — and then the result was blamed on the innocent pilot using edited video footage.

          • Pst4usa says:

            It was a good concept, but a lousy movie. That did not keep me from enjoying it at the time, but seeing a rerun just confirmed how bad it was.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              The concept comes from the source, the novel by Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachmann). The novel and movie are very different in plot.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              I’m not too proud to say that I love The Running Man. I’ve got it on Blu Ray. It’s classic Schwarzenegger action/camp.

              Pat, I hardly know thee. Thou who tells me, “Brad, you think too much about movies. I can sit down and watch anything and enjoy it.” Et tu, Tarzwell?

              Richard Dawson is great in this movie as the sleazy game show host (a role he didn’t have to completely invent from his Family Feud days where apparently he drank a lot on set). And you’ve got one of the better token Hispanics in the film in Maria Conchita Alonso, surpassed only by Jenette Goldstein (Goldstein?) as Pvt. Vasquez from Aliens. Both are terrific roles. Love them both.

              And after one of Ben Richards’ kills comes one of my favorite Schwarzeneggerisms:

              Killian, here’s your Subzero, now plain zero.

              You can’t write that. Well, you can, but you probably shouldn’t. But since they did, it’s brilliant. And then this one between Dawson and Arnie as he straps him to the chair:

              You bastard! Drop dead!

              Ben Richards: I don’t do requests.

              And then you have this wonderfully awful cameo by Mick Fleetwood. Jim Brown as Fireball. Jesse Ventura as Captain Freedom. It’s even got Dweezil Zappa as Stevie. This is the action-adventure equivalent of Dickens.

              Ya think ya know someone…

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Well, he did say he enjoyed it when he first saw it. So did I. But then, I’ve enjoyed a lot of Schwarzenegger films (True Lies may be my favorite).

              • Pst4usa says:

                Well you caught me Brad. I am secretly a snobbish movie critique. I walk around with my nose up in the air thinking how much better I am then all you lower people, who enjoy these, so called “cinema”. Yeah, that’s me!

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Mr. Kung has now added his essay to the mix. I’m proud that he was able to succinctly sum-up his approach:

    I define pride as self-worship.

    That helps to narrow things down. Man, Obama is one of the screwiest people I’ve ever seen in office, let alone the presidency.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      It certainly helps to have such a spectacular example of self-worship — and, indeed, unmerited self-esteem, given that Barry Screwtape Obama is clearly nowhere near as smart as he thinks he is. I seem to recall Dr. Watson (I think in The Valley of Fear) noting that mediocrity sees nothing better than itself; the brilliant can appreciate someone even more brilliant.

  4. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Well you caught me Brad. I am secretly a snobbish movie critique.

    Good! Then we’re making progress, Pat. We should be proud of our American film heritage (at least some of it…the non-Austrian-speaking parts at least).

    I get so tired of the endless parsing of political events. But through movies the timeless truths are brought to light and in a much more entertaining and understandable way, usually unencumbered (or, as my young nephew says, “non-cucumbered”) with thickets of intellectualizing and parsing of small differences.

    I love the movies, Pat, and I know you do too. But I’ve always been a little disappointed in you that you weren’t a snob. And you’re right, of course, to understand that The Running Man isn’t exactly Casablanca. And I won’t even say it’s a good “popcorn” movie because I’m coming to despise that term. It seems we live in a “popcorn” culture where everything is trivialized and vulgarized for mass audiences. “Popcorn” becomes a way to apologize for studidity.

    No, my leetle gray zells tell me that it’s not a “popcorn” appeal of The Running Man. It’s the timeless theme of good guys vs. bad guys. And this movie works because Richard Dawson plays a memorable bad guy. Most hero-based movies require a good bad guy. Luke Skywalker was certainly okay as a fresh face, but he was made even more substantial by one of the greatest film bad-guys of all time, Darth Vader.

    And I suppose there is a charming aspect to the other villains in The Running Man. They’re all narcissists of one type or another. Can’t you just see Obama out there as one of the villains? This is the kind of creep we have in the White House but who would perhaps make a good Schwarzeneggerian villain because he is such a stereotype of absurdity.

    It is popular amongst the Tea Party and conservative crowd to trumpet the slogan, “Don’t Tread on Me.” And we shouldn’t forget our heritage. But lost in the camp of The Running Man is the revival of this slogan in modern parlance: “I’ll be back.”

    No matter what the bad guys do, we’ll keep coming at you. We’re not going to surrender because you occupy Boston or because you’ve just launched me into a made-for-TV world of comic-book violence. America may have an America-hating Marxist president and we may have a populace corrupted by socialism, but wouldn’t it be great instead of rolling over in his grave that George Washington whispered “I’ll be back”?

    I’ll take that. For all the goofiness of The Running Man, most movies today could only aspire to have its great themes of persevering over evil. Now we simply give into and call it good. And look at the mob in The Running Man. Look at the corrupted, vulgar population. They represent us very well. When will our Ben Richards arise? Is it Donald Trump? Ben Carson? Maybe. Maybe it’s a start.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      And look at the mob in The Running Man. Look at the corrupted, vulgar population. They represent us very well

      Never forget Shakespeare called the mob, “the vulgar”. I think it was in “Julius Caesar.”

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Good villains can be important in TV as well as movies, of course. Just think of the great villains who helped make both The Wild, Wild West (especially Michael Dunn as Miguelito Loveless) and Batman (where playing a villain became very popular in Hollywood).

    • Pst4usa says:

      Brad, them is fightin words, progress and Me in the same line!

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Yes, but it had to be said. Perhaps you aren’t the cultural Vandal you portray yourself to be at times. Imagine that. Having discriminating taste, even regarding movies. Yes.That’s the way it should be. Don’t let Hollywood or anyone else dumb-down your tastes. That’s our job here.

  5. David says:

    Pride, as discussed in the scriptures, is essentially an enmity towards God. Enmity can be defined as an opposition towards – on one end and hatred or hostility towards – on the other. In either case the outcome will be the same. Instead of trusting God and developing humility and meekness as Christ exemplified, the only avenue left is self-worship. It can certainly be covered over depending on the degree of enmity of course – but at its core – enmity towards God it remains.
    -David

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Instead of trusting God and developing humility and meekness as Christ exemplified, the only avenue left is self-worship.

      Although I wouldn’t use the same language, I think you are essentially correct. Without a context for our lives higher than ego or material gratification, what else is there left to do but gratify the ego and accumulate as much “stuff” as you can?

      There is a reason that atheistic regimes killed over 100,000,000 people last century. It is because when human society is reduced to the purely material, with no other context than what one wills, then what else is there but various human schemes which, more often than not, are disguises for acting out grievances? If ultimately nothing means nothing, what principled argument can one ever have against any human idea or act?

      The “self-actualized” man is a moral eunuch. Whoever said “man is the measure of all things” (and whoever believes that) is a pernicious idiot. So I agree there is an inherent pride (in the bad sense) in regards to human beings rejecting any context for their lives but their own will or the will of some half-assed political or social group that they may dissolve into. Man will always live down to his worst ideas. He is better off struggling to achieve and remain consistent with nobler ones.

      But inherent to striving is not necessarily reaching one’s goal…aka “failure.” And failure is not an option for today’s narcissist who demands it all just because he can think of it. It’s much easier to aim low and call one’s vulgar behavior some noble word and thus play word games. Pride in words, if you will.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        It’s much easier to aim low and call one’s vulgar behavior some noble word and thus play word games.

        It’s hard to fail when one shoots for the ground.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Colin Wilson once pointed out that there is a hierarchy of needs which can lead to crime. At the bottom we have needs such as food, and people who can’t feed themselves otherwise might steal it. As people achieve all their physical needs they become more concerned with emotional needs, and I think self-actualization was one of those (and very high). Serial killers tend to be aberrant people seeking a depraved form of self-actualization.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Timothy, I do think with the essentials of food, clothing, shelter, and iPhones having been secured in advanced Western culture, the need is more and more toward emotional fulfillment — which often means isolation from emotional turmoil, sometimes no matter how small. The feminist slant has added to this as well.

          And as a man, I suggest this is a fool’s errand. And not only should we not run from a little emotional hardship, we should seek it out at times. Whatever the case may be, it is far easier and better to deal with the world as it throws excrement upon you than to howl at the moon because it does so. This is what we used to call “maturity.” Sure, you’d fix things that needed fixing, but always with the idea that some realities were just unfixable.

          This kind of maturity is now lost on most. And I think “self-actualization” is this moronic chasing of “fulfillment.” Nothing wrong with pursuing happiness. But we all have a hole that can never be filled. And to some extent we just have to learn to live with it. I do believe that Marxism and a lot of other “isms” are driven by immaturity and the desire of a child-like or petulant mind to escape life’s realities rather than to make lemonade out of lemons.

      • David says:

        I think we are in agreement here as well. The ‘degree’ of self-worship is the crucial factor. For example, I have known some ‘true’ atheists that are quite content to allow others to worship as they may – unless it causes significant harm. I contrast this with those claiming to be ‘Christians’ that utilize religious pretext to dominate, persecute and exterminate others not in agreement with them.
        It’s all about the ‘inner’ man. C.S. Lewis, I believe had a marvelous view of these types and called them “men without chests” in the Abolition of Man.
        -David

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          I contrast this with those claiming to be ‘Christians’ that utilize religious pretext to dominate, persecute and exterminate others not in agreement with them.

          Of course there are Christians who are hypocrites, just as there are hypocrites in other religions and in life generally. But I am curious what Christians you mean when you write, “persecute and exterminate others not in agreement with them.”

          • David says:

            Oh, I don’t know, maybe King Henry VIII for one. He was so disinclined with the Pope’s advice he decided to create his own church.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              Thank you for your clarification. I thought you might come up with something like this.

              Hmm, let me see, didn’t old Henry die about 470 years back?

              To reach back centuries for an example of those bad old Christians to make a comparison to those wonderful atheists you personally know is something of a stretch. ,

              • Timothy Lane says:

                You don’t have to go back that far. If you count witch-hunters, you only have to go back 200-300 years. And the Spanish Inquisition lasted until Napoleon (briefly) put his brother on the throne of Spain. Of course, the Inquisition actually had trials and a form of due process, and its victims were insignificant compared to the victims of atheism.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                Timothy, you are making my basic point.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Yes, I thought that was rather obvious.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                Not necessarily to everyone.

  6. David says:

    Man, you guys never go on vacation do you?
    KFZ, your point is valid, Henry WAS a long time ago. But does it really matter?
    I just wanted to point out the pride can affect both Christian and non-Christian alike.
    Cheers,
    David

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