Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pride and Tribe

Pride is considered the deadliest of the seven deadly sins - utmost of evil.  Collective pride is unrestrained nationalism -  or a better term tribalism.  Certain wars and genocide are the result of  massive pride - the inflated notion of one's race, customs, social status, superiority, traditions, beliefs .......  collective selves. 

C.S. Lewis called pride a spiritual cancer - the wish for power. "Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man."  And so it can be with tribes or nations - the need for having more.  C.S. Lewis would call pride the crown of all vices. 

Aristotle felt pride could be virtuous - when viewed as magnanimity (self worthy of great things) - the crown of the virtues.  He contrasted self pride with hubris (superiority over another).  In national terms self pride could be celebration of traditions and historical respect.  If Aristotle felt there was a place for pride, I think he would agree that temperance, prudence and justice (three of the four cardinal virtues) should interact to regulate pride's application in action.  

Which crown - vice or virtue?  Which impact tribe or tribute?


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