After writing the last blog post about Greed, I realise that I actually have a lot to say about the seven deadly sins. This is good, because it means that I express myself on a purely philosophical basis, removing the need for proper research, as well as not having to think of other topics for a while. Ironically, that’s a form of sloth. I’m glad I’m not a Christian then.
Pride is an extremely funny ‘sin’, because it is rather frequently portrayed in a positive way, especially in this Christian nation. There’s a hint of irony here that I won’t bother to point out, but it is still rather humorous. I understand that pride is used in two different connotations, but as far as I’m concerned that’s just people moving the goal post and bending the language to fit their own narrative. I’ll have none of that, thank you very much. Take pride, if you must, but you don’t get to be exempt from either side of the coin. This is the problem I have with psychologists and philosophers, as they often belong to the group I previously mentioned. I digress, as those who disagree will just scoff at the opinion of a random person on the internet. It certainly is a very peculiar knee-jerk reaction, but that’s for another day. Nowadays, we see a lot of types of pride all around. National pride, race pride, gay/straight pride and of course, personal pride, also known as vanity or hubris.
Nationalism is something that is shared with the majority of people. Almost everyone I have personally met shared a great deal of national pride, whether admiring their country’s beauty, history, power, wealth or any combination of those. This mostly stems from one’s own desire to group oneself, and/or the intentions to identify as a part of, a country and its people, but usually only the country. I have never felt I belonged into a particular group, so I suppose that explains why I am exempt from nationalism, and patriotism as well for that matter, and am able to do a decent amount of objective observation. The belief that one’s own personal ‘group’ is superior to others is something that is quite interesting to see. In some cases, it gives citizens the justifications to completely ignore the significance of their nation’s actions, as long as it’s done to foreigners. It is in fact exactly the ‘outsider’ mentality that children in grade school has. The only difference is that those children have now grown up, and instead of plastic airplanes and paper towels they now have nuclear bombs and infantry to throw at other people. It is truly an interesting spectacle. A less extreme version of nationalism would be more in line of pride of the accomplishments of the country and has a lot to do with its beauty as well. The problem with this interpretation is that almost everyone of them falls immediately into the “No True Scotsman” trap. There are many people of the same nationality, and they are bound to be different. Often, these differences are brushed aside in wilful so that the nation will then be painted with a much more grandeur, perfectionist coat. Unfortunately, these hopeful people usually don’t realise that their nation is defined by them just as much as it is defined by the ones they pretend do not matter.
I’ll group race pride (black/Asian/white/Hispanic etc.), and sexual orientations pride into one for several reasons. One, this are characteristic that people are, presumably born with and not adapted into. If you wanted to have a whole nature vs. nurture debate about LGBT, I’ll gladly take that on, but elsewhere. If your desired debate about these people involves choices, then it is best of you to simply get out, because that is not something I want to waste my time with. Moving swiftly on, it is quite about time someone say this. Having pride in one’s race/ethnic/sexual orientation somehow implies that the specific characteristic in question is apparently appropriate to be proud of. National pride makes a lot more sense to me, because you can certainly contribute to your own nation in someway, and thus play a part in its accomplishments. It doesn’t give you the right to be anything else, but that’s quite all right, as you have a decent basis. However, why does it matter that you’re somehow gay instead of straight, or black instead of white or whatever? Did you choose to be? No, because you simply cannot. If it is so, then what are you even being proud of? No one’s proud of being conceived in a car, and I honestly care about the same. A lot of these group hold pride event because they tout equality, yet there are a lot of implications that somehow they are better. It’s just mind-boggling, but alas, I am hopeless to make a change. There is, of course, the matter of gender pride, but that’s for a whole different topic altogether.
Of course, there is group pride. Nothing as all-embracing as national pride, but not something you have no choice in like the ones given above either. This ranges from fat pride to single mom pride, to nerd pride or similar things. I have given quite a bit of thought, and honestly it is not possible to judge all of these as a whole. If you’re somehow involved in a group that saves the economy, damn well I’ll give you my blessing to be proud of what you did. Thus, I concluded that those group movements aspiring to personal or collective achievements are best to be prideful of. They have done great things, presumably, and they decide to revel in every moment of it. People take pride in the most mundane and often ridiculous things, however, and a lot of the time such empowerment movements are nothing more than excuses made simply justify one’s own inability to strive to better themselves. Yes, fat acceptance is one of the things I am talking about. Think of me how you want, but identifying with an unimpressive trait isn’t worth being proud of.
Lastly, personal pride takes stage. Vanity is a truly puzzling aspect of society, not so much because it is hard to understand, but more so because people go out of their way to hail it as well as demonise it as much as possible. Sometimes it’s referred to as arrogance, sometimes virtuous. No one ever seems to pay enough attention to see that if I were to take the connotations out of those words, they would mean essentially the same thing. A person who’s dead set to defend his ideals are both arrogant and admirable, the only different is what colour your looking glass happened to be. Pride, the original sin of Lucifer, needs to be taken as such. It is something that, at least according to that one very interesting book, is applicable to the Demon himself. You say it signifies his arrogance against God, I say it signifies the arrogance of God and the desire for him to be truly free.
Image taken from here