Pride and Humility part 2
Somewhat discordantly, 2 Corinthians sees pride as a good thing, but only insofar as it is applied to the "things of the heart" and as long as the pride is not borne out of comparison with others. In essence, one can only be proud of one's own humility. This is merely to repeat that what Kelley calls self-esteem is evil, and that mental and moral submission is good.
"The sin of pride is the sin of sins.
St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 A.D.) wrote, "'Pride is the commencement of all sin' because it was this which overthrew the devil, from whom arose the origin of sin;
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.""
"Deep within the heart of every man exists a darkness, a demon, a foul disease. It is an evil that lodges in each and every one of us and distinguishes not between men, whether rich or poor, free or slave. (...) It is a universal cancer; it is ungodly pride.
Beware of this consuming cancer; check its spread before it overruns your whole person. Never entertain the thought that perchance you are immune from such a dread disease. Pride is at first a shadow that seeks to elude our notice; it feeds upon ignorance and draws strength from blindness."
"God cannot connect with those who live to please themselves, to make themselves first. Those who do this will in the end be last of all. The sin that is most nearly hopeless and incurable is pride of opinion, self-conceit. This stands in the way of all growth.
Those who have had the deepest experience in the things of God are the farthest removed from pride or self-exaltation. They have the humblest thoughts of self and the most exalted conceptions of the glory and excellence of Christ. They feel that the lowest place in His service is too honorable for them."
What a horrible morality ! To be a human being, to stand for what's true and right, is the worst sin for a Christian. Not only a sin, but the sin of sins, not murder, sacrifice, slavery, willfull ignorance, intolerence, intellectual and physical submission, injustice, dishonesty, or irrationality, all of which are in fact promoted by Christianity and the Bible to varied extents. Rather, they choose pride.
Well, the obvious general answer is that, like any other collectivist belief, Christianity relies on the abdication of the self to higher ideals and moral principles. Therefore, to be proud is to rely on one's own values and knowledge, which is fatal to the propagation of any such belief system. Freethinkers and responsible people don't make good Christians. Religions and cults do not thrive in times where people have strong moral compasses and lack the mental vulnerability necessary to convert.
There is also the association of pride with all kinds of other negative attitudes. This echoes the way Christians associate other religions with criminality, delinquancy and immorality. Also, in cult think, the group is the only way to be moral, therefore anyone who opposes the group's goals is by definition immoral.
But most importantly, I like the quote describing pride as a demon deep within our hearts. In a way, this is very true - regardless of how indoctrinated or brainwashed anyone is, there is still a core of human qualities that remains a danger to the belief system. "Deep within their hearts", Christians have the understanding that what they believe and do is wrong, because their true personal values remain there. Even though they preach faith and submission, they cannot follow these to their fullest extent, and neither is it possible to do so even logically. To follow faith requires a rational understanding of what is being followed, and submission requires the independence necessary to decide to submit.
And thus we come back to the necessity of acknowledging the existence of the individual, and thus the virtue of pride. No one really admires the symbol of pallid incompetence hanging on a tree, although they very much like to mentally masturbate to its failure as a culture of victimhood. To be a pitiful writhing worm, to stop thinking, to abandon life itself, is not actually desired by anyone.