Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Arrogance has a negative connotation; its beholder believes he is deserving of respect and awe beyond what he is actually worthy of. This is the vice of deficiency to the virtue of humility. It accepts praise even when it is not earned, and makes decisions without a proper appraisal of potential consequences. Reckless in its intent, it aims at pleasure without any inquiry into the ethical viability of the acts it pursues. It lacks the basic ability to realize the importance of any individual worth. apart from its own. The counterpart to arrogance and vice of excess in this case is self-deprecation. Self-deprecating action presumes some inborn negative attitude toward the actor, resulting in an overabundance of unnecessary guilt and an inability to appreciate one’s own self worth. This renders the self-deprecator almost useless in his character, as he will be unable to make rational decisions with any sort of moral authority, unable to convince even himself.
Such a severe a lack of confidence cannot be proper to the virtuous person: thus the virtue that arises amidst these vices is that of humility. Humility is a trait which can be expressed in many situations, both social and personal in nature. When concerning oneself, it is the ability to correctly assess the potential moral weight held in ones actions. It neither exaggerates nor oversimplifies one’s personal value. Humility allows it’s possessor to correctly analyze his own ethical standing. When focused outward into social situations, humility is simply taking credit for your own actions, and nothing more or less so. The humble person will still be able to validate their actions, but they will insist that praise is unnecessary and sometimes even uncomfortable for them. They have acted in a way that they see as rightly directed at truth, and honoring them for this would seem silly, like admiring a healthy, educated adult’s ability to walk a straight line or use correct grammar. It might have been deserving the first few times they mastered these skills as children, but as it becomes their consistent state of existence, it is seen as less and less worthy of such response.

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