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Re: Kagin's Column- On Self-Righteousness

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  • eyesopen444
    Hi everyone! I found this article interesting- maybe you will too. Have fun, Kaye KAGIN S COLUMN ON SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS self-righteous: confident of one s own
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 4 5:13 PM
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      Hi everyone!

      I found this article interesting- maybe you will too.

      Have fun,

      Kaye

      KAGIN'S COLUMN
      ON SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS

      self-righteous: confident of one's own righteousness, esp. when smugly
      moralistic and intolerant of the opinions and behavior of others.
      Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary

      Pretty soon I wanted to smoke, and asked the widow to let me. But she
      wouldn't. She said it was a mean practice and wasn't clean, and I must
      try not to do it anymore....And she took snuff too; of course that was
      all right, because she done it herself.
      Huckleberry Finn

      The self-righteous are everywhere, trying to control our lives. With
      the zeal of reformed nymphomaniacs peddling AmWay, they freely vend
      their negative judgements on the behavior and opinions of others.
      Unable or unwilling to control themselves and their unhappy lives of
      frustration, insecurity, and despair, these petty dictators seek
      solace in desperately attempting to control others. For they are
      right. Those who disagree with their toxic tyranny are clearly and
      obviously wrong, if not evil. And they do attract followers, persons
      easily led, seeking certainty, and willing to praise, to flatter, and
      to sing unto them, How great thou art. Self-righteous leaders reward
      fidelity and elevate select obedient disciples, especially worshipful
      ones who are confused but shamelessly self-righteous, to CULT
      (Counseled Until Learned Truth) status.

      The existence of such personalities is not new. Jesus is reported to
      have said, "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's
      eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" There are
      similar references, for self-righteousness is justly and frequently
      condemned in the bible, a work that, for all its many and obvious
      faults, is not without certain merit. Indeed, we recommend you read
      it. The book is much better than the movie.

      Self-righteousness and hypocrisy may be joined, as in the widow's
      views on tobacco reported by Huck. But they are quite different
      concepts. Hypocrites, like the widow, do themselves that which they so
      freely condemn in others. Most hypocrites are self-righteous, but
      self-righteous persons are not necessarily hypocrites and may in fact
      practice what they preach. A priest who rapes little boys, and
      preaches against homosexuality and violence, is clearly both, while a
      practicing virgin, who moralistically urges this unhappy fate on
      others, is not. It's all in how you study it. Many have rejected
      religion largely because it is home to lots of goodie-two-shoes type
      persons of self-righteous or hypocritical persuasion. Sometimes, in
      their attempt to live justly in an unjust world, the disillusioned
      seek solace from religion in the perceived rationality of secular
      humanism. And guess what?

      This may come as a shock to some secular humanist readers, but the
      self-righteous are also to be found among the ranks of the supposedly
      rational, among those who look for meaning apart from the
      supernatural, among those who decry the artificial goodness of the
      godly. Bummer, ain't it? Thus, instead of holier-than-thou, we have
      those who feel rationaler-than-thou, or skepticaler-than-thou, and who
      demean, abjure, reject, and avoid those they feel don't quite measure
      up to their standards. Such are no less self-righteous than the widow.

      Whether religious or secular, the self-righteous and the con-artist
      are sisters under the skin. Both become outraged if they don't get
      their way. The slightest reasoned refusal to consent to manipulation
      or control is punished. The uncooperative mark may witness a
      presumably well meaning, but terminally self-righteous, friend go into
      an inexplicable rage, answering disobedience with irrational and
      unpleasant emotions, until the victim seems, as best worded by
      Shakespeare, "beyond reason hated." To further complicate matters, the
      person deluded by self-righteousness cannot understand when others are
      disinclined to share their hostility and fail to concede the justness
      of their attitudes and actions. The world as one conspires.

      The self-righteous are troubled by democracy. Why debate or vote on
      any matter of behavior or morality when truth is available by decree,
      and when correct answers may be so readily had from those who know the
      answers beyond any need for question or discussion? To challenge such
      persons is, in their view, malum in se--in the vernacular,
      reprehensible, wicked, and wrong in itself--denoting a defect of
      character revealed in the very act of rebellion against ultimate
      authority. Thereafter, every action or motive of the errant sinner
      will be understood and punished as an indisputably vile thing--another
      example of evil attacking good. The psychological mechanism of
      projection, and the transparent narcissism of the self-righteous, is
      beyond the scope of this digression. The analogies to theology are
      scary. If afflicted leaders possess small power, they are merely
      annoying, comical, or pathetic. If they hold real power over nations
      or ideologies, the graveyards of history harbour their heritage.

      The sad part is that they don't have to be like this. The
      self-righteous prigs can get over it, or get therapy for it. They
      don't have to expose themselves to the misery. Misery is optional, for
      predator as well as prey, even if one thinks they have no free will.
      Rational beings don't have to live with sustained rage, or with the
      chronic paranoia of waiting for some other imaginary shoe to drop.
      Those who live to control others could, using the power of reason they
      mock, come to realize that compromise and resolution of disagreements
      can be something more than capitulation or appeasement, and that, in
      some things at least, they just might be--as impossible as it
      seems--wrong. One is entitled to be smug, arrogant, and self-righteous
      only if one has figured out how not to die. The outcast may well be
      the better person. That's what the bible story of the good Samaritan
      is all about.

      If we can't avoid the self satisfied--the better option--we can laugh
      at them. A healthy person loves to see the pompous taken down a peg or
      two, and delights in mocking their phony goodness and proper ways.
      This is why the common folk laugh when a stuffed shirt slips on a
      banana skin. But what about self-righteous secular humanists who, in
      hardening their hearts and softening their minds, do real harm to
      those who actually favor free inquiry? Maybe we should create a
      Secular Humanist Hall of Shame. Here could be enrolled and
      acknowledged those whose actions have earned them the herein proposed
      SHAME (Secular Humanist Arrogantly Making Enemies) Award.

      As adolescent fantasies are best left to adolescents, so childish
      needs to have one's own way are best left to children, who will
      hopefully outgrow them. Adults should, to borrow again from the bible,
      "put away childish things." It would be sad to die without growing up.

      For everything there is a season,
      For every act there is a reason;
      As a garden reflects its seeds,
      Deeds of life tell that life's needs.

      May, 1997
      http://search.netscape.com/ns/boomframe.jsp?query=self+righteousness+and+religion&page=1&offset=0&result_url=redir%3Fsrc%3Dwebsearch%26requestId%3D26fabe075d269af9%26clickedItemRank%3D12%26userQuery%3Dself%2Brighteousness%2Band%2Breligion%26clickedItemURN%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.edwinkagin.com%252Fcolumns%252Fself-righteousness.htm%26invocationType%3D-%26fromPage%3DNSCPResultsT%26amp%3BampTest%3D1&remove_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.edwinkagin.com%2Fcolumns%2Fself-righteousness.htm
    • mishmisha9
      Hi, Kaye! Thanks for posting this article. I am not surprised that Kagin used Twain s Huckleberry Finn as an example of hypocritical behavior-- Twain was a
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 4 6:42 PM
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        Hi, Kaye!

        Thanks for posting this article. I am not surprised that Kagin used
        Twain's Huckleberry Finn as an example of hypocritical behavior--
        Twain was a master of pointing that out in his talks and writings.
        Charles Dickens also was a master of getting the same point across--
        especially in the writings of "The Pickwick Papers." I was watching
        a program recently on a form of laughing yoga in India. The laughing
        was all very infectious, with the point of the exercise showing that
        laughter is good for the Soul. So, getting caught up and realizing
        our own hypocritical behavior/thinking, as well as those of others,
        might be a good platform for us to see the humor of our human
        frailities and lead us to exercise like a laughing yoga, which
        really is more fun than displaying and/or experiencing some of our
        other emotions!

        Mish



        --- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "eyesopen444"
        <eyesopen444@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi everyone!
        >
        > I found this article interesting- maybe you will too.
        >
        > Have fun,
        >
        > Kaye
        >
        > KAGIN'S COLUMN
        > ON SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS
        >
        > self-righteous: confident of one's own righteousness, esp. when
        smugly
        > moralistic and intolerant of the opinions and behavior of others.
        > Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary
        >
        > Pretty soon I wanted to smoke, and asked the widow to let me. But
        she
        > wouldn't. She said it was a mean practice and wasn't clean, and I
        must
        > try not to do it anymore....And she took snuff too; of course that
        was
        > all right, because she done it herself.
        > Huckleberry Finn
        >
        > The self-righteous are everywhere, trying to control our lives.
        With
        > the zeal of reformed nymphomaniacs peddling AmWay, they freely vend
        > their negative judgements on the behavior and opinions of others.
        > Unable or unwilling to control themselves and their unhappy lives
        of
        > frustration, insecurity, and despair, these petty dictators seek
        > solace in desperately attempting to control others. For they are
        > right. Those who disagree with their toxic tyranny are clearly and
        > obviously wrong, if not evil. And they do attract followers,
        persons
        > easily led, seeking certainty, and willing to praise, to flatter,
        and
        > to sing unto them, How great thou art. Self-righteous leaders
        reward
        > fidelity and elevate select obedient disciples, especially
        worshipful
        > ones who are confused but shamelessly self-righteous, to CULT
        > (Counseled Until Learned Truth) status.
        >
        > The existence of such personalities is not new. Jesus is reported
        to
        > have said, "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy
        brother's
        > eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" There
        are
        > similar references, for self-righteousness is justly and frequently
        > condemned in the bible, a work that, for all its many and obvious
        > faults, is not without certain merit. Indeed, we recommend you read
        > it. The book is much better than the movie.
        >
        > Self-righteousness and hypocrisy may be joined, as in the widow's
        > views on tobacco reported by Huck. But they are quite different
        > concepts. Hypocrites, like the widow, do themselves that which
        they so
        > freely condemn in others. Most hypocrites are self-righteous, but
        > self-righteous persons are not necessarily hypocrites and may in
        fact
        > practice what they preach. A priest who rapes little boys, and
        > preaches against homosexuality and violence, is clearly both,
        while a
        > practicing virgin, who moralistically urges this unhappy fate on
        > others, is not. It's all in how you study it. Many have rejected
        > religion largely because it is home to lots of goodie-two-shoes
        type
        > persons of self-righteous or hypocritical persuasion. Sometimes, in
        > their attempt to live justly in an unjust world, the disillusioned
        > seek solace from religion in the perceived rationality of secular
        > humanism. And guess what?
        >
        > This may come as a shock to some secular humanist readers, but the
        > self-righteous are also to be found among the ranks of the
        supposedly
        > rational, among those who look for meaning apart from the
        > supernatural, among those who decry the artificial goodness of the
        > godly. Bummer, ain't it? Thus, instead of holier-than-thou, we have
        > those who feel rationaler-than-thou, or skepticaler-than-thou, and
        who
        > demean, abjure, reject, and avoid those they feel don't quite
        measure
        > up to their standards. Such are no less self-righteous than the
        widow.
        >
        > Whether religious or secular, the self-righteous and the con-artist
        > are sisters under the skin. Both become outraged if they don't get
        > their way. The slightest reasoned refusal to consent to
        manipulation
        > or control is punished. The uncooperative mark may witness a
        > presumably well meaning, but terminally self-righteous, friend go
        into
        > an inexplicable rage, answering disobedience with irrational and
        > unpleasant emotions, until the victim seems, as best worded by
        > Shakespeare, "beyond reason hated." To further complicate matters,
        the
        > person deluded by self-righteousness cannot understand when others
        are
        > disinclined to share their hostility and fail to concede the
        justness
        > of their attitudes and actions. The world as one conspires.
        >
        > The self-righteous are troubled by democracy. Why debate or vote on
        > any matter of behavior or morality when truth is available by
        decree,
        > and when correct answers may be so readily had from those who know
        the
        > answers beyond any need for question or discussion? To challenge
        such
        > persons is, in their view, malum in se--in the vernacular,
        > reprehensible, wicked, and wrong in itself--denoting a defect of
        > character revealed in the very act of rebellion against ultimate
        > authority. Thereafter, every action or motive of the errant sinner
        > will be understood and punished as an indisputably vile thing--
        another
        > example of evil attacking good. The psychological mechanism of
        > projection, and the transparent narcissism of the self-righteous,
        is
        > beyond the scope of this digression. The analogies to theology are
        > scary. If afflicted leaders possess small power, they are merely
        > annoying, comical, or pathetic. If they hold real power over
        nations
        > or ideologies, the graveyards of history harbour their heritage.
        >
        > The sad part is that they don't have to be like this. The
        > self-righteous prigs can get over it, or get therapy for it. They
        > don't have to expose themselves to the misery. Misery is optional,
        for
        > predator as well as prey, even if one thinks they have no free
        will.
        > Rational beings don't have to live with sustained rage, or with the
        > chronic paranoia of waiting for some other imaginary shoe to drop.
        > Those who live to control others could, using the power of reason
        they
        > mock, come to realize that compromise and resolution of
        disagreements
        > can be something more than capitulation or appeasement, and that,
        in
        > some things at least, they just might be--as impossible as it
        > seems--wrong. One is entitled to be smug, arrogant, and self-
        righteous
        > only if one has figured out how not to die. The outcast may well be
        > the better person. That's what the bible story of the good
        Samaritan
        > is all about.
        >
        > If we can't avoid the self satisfied--the better option--we can
        laugh
        > at them. A healthy person loves to see the pompous taken down a
        peg or
        > two, and delights in mocking their phony goodness and proper ways.
        > This is why the common folk laugh when a stuffed shirt slips on a
        > banana skin. But what about self-righteous secular humanists who,
        in
        > hardening their hearts and softening their minds, do real harm to
        > those who actually favor free inquiry? Maybe we should create a
        > Secular Humanist Hall of Shame. Here could be enrolled and
        > acknowledged those whose actions have earned them the herein
        proposed
        > SHAME (Secular Humanist Arrogantly Making Enemies) Award.
        >
        > As adolescent fantasies are best left to adolescents, so childish
        > needs to have one's own way are best left to children, who will
        > hopefully outgrow them. Adults should, to borrow again from the
        bible,
        > "put away childish things." It would be sad to die without growing
        up.
        >
        > For everything there is a season,
        > For every act there is a reason;
        > As a garden reflects its seeds,
        > Deeds of life tell that life's needs.
        >
        > May, 1997
        > http://search.netscape.com/ns/boomframe.jsp?
        query=self+righteousness+and+religion&page=1&offset=0&result_url=redi
        r%3Fsrc%3Dwebsearch%26requestId%3D26fabe075d269af9%26clickedItemRank%
        3D12%26userQuery%3Dself%2Brighteousness%2Band%2Breligion%
        26clickedItemURN%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.edwinkagin.com%252Fcolumns%
        252Fself-righteousness.htm%26invocationType%3D-%26fromPage%
        3DNSCPResultsT%26amp%3BampTest%3D1&remove_url=http%3A%2F%
        2Fwww.edwinkagin.com%2Fcolumns%2Fself-righteousness.htm
        >
      • prometheus_973
        Hi Kaye, Thamks for posting this. I couldn t help but think of Klemp and some others while reading this. I would say that HK fits the descriptions of being
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 4 7:43 PM
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          Hi Kaye,
          Thamks for posting this. I couldn't help but think of Klemp and some
          others while reading this. I would say that HK fits the descriptions
          of being both self-righteous and a hypocrite!

          Prometheus

          eyesopen wrote:

          Hi everyone!

          I found this article interesting- maybe you will too.

          Have fun,

          Kaye

          KAGIN'S COLUMN
          ON SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS

          self-righteous: confident of one's own righteousness, esp. when
          smugly moralistic and intolerant of the opinions and behavior of
          others. Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary

          Pretty soon I wanted to smoke, and asked the widow to let me. But she
          wouldn't. She said it was a mean practice and wasn't clean, and I
          must try not to do it anymore....And she took snuff too; of course
          that was all right, because she done it herself. Huckleberry Finn

          The self-righteous are everywhere, trying to control our lives. With
          the zeal of reformed nymphomaniacs peddling AmWay, they freely vend
          their negative judgements on the behavior and opinions of others.
          Unable or unwilling to control themselves and their unhappy lives of
          frustration, insecurity, and despair, these petty dictators seek
          solace in desperately attempting to control others. For they are
          right. Those who disagree with their toxic tyranny are clearly and
          obviously wrong, if not evil. And they do attract followers, persons
          easily led, seeking certainty, and willing to praise, to flatter, and
          to sing unto them, How great thou art. Self-righteous leaders reward
          fidelity and elevate select obedient disciples, especially worshipful
          ones who are confused but shamelessly self-righteous, to CULT
          (Counseled Until Learned Truth) status.

          The existence of such personalities is not new. Jesus is reported to
          have said, "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's
          eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" There
          are similar references, for self-righteousness is justly and
          frequently condemned in the bible, a work that, for all its many and
          obvious faults, is not without certain merit. Indeed, we recommend
          you read it. The book is much better than the movie.

          Self-righteousness and hypocrisy may be joined, as in the widow's
          views on tobacco reported by Huck. But they are quite different
          concepts. Hypocrites, like the widow, do themselves that which they
          so freely condemn in others. Most hypocrites are self-righteous, but
          self-righteous persons are not necessarily hypocrites and may in fact
          practice what they preach. A priest who rapes little boys, and
          preaches against homosexuality and violence, is clearly both, while a
          practicing virgin, who moralistically urges this unhappy fate on
          others, is not. It's all in how you study it. Many have rejected
          religion largely because it is home to lots of goodie-two-shoes type
          persons of self-righteous or hypocritical persuasion. Sometimes, in
          their attempt to live justly in an unjust world, the disillusioned
          seek solace from religion in the perceived rationality of secular
          humanism. And guess what?

          This may come as a shock to some secular humanist readers, but the
          self-righteous are also to be found among the ranks of the supposedly
          rational, among those who look for meaning apart from the
          supernatural, among those who decry the artificial goodness of the
          godly. Bummer, ain't it? Thus, instead of holier-than-thou, we have
          those who feel rationaler-than-thou, or skepticaler-than-thou, and
          who demean, abjure, reject, and avoid those they feel don't quite
          measure up to their standards. Such are no less self-righteous than
          the widow.

          Whether religious or secular, the self-righteous and the con-artist
          are sisters under the skin. Both become outraged if they don't get
          their way. The slightest reasoned refusal to consent to manipulation
          or control is punished. The uncooperative mark may witness a
          presumably well meaning, but terminally self-righteous, friend go
          into an inexplicable rage, answering disobedience with irrational and
          unpleasant emotions, until the victim seems, as best worded by
          Shakespeare, "beyond reason hated." To further complicate matters,
          the person deluded by self-righteousness cannot understand when
          others are disinclined to share their hostility and fail to concede
          the justness of their attitudes and actions. The world as one
          conspires.

          The self-righteous are troubled by democracy. Why debate or vote on
          any matter of behavior or morality when truth is available by decree,
          and when correct answers may be so readily had from those who know
          the answers beyond any need for question or discussion? To challenge
          such persons is, in their view, malum in se--in the vernacular,
          reprehensible, wicked, and wrong in itself--denoting a defect of
          character revealed in the very act of rebellion against ultimate
          authority. Thereafter, every action or motive of the errant sinner
          will be understood and punished as an indisputably vile thing--
          another example of evil attacking good. The psychological mechanism
          of projection, and the transparent narcissism of the self-righteous,
          is beyond the scope of this digression. The analogies to theology are
          scary. If afflicted leaders possess small power, they are merely
          annoying, comical, or pathetic. If they hold real power over nations
          or ideologies, the graveyards of history harbour their heritage.

          The sad part is that they don't have to be like this. The self-
          righteous prigs can get over it, or get therapy for it. They don't
          have to expose themselves to the misery. Misery is optional, for
          predator as well as prey, even if one thinks they have no free will.
          Rational beings don't have to live with sustained rage, or with the
          chronic paranoia of waiting for some other imaginary shoe to drop.
          Those who live to control others could, using the power of reason
          they mock, come to realize that compromise and resolution of
          disagreements can be something more than capitulation or
          appeasement, and that, in some things at least, they just might be--
          as impossible as it seems--wrong. One is entitled to be smug,
          arrogant, and self-righteous only if one has figured out how not to
          die. The outcast may well be the better person. That's what the
          bible story of the good Samaritan is all about.

          If we can't avoid the self satisfied--the better option--we can laugh
          at them. A healthy person loves to see the pompous taken down a peg
          or two, and delights in mocking their phony goodness and proper ways.
          This is why the common folk laugh when a stuffed shirt slips on a
          banana skin. But what about self-righteous secular humanists who, in
          hardening their hearts and softening their minds, do real harm to
          those who actually favor free inquiry? Maybe we should create a
          Secular Humanist Hall of Shame. Here could be enrolled and
          acknowledged those whose actions have earned them the herein proposed
          SHAME (Secular Humanist Arrogantly Making Enemies) Award.

          As adolescent fantasies are best left to adolescents, so childish
          needs to have one's own way are best left to children, who will
          hopefully outgrow them. Adults should, to borrow again from the
          bible, "put away childish things." It would be sad to die without
          growing up.

          For everything there is a season,
          For every act there is a reason;
          As a garden reflects its seeds,
          Deeds of life tell that life's needs.

          May, 1997

          http://search.netscape.com/ns/boomframe.jspquery=self+righteousness+n
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