Human Pride

It is not uncommon that we take too much pride in our humanity. We assume that the earth is ours and we abuse it. We believe ourselves to be right and we do wrong. We think ourselves politically and economically responsible yet we are in a time of deadlock and recession. As a result, and long before some of these results, doctrines of human grandeur have been in disrepute. So much so that it can be hard to feel any pride at all as a human being.

So my question is, what is an appropriate pride to feel as a human being? Is there an inalienable human dignity or are some of us indeed disgraceful things? What is the proper source of our pride? Is it, for example, the value others ascribe to us? Is it the works that we have accomplished whether recognized or not? Is it our freedom, or ability to make ourselves as we see fit, that enables a dignified posture?

It’s healthy to have pride. At core, pride is “a feeling of self-respect and personal worth.” So basically you’re asking why anyone should have self-respect or feel personal worth. I think you should honor this chance to be alive. We are the universe experiencing itself. There are a lot of possibilities and opportunities for growing and experiencing the world. I think anyone who appreciates this fact ought to feel pride.

Looking too much at oneself is a kind of retreat from the rest of the world, and a waste of opportunity and experience. I think this is what’s at the root of inflated pride.

So let me throw a wrench in the works here with an historical example. What of WW2 and the atrocities committed therein? Are the concentration camps something to be proud of in the name of having experienced them?

Or is it only a certain kind of growth and/or experience that results in a dignified human being?

Also I’m uncertain how:

As rather vast, unexplored, and mysterious domains within the world, you’d think that there would be plenty of possibilities and opportunities for growing and experiencing in regards to ourselves as well. So why do you see self experience as the path to hubris?

Maybe this will tie in to my previous question and we’ll find a more specific sense of experience that is the proper source of pride…

I think that at a basic level it’s good to have pride in oneself. No, I don’t think Nazi concentration camps are something to be proud of, but I also don’t think Nazi concentration camps destroy the possibility of having pride.

Self-growth and experience is good, but I am thinking that excessive pride is due to a skewed way of relating to the world.

What of those that fought against it and those that abhorred the atrocities?

I agree, but there must be a reason for it no? Something to be proud of?

I agree on both points. My original point remains however that the view you originally proposed requires some nuancing, or some more work. There are world-experiences that we should not be proud of at all.

As in, a person thinks themselves greater than they are? The question remains: What is a proper source of pride? What is there to be proud about? …

I would say that those are actions/feelings to be proud of. Nevertheless those events carry with them a flip side: those that committed and desired them.

Maybe this is a good example for pursuing what is a proper source of pride (or a source of authentic pride) and what is not. It would reduce this source of pride to right action or right feeling or right belief. The question would turn to other domains of thought, such as ethics and epistemology.

It would also, among other things, suggest that there is nothing about us as humans per se to be proud of. With such a view there would be examples of human beings that would have nothing to be proud of whatsoever. Maybe that’s true.

(From a religious perspective, for example, that would be an issue. Our status as God’s image, which is our pride or dignity as humankind, is irrespective of right action, feeling, or belief.)

Anyways. Maybe an important question to ask is: Is there one source of authentic pride or are there multiple sources? For instance, is it only right action, feeling, or belief that we should be proud of, or might it be this and some natural quality that we possess? Or something else entirely, like our value to others?

I could be proud of myself, namely what I achieve, and I can be proud of others around me. But humanity? No. I’m not and could not take pride in such a plague.

What makes it a plague?

Well, I would say that what you call pride cannot possible be pride at all. Relation to self is inadmissible, i.e. so, one cannot be proud to be a human. Now, a wise man once said something to the effect, if one wishes to be chief of all, then they must be servant of all–we do, after all, have a defined job to do–I think that would cause one to worry, finding the time to boast about doing a good job of being what we are when most people live and die completely clueless is out of the question.

shit, I just realized something, what is pride anyway? I know fear. joy, love, and dread, but I cannot put my finger on pride.

Since this is the religion forum, one must look to the religious perspective. As I recall, the bible says that god gave man authority and dominion over all the earth. Some would see that as being given the responsibility of stewardship of all around us. Given our ignorance and poor abilities, this would provide a lesson in humility. But in making the effort, there can be pride in “doing our best”.

Unfortunately, what was a charge of responsibility was twisted into a license to dominate, to “conquer” nature, and most importantly, man himself. With such a perspective, what we see is the logical conclusion. Rape, pillage, and burn has been, and is, the overriding goal of man’s religious arrogance and humility is considered a fool’s errand. Despite all the sweet soothing words of peace on earth, what we see is a continuous war on our planet and humanity itself. In this, there can be no pride of being “human”.

So should I not respond to your initial critique of my OP that implied you knew what pride was?

Pride is a self esteem/love. It’s a fear or dread of oneself. It’s a taking joy in oneself. It’s a recognition and an appreciation of one’s own greatness.

Are you not a human being? Does not your own admirable example transfer to humanity, such that examples such as you make humanity itself something to take pride in?

That is where my own eyes tend to go.

If we accept the biblical story, I see great pride in being called to image God. It is a pride that has nothing to do with actions or having “done our best” though.

One thing I have wondered, however, and which you get at, is whether that original pride in our original calling can be effaced.

Point blank: is our original calling to image God not something that even a fallen humanity can take pride in?

The way I see it the calling has not been revoked. As fallen as we might have become we are still called to the task, and there is pride to take in that call.

It’s not a pride in any action, feeling, or belief per se, but in a vocation, whether we have fulfilled it or not, whether we are down in the dirt or not, whether we are at each others throats or not.

alyoshka,

I really have no idea what you mean by imaging god. What we are, we are. We have the capacity of goodness as well as the capacity of evil. We make our choices.
From my experience, we often make bad choices and use religion to excuse the bad choices. Too many religious people look past caring for this world arrogantly assuming a better afterlife. I believe the attitude is, “being on this earth for a short time, but not OF this earth”. If the universe and this earth is a creation of god, then how does one justify with pride it’s destruction? I’m not speaking of actions only. The destruction of spirit, of hope, the enslavement of the essence of our potentiality, these are not things worthy of pride. When I use the phrase “do your best” I mean all things that make THIS life more meaningful. Is this prideful? Not really. But it might bring contentment that we have “done our best” to fulfill our part in being human.

Pardon my obscurity. I only meant to riff on your own mention of God giving us authority and dominion over the earth. Imaging God is fulfilling this vocation. It is realizing the power and authority we were originally called to as humankind.

Yes, that’s a poor mentality. It is also in outright denial of the biblical view that we are of dust/earth, these being the same.

(The issue of human pride is somehow finding pride as dust or even though we are dust.)

I have nothing against this. My point, however, was to find a pride that goes even deeper than any pride we could take in our fillment or partial fulfillment of our human vocation.

That is, I see a pride in the fact that we are called to image God. That no matter how depraved we have become we are still called, and that there is always pride to take in that call. It’s an irrevocable human dignity.

Perhaps I have a different notion of those thing of which one can be proud. It is one thing to have potential (even in depravity) but I could care less anyone’s potential. Show me understanding and acting out. Show me mindfulness, empathy, and compassion. Then I can be proud of you as an exemplar of human potential. There are people of which I can say, “I’m proud of you.” But there are many others that, sadly, offer very little to merit pride. Unfortunately, I’m one of them.

As I think about it, I can’t be proud of myself, but I can be proud of others, those who have reached far beyond my poor performance.

I understand your position (I think), but it is an abstraction that doesn’t ring any bells for me. I envision a god that is pleased with those who express the best in humanity and remains disappointed in the all too many failures regardless our given potentials, our responsibilities, our charges. If I had a god (and I don’t) he would spend a great deal of time weeping.

Pride is good, just like love is good.
We can love evil but that doesn’t mean love is bad.

Christianity sucks though.

It is not a sin to have a pride, all human have that and it’s normal, this only means you respect and care for you well-being. This is healthy as long as you’re not hurting other or doing something wrong that for you is right. You have to be the boss and not the pride; you must be the pilot and not a passenger. When you let it consume you troubles come, I remember some are saying it is the highest thing in the world. Just notice the center of the word P-R-I-D-E; it is “I” which means selfishness and not caring for other. Misunderstanding starts when you let your pride rule. [-X

It is not a sin to have a pride, all human have that and it’s normal, this only means you respect and care for you well-being. This is healthy as long as you’re not hurting other or doing something wrong that for you is right. You have to be the boss and not the pride; you must be the pilot and not a passenger. When you let it consume you troubles come, I remember some are saying it is the highest thing in the world. Just notice the center of the word P-R-I-D-E; it is “I” which means selfishness and not caring for other. Misunderstanding starts when you let your pride rule. [-X