— The deadly sins: pride as a denial of the truth -
The APOLOGY OF PRIDE
Among the pantheist who believes he is the’I and the absolute lunatic who thinks he's Napoleon, the difference is that some academics believe the first and consider him a genius, while the second considering compassionano, quite rightly, in need of care. But they do not realize that the fundamental driving force of the attitude of both is the same: a subtle arrogance, intelligent and refined, nourished by long philosophical and theological studies in the university professor or theologian, perfect Pharisee; and a crude pride, coarse and ridiculous in the second.
Everyone who does evil, He hates the light
neither cometh to the light
because his works should be exposed [GV 3,20]
No one can lay a foundation
other than what is already there
[The Cor 3,11]
THE QUESTION OF PRIDE
Pride is already known at the wise pagans, which they have represented the myth of Narcissus, Icarus, Prometheus and Titans. In Greek literature there are many people proud, bullies and bullies regarded with admiration, like some Homeric heroes. The pride we say in greek also yperefanìa, compound word that implies the idea of showing more than what it really is. It corresponds to the Latin pride. In both cases the meaning of the term is ambiguous: It can mean yes vice, but it can also have a positive way of overcoming oneself, magnificence, noble feel, pride, thing that makes us understand how the pagan world did not have clear ideas on such an important point of human.
It took the wisdom Jewish-Christian to give pride significance negative, related to disobedience to God, opposing it to humility and distinguishing it from the legitimate aspiration of man to overcome their limitatezze, the size and rise to God. This is not a trend to the supernatural, which by that very fact it would cancel, but simply a need for perfection. Jesus in the Gospel of Mark [7,22] condemns in no uncertain terms the pride (yperefanìa). With everything Greece, Aristotle and Antigone, also he left us wonderful examples of humility, that is the remedy for pride, reminding us how our thinking must be subjected to real - the famous Aristotelian realism - and our will must humbly accept the natural moral law unwritten, but printed in the consciousness.
Pride in Greece is also called hubris, expression meaning a thinking that goes beyond the limits of what is permissible, what in the etymological sense is between-cotanza, ie the trans-cogitate, a self-consciousness that goes beyond what is reasonable to think of himself. Pride has so substantial and fundamental reference to’I namely self-consciousness, the consciousness of their own intelligence and their own spiritual dignity.
THE ESSENCE OF PRIDE
Pride is essentially and originally the refusal to submit to the truth, the truth about himself and about God. This is clear from the biblical story of original sin. Although it may seem strange for a creature as man, made to find truth in his happiness, remain true to love the words of Christ: "Men loved darkness rather than the light" [GV 3,19]. And the cause of it is nothing more than pride, sad legacy of original sin. It is therefore a sin of thought of themselves; It is an account of himself and his own dignity or grandeur, that is not within the limits of truth and justice, It is not regulated by the real or from being, It does not recognize the limits of their creaturely essence, but it means that the subject has of itself a consideration and a valuation higher than what he actually is. It is what is called presumption.
Hardly the contemporary liberal culture He understands and accepts that there may be a thinking guilty and reprehensible, that it may sin in thought, convinced that thinking like that can create true as he pleases, It intoxicated as it is a false freedom of thought, ignoring that thought is really free and healthy, when he submits to the objective truth and to external reality, independent from the ego or thinking, created by God and not by man. Pride is a form of self-deception with which then the proud seek to deceive and captivate others he believes them to be doing what he, in his delirium, imagine being. Pride produces so bragging and boasting,, Typical of those who always need to have someone around to his service, to be the center of attention, to speak with pride to others even without challenge, of its exceptional qualities and their big business, superior to those of many other.
Among the pantheist who believes he is the’I absolute and the madman who thinks he's Napoleon, the difference is that some academics believe the first and consider him a genius, while the second considering compassionano, rightly, a subject in need of care. But they do not realize that the key driver of the attitude of both is the same: a subtle arrogance, intelligent and refined, nourished by long philosophical and theological studies, the theologian or the university teacher, perfect Pharisee; and a crude pride, coarse and ridiculous in the second. But perhaps more would need treatment first, remedying its pride with a sincere repentance and the exercise of humility, It does reach that true greatness, that pride promises so fallacious.
Pride is often the habit of intellectuals and educated people, raffinate, check, courtly, intellectually equipped, Record title holders. But precisely here lies the danger and the problem: that they, in the last analysis and in a special way, fall into that category of abomination 'rich', of which Christ speaks, selfish and the exploiters, ambitious and greedy and end the wicked and candidates to damnation. It seriously does not use the aid to the poor their material wealth; but it is even more serious advocating pride, that is wasting its spiritual and stimulates souls to rebel against God and go to hell.
THE SIN OF PRIDE
But as the superb tricks? How does? How so? By what way? Under such pretexts? With such sophistry and cunning? The superb leverages our innate need for greatness and self-assertion, for example, the certainty of truth and security to do well. All things and worthy in themselves and most lawful, gifts and commands that come from God. Deceives the superb giving us to understand the various ways in which our I or humanity worth and can much more than at first, empirically it appears. It strives to show that we are not subject to any, but that we source and rule ourselves.
This is not to recognize a reality outside of us and independent of us, but are we to put the real and ourselves with our thoughts and our will, Since the real is nothing but our thinking: being is being thought, It is perceived to be. There is no principle or foundation of knowledge and action objective and reliable, one for all; but each of us is free to place the principle that prefers.
To the proud the world is not a world unto itself, which is to be explained by a cause other than ourselves. The world is our world, It is what we think and we want to be world. The world is a result of our thinking and our action. This is not the simple fact that we know what we do, according to the famous motto of Giambattista Vico, It is very true, but the impious claim of its own very being.
Undoubtedly, petty people, the limited objectives, incapable of intellectual abstractions, living hand to mouth in the midst of so much trouble or banality or immersed in carnal vices, with a harsh reality, I am somehow protected from believing the delusions of grandeur and the mad dreams of the proud, that promise to be aware of being God or the Absolute, which might not even believe, reach an absolute knowledge or a boundless freedom and omnipotence, that natural men are not interested nor judges possible, contenting, to use a phrase of Sartre, of terrestrial foods. These people undoubtedly sin, but not so serious and responsible as the proud, and for the matter of the sin of the proud, that touches more closely the spiritual life and the eternal destiny of man, and the fact that the sin of pride leads to clarity of conscience, a calculating cunning and a free will, that there are so perfectly in carnal sins, which, though they may be serious, They are usually the most effect of weakness or push passionate than malice, since they often have their origins in an occasional bad upbringing, morally degraded environments, in situations of poverty or abandonment, or with a background calibrated or mentally deficient.
haughtiness, most prevalent in educated circles and in the upper classes, proud of their quality, social prestige and wealth, civil and ecclesiastical, It can make use of refined cultural and ideological pretexts covers, Whether with great skill from different philosophies and religions, in particular those traditions Gnostic-idealistic-pantheistic, possibly occult or esoteric, and in the West beginning with Parmenides and India with Vedanta. L’I the illusion of being the appearance or avatar the “moment” sensitive of the Absolute, so that in the end does not have to be accountable to no one for its actions, all is allowed and would arrive at the absolute moral perversion, it normally is not retained in the common rules of civil coexistence and ecclesial, certainly not from personal conviction, but for sheer convenience, that allowed him to reach leading positions and go for wise and respectable.
The advent of Christianity, heir of the Old Testament wisdom, so aware of man's creaturely, with humility preaching, his spirit of penance and conversion, his characteristic realism and epistemological cult of obedience to God, It generates an even tougher fight against the spirit of pride, whose origins date back to Adam's sin. Fundamental becomes Christ's example, that although he was Son, he humbled himself the humiliation of the cross and commands us: "Learn from me, I am meek and humble of heart " [Mt 11,29]. Christianity is indeed a great exaltation of man called in Christ to be the son of God, partaker of the divine life, but as long to subside and to humble themselves before God and the same Brothers, which ask for forgiveness and mercy.
All’empietà, the rejection of the transcendent and honor God, the self-deification, the magic and rebellion to God, Christianity replaces the humble trust, the faithful listen to the Word of God and of the ecclesial community, the devotion, adoration, praise and contemplation. The arrogance of neighbor, the thirst for domination, selfishness, all’egocentrismo, the exploitation of others, the hypocrisy, the arrogance, the arrogance, all’alterigia, oppression of the weak, contempt or offensive mockery of others, pride unforgiving, the touchiness, impatience, the stubbornness, to revenge, all'ingordigia, hateful properties and consequences of pride in relationships with others, Christian ethics replaces humility, meekness, sweetness, the indulgence, mercy, the friendliness, the gratitude, the spirit of sacrifice, generous dedication, the spirit of service, availability, the docilità, sociability, solidarity, the openness and simplicity of heart, selfless love.
The superb intentionally conceives thoughts they do appear plausible pride or incite pride under specious pretexts, to cover or justify their actions, hiding evil thinking and makes. But it is said that anyone who understands those thoughts, especially if you learn them from other, or it was also the same author, is a superb and therefore has fault. It can happen, indeed, that one conceives them without realizing the seriousness of what he thinks or its consequences, You remain deceived or believe they have made a great discovery for the good of humanity. In that case, his thoughts are objectively harmful and dangerous, but whoever makes them, or greets them in good faith remains innocent.
Even in the saints or worthy men as for example a Sant'Anselmo, a Duns Scotus, one Eckhart, a Cusano, one Suarez, a Rosmini exist principles or doctrines, especially if taken to the extreme, They are seriously wrong; but this does not prevent that the distinguished authors remain morally irreproachable. Sin those who welcome these thoughts with malice, to satisfy their pride or their passions. The rest, It is not at all certain that all the errors in order to assist the pride, for there are also six other deadly sins, waiting to have their apologists.
DEACADENZA the ideal HUMILITY AND RETURN OF THE PRIDE
Over the centuries the Christian ideal of human greatness It founded on humility is not always properly understood. After signs of emanatistic theology of Scotus Eriugena in the ninth century, beginning in the fourteenth century German mystic, assimilation to Christ has been confused in Meister Eckhart with an impossible identification with Christ, losing sight of the limits of human nature; and then especially from the Italian Renaissance, with its characteristic anthropocentrism inspired hermeticism of Marsilio Ficino, a misinterpretation of Christocentrism, He has begun to peep the ancient pagan cult of the individual ruler with Machiavelli and magic with Pico della Mirandola and later Giordano Bruno. Rises a Christianity that instead of inciting to humility, under the pretext of human dignity redeemed in Christ, It begins in practice to enhance the pride and to incite him to pride, naturally with all possible expedients, It is well known the clear opposition to this vice to the Christian virtues.
This happened at the beginning, with Humanism Italian, timidly and with great circumspection; but later in the following centuries in an ever more open, until reaching, since the eighteenth century, to consider the Christian doctrine of humility as an enemy of man. The culmination of this process will be achieved by Nietzsche, the late nineteenth century, with its open exaltation of “will to power” in fierce polemics with Christianity. But to open the floodgates to this torrent of impiety, you ingrosserà viepiù, to this day, will paradoxically Lutheranism, who also wanted to present himself as a singer of divine mercy and the enemy of human pride and its claim to advance the merits before God. But the well-known fact is that Luther mailed this preaching not without its positive aspects, based on totally false and the shifting sands of the rebellion to the Magisterium of the Church, under the pretext to object to the moral corruption of the papacy, giving clear shows that his exaltation of humility was a fake, concealing the substantial pride to rebel doctrinal authority of the Vicar of Christ and set himself up as judge of his orthodoxy, breaking with this very communion with the Church, who claimed to “reform“, when the first was that he had to reform itself. Thus the content of Christian revelation, no longer held by the Magisterium, They found themselves at the mercy of the first exalted or filofastro, which, on the basis of its idiosyncrasies and a mixt culture, and considering himself inspired by the Holy Spirit, he felt free and allowed to plunder the wealth of Revelation, choosing or rejecting what they wanted, and mixing it if necessary - in defiance of the “pure Gospel” Luther - with other ideologies of begging: new way to satisfy his pride and his desire for fame and notoriety.
Already in his life Luther, as is known, It had to do with characters of this kind, which they made him go on a rampage, without which he would realize that they did nothing but put into practice the approach to Scripture, that he first was practicing, in opposition to the interpretation of the Magisterium of the Church. Not including that break away from supervision -”episkopè“- And the guidance of the Magisterium is not a phenomenon of freedom, but it produces chaos and war of all against all, then masked by Hegel under the euphemism of “dialectic”. It seems that still to this day Protestants have not understood. Serve them the ecumenical dialogue?
In this way the Christian pride It became much more serious and harmful the coarse pagan pride, for if this could inflate the values of reason or the simple brute force, the heretic that is available to the immense treasures of Revelation, He could adorn these jewels, that the pay does not even know. And so he was born the Christian pantheism, especially with Hegel and followers to this day. But things got even more dangerous, , when they were no longer just elated, visionaries and false mystics to approach the doctrines of Luther and to use his method of interpretation, but they arrived philosophers undoubtedly brilliant, with academic degrees, these then also be purchased credit in the appropriate circles learned to date and found the Lutheran theology and still a philosophy that was compatible with the doctrine of Luther. These philosophers were not long in coming. The first was Descartes. Then those who wanted to use Descartes to a rational foundation of Protestantism, were Leibniz and Wolff. And the ironic thing was that Descartes founded a rationalistic approach to Scripture, so that he began to choose from in the Bible no longer what he had already chosen Luther, which was taken for granted, but what it was to be compliant “reason”; Not now healthy and balanced Aristotelian-Thomistic reason, already recommended by the Magisterium of the Church, but precisely that reason superb and proud, which he had already formed the subject of hatred of Luther. So it was that his fideism begat exactly the opposite, ie rationalism, just what Luther wanted to avoid.
However Protestants soon realized that the affinity cogito Descartes had with me a Lutheran. The psychological approach was the same: the same withdrawal of’I on itself as the foundation of certainty; and therefore they adopted the Cartesian philosophy, though born in a Catholic environment, like the philosophy of Protestantism, despite the Lutheran contempt for philosophy and for the reason. Ma la philosophy Cartesian, despite his rationalism, It seemed closer to Luther of scholastic philosophy, because Descartes as Luther, He gave primacy to consciousness than the objectivity of reality as the rule of truth, beginning, this, the Aristotelian-Thomistic philosophy supported by Roma. Descartes, on the level of reason, rejecting the objectivity of sensitive; Luther, the level of faith, rejecting the objectivity of the Roman Church. But both, and then, based on ego, They found themselves, Descartes, the reality of external things and Luther objectivity of the Lutheran community.
Both l'autocoscienza Cartesian As the Lutheran conscience placed themselves at the beginning and the foundation of knowledge: know the reason, that of Descartes; knowledge of faith, to Luther. But nothing from outside could and should contradict this consciousness or get into this consciousness, primary source of truth and certainty. Also this blatant sign of pride.
In Descartes' idealism of ideas innate was explicit, veiled by a false realism and convenience; Luther, substantially realistic to Ockham, the implicit idealism will come to light by virtue of the Cartesian treatment, that Lutheranism to undergo transcendental idealism work of the nineteenth century.
THE TWO REFORMERS
Here, then, these two paradigmatic figures, closely associated with each other, in this process of decline of the ideal of humility and of cunning disguised revival of pride: Luther and Descartes. Of course, in words they reject pride, knowing, as Christians, that it is a deadly sin. Except that in practice, however, such a thought process, for which objectively, perhaps without themselves being aware, It expresses a state of mind and intent that are clearly inspired by pride and therefore effectively, regardless of their intentions and declarations, They give the appearance of virtue to pride. Both intend to found a Christian thinking adequate to correct its approach as it constituted in their time. Luther wanted to correct the Magisterium of the Church in the interpretation of the Gospel and Scripture; Descartes thought of having to give a definitive basis of the philosophy certainty, until then, he said, placed on a doubtful basis,, then in order to provide a solid rationale to the truths of faith and theology. It is not, also, this pride?
Luther insists a lot about humility in polemic against pride, continuing in that one of the underlying themes of Augustinian and medieval spirituality in general; but grossly it distorts the sense of the concepts, because in his mind the humility becomes the impotence acceptance of reason and will, slaves of lust and involves faith in the grace without works; while pride would be the attitude of one who claims to work with reason and free will to the work of grace. humility, but, I look, by no means implies the renunciation of works rationally and voluntarily made under the influence of grace in view of our salvation. On the contrary, this is precisely the result of humility, for which, trusting in God, humbly we accept the plan of salvation, which provides precisely this human synergy with the divine, both coming from God.
What humility can be found in the rebellion to the Magisterium of the Church? We also grant the legitimacy of protest against certain administrative abuses of Roma and anti-corruption of the papacy; but the acrimony frantic with which Luther railed against the sacred ministry of the Pope, deprives Luther takes away any credibility in being an example and humility preacher. In addition to, as he pointed to Luther, the Emperor Charles V in a tough but fair indictment, what may have prompted a simple monaco Augustinian, albeit doctor of theology, to be held, alone, after fifteen centuries of Christianity, against all the Popes, and Council, Holy Fathers, Saints Doctors and Saints who preceded him, the discoverer of the true Gospel, until then buried in magic, in fairy tales and superstition, though with a crazy and immeasurable pride? And then,, that humility?
Actually ego Luther, under the appearances of love for the Word of God, It hides a principle of pride, that indeed at first glance can be mistaken for zeal for the Word of God and the Reformed Church, but that is not difficult to recognize considering the proud and stubborn feeling that Luther did this his ego, he says yes, to submit to the Word of God, but actually it falsifies and rejects this same word when they refuse to listen to the interpretation of the Church. It is a false humility that says to submit to Christ and his Gospel, but refuses, by an act of arrogance, obedience to the Church and to the Pope.
Descartes does not openly question of humility or pride; however, it is obvious to those who read carefully his fundamental writings, as he has moved from a state of the mind and conceited boaster, beyond all his insurance only seek the truth. Indeed, he shows not to be sincere in these statements, Pending its claim senseless to present himself as the one who, after thousands of years of uncertainty of human reason, even in the great scholars who preceded him, therefore including the Judeo-Christian wisdom, he finally get to give to humanity certain foundation and unshakable to knowledge for all ages to come. It is hard to understand how a bully of this kind was able to gather around him many acclaim to date and be considered the founder of “modern philosophy”. The philosophy of Descartes did not make all that foundation absolutely and finally some knowledge, he had promised, nor could it do, because the foundation already existed in the Aristotelian-Thomistic realism, now it recommended for centuries by the Church, while the works of Descartes were placed on the Index in 1663.
Even the famous principle of cogito, He responds to an attitude of mind that lacks humility. In fact the cogito It is presented as a decisive response to an absurd doubt, which concerns the certainty of sensitive knowledge, that is the beginning and the basis of human knowledge, on which it is built the whole edifice of knowledge; whereby, if it would not be worth, any other higher level of knowledge it would be impossible. The Cartesian cogito presupposes that the mind can perceive directly the self-consciousness and the spiritual world without passing sensitive experience, something that does not correspond at all to the real dynamism of human knowledge, which it rises to intellection pure intelligible starting from the experience of material things.
La gnoseology Cartesian then it assumed a conceited and arrogant contempt of the sensitive dimension of our knowledge, we have in common with animals and claim to conceive the self or the person as a pure spirit, confusing the man with the angel. In the epistemology of Descartes plays only prudence and however exaggerated and unreasonable, as it divorced from the simplicity of spirit, who gives up the evidence to it humbly subjects, just the command of the Lord: "Simple as doves, wise as serpents " [Mt 10,16].
It is just prudence who wants to keep a safe distance from the risk of deceiving ourselves and want to have a critical view of reality. We must certainly avoid the naivety that borders on stupidity, and take all precautions, solving all the possible doubts, but doubting the evidence, doubting dell'indubitabile is foolishness, e indocilità — apaideusìa, Aristotle says - contrary to that simplicity, which is commanded by the Lord and that is wisdom and humility. The task of the philosopher is certain to address the underlying issues and to resolve doubts and problems, that drag on for a long time even at the scholars or to show how question what until then seemed certain; but can not afford to establish his base of knowledge with its stamp principles, because it is a logos that already exists in the mind of every man, in a certain and irrefutable way, and this basis is the certainty of the things. In fact the basis of knowledge - sense and intellect - he founded with elementary highlight what is built on it, but he does not need to turn to be founded, precisely because it is the basis, nor can it be doubted, why not admit another external certainty or higher, such as to resolve any doubts, so as to be in need of being replaced with a further base and better, because, being the only basis, those who would put in doubt, Far from giving certainty, foundation and principle to thought, He would crumble to its foundations by opening the doors to nihilism.
St. Thomas, however, shows that the true principle of basic security is not the certainty of doubt, but the certainty of knowing. Doubt about the objective principle of knowledge is not wisdom, nor is prudence, but betrays the pride and folly of those who do not accept the reality or retracts in front of it with the claim to replace it with their own thoughts and ideas. The doubt, as St. Thomas on the basis of Aristotle, is not really thinking, but on the contrary is a block and a paralysis of thought, because it has a real object, given that oscillates between yes and no. Therefore, the cogito Cartesian, far from opening the doors at the thought, It opens them to nihilism, with the presumption that he had finally found the truth first in the history of humanity. The true principle does not confuse thinking with doubt, but it is expressed in this formula: I think I know a thing or, ergo sum.
The philosopher is not forbidden to formulate hypotheses for doubt around the base of thought, indeed must do; It did the same with its famous St. Thomas universal doubt about the truth; but then withdraw immediately from this doubt or this horrible pit of hell, judging it absurd. Descartes, instead, He took that seriously doubt, whereby, as it has rightly Gilson, despite all his efforts, Descartes he is no longer published, so that gives us the certainty that he is ultimately founded on the sand and on the presumption. And what it can push a philosopher to want to replace with his ideas on universal objective principle of knowledge, if not pride?
The epigones OF REFORMERS
The history of Lutheranism basically follows two strands: There is a traditionalist trend, that captures the Luther organizer, Pastor and Teacher, right of Lutheran communities guided by their shepherds, as its own symbol of the Lutheran faith and its rituals and ministries, like Baptism and the Supper; is the setting right of the Protestant theological faculties; and there is a Gnostic Lutheranism, individualistic and liberal, not at all devoid of religious and cultural values, who takes instead the deep spirit of Luther, charismatic and subjectivist, more prevalent in secular and philosophical circles, who did not fail to give us great personalities from Leibniz to Kant, a Fichte, a Schleiermacher, a Schelling, Hegel until Kierkegaard, Von Harnack e a Bultmann.
While the ecumenical dialogue with the first strand is easy and constructive, given the numerous convergences between the Credo Lutheran and Catholic, harder appears the comparison with the second strand, both because, while in the former it is still a common vision of Christian faith, in the second the view is of the gnostic-rationalist, and is also why, being the second strand devoid of a common teaching of the Church , You can not compare in terms of official representatives, but it must do so with the individual philosophers, although dean, which are themselves often have absorbed the theology and dogma in their philosophy.
while there an official Lutheran doctrine guarded by the Lutheran World Federation, the comparison with the second strand necessarily requires the other party's choice according to the substantial differences existing between individual thinkers. Here is one thing to deal with the Kantianism, it is one thing to deal with Fichte, it is one thing to deal with Hegelianism, etc..
That's how we find scholars specialists for the individual authors. In them, however, the application of the same subjectivist method and Luther anarchist, averse to letting checked by qualunque authorities, it was not their vaunted consciousness as “Word of God”, He leads them to annacquare to their agency the same doctrine of Luther creating syncretism with other philosophical trends also limit d and quite contrary - it does not create difficulties for the Hegelian -, contrary to what happens in the first strand, ligio all’ortodossia luterana. Our vote is that a revival of the Christian faith, thanks to the progress of ecumenism, come back to spread that spirit of humility, which is one of the most beautiful treasures of the Gospel, the principle of the true greatness of man and what did the cultural splendor, moral and spiritual of European civilization in the world.
Varazze, 10 June 2015
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