I’ve been an atheist approximately since the age of seven, when I clinched the cognition to think independently and draw my own conclusions. Religion and majority of the things written in the Bible have never resonated with me, and the accounts narrated in the Holy Scriptures concerning the creation of life are assuredly figments of fiction forged by inquisitive people with wild imaginations and no available avenues to acquire facts. However, there are various precepts and prescriptions inscribed in those scriptures that are fundamentally based on virtue and propriety, some of which I concede to. Among the cardinal sins, there is – envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth, and wrath. In Christianity, these “sins” are considered vices or immoral indulgences. Suffice it to say, I don’t agree that all these things are unethical. For instance, to lust is to have an intense sexual desire or a passionate yearning for something. Most amorous relationships, the type of relationships that turn into matrimonial partnerships, are initiated by lust to some degree. Sexual desires are native and inborn compulsions, they’re inherent impulses that we can’t control. But, in the company of these seven deadly sins, pride is the one that perplexes me the most. When given a negative connotation, the word pride means to have an inordinately strong feeling of pleasure or satisfaction in connection with achievements, attributes, or possessions that are openly praised. If you know me, or if you’re a fan of my writing, you know that I am a boldly prideful individual. However, I’m never too proud to admit to my mortality or my susceptibility to human nature. As humans, we’re all flawed! And, we’re inferior to whatever influence brought upon our existence. Because of our vulnerabilities, because we metamorphose constantly throughout our duration as living creatures, it’s evident, at least to me, that whatever perfection truly is, it could never be pertinent to any living thing! If that’s a little too deep for you to fathom, I’m essentially saying that flawlessness is a factual impossibility for any Earthly creature. Because nothing that demonstrably changes perpetually can be considered absolute or maximal.
Despite my impiety, I have a limpid perception of misdeeds and immoralities. Envy is one of the main motives for unjustifiable hatred. Gluttony is a primary cause of famine, and a starting point of untimely deaths due to health issues. Greed is a major reason why wars are waged that ravage entire countries and ruin lives indefinitely. Sloth is a central point to many people’s lack of growth, progression, and success in life. Wrath is the ultimate source of regrettable actions, unforgivable deeds, and inexcusable responses. It’s easy to discern how these transgressions have the capability to affect everyone around a person who commits them. But, in my opinion, lust is only infelicitous if infidelity is involved. In fact, I could make a valid argument to explain why all the implications imposed by these so-called sins are open to interpretation. The concept of right and wrong lies on the grounds of ethicality, and to make head or tail of ethics a person must have a good sense or moral standards and principles. Because of the blatantly obvious disparities between people, many of us recognize that something that’s appropriate for some people may seem unbefitting to others. However, every rational and sensible person will concur that anything destructive, detrimental, disadvantageous, or dangerous is bad for everyone involved. Pride is tricky and risky, it’s like sugar, sodium, or cholesterol; you need it, but too much could kill you! Pride can leave a person imperceptive with impractical wishes, while possessing all the tenacity and determination of someone who’s insightful and realistic. Pride is the incentive that leads many men to prison for violent crimes, but it’s also the deterrent that encourages men to forgo unlawful pursuits. Pride is the stimulus for a salacious woman’s risqué disposition, as well as the justification behind a decorous woman’s angelic nature. Pride is the inspiration that promotes positive and pragmatic endeavors, and the provocation that sponsors obstructive and contrarious struggles. Regardless of your viewpoint, pride is a problematic emotional state that could cause people to teeter out of control if they can’t find a balance!
I once aspired to be a psychologist, until I uncovered that there’s very little science involved in the profession. Psychology is the scientific study of the human brain and human behaviors. Science is knowledge about, or the study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation. Notwithstanding, most psychological diagnosis aren’t established by those facts acquired through experiments and observation, they’re more so based on a psychologist’s comprehension of those facts. This is the purpose for those highly suggested second opinions in clinical practices. If an opinion is a belief or judgment that falls short of absolute conviction, certainty, or positive knowledge; how could a diagnosis or appraisal of a patient be appointed with certitude if it’s principally based on a practitioner’s opinion? My main question is – who’s to determine if the “facts” studied in a practitioner’s curriculum are actually factual? Also, if these studies are based on facts, why do so many practitioners have varying cognitions of said facts? Facts can’t be disproved or refuted, right? From my perspective, any time a human is tasked with determining a resolution, there will always be a monumental margin for error! This is all relevant to the topic, because being prideful could be associated with supposed mental disorders like narcissism and sociopathy. Though I have firm confidence that mental illnesses and disorders are real, I have very little faith in people’s ability to accurately diagnose those illnesses and disorders. Moreover, pride can force a person to negate facts, reject truths, and refuse to accept their erroneous assumptions. How many afflictions and deaths do you presume have occurred because some weak ass wuss of a practitioner was too proud to admit they misdiagnosed a patient? I’d say, millions! Misdiagnosed patients are afflicted by their ailments, they hurt themselves, and they harm other people! Again, pride is a problematic emotional state that, like all other emotions, can have a harrowing affect on a person’s psyche. Emotions are tortuous because, though they are affective states of consciousness, they’re contrarily evoked by innate subconscious tendencies. So, we can’t necessarily control our emotions, but we can decidedly manage the way we answer to our emotions.
When I think of pride, I think of things like – overzealous fans vandalizing everything in sight after their favorite sports team wins or loses a championship, and white supremacists rallying to oppose a progressive agenda, and people refusing assistance when they’re in dire straits just to save face. The only positive thoughts I have about pride are those I think of myself, like every time I realize that I’m one of the world’s scarce sources of true logic and reason! In this world, in actuality, there are only a handful of certainties and assurances. Death is inevitable, the Sun has a high surface temperature in relation to Earth’s surface temperature, photosynthesis is a fancy word for imaginary plant food, the human vagina is a reproductive organ and the overriding origin of lost souls, people are weak and stupid; these are the type of doubtless matters of course I rely on. Theology is rooted in and encompassed by the idea of judgement and retribution to be administered by a higher power when times are appropriate, and only at the discretion of said higher power. Yet, many dogmatic religious extremists feel they have the jurisdiction to deliver a reckoning in the name of their almighty deity. And that’s a contradicting confliction to their beliefs, because if you believe in an almighty god, then you should believe that god has all the might, might that shouldn’t be contravened or questioned by a lesser being, the lesser being of course being the believer. People don’t know what the fuck they believe, and that’s an incontrovertibly evident fact! I have too much pride to allow someone or something to direct my beliefs; I only trust facts! In the end, pride is the measure of a person’s humility. Personally, I don’t believe modesty is a trait that confident people possess. Because one can’t believe in themselves while being unassuming or moderate in the estimation of their own abilities. And in that case, I’d rather be proud to be arrogant than to have pride in being humble. I believe pride is a trademark of the secure – people who are fortified in the understanding of their existential significance. But, I also believe that a lot of pride derives from delusions of grandeur, which has the potential to derange the deluded, prideful fool, which is one of the biggest existential threats to all of us (hence America’s 45th president, Donald Trump). Because pride is a slice from a diminutive list of things that bemuses the FUCK out of me… fuck it!