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Wednesday, November 7. 2007
Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.
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a recent example.....
the hubris indicated by the phrase "settled science"
would suggest that ,without humility,there is no knowledge.
Hubris is fantasticly antithetical to the first virtue.
Stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry 1 Kings 15:23
Stumbling ala galgal.
I entered a state Latin contest where each of us had to give a speech pro or con on this: "Nobility is the greatest virtue."
There were 400 students and 2 said 'No.' I was one of them. I said self-love was the greatest virtue because without it no other virtue could gain purchase. It might sound like twisted logic, but I won. In order to love yourself, you must be humble, and it is from that point you can do good things.
good stuff. the self-love that we associate with arrogance, since it requires deception, can't be love at all.
c.1315, from O.Fr. humilité, from L. humilitatem (nom. humilitas) "lowness, insignificance," in Church L. meekness ," from humilis "humble." In the Mercian hymns, L. humilitatem is glossed by O.E. eašmodnisse
give me l'audace l'audace toujour l'adace over meekness every time.
It's a fine virtue to possess ...in small quanity. If it is your forte ( the stronger part of a sword blade between the hilt and the foible) thus your strong point then you are forever vulnerable to Herbert Spencer's "survival of the fittest".
I didn't write the etymology. It evolved the way it evolved.
Meekness was not a word I stuck in there, nor was "lowness" or "insignificance" .
Audacity may be bold but has no right if one follows your same etemoligal source.
1432, from M.L. audacitas "boldness," from L. audacis gen. of audax "brave," but more often "bold" in a bad sense, from audere "to dare, be bold."
c.1225, "seizure and occupation without right," also "taking upon oneself more than is warranted," from L.L. pręsumptionem "confidence, audacity," in classical L., "a taking for granted, anticipation," from pręsumere "to take beforehand," from prę "before" + sumere "to take." In Eng., the meaning "the taking of something for granted" is attested from c.1300. Presumptuous (c.1350) preserves the original sense, from O.Fr. presuntuex (12c.), from L.L. pręsumptuosus (5c.), from L. pręsumptionem.
St Augustine's humility is a righteous virtue prediacted upon recognizing the source of strength and righteousness which any swordsman should strive for: And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled: and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
Be you humbled therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in the time of visitation. St Peter
Humiliation followeth the proud: and glory shall uphold the humble of spirit. Proverbs 29:23
Where on Earth did I use any synonym to point out the etymology of humility. Fact is I didn't. Fact also is that a synonym may be an interchangeable word for another word but it does not follow in the least that the etymology of those two words would be the same. In fact the odds are overwhelming that they are not the same.
For that reason your attempt to use a synonym to explain the etymology of another word is a totally false syllogism.
DWhere on earth you are is beyond my concer.
Technical difficulty is passed, hopefully.
Your source proffered the synonym; http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=audacity&searchmode=none
Your source, is I presume, earthly, regardless of your position.
Falseness is all yourn.
Nevertheless, no need to get your feathers flustering.
There is for a fact an unfortunate connection among the words 'humiliate' and 'humility' --maybe it depends on the direction--if it's imposed from without, it's an opposite thing than it is as radiated outward from, say, a core of simple gratititude at having beaten the near-infinite odds of ever having been born in the first place.
But, question--how did one beat the odds, since one didn't exist yet? a bit of a condominium there.
Well, they do share a bit of common property...
much as there is Hannah Arendt's
distinction between "competent" and "incompetent authority",
there is a depth and value of geniune humility
in the face of things demonstrably higher than oneself.
some call that over-arching "thing",God.
there are people who are incapable of such a self-perception.
they aren't so much arrogant as ignorant.
and no,Habu,you don't have a target on your back.
and no,Habu,you don't have a target on your back.
Curious comment. What's the genesis of it?
"Curious comment. What's the genesis of it?"
your comments in the thread suggest you
consider humility to be an exclusively pejorative term.
i disagree with that point of view.
i'd guess that was the genesis of it.
I gave the etymology of the word.
I stated I preferred audacity to humility.
I stated it was a fine virtue in small amounts and my reasons for that. ie "Spencer's survival of the fittest"
Any "suggestion" you many have read into that , that I believe humility to be "an exclusively pejorative term" was conjured in your head and frankly baffles me as to how one could make a leap so broad as to go from one liking one word over another to considering the less favored word pejorative in nature.
Something in this thread--the evaluation of the word humility coupled with the "l'audace" and the idea of a target on a back, makes me think of George Patton.
For one thing, he loved the "l'audace" and died as a target (if not from being a target if you get the drift).
For another thing, he would be considered by many as the least humble person, yet he was extremely sentimental, cried easily, and always felt himself a small, expendable, tool of destiny, a mere actor of a role laid out by a greater power.
Isn't this a form of humility?
Yet isn't it antithetical to the form of humility that seems to be popularly associated with being willingly vulnerable to victimization?
Great point Buddy.
There are so many to look at but let's look at Robert E. Lee.
Arguably (by very few) the greatest general this country ever produced and was possessed of an audacity that allowed his armies many , many victories over better armed and more numerous troops. Yet in his own life he was almost saintly, and certainly was imbued with sufficient humility.
Stonewall Jackson was certainly also in that mold.
I do not believe there need be a disconnect between humility and audacity, but rather a proper proportion of each, depending on the circumstances of the individual doing the Lord's work here on Earth.
George Armstrong Custer buttresses that point nicely. Civil War hero, Indian fighter, no combat commander ever more audacious. But the name he made is not loved, as are the other Generals mentioned. Talent and courage aplenty, but some minor flaw became mythic that late afternoon on Greasy Grass Hill near the Little Bighorn River.
There is a disconnect between humility and audacity. Humility is the deep awareness that one is part of the larger whole of mankind. You are no better, no different than any man. But you may do great things because of that awareness, and they may indeed be audacious and noble acts. One is thought, the other action. For the action to be noble, you must have the awareness of your place in the world, and you must know who you are and take the wide view with a due sense of proportion.
That is the basis of wisdom.
A fine and necessary distinction you make Meta. In a sense, the stronger and more arrogant the person, not only the need for humility, but the necessity for it. Otherwise megalomania may take hold and lead to... well... there are examples.
Is it... humility/nobility vs. arrogance/hubris, or something more subtle. It is a fine mixture that makes great men/women. We know not yet the specific additives.
"Great" is a tough one - Napoleon on the way to Moscow or on the way home? Same for Hitler, for that matter. St. Augustine's dreamed of polis was the City of God - dunno which of the "great" he would have welcomed as neighbors.
St. Augustine recommended "tend thy own garden". I imagine the later fellow would've had less to do with such neighbors than the younger Augustine, who might well have partied down with 'em. In the years before he saw the Light.
All right, 'great' was an ill chosen metaphor. And yes, Rick, good point and better examples... but, did Napoleon, Hitler, Mao or Stalin suffer the 'affliction' of humility. Of course not. And yet their legend marches on. Helped and prodded by romantics, academics and even whole nations, who suffer as little humility as they themselves did.
I thought "great" was great - it's the drift from St Augustine's view of "virtue" in contrast that is interesting, it just brings "there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance" back around to a type of closure. The separation between Peter the Great, Catherine the Great and Ivan the Terrible isn't an immeasurable distance yet Catherine is still considered to be of higher virtue. I suppose she must have killed with kindness.
Sorry for the lack of clarity.
well, there was a paricide in her immediate wake, so at least in that sense she weren't so damn great.