Thursday, January 5, 2017

Hierarchy of Moral Values

I have pointed out before theologians of the past, who were for the most part smarter and more experienced than people today, realized the theological values of faith, hope and charity were the highest ones, followed by the intellectual virtues, with the moral ones at the bottom. Including, as I have mentioned, chastity.

Not surprisingly, my experience has confirmed this ancient wisdom.

The worst people I have known have no faith or hope or charity (I've met people who've told me they believe "only in me"). And some of them are very bright. Some of them pretty much lack all the virtues. They lack the theological virtues, the intellectual ones, and the moral ones. These people have made catastrophes of their lives and sometimes of other people's lives.

I realized quite a while ago that a lot of propaganda is based on the three theological virtues. Give people hope, have faith in them, be charitable to them - and they'll follow you everywhere (even those virtues - and "virtue" means "powers of man" - can be used for bad things, although charity - doing things for people while expecting nothing in return - turns them into something good).

Eric Hoffer once wrote a famous book called The True Believer and he often used the words "faith" and "hope" in it. This is how powerful those words are, along with another word he used a lot - "change." And he wrote his book in 1951.

People who lack faith and hope and charity believe only in themselves. In fact they'll sacrifice other people to themselves, to their advantage, even though it's no advantage at all - it's just a fantasy in their minds.

I'll use a modern example. I knew that Trump was going to win because he gave people hope, had faith in them, and exhibited charity toward them ("Make America great again"). Hillary Clinton exhibited none of those traits - she called people "basket of deplorables" (and she's a smart woman, which is why the theological virtues are above the intellectual ones).

I know it's counter-intuitive that the theological virtues are above the intellectual and moral ones, but that's what the ancient wisdom tells us. And again my experience has confirmed it (imagine a world of brilliant people with no faith or hope or charity - it'd be a hell. And if they lacked the moral virtues it'd be the worst of hells).

People who exhibit all three levels of the virtues are the best people. People who lack those virtues are selfish, lack sensitivity and have no sense of humor - and those are some of the scariest people around. They can bring to the world the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

2 comments:

Twarog said...

"The worst people I have known have no faith or hope or charity (I've met people who've told me they believe 'only in me')... People who lack faith and hope and charity believe only in themselves. In fact they'll sacrifice other people to themselves, to their advantage, even though it's no advantage at all - it's just a fantasy in their minds".

"Once I remember walking with a prosperous publisher, who made a remark which I had often heard before; it is, indeed, almost a motto of the modern world. Yet I had heard it once too often, and I saw suddenly that there was nothing in it. The publisher said of somebody, 'That man will get on; he believes in himself'... I said to him, 'Shall I tell you where the men are who believe most in themselves? For I can tell you. I know of men who believe in themselves more colossally than Napoleon or Caesar. I know where flames the fixed star of certainty and success. I can guide you to the thrones of the Super-men. The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums.'"

-G.K. Chesterton

Earl Thomas said...

I'm pretty sure the moral ones are the foundation for the intellectual and theological ones. That's why they are on the bottom.