I respectfully suggest that Mr. Baron’s concept of the effect of humility on creativity is erroneous
. It is historically disproved by the many original intellectual achievements by practicing Christians. For example, Gregor Mendel was a monk. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregor_Mendel
I suggest that viewing the universe as a created
universe is more fruitful in causing wonder
and awe, the source of philosophy and science
, than are any of the competing views of the origin of the universe.
Comments are solicited!Baron
“Ethics that emphasize virtues do not however have to fit well with seeing our own projects as meritorious, nor need they promote associated values. A religion that identified humility or submission as a virtue would be likely to be hostile to the pursuit of projects that we had devised. It would instead be likely to identify a project that was already laid down for us, to live in a given way and ultimately to achieve some specified goal such as union with God. If we accepted that humility and submission were virtues (and I do not), then we would be likely simply to accept the prescribed project and not to give serious consideration to alternatives. We might be encouraged to choose the prescribed project freely, but we would not be invited to make other choices. Autonomy is negated when it is reduced to the opportunity to make a free choice from a list that contains only on item.” (Emphasis added)
From the section “Virtue ethics and our own projects” in Projects & Values - An Ethic For Today, p.121Minogue
“The basic individualist notion that man is essentially a creature of the passions came in fact from Christianity, which is the direct and essential progenitor of European individualism. The Christian distinction between the spiritual and the secular powers lies at the heart of Western civic pluralism. It no doubt seems odd that a religion of humility warring against the snares of the world should have evolved anything so apparently fatal in our time to religious observance as individualism. Yet such inversions and reversals are in fact a staple of human experience, no less than of the theological imagination. The Weberian derivation of capitalism from Calvinism (to the extent that it is convincing) is merely one example of this: an unworldly attention to spiritual salvation led, remarkably, to success in laying up treasure in the world below.
Christianity is the source not only of individualism, but of the spiritual egalitarianism that individualism also involves...” (Emphasis added) The Servile Mind, p. 165
in a higher and ethical sense is that by which a man has a modest estimate of his own worth, and submits himself to others.”
“To guard against an erroneous idea of humility, it is necessary to explain the manner in which we ought to esteem our own gifts in reference to the gifts of others, if called upon to make a comparison.”
“A man, however, may generally esteem some good in his neighbour which he does not himself possess, or acknowledge some defect or evil in himself which he does not perceive in his neighbour, so that, whenever anyone subjects himself out of humility to an equal or to an inferior he does so because he takes that equal or inferior to be his superior in some respect.”
“The four cardinal virtues are prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance, and all other moral virtues are annexed to theses either as integral, potential, or subjective parts. Humility is annexed to the virtue of temperance as a potential part, because temperance includes all those virtues that refrain or express the inordinate movements of our desires or appetites. Humility is a repressing or moderating virtue opposed to pride and vainglory or that spirit within us which urges us to great things above our strength and ability, and therefore it is included in temperance just as meekness which represses anger is a part of the same virtue. From what we have here stated it follows that humility is not the first or the greatest of the virtues.”
“Humility, inasmuch as it seems to keep the mind and heart submissive to reason and to God, has its own function in connection with faith and all the other virtues, and it may therefore be said to be a universal virtue.”
“The vices opposed to humility are,
pride: by reason of defect, and
a too great obsequiousness or abjection of oneself, which would be an excess of humility. This might easily be derogatory to a man's office or holy character; or it might serve only to pamper pride in others, by unworthy flattery, which would occasion their sins of tyranny, arbitrariness, and arrogance.
The virtue of humility may not be practised in any external way which would occasion such vices or acts in others.” http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07543b.htm