Other Names:
Collective self-righteousness

Self-righteousness (also called sanctimoniousness, sententiousness, and holier-than-thou attitudes) is a feeling or display of (usually smug) moral superiority derived from a sense that one's beliefs, actions, or affiliations are of greater virtue than those of the average person. Self-righteous individuals are often intolerant of the opinions and behaviors of others.

The term "self-righteous" is often considered derogatory (see, for example, journalist and essayist James Fallows' description of self-righteousness in regard to Nobel Peace Prize winners) particularly because self-righteous individuals are often thought to exhibit hypocrisy due to the belief that humans are imperfect and can therefore never be infallible, an idea similar to that of the Freudian defense mechanism of reaction formation. The connection between self-righteousness and hypocrisy predates Freud's views, however, as evidenced by the 1899 book Good Mrs. Hypocrite by the pseudonymous author "Rita".

No other species but humanity destroys its own kind for "ethical" reasons with the aid of technological "advances". No other species would be that righteous. No other species can pave over wetlands and then be amazed that rivers flood. No other species is that foolish. No other species can "harvest" 500 year old forests under the assumption that they can be replaced within 50 years. In fact the concept of "harvesting" the wilderness is a particularly repugnant terminology that pretends that all the earth is merely an outcropping of the agricultural revolution.
Broader Problems:
Related Problems:
Promoting self
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
01.01.2000 – 00:00 CET