Vainglory and Credulity
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Vainglory and Credulity book
WHEN a schoolboy on first reading Homer finds his heroes on the battlefield bragging before gods and men of their personal prowess and courage and the righteousness of their cause and heaping abusive epithets upon the enemy, it seems to him " b a d form" and a bit ridiculous as well. As he grows more familiar and sympathetic with the naïveté of the primitive mind, this feeling passes away, and a certain charm attaches to these simple utterances of natural emotion. It is only in the third move that we appreciate the essential humour of the situation. It consists in the unconscious and confident parade of our secret passions as authentic and disinterested standards of objective values. This is everywhere and always the staple of the human comedy. It has grown with civilization and is bred of its bone. For civilization has been continually engaged in repressing this natural tendency of a strong personal bias to usurp the throne of judgment and to pose as objective truth. It is partly for the sake of peace and order that civilized society forbids us openly to dilate upon our own merits and the defects of those whom we dislike, and partly out of a growing regard for stricter and juster judgments than are thus provided.