It’s a commonplace that vices are sick virtues.

Some vices are crippled virtues.  Some vices are bloated virtues.

So what is the healthy virtue that, when ill, becomes the vice of selfishness.


We don’t have a word for it, which is always telling. When your society as a whole lacks a clear counterpart virtue for a vice that it clearly attacks, its a sign. If your society attacks the bloated vice but ignores the virtue, it usually means that your society praises the crippled vice as virtue.

It then behooves the student of character and the man who would be learned in virtue to recover the base virtue that is being ignored.

So what does a virtuous version of concern for oneself look like?

It has some parts self-respect. Some parts self-reliance. Thumos, especially in the new modern way the virtue of Thumos has been understood.  Self-love, in the sense in which one is commanded to love one’s neighbor’s as oneself.

But most of all, the virtue is righteous pride.  The scriptural term for righteous pride is glory.


Glory and love are the two dominant virtues of God. He has said that his work and His glory are to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. This is the type of work we normally see as selfless. Thus we see that Glory and Love–selfness and selflessness–are in fact highly complementary.

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