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“In every culture, pride is seen as a challenge to the established god and humility is seen as obeisance before that god. In modern America, the reigning ‘god’ is the individual self. Confidence about anything other than self is therefore dismissed as arrogance. In other words, arrogance (biblically defined) is the one thing that is not seen as arrogance, and every form of biblical humility is redefined as a form of pride. The man who says, ‘The Bible teaches . . .’ is, by definition, a proud man. By contrast, the man who says, ‘It seems to me . . .’ is defined as humble. But the former is pointing away from himself entirely, while the second fellow is talking about his own thoughts and feelings, and nothing else.”

The Cultural Mind, pp. 219-220