I was talking with someone the other day who knows a lot about the human personality. He made a profound statement in the course of our conversation. He said, "a lot of argumentative, hateful people are an example of what I call pathological narcissism and intellectual laziness." I have to confess, I didn't know what he was talking about. So I asked him to explain.
But first, let me give a couple of old fashioned definitions. No Greek [excuse the pun] just Webster's dictionary. "Narcissism"...undue dwelling on one's own self, achievements,attainments or beliefs. "Laziness"...disliking exertion. You get the picture. Eyes for no one but me or mine and an unwillingness to exert energy or time thinking about someone else's thoughts or ideas.
He went on to say, "for some people, the pain of examining their own inner struggles, weaknesses, and failures [which we all have] is so great that they pathologically focus on what they do, believe, and accomplish, and must be correct in it all. [This is to avoid having to face those inner struggles and failures.] Their desire to be correct in accomplishments and beliefs, born out of this fear of personal inner inspection,leads them to an intellectual laziness about engaging ideas that are held by another. So, you have a person who becomes argumentative, opinionated, hateful and judgemental.
You can't dialogue with them because that takes two people listening as well as talking, and you'd better not disagree with them because that is an affront to their need to be right."
Well, I don't know much about the human personality but I think I've met some of these people. One thing for sure, I don't want to "be" one of these people.
By the way, do denominations have personalities?