People feel responsible for everything except for what they do

Thomas Hamilton: perpetrator of the Dunblane massacre

Dalrymple writes that

querulous self-righteousness, combined with a refusal to look inward or to examine one’s own conduct and motives, is characteristic of our age.

He notes that

a curious reversal in the locus of moral concern has taken place: people feel responsible for everything except for what they do.

The querulousness which lies at the heart of such events as the Dunblane massacre,

and of which it is an extreme manifestation, is fostered daily, hourly, in almost all our newspapers and on radio and television. Our belief in a constantly expanding number of rights, and that everyone except for a tiny gilded minority is a victim of circumstance, favours a frame of mind in which revenge upon the world is justified.

Of course,

self-exculpation, self-justification and special pleading are nothing new in human psychology. But never have these rather unattractive human traits had so much material upon which to work.

Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.


  • James  On September 10, 2018 at 17:20

    St Paul would have understood. He has a good deal to say about self-righteousness. Self-righteousness, self-assertion, the domination and spread of what has been called the “Imperial Self”, is the problem.

    Love spreads by finding, and creating, fuel on which to feed. The Imperial Self, which is a destructive parody of love, works in the same way. That is why pandering to it is so useless.

    Self-denial and unreserved love of God and neighbour are the opposite to the Imperial Self. This is why Saints are good for society, and badly needed by it, even though the good of society which they incidentally foster cannot be their main priority.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: