Morning Trip (310)

“The kinds of stories we tell about ourselves can also vary greatly across cultures. Along some dimensions, Asians, on average, do less self-inflating than Westerners; along other dimensions–notably ‘collectivist’ virtues, such as loyalty to the group–Asians tend to do more self-inflating than Westerners. Still, the basic pattern of self-inflation holds worldwide, and that’s particularly true when it comes to ethical virtues such as fairness; on average, people think they’re morally above average. This is an especially important piece of self-flattery, because it helps fuel the self-righteousness that starts and sustains conflicts, ranging from quarrels to wars.”
–Robert Wright, Why Buddhism Is True

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