Benevolent Chivalric Hubrism: The Eupathology of Chivalry

Recently, and linked to this article, I wrote about a DSM for positive conditions. The first positive condition, I suggest, is BCH. Benevolent Chivalric Hubrism. It is a personality eupathology analagous to its dark cousin NPD. In one sense, it is being poisoned by own’s own pride but with a intense sense of nobility. It is, in one sense, roughly and inexactly, philosophical magical thinking because it entails a belief in morals and a code of honor with such force that it divorces one from the material world. Earning goodie points with one’s own conscious and the self-image of being good is the source of ego. They are not living for the next world in the chronological sense but they are living for the abstract paradigm of ethics and morals and living in almost no capacity for the physical world.

It is sometimes comorbid with HPC, hubristic personality condition, which is a mesopathology and is a neutral cousin to the malpathology of NPD. HPC entails being proud of one’s status and even one’s reputation. The chief difference between BCH, HPC, and NPD, the three egos differentiated by qualitative nature as opposed to quantative degree, is that NPD puts themselves before others materially, while BCH puts themselves above others in terms of moral expectation, and HPC just sees themselves as above others in a classist sense but doesn’t see others as scum compared to themselves, just average, doesn’t try to advance themselves at the expense of others, and can easily be interpersonally humble and altruistic. NPD is seeing others as either puny or utilities, does seek self-advancement at the expense of others, and/or disportioniately enjoys personally belittling people.

All have inflated egos but one expects highly of themselves and the other has no moral compass except whatever it takes to get ahead. Does one take pride in being a saint or a star? BCH is a pathology that has its pros and cons but more pros than cons. Another difference, is NPD is mostly concerned with how one appears to others whereas BCH is mostly concerned with how one appears to oneself.

NPD doesn’t want to be caught cheating while BCH’s honor is gravely insulted by the thought even crossing their mind. A neurotypical would not feel especially guilty over cheating on a test. The guilt of a neurotypical is fickle and while they lack an inflated ego, they are, generally, selfish and greedy enough that the seemingly victimless crime of academic dishonesty would not cause them remorse. The average joe or jane doesn’t feel a pride in their character over not committing victimless-in-the-acute crimes. Absent a tangible deterent, they’ll be bad.

That is why BCH is a pathology and it does lead to deviant behavior if one’s morality conflicts with society’s morality. If they come from a background in politics a/o religion, martyrdom is what saints do. They may feel physically sick at the thought of academic dishonesty or something like shoplifting which a neurotypical would lose no sleep over. In many cases, BCH has no respect for the law or human authority. In fact, if the pride in their character is borne enough in altruism then martyrdom for a noble cause is something they may seek. Therefore, breaking the law is an act of selfless sacrifice and is very honorable.

The relationship of BCH to authority determines subtypes of BCH. The pro and anti authority subtypes. That is between those who believe civil disobedience is the rule and not the exception and those who believe civil disobedience is the exception and not the rule. The basic ideological difference is the anti-authority subtype believes abstract morality is essentialist and objective while the pro-authority subtype believes that authority is essentialist and objective. Martin Luther famously held that confession was useless since humans sin perpetually and that human authority is always inexact and fallen compared to the Platonic Ideal of God.

An anti-authority BCH believes that morality, being abstract and perfect, cannot be represented by human institutions and therefore all human institutions are, to some degree, flawed, and any time, to whatever slight degree, abstract morality contradicts the statutes of an institution, which happens all the time because every rule deviates from the Platonic Ideal moral, abstract morals take precedence. If all rules are, even to a small degree, wrong then every rule may be broken. Well, insofar as it is wrong.

Pro-authority BCH believes that decrees from human authority are, for all intents and purposes, Platonic Ideals. Outside of major morals, for the minor stuff, God or absract morality basically gave a tenth amendment clause to human authority. The tenth amendment in the US constitution says all powers not claimed by the federal government are left to the states. It’s like some interpetations of Romans 13 in the Bible where God effectively says that human authority can determine what is and what is not a sin because disobeying them is a sin. To anti-authority BCH, that is literally idolatry.

Anti-authority BCH can often be misread as not being deeply honor-bound because regularly disobeying authority and society doesn’t look like a boy scout but at their psychological core, they are a boy scout. Their world is dominated and defined by honor and shame. Oftentimes, they are a Yurodivyi, a “fool for Christ” in the Orthodox Christian tradition. What is effectively a satirist and eccentric who lampoons the hypocrisy and standards of society through their comic commentary, very often in the form of acting out and street improv, of sorts. That is often how anti-authority BCH expresses itself. It is not only the good twin of NPD but the good twin of ASPD. It is constant rebellion against society borne of intense and powerful moral conviction.

BCH is the pathology of exceptional moral conviction and deep senses of honor and shame. The internal feeling is that of a boy scout or a perfect Victorian gentleman but the outward phenotypes can be almost the opposite of one another: strict conformity in most cases and complete and absolute rebellion. Anti-authority BCH is less common since systems of honor tend to be married to one’s public perception and the approval of authorities and institutions.

Having a belief in morality fully divorced from human authority requires things like an oxytocin defecit and lack of social cues. It is boy scout on the inside manifesting as Abbie Hoffman on the outside. Anti-authority BCH is most common in eusocial autism as opposed to asocial autism. That is being extroverted on the spectrum. It’s a lot of serotonin-based sympathy devoid of oxytocin-based conformity combined with dopamine-based pride in one’s character.

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