Beyond “virtue signaling”— virtue flexing.
What is virtue flexing?
When an individual says something or acts/lives a certain way to “flex”how ‘virtuous’ they are. They try to show their superiority over you by signaling that their form of virtue is superior to yours.
Why do people virtue flex?
I think people virtue flex because they want to feel superior to you. They also want to superimpose their code of morals and ethics upon you, and try to shame you into believing their way is the best way (and better than yours).
The problem with virtue flexing:
When people flex their virtue in a public manner, their beliefs are probably ingenuine.
A genuine virtue is something you do in private for your own sake. You don’t care whether others applaud you for your virtue. Also, you might prefer to NOT have others emulate your virtues. Your virtues are for you, and perhaps that is what makes them valuable.
My personal ambition is to share what I consider my virtues in order to encourage others to come up with their own virtues for themselves.
Is virtue flexing bad?
I don’t think it is bad, it is just annoying. Especially when others virtue flex, they are the most close minded people. For myself I believe in tolerance and open mindedness. I don’t care whether others share my beliefs or not. I simply care whether their thoughts are genuine or not. I believe society can only thrive if there is mutual tolerance and open mindedness to others. All intolerance is bad, unless the intolerance infringes on the rights of others. Nassim Taleb says we should be maximally intolerant towards the intolerant (for example, we must punish and be maximally intolerant towards the KKK and individuals and organizations who aren’t tolerant towards the rights of others).
Do you have real or fake virtues?
You dictate what your virtues are. Don’t let others superimpose their virtues upon you. Open mindedness, tolerance, and mutual respect — this seems like good rules on living life.