That form is moral narcissism—a pathology that underlies the whole liberal left ethic today and some of the right as well. What exactly is this form of narcissism that is destroying—if it hasn’t already destroyed—our families, friendships, workplace atmosphere, and democratic republic?
The short form is this: What you believe, or claim to believe or say you believe—not what you do or how you act or what the results of your actions may be—defines you as a person and makes you “good.” It is how your life will be judged by others and by yourself. In 19th-century France, the gastronome Jean Brillat-Savarin told us that “you are what you eat.” In 21st-century America, almost all of us seem to have concluded that “you are what you say you are. You are what you proclaim your values to be, irrespective of their consequences.” That is moral narcissism.