Righteous Indignation: Definition and Meaning

When someone is treated unfairly by another person, or when a scenario deviates from social norms, one may experience righteous indignation. The emotion of outrage is expressed when events or behaviors that are thought to be unjust take place. The fault lies with unjust actions and conduct. Another component of righteous indignation's makeup is blame. When someone engages in blameworthy conduct, a sense of righteous indignation arises, and bad feelings are projected onto the offender. This may be triggered by disturbances that violate social norms.

Meaning of Righteous Indignation

"Righteous" refers to doing anything in accordance with moral or divine law or without guilt or sin. It can also refer to a choice or action that is justified or morally right, as well as one that is motivated by an outraged sense of justice or morality. Anger brought on by injustice, cruelty, or unworthiness is referred to as "indignation". Indignation is defined by the Standard Dictionary as "a feeling of anger mixed with contempt or disgust."

Self-righteousness, in which people take pride in themselves and believe they are always right and that no one is better than them, is not the same as righteous wrath. Moral anger is energy that is focused externally. When confronted with a situation including insulting attitudes, abuse, or injustice, it is a type of reactive emotion known as anger."

Sometimes people in your life act in ways that fall short of your standards and expectations, or they commit an unfair act that violates both the rules of nature and society. When erroneous actions and behaviors are to blame and negative emotions are aroused, anger may result. Such conditions cause one to become enraged.

Is it a Good Thing to Feel Righteous Anger?

When someone with this kind of rage is on the right side, it's regarded as righteous indignation. Or when someone experiences a rush of adrenaline while contemplating a circumstance that is not ethically just or appropriate. It should not be confused with conceit. If something is going against the rules of nature, social conventions, and human rights. And as you grow angry with it, your anger turns into righteous indignation.

Consider that you want to alter the unfair treatment. Or you might suffer harm because other individuals do not view the unfair circumstances as dangerous. However, if your goal is to promote righteousness and justice, then your anger is a good thing.

The Distinction Between Self-Righteousness and Righteous Indignation

The majority of people have false beliefs about righteous rage and self-righteousness. Fairness is defined as "treating people equally, without favoritism or discrimination." You do not follow righteous indignation when you make the decision to believe in your intuition and stand for what you believe to be true. Self-righteousness is what this is. A person who is self-righteous trusts themselves, their thoughts, their desires, their logic, and their sympathies, which is ironic.

Therefore, they never recognize the error of their ways. A self-righteous individual undervalues other people's feelings, emotions, and desires in this way. Anyone who misunderstands it and regards it as justifiable indignation is only doing themselves harm. You can only experience righteous outrage if you are angry over acts that violate the law and justice. Possessing a passion for the appropriate things might be beneficial.

Righteous Indignation in Politics

Righteous politics heavily depends on indignation. This is so because, depending on their decisions, politicians have the potential to upset a large number of people. Hundreds of thousands or millions of people are affected by the decisions that politicians make. Especially if the constituents are from the same political party as the politician, certain decisions they make may make many constituents angry because they feel like those actions go against what they stand for or believe in. The fact that people would criticize politicians' self-concept if they were not in favor of their programs or were in opposition to them makes politicians angry as well.

Righteous Indignation in Religion

In most cases, righteous indignation is an angry reaction to perceived injustice, insult, or malice. It is comparable to the concept of injustice. Some Christian traditions hold that the only form of wrath that is not wicked is righteous fury, such as when Jesus threw the moneylenders out of the temple.


In most cases, righteous indignation is an angry reaction to perceived injustice, insult, or malice. It is comparable to the concept of injustice. Some Christian traditions hold that the only form of wrath that is not immoral is righteous indignation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why is it difficult to be righteous?

Ans. Being righteous is challenging because we constantly wrestle with our morality and our ideas of what is moral. What we learn or hear in the books and what we observe in the real world that we live in (our environment and surroundings) constantly conflict. Being righteous is challenging because we lack the patience and forbearance to examine a matter in its entirety and because we are inundated with useless information.

Q2. What is meaning of Forgiveness?

Ans. In a psychological sense, forgiveness is the deliberate and willing process by which someone who initially feels victimized or wronged undergoes a change in feelings and attitude toward a specific offender, and overcomes the impact of the offense, including negative emotions like resentment and a desire for vengeance. The extent to which forgiveness also entails replacing negative emotions with positive attitudes varies among theorists, though. In some legal situations, the phrase "forgiveness" refers to the absolution or renunciation of all claims arising from debt, loans, obligations, or other claims.

Q3. What do you mean by self-righteousness?

Ans. Self-righteousness, also known as sanctimoniousness, sententiousness, and holier-than-thou attitudes, is a sense of moral superiority that arises from the conviction that one's ideas, activities, or connections are of greater virtue than those of the typical person. Self-righteous people frequently have no tolerance for the beliefs and actions of others.

Q4. What is Elitism?

Ans. The idea or belief that members of an elite group—a small group of people thought to possess an inherent quality, high intellect, wealth, power, notoriety, special skills, or experience—are more likely to contribute positively to society as a whole and, as a result, should have influence or authority over others. When authority is concentrated in the hands of a small group of people, the condition is referred to as elitism. Elitism is opposed by egalitarianism, anti-intellectualism, populism, and the political idea of pluralism.

Q5. What is Compassion?

Ans. People who are compassionate go above and beyond to ease the mental, emotional, or physical suffering of others and themselves. It's common knowledge that compassion is receptive to the emotional dimensions of another person's suffering. It might be regarded as rational in nature if it is based on ideas like fairness, justice, and interconnectedness. Empathy, the ability to "feel as another," is a precursor to compassion, which involves "feeling for another." In everyday language, active compassion is the desire to lessen another person's suffering. Allowing ourselves to be moved by suffering and feeling motivated to lessen and prevent it are both components of compassion.

Updated on: 11-May-2023


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