Study/knowledge for its own sake

Not sure whether this would count as morality or spirituality, but as there is a moral aspect I suppose this forum is perhaps better!

I’ve always been quite curious/inquisitive about things, reading up on various subjects. I’m nearing the end of a New Testament course with a catholic higher education institution, which also runs a postgrad course on spirituality. This spirituality course sounds very interesting and I’m quite interested in trying it.

My main reservation is: I’ve been told, by various sources, that there is a moral dimension to gaining knowledge. That it’s possible to have a desire for knowledge that takes someone into the sin of pride. This can particularly be the case when someone is seeking knowledge purely for their own personal benefit, without the possibility that this knowledge can be used for the benefit of other people. So in this case, it would be preferable to study this extra course only if there was a clear benefit to other people from the knowledge I would gain on the course. At the moment it sems to me that the only person who would benefit from this would be me.

Would it be right to say there is a moral aspect to this? That I should consider the potential benefit (or lack of obvious benefit) to other people into acount when deciding to do this course? And perhaps decide against if I think I’m doing it for purely selfish reasons?

Where did you read that knowledge for one’s own gain is sinful? Wouldn’t personal knowledge of God and Christ and the Church for one’s self be sinful?

I think the context in which knowledge for one’s own gain might be sinful is if it is knowledge that would benefit others, but one keeps it for themselves. I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong for seeking knowledge for one’s self as long as they are open to sharing any knowledge gained that might benefit others.

Just because you don’t see how having this knowledge would directly benefit someone else in an obvious way doesn’t make it evil. It is certainly never wrong to seek truth (unless the means by which you are seeking it is harming someone else, which isn’t the case here), especially religious truth.

One could be too proud of one’s study or knowledge, but I don’t see that that has any connection to the question of who benefits from that study or knowledge. The benefits of knowledge can reach farther than you imagine, whether you intend it or not.

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