Comment I left at VP apropos of nothing, because I was triggered. Nothing new here, but it’s a good summary and worth repeating.
There is no room for false modesty – Not where genius is concerned
Okay, this is true but there’s a counterbalance that needs to be acknowledged.
Humility is absolutely essential to genius because it is more important for obtaining correct answers than intelligence (I won’t have to convince anyone here of the importance of intelligence). I won’t get into the detailed reason for this. In contrast, false modesty is a form of peacocking and is a perfect predictor of self-aggrandizement, which is the opposite trait of genius.
The key is to understand the difference between relative and absolute measures, which requires a belief that aesthetics and truth are objective. A genius understands that in the grand scheme of things, he is an insignificant mote of dust. However, he acknowledges that he has some truth he is morally obliged to share with his fellow man out of generosity, which assumes a position of relative superiority. That superiority could be as simple as the understanding that “I have this great story in my head, and nobody else does”.
In the West, this moral obligation arises either from Christian charity or some form of secular humanism, but very few geniuses hail from the latter camp because the belief in one’s relative superiority (in some significant way) leads to absolute superiority within that system. It is a contradictory delusion to believe otherwise, although the existence of a few atheist geniuses like Bertrand Russell shows it is possible.
(Russell achieved this by being depressed and miserable for his entire life, which is a sinful but effective way to starve one’s self-aggrandizing instincts of motivation.)