Self-Denial is the first order of Moral Code. All Virtue aligns with it. All Vanity scoffs at it.
All religions offer their denouement at the limit of self-denial, in the perfection of self-mortification. They vary only in the details.
‘Civilization is self-restraint’ declared Rajagopalachari, once a distant neighbor, a man of scholarship and of God [a prolific translator of Sanskrit epics that crowded my boyhood bookshelf].
It was a favored maxim of Sigmund Freud, an acute observer of the Human Condition; and an Atheist.
You might not know that the English word ‘Virtue’ and ‘Virile’ actually have a common root [Latin: Virtut, Virilis; tell that to your Padre and watch him go pale] and in turn link to the Sanskrit Vir.
Virtue is related to Masculinity to ‘Manliness’ [before the Feminists got hold of the word]. And where you see a deficit of Manliness you invariably see a surplus of Cunning. Give me a manly culture any-day.