July 5, 2013
We’ve all heard the famous quote “patience is a virtue”. As true as this statement is, I don’t think we really grasp the meaning of what a virtue really is. I would describe a virtue as a morally good character trait that one is not born with, but must strive for. Patience is a perfect example of this. No child is born with patience. Many times a child will interrupt the mother who is in the middle of a conversation because it wants candy and simply cannot wait for the mother to finish the conversation. So what is it that makes virtues important? I believe the answer can be found in the theory of Virtue Ethics.
Virtue Ethics is the theory of how people should be. In other words, we shouldn’t act with honesty, we should be honest. By being honest, honesty becomes second nature to us. It is easier for someone to be honest if they have the virtue of honesty. Being virtuous will benefit someone when they are faced with decisions, challenges, or circumstances. For example, it will benefit a college student to be perseverant because obtaining a degree is not easy. Virtue Ethics defines the context of right and wrong based on the virtues valued in a society. The right thing to do in society as we know it would be to act with virtues like honesty or integrity and the wrong thing to do would be to act with vice, the opposite of a virtue.
I believe there are many things about virtue ethics that are true. What I agree with most is Aristotle’s view of how virtues must be balanced. For example, in order to be courageous one obviously not be fearful of harmless like lady bugs, but also must not be so recklessly bold that they would try to fight someone who decides to go into the grocery store and shoot everyone in sight. Being courageous, in my opinion, is acting in situations where fear is present, but not letting that fear control you. Someone who is courageous would fear for...
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