Virtue and Friendship Essay

A friend is defined as a person whom one knows, likes, and trusts. So friendship is when two people know each other well, and trust each other. But the real definition of a friend and friendship is based upon one’s own notions. Lots of people say they are friends but they aren’t. One can appreciate and admire someone, but that doesn’t make them friends. Friends are people without whom your life wouldn’t be complete.

What is friendship?! It is knowing that there is a person whom you can trust completely.

It is sharing your grief and happiness with them. It is helping them solve problems, and knowing they will do the same for you. It is forgiving them if they were wrong because you know they didn’t mean it. It is sharing your dreams, hopes, and secrets together. It is coming to help them and expecting nothing in return. It is finding time for each other no matter what.

Friendship is the relationship between two people who really care about each other. But it is not an easy task. Friendship demands time and effort. Developing and maintaining friendship is a challenge. But in exchange, a friend can provide a lot of support and comfort in both good and bad times.

Friendship is not a matter of the amount of time you spend with someone. Rather, it is a measure of the depth that arises between the two. It is a lifelong experience. It is a very personal and unique thing. It connects people by their feelings. And friendship is superior to every valuable thing in life.

Sometimes, we may discover that the person we thought was a good and trusted friend was in fact not. It might also occur that at one point of life you are friends, and then something happened and you can never be friends anymore. Things happen, this is how life is. But without friendship, it’s hard to maintain happiness.

Many things are needed to make friendship a good one, including trustworthiness, support, honesty, and loyalty. So, friendship is not an easy thing. Having friends is the greatest gift of life and having friendship is the greatest value of life. So I hope that everyone will value friendship in life.

Human Virtues Essay

Virtues consist of a set of character strengths, these strengths represent good character. They are wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence. Wisdom and courage are two virtues that my Grand Father encompassed. He was a very strong and knowledgeable man. His life revolved around going against all odds, he truly believed in beating whatever he was at battle against. His perseverance was with him till the day he died. He passed away at the age of 65, he wasn’t that old, yet he was a very wise man.

His personality was filled with love, care and compassion for others. Very open-minded, when he met someone he was the one who always found the good in them, no matter who they were. If a situation would arise, he never just considered what was likely to occur, he looked at the “whole” picture. His love for learning was obvious, one of his hobbies was reading. When asked why, he would reply, “the more you read, the more you know”.

He was a stickler for making us do well in school.

He wanted each of us to have a good education to build our lives out of. He was a Lieutenant in the Federal Prison System for 25 years, after retiring from the Army, his life here was to provide for and protect his family, which he done with a happy, energetic, and determined attitude. His gratitude for life was amazing, he taught us all the meaning of Live, Laugh, Love. He walked this life on faith, while teaching others how to do the same along the way.

Although his life at home was well rounded and energized by his love, his life at work was a very emotional one. It became as if life in prison, was life for him too. He developed emotional attachments to the inmates, He cared for them, he knee their situations, and he knew why they were there. His courage allowed him to become involved in their lives, which paid off in his favor the night he and some others were held hostage in Virginia Federal Prison, by a convicted serial killer.

Yet once again, he put forth is faith, his knowledge and courage and talked the inmate down. He helped release the others, and saved many lives includ8ng his own. Wisdom and courage I think are two virtues that we all should possess. I try to live by good character, I think back on all of the talks me and my Grand Father had, and all the years in between. I smile and think to myself, “yes, I sure wish I could be just like him”.

Moral virtue Essay

1. 0 INTRODUCTION MAN ATTAINS HIS ULTIMATE END THROUGH GOOD ACTIONS, THAT IS, IN CONFORMITY WITH LAW AND HIS CONSCIENCE. THESE GOOD ACTIONS CAN BE HELPED BY GOOD HABITS CALLED VIRTUES. VIRTUE IS NOT SOMETHING ABSTRACT POSSIBLY NO TERM IN THE HISTORY OF MORAL THOUGHT HAS STIMULATED MORE INTEREST, REFLECTION AND SPECULATION THAN THAT OF VIRTUE. VIRTUE IS NOT SOMETHING ABSTRACT AND DETACHED FROM LIFE BUT ON THE CONTRARY IT HAS DEEP ROOTS IN LIFE ITSELF. IT SPRING UP FROM THE LATTER AND FORMS IT.

VIRTUE HAS AN IMPACT ON MAN’S LIFE, ON HIS actions and behavior.

It serves the good of man and his true happiness even on earth1 . So IN THIS PAPER I TRY TO SEE THE VIRTUES, THE MEANING AND THE MAIN VIRTUES, IMPORTANCE OF VIRTUES IN THIS PRESENT ERA AND THE KEY VIRTUE AND MY FAVORITE VIRTUE ALSO MENTIONED. 1. 1 THE MEANING AND DEFINITION OF VIRTUE THE WORD VIRTUE COMES FROM THE LATIN WORD FOR MAN AND ORIGINALLY MEANT A GOOD QUALITY THAT HUMANS (MEN) PRACTICE (MANLINESS) AND WHICH MAKES THEM DIFFERENT THAN ANIMALS.

VIRTUE CAN ALSO MEAN MORAL EXCELLENCE, UPRIGHTNESS, GOODNESS, STRENGTH, COURAGE, AND WORTH AND SO ON. NOWADAYS A VIRTUE MEANS A GOOD QUALITY THAT CAUSES HUMANS TO HELP EACH OTHER AND TO ACT FOR THE GOOD OF THEIR FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES RATHER THAN JUST FOR WHAT GIVES THEM PERSONAL PLEASURE. ACCORDING TO CATECHISM OF CATHOLIC CHURCH NO.

1803 “A VIRTUE IS A HABITUAL AND FIRM DISPOSITION TO DO THE GOOD. IT ALLOWS THE PERSON NOT ONLY TO PERFORM GOOD ACTS, BUT TO GIVE THE BEST OF HIM. THE VIRTUOUS PERSON TENDS TOWARD THE GOOD WITH ALL HIS SENSORY AND SPIRITUAL POWERS; HE PURSUES THE GOOD AND CHOOSES IT IN CONCRETE ACTIONS”. A VIRTUE IS A “POWER” (VIRTUS), IN THE LITERAL SENSE OF THE WORD. IT IS THE POWER TO ACCOMPLISH MORAL GOOD, AND ESPECIALLY TO DO IT JOYFULLY AND PERSEVERINGLY EVEN AGAINST INNER AND OUTER OBSTACLES AND AT THE COST OF SACRIFICE.

WHEN THAT POWER IS TURNED TO EVIL IT IS CALLED A VICE. VIRTUES ARE POWERS ROOTED IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD, IN GRACE, THAT ENABLE US TO ESTABLISH AND NURTURE HEALTHY AND LIFE GIVING RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, THE NEIGHBOR, THE WORLD AND THE SELF. THEY PROMPT US TO ACT IN SUCH A WAY AS TO EXCLUDE EXTREME FORMS OF ACTION. THUS, THE SAYING: IN MEDIO STAT VIRTUS, THAT IS “IN MIDDLE STANDS VIRTUE. ” GENUINE VIRTUE FLOWS FROM THE CORRECT FUNDAMENTAL OPTION. 1. 2 VIRTUES IN THE HOLY SCRIPTURE THERE IS NO HEBREW TERM IN THE OT THAT CONVEYS THE GENERAL MEANING OF VIRTUE.

WHILE THE AUTHORS OF THE HEBREW SCRIPTURES WERE CERTAINLY AWARE OF MANY HUMAN VIRTUES, IT WAS NOT UNTIL THE OT WAS TRANSLATED INTO GREEK THAT THE WORD ARETE (VIRTUE OR EXCELLENCE) WAS 1 Thomas Pazahyampallil SDB, Pastoral Guide vol. 1 Christhu Jyothi Publications :Bangalore. 2004. pg. 394-395 USED. THE TERM IS ALSO INFREQUENTLY USED IN THE IN THE NT BUT POSSIBLY THE REASON FOR THIS BECAUSE THE NT AUTHORS MAY HAVE THOUGHT THAT THE WORD WAS TOO ANTHROPOCENTRIC AND STRESSED HUMAN ACHIEVEMENT AND MERIT. WHENEVER THE WORD IS USED HOWEVER IT DOES NOT DENOTE MORAL GOODNESS.

THOUGH THE WORD IS USED INFREQUENTLY IN NT IT IS MORE COMMONPLACE TO FIND LISTS OF VIRTUES THAT DESCRIBE MORAL EXISTENCE IN THE EARLY YEARS OF Christian community in the Pauline letters sand in the pastoral letters. 2 1. 3 DIFFERENT KINDS OF VIRTUES THE VIRTUES ARE INFINITE IN NUMBER. WE CANNOT COUNT UP ALL THE VIRTUES IN GENERAL. BUT WHEN WE SPECIFY IT WE CAN EMPHASIZE CERTAIN VIRTUES OR WE MAY MAKE A DISTINCTION IN VIRTUES MAINLY ON THEOLOGICAL AND CARDINAL VIRTUES.

WE KNOW DIFFERENT PERSONS ARE FULFILLING THEIR LIVES BY PRACTICING CERTAIN VIRTUES. SO IT VARIES PERSON TO PERSON. THEOLOGY HAS TRADITIONALLY DISTINGUISHED BETWEEN NATURAL AND SUPERNATURAL VIRTUES.

BUT IN LIGHT OF OUR PRESENT UNDERSTANDING OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NATURE AND GRACE, THIS HARD AND FAST DISTINCTION NEEDS TO BE UNDERSTOOD IN A DIFFERENT WAY. SUPERNATURAL VIRTUES ARE NOT SOMETHING ADDED TO NATURAL VIRTUES. ON THE OTHER HAND THE DISTINCTION DOES REMIND US THAT VIRTUE IS ROOTED IN HUMAN, NOT DIVORCED FROM IT.

ANOTHER DISTINCTION IS BETWEEN ACQUIRED AND INFUSED VIRTUES. SEEN FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF ITS SOURCE AND ROOTEDNESS, A VIRTUE IS “INFUSED” BY GOD. A THIRD DISTINCTION IS BETWEEN THEOLOGICAL (FAITH, HOPE AND CHARITY) AND MORAL OR CARDINAL VIRTUES (PRUDENCE, JUSTICE, TEMPERANCE, AND FORTITUDE).

THE THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES ARE INFUSED BY GOD HIMSELF AND IT LEADS TO THE TRIUNE GOD. SCRIPTURE AND TRADITION SPEAK OF A TRIAD OF SUCH FUNDAMENTAL SUPERNATURAL VIRTUES WHICH ARE SPECIFIED BY THEIR BEING THE BASIC MODES OF INCREASING ACCEPTANCE OF THE DIVINE SELF COMMUNICATION BY GRACE AND OF DIRECTING MAN’S SPIRITUAL, PERSONAL LIFE TOWARDS GOD BY SHARING IN GOD’S LIFE ITSELF. THIS TRIAD IS FOUND IN THE NT (1COR. 13:13; 1THES. 1:3; 5:8; EPH. 1:15-18; COL. 1:4F; HEB. 10:22-24).

THEY ARE CALLED INFINITE VIRTUES BECAUSE THEIR FORMAL OBJECT IS NOT A FINITE MORAL PERSONAL VALUE BUT GOD HIMSELF, AS HE MAKES HIMSELF THE LIFE OF MAN BY HIS SELF COMMUNICATION. THE CARDINAL VIRTUES ARE ALSO IMPORTANT IN OUR DAY TO DAY LIFE TO LIVE A GOOD MORAL LIFE. 1. 4 MY FAVORITE VIRTUE – CHARITY LOVE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT AND KEY VIRTUE, WHICH I LIKE THE MOST.

NO VIRTUE IS MORE FULLY EXPRESSIVE OF THE RELATIONAL MODEL OF THE CHRISTIAN MORAL LIFE THAN CHARITY, OR LOVE. WE SEE THAT ALL OF JESUS’ MORAL TEACHINGS AND THOSE OF THE EARLY CHURCH HAVE BEEN CONCENTRATED IN THE ONE COMMANDMENT OF LOVE: LOVE OF GOD AND LOVE OF NEIGHBOR (MK. 12:28-34; MT. 2 James J. Walter, “Virtue” in The New dictionary of Theology theological publications in India : Bangalore : 2006, pp. 1081-1085. 22:34-40; LK. 10:25-37; GAL. 5:14,1COR. 13; 1 JN. 3:23). AND WE HAVE SEEN THAT VIRTUE IS A HABITUAL AND FIRM DISPOSITION TO DO THE GOOD.

AND IF WE HAVE LOVE WE WILL NOT DO ANYTHING HARMFUL TO GOD OR NEIGHBOR. ST. PAUL SAYS “AND NOW FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE ABIDE THESE THREE; AND THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE” (1COR. 13:13). LOVE IS LIVED FAITH AND LIVED HOPE. THE ONE VIRTUE WITHOUT THE OTHER TWO IS RADICALLY INCOMPLETE, DEAD. COUNCIL OF TRENT TEACHES US THE FIRST AND MOST NECESSARY GIFT IS CHARITY BY WHICH WE LOVE GOD ABOVE ALL things and our neighbor because of him. 3.

LET US SEE THE WORD MEANING OF LOVE. THE WORD CHARITY COMES FROM THE GREEK WORD CHARIS WHICH MEANS GRACE(FAVOUR) OR FROM THE LATIN WORD CARUM WHICH MEANS DEAR (OF GREAT VALUE) BOTH MEAN SAME THING GRACE IS DEAR , THAT IS OF GREAT VALUE IN ENGLISH IT HAS GOT ONLY ONE MEANING, BUT IN GREEK FOR LOVE MANY WORDS ARE USED. FOR EXAMPLE EPITHEMIA IS DESIRE, WITH THE CONNOTATION OF LUST.

THIS IS SEXUAL LOVE. EROS IS THE DRIVE TOWARD UNION WITH OTHERS WHICH BRINGS SELF-FULFILLMENT. PHILIA IS AFFECTIONATE LOVE SUCH AS THAT AMONG BROTHERS, SISTERS AND FRIENDS. AGAPE IS TOTAL DEDICATION AND DEVOTION TO THE WELFARE OR OTHER, REGARDLESS OF SACRIFICE AND PERSONAL COST.

MANY EXPERIENCES OF AUTHENTIC LOVE BY HUMAN BEINGS WILL ENTAIL A PROPORTIONATE BLENDING OF THESE FOUR ELEMENTS. CHRISTIAN LOVE CONSISTS IN AN INTIMATE PARTICIPATION IN THE LIFE OF GOD WHO IS LOVE (1JN. 4:8, 16). IT IS A GIFT FROM GOD THAT IS MEDITATED BY CHRIST AND ACTIVATED BY THE SPIRIT. IT CALLS US TO SHARE IN THE PASCHAL MYSTERY BY WHICH CHRIST HANDED HIMSELF OVER TO DEATH AND THEREFORE WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD AND EXALTED BY THE FATHER (PHIL. 2; 5-11).

CHRISTIAN LOVE IS ROOTED IN THE WHOLE LIFE, DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF CHRIST. HE IS MODEL THROUGH HIS LIFE OF SERVICE (MK. 10:45), THROUGH HIS COMPLETE SELF GIVING ON THE CROSS, AND THROUGH HIS PASSING OVER TO THE FATHER. CHRISTIAN LOVE IS SAME SELF GIVING, EVEN TO THE POINT OF CRUCIFIXION. “NO ONE HAS GREATER LOVE THAN THIS, TO LAY DOWN ONE’S LIFE FOR ONE’S FRIENDS” (Jn. 15:13)4.

CHARITY IS THE LAST AND THE GREATEST OF THE THREE THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES; THE OTHER TWO ARE FAITH AND HOPE. WHILE IT IS OFTEN CALLED LOVE AND CONFUSED IN THE POPULAR UNDERSTANDING WITH COMMON DEFINITIONS OF THE LATTER WORD, CHARITY IS MORE THAN A SUBJECTIVE FEELING OR EVEN AN OBJECTIVE ACTION OF THE WILL TOWARD ANOTHER PERSON.

LIKE THE OTHER THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES, CHARITY IS SUPERNATURAL IN THE SENSE THAT GOD IS BOTH ITS ORIGIN AND ITS OBJECT. AS FR. JOHN A. HARDON, S. J. , WRITES IN HIS MODERN CATHOLIC DICTIONARY, CHARITY IS THE “INFUSED SUPERNATURAL VIRTUE BY WHICH A PERSON LOVES GOD ABOVE ALL THINGS FOR HIS [THAT IS, GOD’S] OWN SAKE, AND LOVES OTHERS FOR GOD’S SAKE. ” LIKE ALL VIRTUES, CHARITY 3 Thomas Pazahyampallil SDB, Pastoral Guide vol. 1 Christhu Jyothi Publications : Bangalore,2004. pg. 729. 4 Ibid. 602 IS AN ACT OF THE WILL, AND THE EXERCISE OF CHARITY INCREASES OUR LOVE FOR GOD AND FOR OUR FELLOW MAN;

BUT BECAUSE CHARITY IS A GIFT FROM GOD, WE CANNOT INITIALLY ACQUIRE THIS VIRTUE BY OUR OWN ACTIONS. I THINK THAT IF WE PRACTICE THE VIRTUE LOVE ALL OTHER WILL FOLLOW AUTOMATICALLY. FOR EXAMPLE IF I DEEPLY AND WHOLE HEARTEDLY LOVE A PERSON I WILL BE AWARE ABOUT HIM AND HIS NEEDS. HERE THE VIRTUE LOVE OF NEIGHBOR IS FULFILLED. AGAIN IF I LOVE A PERSON I WILL SPEAK HIM WITH PATIENCE AND AFFECTION. AND EVEN IF WE ARE OUT OF MOOD IN THE PRESENCE OF DEAR FRIEND WE WILL TRY TO BE COOL AND GENTLE.

SO ALSO IF WE ARE IN ANGRY MOOD WE WILL HAVE A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF CONTROL OVER IT IN THE BEHALF OF OUR FRIEND ONE WHO LOVES AND LOVED.

MOREOVER, WE WILL BE FAITH FULL TO HISHER PHYSICAL OR MENTAL NEEDS AND EVEN TO THE SALVATION OF HISHER SOUL. FINALLY IT REACHES TO GOD. SO IT STARTS FROM GOD AND PASSES THROUGH OTHERS AND ENDS IN GOD. I HOPE IT IS THE VOCATION OF OUR LIFE WE SHOULD HAVE TO FULFILL. SO WHATEVER WAY WE LOOK AT THE VIRTUE LOVE IT TAKES ALL OTHER VIRTUES TOGETHER WITH IT. THAT IS WHY I POINTED THAT BY PRACTICING THE VIRTUE LOVE OR CHARITY WE MAY ACCOMPLISH ALL OTHER VIRTUES. 1. 5 THE RELEVANCE OF VIRTUE TODAY THIS IS A MEANINGFUL AND VALUABLE QUESTION TO BE ASKED IN THIS FAST MOVING WORLD.

TODAY THE VALUE OF VIRTUE IS DECREASING IN OUR LIVES. MAN IS RUNNING AFTER MONEY, WEALTH AND PLEASURE. WE COMFORTABLY FORGET ABOUT THE OTHER EVEN ONE’S OWN BLOOD RELATION. TODAY IF WE TAKE A LOOK AT THE NEWS PAPER WE COULD SEE A SERIES OF STORIES WHICH WILL BREAK OUR HEART.

EVERY MOMENT WE WATCH IN THE TELEVISION MURDER, VIOLENCE, CHEATING AND ALL KINDS OF DEHUMANIZED ACTIONS DONE BY THE HUMANKIND. HERE WHAT WE FIND IS THAT THE HUMANKIND IS LOOSING HIS SENSE OF ACTING GOOD, GOOD FOR OTHERS. NOW MAN HAS SHRUNK INTO HIMSELF. HE IS NOT EVEN OPEN TO HIS OR HER SPOUSE EVEN. HE WANTS TO LEAD A LIFE OF LAVISH, ENJOYING ALL KINDS OF PLEASURE AND SATISFACTION. IN THIS RUN HE IS NOT BOTHERED ABOUT THE OTHER. WHAT I POINTING IS THAT AT PRESENT THE PRACTICE OF VIRTUE IS GETTING OUT OF DATE.

BUT IT DOESN’T MEAN THAT WE NEED NOT PRACTICE VIRTUES. BUT WE HAVE TO RESTORE THE DIGNITY OF HUMAN BEING BY PRACTICING VIRTUES. MORE OVER VIRTUE HELP US TO FORM OUR CHARACTER AND ACT GOOD. YOUR CHARACTER IS THE SET OF QUALITIES THAT MAKE YOU WHO YOU ARE. THE QUALITIES THAT PEOPLE WOULD NAME WHEN THEY DESCRIBE YOU ARE WHAT “CHARACTERIZE” YOU (COULD BE GOOD OR BAD) AND MAKE YOU A PERSON WHO IS DIFFERENT FROM ANYONE ELSE. IF YOUR ETHICS CAUSE YOU TO DO GOOD THINGS EVEN WHEN YOU MIGHT RATHER DO SOMETHING ELSE, YOU ARE SAID TO HAVE A “GOOD CHARACTER. “

IF YOU ALMOST ALWAYS MAKE THE SAME KINDS OF ETHICAL CHOICES, AND DON’T LET OTHER PEOPLE TALK YOU INTO THINGS THAT YOU BELIEVE ARE WRONG, YOU ARE SAID TO HAVE A “STRONG CHARACTER. ” FINALLY VIRTUE IS ALWAYS CONCERNED WITH PERSONALITY AS A WHOLE, AND WITH THE WHOLE PERSONALITY IN THE CONTEXT OF ITS HEALTHY AND HEALING HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS. THE HABIT OF CHARITY IS NECESSARY BY THE NECESSITY OF MEANS FOR ALL TO ATTAIN SALVATION.

THE COUNCIL OF TRENT TEACHES : FOR ALTHOUGH NO ONE CAN BE JUST UNLESS THE MERITS OF PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ARE IMPARTED TO HIM STILL THIS COMMUNICATIONS TAKES PLACE IN THE JUSTIFICATION OF THE SINNER. 1. 6 CONCLUSION THEOLOGIANSTODAYGIVEGREATIMPORTANCETOTHEFUNDAMENTALATTITUDEINMAN.

AGOOD FUNDAMENTAL OPTION RENDERS THE WHOLE MAN GOOD. THE INDIVIDUAL ACTS ARE IN GENERAL AN EXPRESSION OF THE FUNDAMENTAL OPTION TO BE GOOD OR TO BE VIRTUES IN THIS SENSE THERE IS ONLY ONE VIRTUE AND IT IS MANIFESTED IN DIFFERENT WAYS, THUS WE CAN SPEAK OF DIFFERENT VIRTUES. VIRTUE IS THAT SOMETHING LEADS US TO DO GOOD AND AVOID EVIL. A VIRTUE CAN LEAD US TO SALVIFIC LIFE OR IN THE MORAL REALM TO LEAD A GOOD LIFE IN THE WORLD. AS WE KNOW TODAY VIRTUE IS IGNORED BY THE PEOPLE IN THIS DYNAMIC WORLD.

EACH ONE IS BOTHERED ABOUT ONLY HIS NEEDS AND PLEASURE. HERE WE FIND THE AUTHENTICITY OF SELFISHNESS. HOWEVER WE HAVE TO REBUILD THE OUT DATED VALUES AND TRUTHS INTO OUR LIVES. ABOVE ALL WE MUST REMEMBER THAT LOVE OF GOD AND LOVE OF NEIGHBOR BEFORE BEING A COMMANDMENT IS A GIFT OF GRACE FROM THE LORD IT IS GOD WHO GIVE CAPACITY TO LOVE.

BY PRACTICING VIRTUES WE ARE BECOMING MORE AWARE THAT WHENEVER TRUE VIRTUE IS AT HOME WE ALSO HAVE STRONG, HEALTHY, HAPPY RELATIONSWI TH NATURE AND THE WITH THE WHOLE CREATION INCLUDES OURSELVES AND ABOVE ALL TO GOD, AS I MENTIONED OUR GOAL OF LIFE IS TO END IN GOD.

I AM QUITE SURE THAT VIRTUE CAN LEAD US TO THAT ULTIMATE REALITY THE GOD. BIBLIOGRAPHY Pazahyampallil, Thomas, SDB. Pastoral Guide vol. 1, Christhu Jyothi Publications: Bangalore,2004. CATECHISAM OF CATHOLIC CHURCH Articles Walter, James J. “Virtue” in The New dictionary of Theology, Theological publications in india , Banglore : Mcdongh, Enda.

Virtue of Aquinas and Machiavelli Essay

The author’s goal in this essay is to evaluate the definition of virtue according to Aquinas and compare/contrast that with Machiavellian virtue. Following this evaluation the author will attempt to discredit Machiavellian virtue as being shallow and impossible. Relying on question 55 from the Summa Theologiae and various chapters from The Prince, the author hopes to lay a solid and concrete argument against Machiavelli. It is insufficient to write of Aquinas without first mentioning Aristotle and the relationship Thomas Aquinas had with his work.

Aristotle writes at great length of the human good. The good for man, according to Aristotle, is an active use of those faculties which separate man from the rest of nature, namely reason and will, which are distinct from lower faculties such as feeling or reaction. One principle that deeply influenced Aquinas was Aristotle’s theory that the moral virtues are each an average of two opposing human traits (which is how the average person gauges morals today whether they are conscious of it or not).

Courage is found between cowardice and rashness, generosity between stinginess and prodigality.

The highest good for Aristotle is found in the contemplation of truth, he believed this was the highest part of man’s nature; that it was so because of its reliance on man’s intellect and reason. Thomas Aquinas took the contemplation of truth a magnificent step further by postulating man, through seeking his ultimate end, as participating in the very nature of God. For Aquinas this participation is the state of Grace. A person in the state of Grace possesses certain powers, these are referred to as virtues.

More specifically they are infused virtues that can be separated into two distinct kinds: Theological virtues and Moral (or Cardinal) virtues. Before delving too deeply into the specifics of these virtues it is important to establish some ground work. Thomas Aquinas defines virtue as “a good habit bearing on activity”. We can also relate this definition to a good faculty, namely habit. Intrinsic to the concept of virtue is habit. Habit according to Thomas can be within the natural order or elevated to the Divine by Grace. Habits are seen as “stable dispositions”, or qualities, that guide the faculties to act a certain way.

Habits can be infused or acquired depending on the faculty. Of course not every habit is a virtue but only one that guides a faculty, through the use of reason, toward the good; the good being the Ultimate end or the Beatific Vision which awaits us when our life here on earth is over. Aquinas makes a key point about virtues. The key point made is between what Aquinas refers to as the infused virtues (those which are God given and work in us without interference from the faculties of man) and the acquired habits. When these acquired good habits become regular practice for us we call them our “second nature”.

Our second nature leads our actions to perfection. Elemental and absolutely necessary for the development of our second nature are reason and will, our intellect. The infused virtues, on the other hand, are a gift from God and are thus called supernatural because they transcend reason and will; they are gifts which we can not freely acquire or operate. Among these infused gift virtues are two kinds: the first are the Theological virtues (Faith, Hope, and Charity) which are concerned directly with God and our ultimate end, which are unaided by reason. The theological virtues supply man with the love of God and teach us His will.

The second and lesser of the infused virtues are the moral virtues. The moral virtues are concerned with human action and not with God himself. More specifically they are concerned with human conduct. The four moral virtues (which are also called Cardinal virtues) are Prudence, Fortitude, Temperance, and Justice. Where the Theological virtues are tied into the supernatural, the Cardinal virtues are associated with the natural world. Among the four Prudence is the highest because it is linked with reason. The principle act of Prudence is the execution of right or good reason, Prudence guides our reason.

Examples of this are good judgment and the ability to deal with the unexpected in a good way. Fortitude is concerned with the ability to deal with what is painful or unpleasant. Temperance is associated with the urges and cravings for what is pleasurable and finally Justice towards the will of people. Emphasis must be made on the fundamental difference between the two types of virtues. Theological virtues (dealing with the supernatural) and Cardinal virtues (concerned with the natural). A moral virtue by definition avoids extremes by way of the use of human reason, the theological virtues transcend reason.

The supernatural and natural virtues are interconnected as Aquinas explains: “Grace (the supernatural) does not destroy but builds upon nature”. Ultimately mortal man’s faculties can be described as having reason which is enlightened by faith; this elevates man into infinitely higher plains than other creatures. After sufficient discourse and explanation about Aquinas and virtue we come to a crossroads. Some four hundred years later a new thought emerges with the deep and fractured (some would say deeply fractured) mind of Machiavelli, a man who continues to offer so much too so many slimey politicians across the globe.

Machiavelli and his view on the human condition and more specifically human virtue in terms of the political man is the second section of our investigation. Prior to Machiavelli the view of a political leader (or Prince, as referred to by Machiavelli) was much different than his own interpretation. A Prince and his roles in regards to political authority were viewed as rightful only if the exercising ruler had a strong moral character and was a virtuous person. A ruler was viewed as doing well only when he sought the good. Rulers had to earn the right to be obeyed and respected.

This view of a ruler is called a “moralistic authority” and is precisely what Machiavelli criticizes in his work titled The Prince. In writing The Prince, Machiavelli sought to extinguish then current views (or at least introduce a radically different view) of political authority. Machiavelli preached that there is no moral basis on which to judge the difference between correct or illegitimate uses of power. Rather, whoever has power has the right to command; since goodness does not ensure power and the good person has no more authority simply because he is good.

Goodness or morality is ineffectual in the acquisition and maintenance of power. Obviously this view is in stark conflict with the ideas of a moralistic political ideal. For Machiavelli the only real concern of the political ruler is the acquisition and maintenance of power alone and not the common good of the community. Virtue, as had been taught by the philosophers predating Machiavelli, is very often incompatible with his notion of effective use of power. This is so because those who are willing to use tactics without any moral backing are sure to oust he who acts according to his virtue and is unwilling to employ other, immoral tactics.

According to Machiavelli the only assurance that a prince can overcome the strains of politics is if he is willing and ready to go against virtue when necessary. This sort of ruler must not be abject to using tactics such as murder, deception, bribery, manipulation, and any other mode of immoral conduct he sees fit if certain situations require it in order to maintain (or gain) power. For Machiavelli it is exactly this approach to ruling that he sees as the “virtues” of leadership. The use of any mode necessary to obtain and maintain power is virtue.

Through this bold approach to ruling we are given an entirely new take on virtue and arguably mankind itself. With this new vision of political rule, purged of any moral influences, we are given a totally new approach to the exercise of power. It is now rooted in the foundations of de-moralized politics. This new and brazen approach to “power politics” is precisely what Machiavelli calls virtue. Machiavelli employs this new concept of virtue to refer to a range of qualities a prince will find necessary to acquire, in order to “maintain his state” and to “achieve great things”, the two essentials of power for him.

This makes brutally clear that there is no similarity between conventional Christian virtue and Machiavellian virtue. One can thus summarize Machiavelli’s view of what it is to be a virtuous person as such: A prince above all else must acquire a “flexible disposition”. A ruler must be capable of shifting his/her actions from good to evil and back again “as fortune and circumstances dictate”. Exactly how does Machiavellian virtue affect the exercise of power? In order to answer this question we must examine another key principle of his virtue.

Thus enters the concept of Fortune. As discussed in Chapter 25 of The Prince, Machiavelli teaches the reader that fortune shows itself where virtue and wisdom are lacking. Fortune according to Machiavelli is a threat to the security of the state and must be fought against as such. Fortune is a force outside of reason that is completely unpredictable which brings misery and disaster to mankind. As Machiavelli states: “it is better to be impetuous than cautious, because Fortuna is a woman and it is necessary, in order to keep her under, to beat and maul her”.

Fortune is thus viewed as a source of violence which must be answered with violence if one hopes to control it. Virtue is the only preparation one has against fortune. Virtue provides the ability to respond to fortune whenever and however necessary. Machiavellian virtue affects the exercise of power in everyway. Machiavelli’s concept of virtue is completely integrated with the exercise of power. The effective and useful exercise of power is virtue, for Machiavelli. The tools and methods a Prince utilizes to exact his command and ensure his position are his virtues.

Machiavellian virtue is so fundamentally different than true virtue, (virtue as defined by Aquinas) that an alternate word would suffice to define it. When examining the two philosophers the differences between them are quite obvious, but one must look deeper than what is given at face value in order to find the true consequences of Machiavellian virtue. Once a person has a basic understanding and knowledge of Machiavelli and his works one can then enter into reflective thought on him and find a deeper consequence to living a Machiavellian virtuous life.

What is man if all that has traditionally defined him has been reduced to mere tools which help him to achieve an end? What is the him of the man? If virtue does not define the person, what does? The greatest flaw in Machiavellian virtue is that man loses his identity and his character. Virtue has been redefined from that which develops morals and character to that which helps to secure power. Emphasis is now on the power and not the person. With Machiavelli virtue covers only one aspect of the person. Man as leader and power monger.

What is left of the man, if there are no longer any defining traits, if man no longer has an identity? Without any formal identity man is no longer viewed as being “like God”, the supernatural aspect of man is gone, that which is our true identity. We have learned from Thomas Aquinas that virtue is developed through habit; these habits become who you are. If we remove that, what of the rest of the man? Man is reduced to something of a servant to “power”. Aquinas elevates man to the supernatural, as beings created in the likeness and image of God, made to share in the Divinity of God.

Aquinas’ virtue covers the whole person. Thomas lists the fundamental virtues which guide all the aspects of human life, from Prudence to Charity and Temperance to Faith. By developing these virtues we become virtuous people, the virtues that we cultivate shape who we are and order our desires in line with the will of God. For Aquinas virtue leads us to God and our ultimate end which Beatific Vision. For Machiavelli virtue is simply the means of performing a task, instruments that can and should be employed to reach an end which is only of this earth; namely the securing and expanding of power.

For Machiavelli all that matters is what is of this world. Man is reduced to nothing more than animal with intellect, nothing supernatural and no life here after. As I have previously stated above, the greatest flaw in Machiavellian virtue is that man loses his identity and character. One other obvious and striking limitation to Machiavelli’s view of virtue, and thus man himself, is that he speaks only of man as ruler, not man as peasant, or servant, or man in the familial sense. If man were to define himself exactly as Machiavelli proposes, he would truly lose his identity.

If virtue is redefined than it would seem that man too is redefined. Either Machiavelli missed something so foundational and necessary, such as the other roles people play in society, or his objective was, in defining virtue, to only redefine the ruler. Machiavelli must have realized his view of man was limited and flawed; his true intention was to change society from the top down. Resulting would be a society that sought only selfish desires and the acquisition of power. Machiavelli had no interesting understanding man only to enact his ideas and become a Prince.

Man in adapting these new ideas is doing nothing less than deceiving himself. Virtue is a very broad topic which deserves evaluation. If we are to better understand ourselves and our civil society it is imperative that we learn what we can about those people who have, are currently, and will shape our thoughts concerning ourselves, God, and nature. What I have attempted is to address two very different views on virtue. Aquinas continues to be the root source of our understanding of virtue. Many attempts have been made by many people to redefine man; Machiavelli is only one of many.

Machiavelli holds the title as the first philosopher to whole-heartedly attempt to reconstruct man in his own likeness and image and to eliminate God. As foolish and impossible as that seems from a Christian perspective, he succeeded and continues to succeed in winning over new (non)believers. By the very nature of turning away from God we deceive and are deceived, all of his bold new tactics amount to little more than deception. Deception laced with insights and distorted images of man. Man as viewed as not fallen from Grace but rather ignorant to his “true” capability and purpose. Machiavelli offers us another apple.

Moral Virtue Aquired Essay

Aristotle believes ethics is about moral virtue over intellectual virtue. Moral virtue comes about as a result of habits of human excellence. So in that case nothing that exists by nature can form a habit. For example, when a bunny is born it does not learn to hop it is born to hop. With that being said us humans should try and develop good habits from the beginning of life. By developing good habits this will help you do the right thing without having to think hard about what the outcome is going to be.

Good behavior arises from habits which in return can only be acquired by repeating the action and correcting it.

First, moral virtues that help construct up a “happy” human are; justice, wisdom, courage and temperance. Wisdom is a special virtue that is intellectual; however it does guide human choices, while moral virtues are about action. Moral virtues are not acquired by teaching; they are brought on by acting the same way over and over again until it is habitual.

So how do people acquire these moral virtues? The best conclusion would be, if a person had parents that acted in this way and were role models of excellence. Otherwise, success only comes from years of practicing, making tough decisions, and learning from your mistakes.

Next, how will someone know when they acquire these moral virtues? The persons peers will look up to them and constantly have positive outcomes. People will come to them for help/advice, have 100% faith in them and be a huge role model. In result that person will feel like a million dollars knowing that he/she is in control. Aristotle provides people with both amazing insight and a powerful plan to shape one’s choices and actions in ways that will increase the chance of attaining happiness. By developing the four cardinal virtues, a person can go very far down the path of a whole life, well lived and the rest is up to good fortune.

But even if bad luck ruins the chance, a person of good character, by possessing the moral virtues, will be far better off than those who don’t. Aristotle concludes that it is not possible to achieve happiness, a whole life well lived, without moral virtue. Moral virtue is a necessity for happiness otherwise people will act out of spite/anger/revenge/unlawful. Acting virtuously, however, is the primary means to becoming virtuous. For, according to Aristotle, “virtues arise in us neither by nature nor contrary to nature; but by our nature we can receive them and perfect them by habituation”.

Virtues and Character Strengths Essay

A human virtue that I find to be an important asset to life is courage. Some of the characteristics of courage is; bravery, persistence, honesty, kindness, and zest. I think that courage is an important virtue because there are many things in life that people have to go through on a daily basis where you have to be courageous to face. Being honest is a characteristics of this virtue that means a whole lot to me. If a person is not honest, they will have a hard time forming healthy relationships with anyone in life.

If you are married, you have to have honesty between you and your spouse, if not chances are you relationship won’t last. People also have to be honest with not only other people but themselves as well. Another characteristic that I find to be very important is kindness. Kindness is a very important characteristic because you must treat people the way you want to be treated.

I think it is fair to say that everyone wants to be treated kindly and with respect. But if you don’t give that to other people you most likely will not have it gave to you.

If a person contains these characterizes, they will probably live a fairly happy life, with healthy relationships. When I think about these characteristics in a person, I think about is my grandmother. She tried her best to live up to all of these characters and did it very well if I must say so. My grandmother had a huge heart. She cared for everyone and was always trying to help people or make them feel better. She was also very honest, to the point that it almost hurt. I can’t think of one time that my grandmother told a lie. I feel like in order for a person to be honest all the time, they have to have courage.

Sometimes you have to tell people things that they may not want to hear, or that may hurt them so you have to be courageous enough to tell them. I wish I had half of these characteristics that my grandmother had. When she passed away she had a whole lot of people present celebrating her life, and there was a lot of people that had nothing but good things HUMAN VIRTUES AND CHARACTER STRENGTHS 3 to say about her and how good of a person that she was. I wish I could be as courageous as my grad mother because she was truly great.

Patience Is a Virtue Essay

Have you ever wondered why certain people succeed and do well in certain situations while others don’t? The reason is that those successful people have and have always had a certain characteristics that help them to do so.

These characteristics are called virtues. A virtue is a characteristic of a person which supports individual moral excellence and collective well being. One of the most important virtues that helps individuals progress and succeed is patience.

This is because patience helps one make good decisions, prevents one from giving up, and helps develop empathy and compassion.

First and foremost patience helps us make good decisions. The reason for this is by being patient you have a clear mind to think through the possible results of your actions. Everyone has stress and has been in stressful situations but the way we respond to the stress is what defines our future success. In order to become successful people have had to make tough decisions regarding their futures and without patience they would not have been able to do so.

For example Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, made the decision to drop out of college in order to pursue his dreams of creating a software company. In its early stages he faced much adversity for his decision but he stuck with it and his patience helped him to become one of the wealthiest and most successful people ever. Along with decision making patience also prevents one from giving up. This is as a result of keeping your goals consistent regardless of how difficult or the time it takes to reach them.

One of the greatest examples of success through patience Is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He is one of the most influential people that have ever lived. Dr. King’s goal which was simple but seemed impossible at the time was to end discrimination and unify our nation. He faced an overwhelming amount of opposition to these goals but continued to push forward as a result of his patience changed the views and beliefs of an entire nation. Last but not least Patience helps develop empathy and compassion which are great values and keys to success.

This is because being patient helps us understand and view things through different perspectives. A great example of this is Gandhi’s patience which helped him develop empathy and compassion made him the perfect person to lead India to its independence. He did so through nonviolence and patience. His compassion and empathy began at a young age when he witnessed the injustices towards people of color in South Africa and ever since then he made it a priority to change this so future generations would not have to experience it.

Gandhi combated these injustices through advocating patience and non violent protesting as a means of defeating the hate. If it wasn’t for Gandhi’s patience, empathy, and compassion he would not have been successful in leading India to their independence and creating a more practical means of protesting. All in all Patience is a virtue that is vital to ones success. It helps us make good decisions, prevents us from giving up, and helps us develop empathy and compassion which are the keys to success. Without patience there is chaos and chaos will defer ones success.

You may also be interested in the following: patience is a virtue essay, paragraph on patience, speech on patience, essay on patience, patience essay

4 Cardinal Virtues Essay

The term “virtue” is from Latin and originally meant “strength” or “power”. It is based on the word vir – man.. The ancient Greeks, starting with Homer, praised virtue. Despite the research and time, it is difficult to say precisely where virtue lies. The right measure is very difficult to achieve, and it is often different for different individuals. The idea of “The Golden Mean” is that in our actions we must seek the right measure and proportion. Excess or defect is a departure from virtue.

For these reasons, the Four Cardinal Virtues exist. The four cardinal virtues of Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance are interconnected. This means that if you do not possess one of them, all the others are spoiled, and so you do not possess virtue at all. Prudence is the most important of the four cardinal virtues. The most important part of prudence is knowledge. Thomas Aquinas lists many different components of prudence, but three main ideas exist.

Memory is the order to know the meaning of the present.

Docility states the willingness to remain open to reality and to learn as situations change. Clear Headed decisiveness notes that prudence is not merely knowing what to do, but also in a timely way. Justice is the virtue whereby we give to each person what is due to him, and we do this consistently, promptly and pleasurably. It concerns right relations with others in society. Divisions of justice can be broken down into legal justice, commutative justice, and distributive justice. Each member of society needs to remember to pay back what is owed.

Fortitude is synonymous with courage and bravery. It must be based on justice. The purpose of fortitude is to remove obstacles to justice. In its extreme form, it is the willingness and readiness to risk one’s life for the sake of that which is just. Perserverance or standing firm is the most necessary part of fortitude, and the most common. The person who indulges in pleasure and always avoids discomfort will be unwilling to put up with the sadness he must experience if he is to stand firm in difficulty.

The virtue of temperance governs our appetites for pleasure. By nature we desire the pleasure that is suitable to us. Since man by definition is rational, the pleasures that are in accord with reason are suitable to man. Temperance does not restrain us from the pleasures that are reasonable, but from those that are contrary to our reason. Temperance does not act against our natural human inclinations, but works with them. Temperance is opposed to the inclinations of nature when they are like a beast that is not ruled by reason.

Moral Objectivism Essay

I recommend the moral theory of Objectivism as the basis of your software company’s ethical standards to be used by all company employees. This single, coherent, defensible moral theory is better applied to your company than multiple theories, because it is a value-based system of virtues that is concerned more with the type of person you should be, rather than with the rules that dictate how you should act. Moral Objectivism believes that there are moral standards that apply to everyone.

Moral standards that are universal for all, but not absolute because there can be exceptional cases. Objectivist principles apply to all, unless exceptions are necessary. Objectivism is also considered a philosophy for living, because it promotes values like love, friendship, wealth, and comfort. Objectivism respects science, technology, and innovation, which makes it very relevant in developing your software company’s organizational values and code of ethics.

Objectivism values purpose, achievement, success, and strives for good living to pursue the greatest achievements that you can attain in your life.

It sets personal happiness as the major goal. Since most of us in the western world believe that a moral code of ethics is fundamental to our society, which makes Moral objectivism the best theory to apply within your software company. This theory allows your employees to grow, develop, and live together as one company of people working under one unified moral code. However, there could be a problem with people who are college students on a visa exchange program, green-card workers, or foreign-born/dual citizenship employees experienced working in a different culture in a different part of the world. Moral Relativism believes that the current company moral standards are irrelevant to these people, but what applies is what is relative to what these individuals or their cultures believe. The problem with this theory is that it is impractical, illogical, and would cause mass confusion within your software company.

Since moral relativism is relative to a person or culture, different people and cultures would create different morals and principles leading to conflicts, disagreements, and disharmony. For example, we believe that killing is wrong for everyone, but some foreign cultures believe that killing is sometimes permissible and necessary. To unite, share, and promote harmony and respect, Objectivist virtues applied in your business ethics is the perfect moral theory for a young, fast-growing software company, because it is value-based on virtues. Virtuous actions lead to the achievement of values. When operating and managing a software company, the business virtue theory contends that virtuous principles, strategies, and actions result in companies realizing their values like mission, purpose, and profit potential. Virtuous employees carry out their roles in a competent manner, which usually agrees with company goals. Virtues allow a person to act to gain value.

When business people conform to the Objectivist virtues, they increase the likelihood of achieving their values and goals. Virtue ethics stresses the importance of each employee being able to make contributions of value. Valid virtue concepts are required to describe what it means to be an excellent director, leader, manager, or worker. To be successful, a software company needs to provide a set of virtues that are reality-based, non-contradictory, integrated, and comprehensive. Virtue theory states that ethics is part of business and that it is necessary to integrate morals into management and practice. The role of virtues in your company is to direct and motivate employee behavior toward the success of your company. A set of virtues exists that fit reality and most likely to lead to success and happiness in a business. Ayn Rand’s Objectivist ethics specifically recognizes production as the central human value. The personal virtues that she advocates have a direct bearing on work: rationality, honesty, justice, integrity, productiveness, and pride. These virtues are used as guides in a business career and in the business management.

They define the excellent manager or other employee and provide the principles that a company should adopt with respect to investors, employees, customers, or vendors. Virtue theory is concerned with the cultivation of character and provides a framework which a person can lead a flourishing, happy life. Moral growth comes from choice rather than from conformity to rules or codes. For example, traditional approaches like Consequentialism are viewed as constraining, because they focus on the rules that tell people how they should act, and nothing more. Utilitarianism concentrates on developing the principles instead of developing the character. Virtue theory provides a context in which strategies, plans, tactics, policies, and procedures are developed to attain a company stated mission and other relevant values. Virtuous employees experience the internal rewards of pride, self-esteem, and the joy of knowing that they did their jobs well.

The achievement of a company’s mission, purpose, or ultimate end requires virtuous action on the part of the company’s employees. The ultimate value for a business is financial value. The purpose of a business is to maximize owner value over the length of the company. Virtuous behavior is required at all levels of a company from employees who realize that business is a natural and moral means by which they can satisfy their personal needs and attain their success as individual human beings. A virtuous employee begins by understanding what the facts are and does not evade the distinction between the real and the unreal. For making business decisions, an employee needs to use his reason to make rational, logical decisions based on the facts of reality. Much of morality in business falls under the virtue of honesty. Honesty means being in reality. Honesty is basic to the structure of human relationships.

Dishonesty is self-defeating, because it involves being in conflict with realty. Morality in business involves objectively recognizing and dealing with customers, employees, creditors, stockholders, and others as autonomous rational individuals with their particular goals and desires. Honesty is closely related to the virtue of justice. Justice, a form of faithfulness to reality, is the virtue of granting to each person that which each person deserves. Justice is the expression of man’s rationality in his dealings with other men and involves seeking and granting what they have earned. For example, a virtuous manager must make sure that customers get what they pay for. In addition, he needs to identify employees for what they accomplish and treat them accordingly. Employees should be objectively appraised and compensated based on their contribution toward achieving a company’s mission, values, or goals.

A virtuous manager discriminates among all those that he deals with such as customers, distributors, suppliers, and workers based on relevant qualities and personal merits such as ability, competency, performance, and character. He does not improperly discriminate based on irrelevant characteristics such as sex, race, or nationality. In summary, when you are using the moral objectivists values-based on virtues for your software company, you will never have to worry about being bailed on Wall Street like Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, GM or Chrysler Corporation. Since we know that greed and dishonesty were major vices that heavily contributed to this financial mess, we can confidently move forward as a software company knowing that our moral code in place would never allow that to happen.

Ethical Compass Essay

You’ve seen the spectacular collapses of both for-profit and nonprofit organizations when there are ethical breaches. Just as important are the thousands of decisions with ethical dimensions that leaders must make every day. How can you be sure that your staff, and your volunteers are acting with the highest of standards?

Leading by example with a strong set of distinct ethical values will prevent problems associated with ethics. As I have grown, I have learned many lessons related to what is ethically acceptable.

Some were easier than others to learn. Through experience we learn to value certain things higher than others. We begin to understand the importance and reasoning behind our moral compass. I have developed an ethical compass that involves two primary principles. The first element is somewhat of a “Golden Rule”.

A universal moral law principle based on the reasoning “Always do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” With that being said, in my ethical compass, I do not believe this can be applied to every situation.

For example, a different standard of what is ethical or polite may vary in a situation involving another culture. In this case, I believe a passive approach is best in order for both sides to achieve a general understanding of the others expectations.

The second primary element that makes up my moral compass is certainty. Once you have established you’re ethical values, it is important to never compromise them for unjustly reasons. Of course, when dealing with international affairs certain customs or ideas may need to be shifted to adjust to the corresponding culture. But even here I believe you must stick to your core values that essentially make up who you are.

We have discussed ethics in the business world, and even examined real life examples. It is no coincidence that the most ethical companies are also the most successful. Although simply a strong code of ethics does not equal business success, the two have a strong correlation. In the end it is not about what you can get away with without being reprimanded. I believe Potter Stewart (Associate Justice of the Supreme Court) articulated this very well. He said, “Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do.”