Felicity of Virtue
A virtue is a trait that expresses moral excellence. It is also the principle of good moral being. Virtue shows high moral standards in an individual. Wherever there are virtues there, also has to be values. Each has his/her values that guide personal beliefs, ideas, and opinions. The human mind is divided into different parts, but the most vital component of the mind is the reasoning and processing of facts and ideas. The writer compares the mind to a rider on the back of an elephant. The rider refers to self-consciousness while the elephant refers to the mental processes. It is automatic that the rider always has a mind of being in control, but the elephant also can do anything whenever he wants to do so. One can only obtain real change and growth by training the elephant. For the change to be effective, there has to be constant repetition of the exercise. Young adults have interests and desires that are different from those of adults. They always find ways to pursue their goals, and during this, they get into trouble. To them this is adventurous. At times, they reject the security, and moral guidance they get from adults. These hard-won virtues are especially admirable to us as readers because they reveal depth and authenticity of character that we do not see in the obedient kid who simply accepts the virtues proposed by adults.
Ben Franklin, a philosopher who took pride in scientific discoveries and civic creations lived a life full of love. He believed that a decent life is where one develops his/her strengths, realizes his potential, and become what is in his/her nature to become. Franklin had a unique ability to see potential and realize it. He saw the potential of having paved and lighted streets, volunteer fire departments, and public libraries and it happened in Philadelphia. He also saw potential in the Americans and strived in its creation. He also potential in himself and set out to improve his ways with the aid of the virtue table. Franklin states that he did not have the virtue of humility, but he would fake it and gain from it. To him, cultivating the appearance of virtue makes one successful and happy, regardless of one’s true character.
Every culture possesses rules and value that governs that culture. Every culture has values that should be cultivated and are still valued. Further to that, in each culture there are aspects of morality. The Egyptian text Amenemope is the oldest moral teaching. It gives instructions about life, and guides individual well being. It is believed that the Bible borrowed a lot from Amenemope. Like the phrase, it is better to have a little with the fear of the Lord than to have plenty of wealth and trouble with it.
Another philosopher Aristotle believes that all things had their purpose. However, he did not believe in God creating all that existed. He also believes that we grow by the practice of just actions, develop self-control by exercising self-control, and get courageous by performing acts of courage. Moral psychology creates an ethically upright person and mentally disciplined person. Moral psychology resides in a well-trained person and the training takes daily practice under a vast deal of repetition.
The Western approach to morality focused on virtues. Plato feels that the Greek philosophies are seeds of failure. The beginning of scientific inquiry to search for the smallest set of laws that can explain enormous variety of events in the world. The scientific mind has one virtue, principle, and rule. Second, the widespread philosophical worship of reason made many uncomfortable with locating virtue in habits and feeling. German philosopher Kant believed humans have a dual nature, the animal part, and the rational part. The animal part follows the laws of nature, but the human part respects the rules of conduct. Others like Kant and Bentham had different beliefs. Bentham believed that we ought to work out rules and policies that will bring the greatest benefit. Even if through doing so violates other ethical principles. Kant believes that we should try to elaborate the duties and obligations that ethical people must respect even when the actions lead to unsatisfactory outcomes.
Modern conceptions are the source of the turn from ethical characters. Turning moral education away from virtues of moral reasoning limiting the scope of morality. In the modern society, activities and decisions of life are insulated from the moral concern. The turn also relies on bad psychology. People often learn and develop ways of solving their own problems. After the drain in psychology, several philosophers attempt to revive virtue theories.
In conclusion, virtue requires hard work to maintain. To achieve it, one needs to practice several strengths of character. When it is worthwhile, the work sounds more like flow and less like toil. Virtue allows one to lose self-consciousness and get into what is being done.