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Rated: ASR · Editorial · Inspirational · #1302134
Virtue is the basis of morality
         Hello, I'll be your visiting editor again this month. I hope you follow me along my thought paths this week.

Virtue Is the Basis of Morality

         Virtue is the moral excellence of a person, being good.The conceptual opposite of virtue is vice. But what is virtue?

         Many people believe that principles determine ethics, that if people follow a certain list of rules, that all is good. However, according to the writers of "Ethics and Virtue," the emphasis on principles ignores a fundamental component of ethics -- virtue. Principles ask, "What should I do?" Virtue asks, "What kind of person will I be?"

         The difference between following rules and having actions and behavior come from inside makes a large difference in a person. Following rules limits a person's moral development while virtue allows growth of spirit and life.

         So, what are virtues? Again, according to the essay mentioned above, "virtues" are attitudes, dispositions, or character traits that enable us to be and to act in ways that develop this potential," the potential to become more than we ever imaged.

         How do we develop virtue? Here are a few ways we can become a better person.

*Bullet* Have a strong faith in a higher power.

*Bullet* By practicing self-discipline. Repeated self-indulgence corrupts a good character.

*Bullet* Learn to be compassionate. Caring about others helps build virtue.

*Bullet* Find a community where the values that build virtue are common. Good character traits are not developed in isolation, but with and by the associations we have.

         Therefore, we can and should develop virtue as the foundation of our morality rather than try to follow a list of rules that leave an empty shell inside of us.

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Words from Readers

         Last month I filled in as guest editor, and I received some feedback from readers about my editorial about honesty.

Incurable Romantic
         Viv, WONDERFUL piece on honesty. And I love those quotes at the beginning! Nice job, as you always do!

         Thanks, Jim. I try to share what I believe and feel.

Dear,Viv I have to agree with:
         We tell lies when we are afraid... afraid of what we don't know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us. But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger. ~Tad Williams

         My mother always said that the more we try to deceive, the more tangled the web of deceit becomes.

         I assume you have seen the movie "Liar Liar." It is of course an parody of what might happen to someone if they could only tell the truth all the time.
I agree a policy of telling the truth is usually best, but there are circumstances when the truth is better not told.

         As I said in the editorial last month, honesty isn't just telling the truth; it's living honestly, too. And we don't have to blurt out everything we know, especially if what we say will hurt another person.

         I once saw a movie in which one of the characters asked a very interesting question. Is it better to believe an unpleasant truth or a pleasant lie? In giving the matter some thought I have concluded that there is no truth, no matter how painful, that ultimately needs to be unpleasant, and there is no lie, no matter how pleasing it's initial appearance, that will ultimately prove to be pleasant. I suppose that it could be said that to live a lie is to be, in the truest sense, insane because insanity is the ultimate separation from truth or reality.

         Very interesting thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

Iva Lilly Durham
         I really enjoyed this newsletter, and the links. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is more important to me in a relationship than honesty.
                                        Ivy (who married Charles on July 7 :)

         A true relationship cannot exist without honesty; at least I've never seen one.

         Thanks for your words on honesty. I completely agree with you. I believe discernment is the key in knowing when to speak and when to stay silent. I know too many people that think anything that flies through their head can fly out of their mouth, and sometimes that kind of unfiltered honesty can do more harm than good. Discernment folks! Pray about everything, and if in doubt, zip it. I have fewer regrets over what I haven't said than over what I have.

         Ah, yes, knowing when to speak and when to remain silent is a talent we all should develop.

Thank you for joining me this week. Please support the regular editors of the Spiritual Newsletter.


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