Virtues - wisdom, courage, temperance, justice, etc. Virtues are essential for becoming virtuous. Virtue's life. CONCEPT OF VIRTUES BY AYUSH HEALTH AND WELLNESS™

Human is social by nature; therefore, society is a normal background of the moral life of human beings. Virtue is knowledge. It means that insight into the nature of moral virtues is essential for becoming virtuous. Of course, mere knowledge of virtue is not enough. Humans cultivate virtues through the habit of performing obligatory and morally good actions. The good life is the life of virtues.

Virtues - wisdom, courage, temperance, and justice

Wisdom is the virtue of reason. It consists in knowing and mastering the non-rational elements viz. spirited element and passions. It includes knowledge, insight, and foresight based on that knowledge. It is unbookish knowledge/data/information only. It implies the active choice of values as against disvalues, or virtues as against vices. A man is wise in whom reason rules over the other impulses.

Courage is the virtue of the spirited element. It must perform its heroic function within the limits set by reason. It is of two types viz. physical courage of a soldier and moral courage of a thinker or a reformer. Thus, one can be courageous in war as well as in intellectual convictions. Courage, therefore, is the excellence in the activity of the will. A man is brave when the spirited element holds fast to the instructions of intellect.

Temperance or Self-control consists of keeping bodily satisfaction within limits. Passions are not to be condemned. Even they are to be satisfied. The passionate element is both non-moral and non-rational. It needs to be regulated and subjected to the rules of reason. Temperance is not complete abstinence. It is the principle of self-restraint and moderation. It is the controlling and ordering of natural instincts, desires, and sensuous pleasures. A man is temperate when the spirited element or passionate element yields to intellect and obey its commands.

Justice is the virtue of the whole self or the complete person. It is the proper integration of different parts of the self. Thus, justice also consists of the harmonious functioning of the three parts of the personality. Each part must do its function for which it is fit. When these three parts of the personality or the self with their three virtues of wisdom, courage, and temperance function harmoniously together and are ordered and ruled by reason, then justice emerges as the resultant virtue. Each man is fit for a particular job by his nature. Justice consists in doing one's own job. Being morally perfect, therefore, is tantamount to being wise, valiant, temperate, and just. Justice, then, is the supreme virtue. Just man will not indulge in the pursuit of material pleasures only.

Only knowledge, courage, bravery, and perseverance by themselves do not make a morally good character or man. Their ethical significance depends on the motives and values to which they are related.

The virtues are acquired through the development of the habit of performing virtuous actions consistently. The ability to think and the ability to control one's desires and passions are the special virtue of man.

Virtuous conduct consists of avoiding the extremes of excess or deficiency. For instance, excessive indulgence is as much a vice as the excessive repression of desires. Self-control, therefore, is a virtue. Likewise, courage is the mean between rashness and cowardice. For instance, generosity lies between meanness and prodigality. Thus, virtue is a matter of striking a mean between two vices. Moral virtue is thus a mean state lying between two vices, viz. a vice of excess on one side and a vice of deficiency on the other. It is not easy to find the mean. It consists of doing the right thing, to the right person, to the right extent, with the right motive, and at the right time. For instance, the practice of generosity: give generously to the right person at the right time, to the right extent, with the right purpose.

Virtues have both individual and social significance. They are found both in the individual and in society. Human beings are rational and social animals. They have a natural tendency to live in communities. The morality of a society is the same as it is for the individual. Society is the individual 'writ large'. For society is made up of individuals. Each individual self consists of three parts. All three elements are unequally dominant in all individuals. In some persons, the rational element is predominant, while in others the spirited element is powerful. Most people give more importance to the passionate element.



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