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Where Is the Virtue?
Public Discourse ^ | 4/8/14 | Anthony Esolen

Posted on 04/09/2014 3:52:50 AM PDT by rhema

Our culture has become soft. We suppose that sex is too trivial to require virtue, yet we also believe it is so significant that to suggest any restraint upon its consensual exercise is an affront to the most important fount of human dignity.

A sentinel watches upon the battlements. The air is raw and cold, and it seems to have penetrated to his knees and ankles and the shoulder upon which he rests his rifle. But he paces his rounds, hour after long hour. He peers into the little glooming light showing in the east. He turns again and faces the west, where the clouds are just beginning to reflect the slightest tinge of purple. He listens. All the sounds of the darkness are familiar to him, and bespeak the order of the early dawn. A thrush trills from the copse beside the river. The swallows have left their roosts and are beginning to twitter as they fly. A cock from a nearby farm crows. Yet if he hears a single sound made by man—a footstep, the roll of a wheel—he turns, his eyes narrow, he shifts his hands along the rifle, and he listens. He is a good sentinel.

The Thomistic understanding of virtue is straightforward enough. A virtue is a habit, what Aristotle calls a second nature. It is difficult to attain—hence, its association with manhood, which is what the Latin virtus literally means. It involves the perfection of a faculty, like the deep knowledge in the hands of a master craftsman. Therefore its definition cannot be arbitrary; it is bound up with the faculty in question, and the work to be done.

(Excerpt) Read more at thepublicdiscourse.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: barackobama; grovercleveland; sexuality

1 posted on 04/09/2014 3:52:50 AM PDT by rhema
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To: rhema

Excellent article. Thx.


2 posted on 04/09/2014 4:27:20 AM PDT by Unam Sanctam
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To: rhema
Where has virtue gone? Morals? Respect? Self respect? Even jobs? Down the same statist drain. And the political process will not bring them back.
3 posted on 04/09/2014 4:39:14 AM PDT by deadrock (I am someone else.)
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To: deadrock

What will?


4 posted on 04/09/2014 5:02:44 AM PDT by karnage
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To: rhema

“Courage is the foundation for all the other virtues.”

If you are afraid, you vote Democrat. The leaders of the Democrat party say they will take care of you. They will act as your parents. They will keep you warm and safe and happy. They will take care of you. That is one of the most cruel things that a person can do to other people. To “take care of” an adult is to deny that adult the fullness, the richness of being a human. It is perhaps the most evil violation of “human rights”. And the Democrats want to “take care of” people not out of a sense of compassion and mercy, but from a sense of superiority and impatience and greed.
That is why I am against the use of recreational drugs. They breed cowardice, and that makes more Democrats.


5 posted on 04/09/2014 6:31:18 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: rhema

Psa 127:1 A Song of degrees for Solomon. Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.


6 posted on 04/09/2014 8:13:33 AM PDT by afsnco
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To: blueunicorn6
“Courage is the foundation for all the other virtues.”

Yet the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. Without out wisdom courage can be evil - Obama is boldly courageous and yet evil. All virtue rests on the foundation of the fear of the LORD, for He alone is the unchangeable standard of ethical judgements.

7 posted on 04/09/2014 2:05:59 PM PDT by DaveyB ("When injustice becomes the law; rebellion becomes duty." - Thomas Jefferson)
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