Virtuesof courage and honesty
Virtuesof courage and honesty
Theissue of virtues is a subject that has attracted the attention ofmany philosophers over time. The first argument can be traced to theworks of Aristotle who came up with the initial opinion as to theimportance of virtues to a man. As a result, the subject has beensupported by several texts by both philosophical and religiousscholars. In his definition, Aristotle portrays virtues as traits ofcharacters that usually manifest in habitual actions of man (Hackett& Wang, 2012). Thus, it can be defined as an honest act that isgiven life by the character of the individual responsible for thedeed. Aristotle further argues that each virtue is a middle groundbetween two extreme and opposite trait. The paper evaluates virtuesof courage and honesty and how Aristotle’s analysis is applicablein the two.
Couragerefers to undertaking actions that are for the good of the society ata time when acting otherwise wold appear to be the prudent choice.Thus, a courageous person is one who is confronted by a dangeroussituation but chooses to overcome his fears and face the danger evenif it is just to live by his/her virtues. Using Aristotle’sargument, courage is the mean between extreme foolhardiness andcowardice (Hackett & Wang, 2012). I agree with this analysisbecause a courageous person can go beyond the fears of a coward, butis held back by reason from behaving like a foolhardiness individual.An issue of contention on the virtue is on people whose courage isvested in harming others with Nazi soldiers being a good casingpoint. Some have dismissed this point noting that virtues are traitsof characters that make people good and admirable and any action tothe contrary cannot be termed as a courageous deed.
Honestycan be defined as a way of life that is based on the refusal to fakereality. For one to be considered as having this trait, they need toshow commitment is doing the right thing without giving considerationto facts available. In Aristotle’s terms, honesty is the midpointbetween telling the truth too much and generally telling the truth(Hackett & Wang, 2012). On this virtue, I do not agree with theextreme rule. An honest person never deceives or lies. However,according to the rule, honesty is termed as telling the truth toomuch or telling it partially. A person that tells the truth partiallycannot be considered as honest. Those who agree with the rule pointout that there is a difference between outright and deceptive lying.However, philosophers against the differentiation argue that truthfuldeception amounts to a violation of trust regardless of the purpose.
Aristotlefurthers asserts that individuals who have virtues fair better thanthose who do not. I am inclined to agree with this statement.Virtuous people elevate themselves to a higher standing in thesociety and this buys them respect, trust and moral authority overothers. Additionally, they get to lead better lives as they do nothave to carry burdens that result from traits like dishonesty andcowardice. Moreover, they are respected because of their voice ofreason and not because of engaging in life gambles that should beconsidered too risky.
Itis my opinion that everyone needs virtues. These traits not only givea person moral authority in the community, but they also enhance themanner in which people relate. When people hold each other to samemoral standards, their opinions, concerns, and contributions areevaluated based on their merit and without prejudice. Thus, virtuesallow all members to contribute to the well-being of the society andnot be looked down upon by others.
Inconclusion, from the above discussion, it is evident that virtues areimportant to any society. Though there are divisions in applicationsof some principles, the unifying factor is that virtues make thesociety better. Thus, it is for all of us to work toward ensuring wemature to become virtuous members of the community.
Hackett,R. D., & Wang, G. (2012). Virtues and leadership: An integratingconceptual framework founded in Aristotelian and Confucianperspectives on virtues. Management Decision, 50(5), 868-899.