Author Topic: In Praise of Virtue  (Read 7294 times)

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Offline Skull

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In Praise of Virtue
« on: April 25, 2021, 04:22:13 PM »
Anyone can find and add a quotation on the value and need for virtue, courage, goodness, kindness, discipline, wisdom, equanimity et cetera.

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Good works may exist without saving principles, and therefore cannot contain in themselves the principles of salvation; but saving principles never did, never can exist without good works.
Men often talk against faith, and make strange monsters in their imagination of those who profess to abide by the words of the apostle interpreted literally, and yet in their ordinary feelings they themselves judge and act by a similar principle. For what is love without kind offices whenever they are possible? (and they are always possible, if not by actions, commonly so called, yet by kind words, by kind looks, and, where these are out of our power, by kind thoughts and fervent prayers!)
Yet what noble mind would not be offended if he were supposed to value the serviceable offices equally with the love that produced them; or if he were thought to value the love for the sake of the services, and not the services for the sake of the love?

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
« Last Edit: April 30, 2021, 03:18:20 PM by Skull »
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha

Offline Skull

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Re: In Praise of Virtue
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2021, 07:34:19 PM »
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The idea of the good is the greatest discipline.

Plato, The Republic
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha

Offline Skull

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Re: In Praise of Virtue
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2021, 07:37:26 PM »
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A man should be of good cheer about his soul if he has earnestly pursued the pleasure of learning, and adorned his soul with temperance, justice, courage, freedom, and truth.

Plato, Phaedo
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha

Offline Absalom

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Re: In Praise of Virtue
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2021, 12:44:25 PM »
Skull, well done, quoting arguably Man's (and Aristotle's} greatest teacher.
Plato intuitively understood that the Spiritual was Man's governor and his essence.
We are where we are, because we have forgotten/ignored that wisdom.

Offline Skull

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Re: In Praise of Virtue
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2021, 01:35:00 PM »
Skull, well done, quoting arguably Man's (and Aristotle's} greatest teacher.
Plato intuitively understood that the Spiritual was Man's governor and his essence.
We are where we are, because we have forgotten/ignored that wisdom.

Indeed; yet such wisdom can be found in many times & climes, for example:

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Against an angry man do not show anger in return. Let one bless when he is cursed.

Laws of Manu
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha

Offline Skull

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Re: In Praise of Virtue
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2021, 03:19:04 PM »
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I have not brought misery upon my fellows. I have not made the beginning of every day laborious in the sight of him who worked for me.

Ancient Egyptian - Confession of the Righteous Soul.
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha

Offline Skull

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Re: In Praise of Virtue
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2021, 03:40:07 PM »
Can virtue be taught?  Russell Kirk says not from "ideological preaching" for sure:

https://kirkcenter.org/kirk-essays/virtue-can-it-be-taught/
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha

Offline Absalom

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Re: In Praise of Virtue
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2021, 04:49:55 PM »
Indeed; yet such wisdom can be found in many times & climes, for example:Laws of Manu
---------------------------
Agreed, because Man embraced his Spiritual Sensibilities from Eden till the French Enlightenment.
Then, in my judgement, a fateful turn occurred from which Mankind has never recovered.
Secular revolutionaries, such as Rousseau, St. Just, Voltaire, among dozens, promoted the
nostrum that Man's 'material betterment in this life' was an equally noble calling and purpose,
worthy of his efforts and focus.
The impact of this pernicious idea gave Man pause, turning his head while sewing the seeds
for the Material Rot that has engulfed the World during the past 300 years.
Two realities reinforce my conclusion:
* Materialism has been the spawn of the deadliest isms ever inflicted on Mankind.
* What we moderns label "Art" in any form, is an abject embarrassment when compared
  to that which preceded it. 
« Last Edit: April 26, 2021, 06:40:28 PM by Absalom »

Offline Skull

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Re: In Praise of Virtue
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2021, 07:02:09 PM »
---------------------------
Agreed, because Man embraced his Spiritual Sensibilities from Eden till the French Enlightenment.
Then, in my judgement, a fateful turn occurred from which Mankind has never recovered.
Secular revolutionaries, such as Rousseau, St. Just, Voltaire, among dozens, promoted the
nostrum that Man's 'material betterment in this life' was an equally noble calling and purpose,
worthy of his efforts and focus.
The impact of this pernicious idea gave Man pause, turning his head while sewing the seeds
for the Material Rot that has engulfed the World during the past 300 years.
Two realities reinforce my conclusion:
* Materialism has been the spawn of the deadliest isms ever inflicted on Mankind.
* What we moderns label "Art" in any form, is an abject embarrassment when compared
  to that which preceded it.

True, yet Sages have always know about our dual attractions - toward selfishness & matter and also attraction toward selflessness and spirit.  The Occident began to ignore that ever present duality and foster mainly the lower material parts of our awareness.

As James (and Buddha & Krishna) put it - seek and live from the higher true wisdom, not the lower sensate cravings.

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3:14 But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. 15 Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. 16 For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2021, 07:03:59 PM by Skull »
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha

Offline Skull

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Re: In Praise of Virtue
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2021, 07:09:28 PM »
Pascal also knew the importance of 'knowing thyself':

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It is of dangerous consequence to represent to man how near he is to the level of beasts, without showing him at the same time his greatness. It is likewise dangerous to let him see his greatness without his meanness. It is more dangerous yet to leave him ignorant of either; but very beneficial that he should be made sensible of both.
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha

Offline Skull

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Re: In Praise of Virtue
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2021, 07:35:26 PM »
Can virtue be taught?  Russell Kirk says not from "ideological preaching" for sure:

https://kirkcenter.org/kirk-essays/virtue-can-it-be-taught/

Kirk begins his essay...

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Are there men and women in America today possessed of virtue sufficient to withstand and repel the
forces of disorder? Or have we, as a people, grown too fond of creature-comforts and a fancied
security to venture our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor in any cause at all? “The superior man
thinks always of virtue,” Confucius told his disciples; “the common man thinks of comfort.” Such
considerations in recent years have raised up again that old word “virtue,” which in the first half of this
century had sunk almost out of sight.

I venture first to offer you a renewed apprehension of what “virtue” means; and then to suggest how far
it may be possible to restore an active virtue in our public and our private life. If we lack virtue, we will
not long continue to enjoy comfort—not in an age when Giant Ideology and Giant Envy swagger balefully
about the world.

The concept of virtue, like most other concepts that have endured and remain worthy of praise, has
come down to us from the Greeks and the Hebrews. In its classical signification, “virtue” means the
power of anything to accomplish its specific function; a property capable of producing certain effects;
strength, force, potency. Thus one refers to the “deadly virtue” of the hemlock. Thus also the word
“virtue” implies a mysterious energetic power, as in the Gospel According to Saint Mark: “Jesus,
immediately knowing that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, ‘Who
touched my clothes?’” Was it, we may ask, that virtue of Jesus which left its mark upon the Shroud of Turin?
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha

Offline Absalom

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Re: In Praise of Virtue
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2021, 11:27:11 PM »
Pascal also knew the importance of 'knowing thyself':
--------------------------------------
Indeed, Blaise Pascal, a Man w/the temperament of the great Scholastics preceding him.
He deserved far better from his contemporaries but France was sadly heading for intellectual
revolution which then played out across most of the World; and hardly for the better.

Offline Absalom

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Re: In Praise of Virtue
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2021, 12:04:20 AM »
Skull, as it's late, we should leave all of this till later, yet permit a closing comment.
------------
I purposely left unsaid my reasoning behind the corrosive impact of Materialism on
Culture/Society, which is simply this.
Beyond any pious and sanctimonious notions of betterment, the core impact of
Materialism on Humanity has been to promote destructive Greed, a realty on daily
display throughout the World for at least two centuries.
Consequently, more and more Plain people are realizing the terrible morass we have
created for ourselves and are grasping how we arrived at this nadir!!!

Offline Skull

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Re: In Praise of Virtue
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2021, 11:26:25 AM »
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To be angry about trifles is mean and childish; to rage and be furious is brutish; and to maintain perpetual wrath is akin to the practice and temper of devils; but to prevent and suppress rising resentment is wise and glorious, is manly and divine.

Isaac Watts (d.1748)
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha

Offline Skull

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Re: In Praise of Virtue
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2021, 11:29:06 AM »
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The supreme aim of all religions is to teach men how to live; and the learning and the living are religion itself. The purification of the human heart, the building up of a blameless life, and the perfecting of the soul, these are the great underlying and enduring factors in all religions and creeds the world over. That which is vital in every religion is the striving after, and the practice of, Goodness; all things else are accretions, superfluities, illusions. Goodness — and by Goodness I mean sinlessness — is the beautiful and imperishable form of Religion, but creeds and religions are the perishable garments, woven of the threads of opinion, in which men clothe it. One after another religions come and go, but Religion, being Life itself, endures forever. Let men cease to quarrel over the garments and strive to perceive the universality and beauty of the indwelling form; thus will they become wedded to it, will become one with the supreme Goodness. Religion is Goodness; Goodness is Religion.

James Allen (d.1912)
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha

Offline Skull

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Re: In Praise of Virtue
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2021, 03:41:42 PM »
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Never expecting to find perfection in men, in my commerce with my contemporaries I have found much human virtue. The age unquestionably produces daring profligates and insidious hypocrites. What then? Am I not to avail myself of whatever good is to be found in the world because of the mixture of evil that will always be in it?

Edmund Burke (d. 1797)
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha

Offline Skull

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Re: In Praise of Virtue
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2021, 04:51:43 PM »
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Wisdom alone is a science of other sciences and of itself.

 Plato - Charmides
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha

Offline Skull

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Re: In Praise of Virtue
« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2021, 05:19:59 PM »
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Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.

Tennyson.
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha

Offline Skull

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Re: In Praise of Virtue
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2021, 02:30:12 PM »
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Three means to fortify belief are experience, reason, and authority. Of these the more potent is authority; for belief upon reason or experience will stagger.

Francis Bacon (d. 1626)
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha

Offline Skull

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Re: In Praise of Virtue
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2021, 02:59:41 PM »
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Authority intoxicates
And makes mere sots of magistrates.
The fumes of it invade the brain
And make men giddy, proud and vain.
By this the fool commands the wise;
The noble with the base complies.
The sot assumes the role of wit
And cowards make the base submit.

Samuel Butler (d.1902)
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha

Offline Skull

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Re: In Praise of Virtue
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2021, 06:17:34 PM »
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If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power.

Dwight Eisenhower
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha

Offline Skull

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Re: In Praise of Virtue
« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2021, 10:53:04 AM »
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No punishment is too great for the man who can build his greatness upon his country's ruin.

George Washington
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha

Offline Skull

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Re: In Praise of Virtue
« Reply #22 on: April 30, 2021, 11:09:26 AM »
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I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.

Abraham Lincoln
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha

Offline Skull

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Re: In Praise of Virtue
« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2021, 03:21:18 PM »
I am certainly very near the end of my life. I am far from trifling with the idea of Death which is a great and solemn event. But I contemplate it without terror or dismay, “aut transit, aut finit” [either it is a transformation, or it is the end], if finit, which I cannot believe, and do not believe, there is then an end of all but I shall never know it, and why should I dread it, which I do not; if transit I shall ever be under the same constitution and administration of Government in the Universe, and I am not afraid to trust and confide in it.

John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, January 14, 1826. Cappon, Adams-Jefferson Letters, 2:613.
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha

Offline Skull

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Re: In Praise of Virtue
« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2021, 10:59:17 AM »
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Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Philippians 4:8
« Last Edit: May 03, 2021, 11:01:08 AM by Skull »
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha