Where Virtue Lives

Well here it is, March! At last! We awoke to a winter wonderland, a few inches of snow fell over the course of the night, to sparkle this morning in the sunlight. We had thought to go out for a walk today, but opted for a day of food preparation instead, so as to avoid any possible ice underfoot.

Bread baking and Split Pea Soup making passed the hours pleasantly.

Yesterday was spent moving furniture around. This provided an opportunity to sort through some belongings, clothes in particular. If a piece of clothing holds together and fits comfortably, it stays. A few items went into the trash, they were well past any hope of being useful to humans. A full grocery bag of lightly worn, no-longer-fit clothes, was gleaned from the cupboards, and it will go to the women’s shelter.

Virtue: conformity to a standard of right : morality.

Source: Mirriam-Webster

The keyword, in my opinion, in this definition, is the word “right”, as in correct. Who is to say what is right? How does one know what is right? Who sets this standard by which the virtuous establish their claim to virtue?

Two possible standard bearers are external, or internal standards.

There are thousands upon thousands upon thousands of external individuals and groups claiming the right to define right for themselves and others. A lot of people rely on them as guides.

Many people rely on internal beacons of what is right to guide their path in life.

And then there are people who rely on both, simultaneously or sequentially.

Personally, I find the concept of virtue is of limited value, it can take up shop just about anywhere. I think Hitler believed himself to be quite virtuous, and he seemed very sure that his definition of right… was right.

The human characteristics that I find valuable are things like kindness, compassion, honesty, and similar recipient-oriented attributes.



Date: 1:00 PM EST Sunday 3 March 2019
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -4.8°C
Dew point: -7.5°C
Humidity: 82%
Wind: SSE 16 km/h
Wind Chill: -11
Visibility: 24 km


“Virtue is choked with foul ambition.”
William Shakespeare 1564 – 1616
Henry VI, Part II, Act III, sc. 1

[Ambition of the external arbiter of virtue, or an internal virtue rooted in ambition.]