4. Virtues

  1. Virtues

   Habit is the skill acquired by repetition of exercises. Acquiring a habit needs predisposition and memory. Predisposition is the ability to do something. For instance, a man can play football, but a tree cannot. Memory is also required, to remember previous acts and improve the following ones.

   When you have a habit, human acts are more perfect, faster, and can be made with less effort. There are physical habits (manual work), mental (study) and moral (virtues).

   Virtue is the habit of doing right. It is a perfection added to understanding, will or desire.

   Virtues are seven: the three Christian virtues: faith, hope and charity, and the fourth cardinal ones: prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance.

   Prudence is the virtue or perfection of understanding; justice is the virtue consisting of giving each person what is his own; fortitude is the virtue or perfection of will; and temperance or moderation is the virtue or perfection of desire.

   Paganism stayed in these cardinal virtues. But the Christian world added the three Christian virtues. Faith is the virtue to believe in religion’s truths. Hope is the confidence in God to give us heavenly goods, and charity consists of loving God above all things and the neighbor as ourselves.

  A. Choose the right letter: a, b, c. (If the letter turns into red the answer is correct)

  1. The ability to do something is

    a. memory
    b. predisposition
    c. attention

  2. Remembering previous acts is

    a. memory
    b. predisposición
    c. attention

 3. Manual work is a habit

    a. mental
    b. moral
    c. physical

 4. The habit of doing right is

    a. virtue
    b. custom
    c. routine

 5. Faith and hope are virtues

    a. cardinal
    b. Christian
    c. physical

 6. The confidence in heavenly goods is

    a. faith
    b. charity
    c. hope






  2. Prudence and justice

   - Prudence is the right reason about what there can be done, because it is fair, moderate or valuable. Prudence determines the object of the other virtues and how far they must go.

   In the history of Philosophy moral intellectualism considers prudence as the only virtue, and so it is enough a man has perfected his reason to be wise and completely good and virtuous.

   - Justice is the habit of giving each person what is his own. The roman jurist Ulpian (170-228) defined justice as “the firm and constant will to give to each person what is owed to them”

  Justice has to be completed with equity or equality to become accustomed to particular and specific cases.

   Because of justice we give each person what is his own, but due to friendship we give them something more than what belongs to them, taking away it from what is our own.

   Charity completes and perfects justice because it consists of loving not only our neighbors but also our enemies.

  B. Choose the right letter: a, b, c.

  1. The right reason about what there have to be done is

    a. prudence
    b. justice
    c. fortitude

  2. Giving each person what is his own is

    a. prudence
    b. justice
    c. fortitude

 3. Moral intellectualism is related to

    a. fortitude
    b. justice
    c. prudence

 4. The roman jurist was called

    a. Socrates
    b. Ulpian
    c. Aristotle

 5. Giving each person more than justice is

    a. friendship
    b. equity
    c. charity

 6. What completes and perfects justice is

    a. friendship
    b. equity
    c. charity






  3. Progress

   Progress is the constant development of civilization and culture. We may ask three questions: is it possible for man to acquire virtues? Does humanity progress in the path of virtues? Are mental virtues sufficient?

   a) The possibility of acquiring virtues. You cannot make what you want out of men, because men are free and take their own decisions. Other times, the environment cancels any moral effort. But men can be improved by education, to become virtuous men. The effort of parents, teachers and the man himself, through his self-education, can achieve personal training. With no previous education is more likely to grow vices.

   b) The progress of humanity on virtues. It is an unquestionable truth that humankind has achieved great progress on science, technique, medicine, industry, etc. But are today’s men better than yesterday’s? Moral pessimism answers that they are equal or even worse. We can see injustices in social relations, violence in the family between parents and children, wars in many places, the use of drugs and alcohol, child prostitution, robberies, etc. But there were already similar problems in earlier times. Conscience is the practical judgment of reason, by which we judge what can be done due to its goodness, or must be omitted because of its wickedness.

   However, humanity must do great efforts in order to the progress of the Christian and cardinal virtues in the same way as science and technique does.

   c) Competence of mental virtues. These virtues that favor scientific progress are important, but have to seek a balance with others. Teaching is not enough, we must educate in every respect. Mental virtue is not enough, we need the will and the desire. Education of the will and feelings needs to be practical. We become good doing good acts

  C. Choose the right letter: a, b, c.

  1. Men take their own decisions because they are

    a. intellectual
    b. sensitive
    c. free

  2. What can be prejudicial to the acquisitions of virtues?

    a. environment
    b. effort
    c. education

 3. Among virtues you must seek

    a. mental virtues
    b. balance
    c. only moral virtues

 4. Those who defend that everything goes wrong exhibit

    a. moral pessimism
    b. moral optimism
    c. indifference

 5. The education of the will requires

    a. theory
    b. practice
    c. study

 6. When we do good acts we become

    a. bad
    b. regular
    c. good




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| Educational applications | Philosophy |
For young |In Spanish | To print |

®Arturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain) No 141, of 29-IX-1999
Plaza Playa de Aro, 3, 1º DO 44002-TERUEL