Heya! Welcome to my little corner of thought!
So, I’ve always loved philosophy, as evidenced by the fact that I have a Masters in it. But working with it isn’t all that interesting, because the very thing I love the most about it, the Socratic discussions, are less prevalent in the working life. So, I’m instead a teacher.
That said! I am very much colored by my love for philosophy, and since I predominantly teach history and social science (which is the closest to my actual subject), I can give out fun homework. Well, in my eyes atleast, heh~
Why did I bring that up? Why, because since these tasks of mine are actually just small thought experiments that anyone can do. Aaaand. I want to see if these little discussions could be interesting amongst you all.
If it’s a success, I’ll continue with it. If not, I won’t o:
So, for this little prototype, I’ll start with one of my favorite questions. And remember, there’s not actually a correct answer or a wrong answer; otherwise it wouldn’t be fun to ask! Without further ado~
What is a virtuous act? How would you define it?
I’d say a virtuous act is an act done out of generosity and selflessness.
Good answer! But that does open a couple questions!
If an act is done out of generosity and selflessness, and where the intentions are pure, yet the act is morally foul… Is it then virtuous? An act that went awry, so to speak.
How does one even know if an act is generous and selfless, and is it possible for others to truly judge if someone’s selfless generosity is entirely without bad intentions? If one doesn’t know, can it be virtuous? Or is it virtuous despite intentions?
I think a virtuous act is a selfless act done with no regrets whatsoever
Philosophy isn’t my strong point so don’t trust me on this
Can you ever be certain that someone does an act selflessly, without regrets? And if you can’t, can you call their act virtuous?
Don’t worry, anyone can do philosophy. It’s more for fun than anything! ^~^
I think so, if someone is doing it without complaints, or doing just because they can see the person is in need, it’s a virtuous act
I see, I see! So would you say that an act is only virtuous if it helps someone? Or can an act be virtuous without the goal being to help?
And, more importantly, is an act virtuous if the person committing the act considers it a good thing while the person receiving the help considers it a negative? Say, a missionary trying to convert someone to their religion, trying to save their atheist soul from hell? Is that virtuous?
I think it would be a virtuous act if you do it just out of the goodness of your heart, even if you weren’t thinking about helping the person, as long as you’re doing it with good intentions
The second part kind of goes into my first answer, as long as you’re doing it out of the goodness of your heart, like if you really want to save this person, because you believe atheists go to hell, then I think that counts as a virtuous act
So, as long as you do a thing purely out of selfless goodness, it is virtuous? Interesting way to look at it! Though, then comes the question; is categorizing an act as virtuous even necessary or possible? And if it’s not necessary, if it’s redundant, then why is it even a concept? Or, if it’s not even possible to categorize an act as virtuous, wouldn’t that leave the issue of calling anything virtuous null and void?
Yeah, virtue is basically showing that you have morals, so if you do it out of selfless goodness, you’re showing that you have good morals.
I mean when you say it like that, I guess you can’t really tell whether or not a person is doing something out of virtue, or just attention, but even if they’re doing it for attention, they are doing something good so it could count, and the person knows whether or not they’re doing out of virtue r not, so they know whether or not they can count it as a virtuous act.
I’d consider a virtuous act to be any act made out of what the said person considered to be of high morals whether it was truly selfless or not. I also don’t think acts or deeds have to be anything big to be considered virtuous. I’d say it’s more of a variable and individual thing (relative), rather than a defined set term that can apply to everyone. An example could be how some people believe putting an injured animal out of its “misery” is a moral deed, even though it results in the animal’s death whereas others would consider that immoral or even akin it to murder irrespective of the animal’s suffering because life is only given to any one person or thing once (not going to into anything about heaven or reincarnation etc). To one person that could be a virtuous act, and to another it could be far from it but from both perspectives, “selfless” can still come into play because both of them had concerns for the injured animal rather than themselves even though neither of them were in danger, but my point is to one person ending the animal’s life was the virtuous way to go and to the other, attempting to heal the animal even though there was no guarantee for survival was virtuous instead. It is something that will vary from person to person and there will never be a right or wrong answer.
High morals (to me) also doesn’t necessarily mean the most selfless or the best, sometimes they come with judgement of others (whether it’s intentional or not) who do not possess the same set of morals or who do things that a said person would consider below the standard of their own morals.
Another example of that could be a woman who prefers to wait til marriage before consummation, whereas another woman believes that isn’t necessary, at least not for herself. The first woman could see losing her virginity after marriage as a virtuous act in accordance with her own morals, but the other woman does not fit that set of morals, she instead might find that a man simply staying faithful to her before marriage is virtuous or she might consider him just being honest as virtuous.
Two different women. Two different sets of morals. Two different views on virtue.
An act of virtue can happen if they wanted to do it, or if they felt they needed to do it rather than wanted or if they felt they simply had to because it was in line with their morals, perhaps because it was expected of them or they were truly selfless and it was just their nature. It can happen because they were too afraid of what might happen in future (or near future) if they didn’t do a said act, whether it’s death, humiliation, blame, etc. What could be considered a “virtuous” act could even come about by accident rather than intention.
Well… that came out longer than expected and it’s time for me to go to sleep.
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