Virtue Ethics (VE) – INCOMPATIBLE WITH A RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVE
- Secular Theory – VE doesn’t get any authority from God’s commands (10, commandments, Sharia Law), no eternal laws or sacred text (Bible, Torah, Qu’ran). No reference to God or God’s will.
- VE more concerned with self-realisation whereas religions focus on self-sacrifice and putting others first.
- Some religions seem to focus more on deontology (following rules) rather than developing virtues.
- The goal we reach is in this life (Eudaimonia) whereas many religions think the ultimate goal is in the afterlife.
COMPATIBLE WITH A RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVE
- Religious teachings concerned with virtues and vices:
- St Paul referred to virtues and vices in his letters.
- Jesus regarded as the perfect example of a virtuous person; teachings offer a virtuous ethical system based on universal well-being for the individual and the community and are applicable in everyday life.
- ‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you’ Luke 6:27
- Aquinas developed Aristotle’s ideas – came up with the traditional Catholic virtues, the cardinal virtues (prudence, temperance and fortitude) and the theological virtues (faith, hope and charity).
- Buddhist teachings like the Eight-fold path and the four Noble truths refer to humans controlling their emotions and acting virtuously. Compare Buddhist goal of enlightenment with Aristotle’s concept of Eudaimonia.