Virtue Ethics (VE)  – INCOMPATIBLE WITH A RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVE

  1. 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.
  2. VE more concerned with self-realisation whereas religions focus on self-sacrifice and putting others first.
  3. Some religions seem to focus more on deontology (following rules) rather than developing virtues.
  4. 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

  1. Religious teachings concerned with virtues and vices:
    1. St Paul referred to virtues and vices in his letters.
    2. 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.
    3. ‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you’ Luke 6:27
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
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