Definition of Human Virtues:
“Virtues” are attitudes, dispositions, or character traits that enable us to be and to act in ways that develop this potential. They enable us to pursue the ideals we have adopted. Honesty, courage, compassion, generosity, fidelity, integrity, fairness, self-control, and prudence are all examples of virtues.
Meaning of Human Virtues:
Human virtues are standard moral qualities of human beings, related to the construction of each individual’s personality.
Virtue is the principle of good deeds and good living. Virtue leads individuals to act correctly, for the benefit of themselves and those affected by their actions.
Good action is virtuous action, which contains virtue in itself, and is related to the control of selfish impulses and desires in favor of respect for life in society (collective life).
List of human virtues
The types of human virtues differ according to authors and fields of study. For philosophers and psychologists, for example, the basic human virtues of people are:
- good sense
Types of Virtue
The acquired (or natural) virtues are the habits that are created through the socialization process, whether in the family, at school, or in other institutions of which we are part since we were born.
Thus, human virtues are not innate, but elements that build and complement people’s personalities throughout life. For example, no one is born with “self-confidence” or “honesty”, but they learn to have these behaviors based on morally positive lessons and references in the environment in which they live.
Another characteristic of virtue is its continuity over time. Virtues are uniform, uninterrupted moral capacities. This means that an isolated moral act does not in itself constitute virtue.
Virtue as a constant disposition brings us closer to the idea of virtue in Aristotle. This philosopher defines it as a constant rational habit that makes human beings comply with their own nature and achieve happiness.
For Aristotle, virtue consists of the fair measure (or middle ground) between vice by excess and vice by omission. As a habit, we are not born virtuous, but we become virtuous through practice and education.
Plato and other philosophers summarized all human virtues into four distinct types: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. These fundamental (or cardinal) virtues are defined by Plato as capacities of the soul. The human soul has some functions, and its ability to fulfill them is its virtue.
It is worth remembering that human virtues represent positive characteristics and qualities of an individual’s behavior. The virtues are responsible for shaping and dictating the character, values, and personality of each person.
In the religious sphere, according to most Christian doctrines, the human virtues (or moral virtues) must be combined with the so-called supernatural virtues. They are also called “infused virtues” (poured, inspired), as they reach the soul through sanctifying grace. That is, these virtues are received directly from God.
The supernatural virtues are distinguished into theological virtues and moral virtues. The theological virtues consist of three gifts: faith, charity, and hope. The origin and purpose of these virtues are God. They shape moral virtues.
Moral virtues are numerous and can be defined as acts of kindness that are in accordance with theological virtues. The moral virtues are the means that lead to the ultimate end, which is supernatural.
Opposed to virtue is the vice. But this word must be understood in its widest sense, as something that destroys the individual’s qualities from within, making him deviate from the path of virtue.