Saturday 8 August 2009

Answering QotW #2

'What do you consider to be Virtuous?' and 'Why is it Virtuous?'

I'm still struggling with a lot of the ideas behind virtue. There are a wide array of things that might be considered to be virtuous. Many people might consider giving money to charity to a virtuous act, but is it still virtuous if your doing it mainly for the tax reciept? What about giving something like a sandwich or something to a homeless person, will it only free up more money in the end for a vice?

A lot of pagans talk about the 3 fold law, Do good or bad and it will come back at you three times over. But what happens if your act is good but the cause and effect of that action ripples down into things that are not so good? That is kind of where my mind goes when I start to think about what is virtues. If something I do leads to someone getting hurt and I am aware of the possibility in more then just the abstract is my original act one of virtue? It is a nasty little web of never ending possibilities. I'm sure I'll get more into it when I ask about the three fold law.

I'm left with the idea that a virtuous act is one that is done not for person gain and an action that doesn't have directly predictable negative effects. The best example of this would be to help someone learn to help themself. A few charities use the expression "We give a hand-up and not a hand-out." this simple phrase sums it up very nicely I think.

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