Tagged: Virtue

Two Senses of Moderation

Recently, a student asked me whether possessing the virtue of moderation can make a person happy. “What I can be sure about,” she said, “is that not being moderate makes me unhappy.” It does not follow from this, however, she observed, that being moderate actually causes happiness — unless happiness is defined merely as the absence of unhappiness. A Stoic or Epicurean might...

Duty Ethics vs. Virtue Ethics

Doing as one is supposed to do (obeying rules or duties) is a substantially different thing from doing as one ought to do (acting virtuously). The former type of action is suitable for dependent children, the mentally deficient, or in general those who for some reason have either opted or been forced to relinquish their authority to decide for themselves, whether universally or...

An Open Letter to Progressives

Dear Progressives, I just wanted to send this note along to ask you a question, namely why you need me to agree with you so badly that you are prepared to hate me, shun me, perhaps even condemn and imprison me, if I don’t agree with you. Let me frame the question a little differently: Why are you so afraid of being left...

What Would A Man Do?

So inured have we become to our upside-down world, in which unfettered greed is the only moral law, and lust for material power and popular admiration the only understandable motives, that it has seemingly become difficult for many people even to recognize, let alone to appreciate the value of, actual manhood. Here, then, is a primer in how a man would think, if...

Concluding Unscientific Postscript to “The Dangerous Idealization of Material Success”

My recent article, “The Dangerous Idealization of Material Success,” was calibrated and fully intended to rattle the cages of my so-called “conservative” friends by calling into question one of the central pieties of the late modern advocacy for liberty, namely the implicit belief in commercial success as an indication of virtue, and of the successful businessman as an exemplary human, and even statesman....

The Great Surrender

Those who have been forcibly divested of their natural liberty by tyrants must be pitied. They have been coerced into accepting lies of security and state beneficence as paltry compensation for the loss of their birthright of a life worthy of human beings. And yet such wretchedness of external conditions, though destroying a man’s practical life, does not destroy the man. More wretched...

Santorum and St. Thomas vs. the Catholic Bishops

(Originally published in February 2012) In a recent interview with Hugh Hewitt, Rick Santorum, a practicing Catholic, levelled some very harsh words at the Conference of Catholic Bishops. While siding with the bishops’ recent opposition to President Obama’s imposition of abortion upon Catholic hospitals, Santorum nevertheless stated bluntly that the Church “had it coming.” Not only was Santorum right in saying so, but...