Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 42

Thread: It is virtuous if you're actually just inclined to that virtue?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    8,526

    It is virtuous if you're actually just inclined to that virtue?

    I am reading a book called The Brothers K.

    Hell of a book!

    Anyway, the author describes a character (Peter) in the book who renounces earthly pleasures to live a scholarly, monastic life with few possessions. This character focuses on inner work and spiritual development.

    But the author explains that the character likes reading and studying. The character also enjoys meditation and living simply. The character never cared much anyway for possessions. So he asked of the character, is living this way such a virtue?

    Then he compared that character to another character (Irwin) -- one who loved food and women. And said said, if Irwin gave up these things that he really, really likes, now that would be a virtuous act.

    So it is virtuous if you are just inclined that way?
    Is simple living a virtue if you are simply quite inclined to live simply by your very nature?
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  2. #2
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    12,794
    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    I am reading a book called The Brothers K.

    Hell of a book!

    Anyway, the author describes a character (Peter) in the book who renounces earthly pleasures to live a scholarly, monastic life with few possessions. This character focuses on inner work and spiritual development.

    But the author explains that the character likes reading and studying. The character also enjoys meditation and living simply. The character never cared much anyway for possessions. So he asked of the character, is living this way such a virtue?

    Then he compared that character to another character (Irwin) -- one who loved food and women. And said said, if Irwin gave up these things that he really, really likes, now that would be a virtuous act.

    So it is virtuous if you are just inclined that way?
    Is simple living a virtue if you are simply quite inclined to live simply by your very nature?
    Your premise is that simple living is virtuous in itself. I challenge that.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    8,526
    My premise is that simple living can be virtuous.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  4. #4
    Senior Member KayLR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    SW Washington State
    Posts
    1,655
    Are you asking whether something can only be a virtue if some kind of sacrifice is made in order to acquire it?
    My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    8,526
    Quote Originally Posted by KayLR View Post
    Are you asking whether something can only be a virtue if some kind of sacrifice is made in order to acquire it?
    In a sense, yes, I am asking that. I am also not sure what I am asking, only that there are questions embedded in this. And I want to figure out the questions and the answers.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  6. #6
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    VT/NJ
    Posts
    8,221
    I think virtue is absolute. So if you are born "virtuous" you exhibit certain virtues. You don't have to "earn" it. But I guess you can acquire certain virtues.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,870
    I believe that most of our human excesses are educated. We all need to eat, seek safety and shelter and reproduce as well as exercise mental abilities AKA a version of Maslow's needs. Beyond that it is education that determines our priorities in most cases. We are brainwashed from birth, or even before, based on reports that playing music to the unborn generates a desire for music.

    If we are educated to self-gratification, we choose that which gives us the greatest initial satisfaction and then stay in that mode whether it be simple living, self-denial or violent living.

    Some choose to withdraw from the earlier choices but it often takes a real struggle for the change to be permanent.

    Virtue is a whole different kettle of fish. My online dictionary defines virtue as "a quality considered morally good or desirable in a person: patience is a virtue." Virtue can be defined by a society or for oneself.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    913
    [QUOTE=razz;300579]I believe that most of our human excesses are educated. We all need to ..... and reproduce /QUOTE]

    Huh? Really? I guess I am a human failure.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,851
    I'd be like Peter if such a choice existed in the modern world. But it really doesn't. I do sometimes think about this, how there really aren't ways to live a monastic life in the modern world much. Well one could be homeless, but the monastic life was better than that. If a monastic life existed in the modern world a renunciation of this shitty society and it's "benefits" wouldn't be much of a renunciation to me.

    Virtue I'd define on social impact, which is knowable to a degree on a local level (but not always choosable). But globally it gets so complex ...

    I don't know, I am a pretty good person, maybe as good as they come almost (although maybe not brave enough to be better). But I don't know how much I really value it, as we are so bound up in forced "choices" and systems and hard social constraints anyway that what does individual virtue even mean anymore anyway?

    Other than resistance?
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    8,526
    Quote Originally Posted by ApatheticNoMore View Post
    I'd be like Peter if such a choice existed in the modern world. But it really doesn't. I do sometimes think about this, how there really aren't ways to live a monastic life in the modern world much. Well one could be homeless, but the monastic life was better than that. If a monastic life existed in the modern world a renunciation of this shitty society and it's "benefits" wouldn't be much of a renunciation to me.

    Virtue I'd define on social impact, which is knowable to a degree on a local level (but not always choosable). But globally it gets so complex ...

    I don't know, I am a pretty good person, maybe as good as they come almost (although maybe not brave enough to be better). But I don't know how much I really value it, as we are so bound up in forced "choices" and systems and hard social constraints anyway that what does individual virtue even mean anymore anyway?

    Other than resistance?
    I think there are ways to still live a monastic life of renunciation in today's society. You could enter a religious sect. You could pull a Daniel Suelo or Mark Boyle. You could self-style it.

    But it means accepting risk. Like you would not have health insurance or fridge full of food.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •