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

  1. #11
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    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.
    That's what I was thinking. And Heidemarie Schwermer just died a short time ago, but she lived moneyless. It's doable. As UL said, the biggest barrier to living that life is refusing to abandon illusions of security.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  2. #12
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    I don't think those are very comparable to monasteries. Those are individual, a monastery was never just one person, it was a (religious) community. A commune would be closer. A few communes do still exist.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  3. #13
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    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.
    My take on reading UL's question was that virtue is not defined by an individual; it is more of a societal or cultural consensus. And different societies and cultures may modify what is considered "virtuous". In some cultures, for example, individualism is a virtue; in others, acting for the collective good is a virtue. Neither can say the specified virtue is good or bad; it is good or bad only in the context of the rest of that people group. So I don't think being virtuous requires sacrifice. Some people are almost born to certain virtues. Others never achieve them (that doesn't necessarily make them unvirtuous either).
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  4. #14
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    My premise is that simple living can be virtuous.
    What is virtuous about it?

  5. #15
    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    Is this The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky?

    The Russians are really heavy to read. Which translation?

  6. #16
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tradd View Post
    Is this The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky?

    The Russians are really heavy to read. Which translation?
    It is David James Duncan!
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  7. #17
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    What is virtuous about it?
    I think it depends on why a person does it. That is the heart of this conversation.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  8. #18
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    I think it depends on why a person does it. That is the heart of this conversation.
    I think it's safe to say that many, many wisdom-seekers and sages have advocated a simple life, going way, way back to early civilization. A lot of "simple livers" are represented in various schools of philosophy, and tons of spiritual leaders (outside of Christian Evangelicals and advocates of the Prosperity Gospel) have spoken to the "virtues" of a life of simplicity. I could start a list of historical proponents of simple living as a virtue in and of itself, but I don't have time and it would be too long a post.

    So if simplicity is a virtue, what difference does it make when you get on the train? The "virtue" of taking up the simple life shouldn't be like a cross to bear, but in practicing a way to greater happiness.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  9. #19
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Who cares if one exhibits virtue? Who is judging? Who appointed the judge? Why? To what end for the individual?
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  10. #20
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    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.
    There are still monasteries out there. Until recently, there was a Benedictine and a Franciscan monastery just a few miles from me, on one of our smaller islands. The Franciscans (who used to run the ferry dock and the one-and-only store on that island) closed up shop just a few years ago, but the Benedictines are going strong.

    https://olrmonastery.org/

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