Social virtues

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2 Peter 1 tells us of the progression from faith to virtue[1] and from that virtue which is action we may come to knowledge[2]and from knowledge to temperance[3] and from temperance to patience[4] and from patience to godliness.[5]

Social Virtues

Social Virtues have been listed with terms like Being Loved, Charisma, and Unpretentious, but likely these are merely products or fruits of virtues, rather than the virtues themselves.

Others list honesty, friendliness, forgiveness, concern for others, patience, and kindness, which includes virtues like generosity, courtesy, politeness, and cleanliness.

The Greek word arete[6] appears in the New Testament 5 times[7] and means excellence and is commonly translated virtue.

Virtue, by definition, is the moral excellence of a person, and a morally excellent person has a character made-up of virtues valued as good. That would mean they are honest, respectful, courageous, forgiving, and kind, just as examples.[8]

Social Virtues may be so closely related to the moral virtues that they may not even be distinguishable from them. They are generally viewed as the virtues or traits of character that promote social harmony.

Socrates uses the term courage in Plato's Republic in place of "civic virtue". Since all city-states justified their legal system by the gods there is no distinction between spiritual virtue, mandated by a higher being, and civic virtue by the laws or customs of civil society. If virtue is the “character muscle” of the individual, Social Virtues can be described as the sinew of society.

Aristotle advises that of man takes pleasure in virtue he will not only achieve the greatest happiness his society will also be great. Knowledge of these virtues and their promotion through the structures of society are the only hope for a better community. Aristotle believed that a person "well brought up" at home will be more accepting and conducive to the practice of both civic and moral virtues.[9]

The Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle were followed by Aquinas who believed the greatest good comes was ordained by God through the hearts and hands and mind of men who accept The Way of God, which is righteousness.

Moral and therefore social issues are the product of right reasoning, not the rule making of an autocratic authority. Social virtue suggests the interaction of members of society, such as gratitude is the virtuous reaction to the virtue of generosity.

For virtue to be real, it must be the result of choice. We can see that Aristotle lists generosity as a virtue.[10] Generosity is not merely the act of giving, but the choice to give. Without a choice made by a member of society to give, there is no place to direct or attach the gratitude of the individual who receives.

Hobbes defines gratitude as acting in such a way as the person to whom you are grateful would "have no reasonable cause to repent him of his good will."

The virtues of society are those events that bind the people together with each other. The word grateful expresses the bond of that feeling or showing an appreciation for kindness; thankful.

People may have a mutual love for each other, but there is no mutual love between a system and an individual because a system is merely a creation of man.

Socialism is a system. Systems produce results. According to their natural patterns, comprehensive systems will produce predictable results.

"No pain, no gain" is a rule about the exercise of your body. Society is a body too. If virtue is the “character muscle” of the individual, Social Virtues can be described as the sinew of society.

There is no such thing as a free lunch unless it is provided by charity.

Socialism is not Charity. The systems of Socialism are Covetous Practices.

Covetousness is the antitheses of generosity. Giving someone else's stuff is not being generous. To take from others, to seem to be generous, is dishonest, and it is opposed to the virtue of honesty. It is also disrespecting the rights of others, which is the antitheses of respectful. You may want to think it is kind to grant benefits, but since you are doing it at someone else's expense, it is at best a nullified act of kindness which is not kind. Hiring the government to take from your neighbor for your benefit or for someone else's benefit is also not courage.

So there are no Social Virtues in Socialism. There are only Social Contracts.

No society or people may remain free without prizing, encouraging and even rewarding social virtues.

Socialism binds people together by contract, and often debt, where there is seldom the virtue of forgiveness, but merely more debt.

Virtue binds people together by honor and appreciation, where giving and forgiveness are not only goals but byproducts.

The heart of individuals and society must be exercised regularly.

People become selfish as the muscles of compassion or benevolent bands of society atrophy and decay. When the life of society - found in the blood of our personal sacrifice for one another out of love - diminishes, the society degenerates. A society bound together by charity rather than force is alive with love, while those who neglect or bite one another diminish the bonds of love until the people become Dry Bones.


Individual virtue

The Seven Heavenly Virtues: Faith, Hope, Charity, Fortitude, Justice, Temperance, Prudence. People divide the seven virtues emphasizing the four Cardinal Virtues: Prudence, Temperance, Courage and Justice as of the greatest importance; fundamental.

These virtues benefit both the man who has these dispositions and the other people as well.

  • "But the perfect food which is fit for men consists of explanations dictated by prudence, and temperance, and every virtue." A Treatise on the Tilling of the Earth by Noah. according to Philo Judaeus.

While the Seven deadly sins counter virtue they are fit for no man:

Vice Latin Virtue Latin In other terms
Lust Luxuria Chastity Castitas Faith, Friendship , Honor
Gluttony Gula Temperance Temperantia Temperance
Greed Avaritia Charity Caritas (Liberalitas) Charity, Liberality
Sloth Tristitia Diligence Industria Fortitude
Wrath Ira Patience Patientia Justice, Truthfulness, Good Temper
Envy Invidia Gratitude Humanitas Prudence, Friendliness
Pride Superbia Humility Humilitas Hope, Magnificence, self-satisfaction, Wit

Courage – bravery and valor


  • "These then are the professions and promises made by the husbandry of the soul, "I will cut down all the trees of folly, and intemperance, and injustice, and cowardice; and I will eradicate all the plants of pleasure, and appetite, and anger, and passion, and of all similar affections, even if they have raised their heads as high as heaven." A Treatise on the Tilling of the Earth by Noah. according to Philo Judaeus., section IV.

A fourth-century monk called Evagrius Ponticus listed "eight evil thoughts".[11]


  • "And in those souls which have arrived at the age of puberty or of manhood, I will implant things which are even better and more perfect, namely, the tree of prudence, the tree of courage, the tree of temperance, the tree of justice, the tree of every respective virtue." A Treatise on the Tilling of the Earth by Noah. according to Philo Judaeus., section IV.

Aristotle proposed that there are two negative vices found in the excesses or lack of virtue. An excess of courage makes you rash, while a lack of courage makes you a coward.

Vice Excess Virtue lack
Lust Puritanical, self-righteous Chastity indecent
Gluttony Stifled Temperance Scandalous
Greed Enabling Charity Stingy parsimonious
Sloth Obsessive pertinacious Diligence Neglectful
Wrath Enabling Patience Anxious
Envy Indebtedness Gratitude Arrogance
Pride hubris Timidity Abasement Humility Pretentious
  • "He, then, who with sound judgment contemplates the appearance of patient endurance, even if he has been previously bitten by the allurements of pleasures, must inevitably live; for the one holds over his soul a death to be averted by no prayers, but self-restraint proffers him health and preservation of life; and temperance, which repels evils, is a remedy and perfect antidote for intemperance. And every wise man looks upon what is good as dear to him, which is also altogether calculated to ensure his preservation." A Treatise on the Tilling of the Earth by Noah. according to Philo Judaeus., section XXII.


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Footnotes:
  1. 703 ~ἀρέτη~ arete \@ar-et’-ay\@ from the same as 730; TDNT-1:457,77; {See TDNT 93} n f AV-virtue 4, praise 1; 5
    1) a virtuous course of thought, feeling and action
    1a) virtue, moral goodness
    2) any particular moral excellence, as modesty, purity
  2. 1108 ~γνῶσις~ gnosis \@gno’-sis\@ from 1097; TDNT-1:689,119; {See TDNT 157} n f AV-knowledge 28, science 1; 29
    1) knowledge signifies in general intelligence, understanding
    1a) the general knowledge of Christian religion
    1b) the deeper more perfect and enlarged knowledge of this religion, such as belongs to the more advanced
    1c) esp. of things lawful and unlawful for Christians
    1d) moral wisdom, such as is seen in right living
    For Synonyms see entry 5826 & 5894
  3. 1466 ~ἐγκράτεια~ egkrateia \@eng-krat’-i-ah\@ from 1468; TDNT-2:339,196; {See TDNT 208} n f AV-temperance 4; 4
    1) self-control (the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, esp. his sensual appetites)
  4. 5281 ~ὑπομονή~ hupomone \@hoop-om-on-ay’\@ from 5278; TDNT-4:581,581; {See TDNT 481} n f AV-patience 29, enduring 1, patient continuance 1, patient waiting 1; 32
    1) steadfastness, constancy, endurance
    1a) in the NT the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings
    1b) patiently, and steadfastly
    2) a patient, steadfast waiting for
    3) a patient enduring, sustaining, perseverance
    For Synonyms see entry 5861
  5. 2150 ~εὐσέβεια~ eusebeia \@yoo-seb’-i-ah\@ from 2152; TDNT-7:175,1010; {See TDNT 705} n f AV-godliness 14, holiness 1; 15
    1) reverence, respect
    2) piety towards God, godliness See Religion
  6. 703 ~ἀρέτη~ arete \@ar-et’-ay\@ from the same as 730; TDNT-1:457,77; {See TDNT 93} n f AV-virtue 4, praise 1; 5
    1) a virtuous course of thought, feeling and action
    1a) virtue, moral goodness
    2) any particular moral excellence, as modesty, purity
  7. Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue <703>, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises <703> of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue <703>: 2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue <703>; and to virtue <703> knowledge;
  8. Virtue includes the desire to do what is morally right. Virtue begins with the good condition of the heart. (See Luke 19:1-10: Zacchaeus began with desire, and in the end, he gave to the poor). Feigned friendliness or patience is not virtue. Virtue stems from sincere humility with God. Virtue attends real repentance. Zacchaeus was chief among the publicans, and rich, but changes happened to him after he met Jesus.
  9. Deuteronomy 4:9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;
  10. 1) Courage – bravery and valor
    2) Temperance – self-control and restraint
    3) Liberality – bigheartedness, charity, and generosity
    4) Magnificence – radiance, joie de vivre
    5) Pride – self-satisfaction
    6) Honor – respect, reverence, admiration
    7) Good Temper – equanimity, level-headedness
    8) Friendliness – conviviality and sociability
    9) Truthfulness – straightforwardness, frankness and candor
    10) Wit – a sense of humor – meaninglessness and absurdity
    11) Friendship – camaraderie and companionship
    12) Justice – impartiality, evenhandedness and fairness
  11.  : 1 gluttony
    2 lust, fornication
    3 avarice, greed
    4 pride, hubris
    5 sorrow, despair, despondency
    6 wrath
    7 vainglory
    8 sloth