We explain what the virtues are, their relationship with the values ​​and the defects. Also, what are the theological and cardinal virtues.

Virtues, like strength, are desirable characteristics in a person.

What is a virtue?

Human virtues or virtues are understood as the set of traits that a person possesses or practices and that respond to a certain social consideration of what is desirable, supported by other values like the good, the truth, the Justice and beauty.

To put it another way, a virtuous person is one who is willing to act according to certain previous concepts of what moral. On the other hand, depending on the context, this term may have to do with religion.

The very idea of ​​virtue can change in the weather and according to each culture, according to the way in which the concept of the moral also changes, that is, of the good, the just and the beautiful. For example, in the Antiquity Classical virtue was given a lot of importance (earring), considered as the fullness and perfection of the nature, especially the human.

In fact, for ancient greeks virtue was always a topic of debate. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle and the various Greek philosophical schools raised their own method towards a virtuous existence, that is, full, true, good.

All of this changed during the Middle Ages, since Christianity imposed on the West all and part of the East its own notions of morality and good, as well as its own virtues, which revolved around the faith and veneration of the monotheistic god.

It is currently common to use the term virtues as a antonym of defects.

Theological virtues

Theological virtues are known as those that the Christian Church implanted through its worship, at least in accordance with the theology catholic These virtues are three:

  • Faith. The security and confidence expressed in worship and doctrine of Jesus Christ, without the need for proof or demonstration of any kind.
  • Hope. Surrender while waiting for divine justice and the realization of the kingdom of God on Earth that will lead to eternal life.
  • Charity. The ability to love others as one loves oneself, through the practice of good and fraternal generosity.

In addition to these three basic virtues, there are the so-called cardinal virtues that belong to many other religions and not just Christianity. These virtues on which human morality rests are four:

  • Temperance. Moderation in the enjoyment of pleasures and the pursuit of a vital balance.
  • Prudence. The I respect and the adequacy when dealing or communicating with others.
  • Strength. The ability to overcome fear and recklessness, and endure worldly pains.
  • Justice. The effort to watch over the common benefit of all society.

Virtues and values

The virtues are more universal while the values ​​apply to the concrete.

It is not always easy to distinguish between virtues and values, since both terms refer to essentially desired traits in the person. A virtuous person and a person "of values" can commonly be the same.

However, virtues refer to concepts metaphysical as the good, the just or the beautiful. The values, on the other hand, refer to much more limited features, predefined in advance and that are added to the person or object in question.

Put more simply, virtues are more or less universal concepts at a given historical and cultural moment, while values ​​can be defined in much more concrete circumstances.

The company values, for example, are those that define themselves when conceiving it and that constitute its moral guide. On the other hand, spiritual values, cultural values ​​or social values allude to different valuations that in a religion, culture or society make of the conduct and the ways of being of individuals.

That is why virtues are connected to a divine concept, while values ​​can be applied to much more mundane things.

Strengths and weaknesses

If the virtues are the morally elevated traits of the human being, those we desire in ourselves and in others. On the other hand, the defects are the flaws, the errors and the vices that we aspire to combat in ourselves and in others, since they contradict the principles of what is good, what is just and what is true.

Commonly, defects are considered as imperfections, that is, traits that we all possess and that show our lack of moral qualities, as indicated by the etymology of the word, from Latin deficere ("lack").

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