The Meaning of Human Virtues

What are Human Virtues?

About the Concept of Virtues

There are different uses of the term Virtue. There are several examples, which are related to strength, patience, courage, the power to act, the effectiveness of one, or the mind's integrity.

Virtue is a concept that refers to the conduct of human beings when there is a perfect adaptation between moral principles and human will. It is also a moral quality, a positive attribute of an individual. If of a true inclination, they are all the constant habits that lead man to the path of good.

There are intellectual virtues linked to intelligence and moral virtues, which are related to the good. Intellectual virtue consists of the ability to learn from dialogue and reflection in search of true knowledge.

Moral virtue, in turn, is moral action or behavior. It is a good habit, according to ethics.
Human virtues are standard moral qualities of human beings. They are related to the construction of the personality of each individual.

"...happiness does not consist in amusement. In fact, it would be strange if our end were amusement, and if we were to labor and suffer hardships all our lifelong merely to amuse ourselves... The happy life is one in conformity with the Designs of virtue. It is a life which involves effort and is not spent in amusement...." ― Aristotle

The types of human virtues differ according to some authors and the different areas of study. According to the philosophers and psychologists, people's fundamental human virtues are benevolence, justice, patience, sincerity, responsibility, optimism, wisdom, respect, self-confidence, contentment, courage, detachment, unconcern, determination, discipline, empathy, stability, generosity, honesty, flexibility, humility, mercy, introspection, among others.

Plato and other philosophers, however, summed up all human virtues into four distinct types: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance.

What are human Virtues?

Human virtues are not innate of essential human nature, but rather elements that build up and complement people's personality throughout life. For example, no one is born with "self-confidence" or "honesty" but learns to have these behaviors from lessons and morally positive references within the environment in which they are inserted. In other words, Human beings must be educated and shown how to become their best.

In the religious sphere, according to most Christian doctrines, human virtues (or moral virtues) must be in association with the"supernatural virtues" or "theological virtues," which consist of three primary qualities: faith, charity, and hope.

It is worth remembering that the human virtues represent meritorious characteristics and positive qualities of the individual's behavior. Virtues are responsible for shaping the moral compass of an individual. They ultimately dictate the character, values, and personality of each person.

"We do not place special value on the possession of a virtue
until we notice its total absence in our opponent."
― Friedrich Nietzsche

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Theological Virtues: Pillars of Soul Service

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