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Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Introdcution to the Primary Virtues

The Primary Virtues are a virtue system designed to help conceptualize the relationship of various virtues to one another. They are one way of looking at virtues - not "the" way. Nor are the Primary Virtues necessarily "better" or "worse" than other ways of thinking about virtue. But they may be helpful in guiding one wishing to lead a virtuous life.

This is because the Primary Virtues are more than merely a detached list of different virtues. Instead, the Primary Virtues are arranged into a "system" of action, which begins with the moral basis of virtue, then expands to the means by which we achieve those ends, and concludes with the virtues needed to follow through. The system could be thought of as an embodiment of the heart, mind, and hand.

Furthermore, the Primary Virtues are designed to be compatible with nearly any belief system, worldview, or religion. Using the Primary Virtues in one's life does not preclude one's personal beliefs about the supernatural, the afterlife, or God. The Primary Virtues also do not require one to "add to" or alter their current religious beliefs. No doubt, religious people will find many references in their own belief systems as they are, which already support and promote these very virtues because truth is universal. Whether Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Humanist, Atheist, or any other belief, one will find that the Primary Virtues are a helpful tool for remembering virtues and approaching them in this life, as all human being should.

Virtuous Living will generally be a series of entries on everyday life issues, both personal and world issues, but many of the first entries will cover some of the basis of the approach taken on these things. At the same time, Virtuous Living will be a sort of journal as I explore ways of fleshing out the Primary Virtues into a more complete system.

Next time - "Summary of the Primary Virtues"

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