How do you define "virtue"?

Oscar Wilde once planned with his brilliant mother, the poetess Speranza, to found the "Society for the Suppression of Virtue". They were only half-kidding.

Their target was what they perceived to be the false piety that so many of their day claimed as "virtue". They were targeting the hypocritical and the petty-minded.

This makes we question, however, what it is we use to define standards of "virtue". Is virtue subjective? Are there standards of definition beased on culture? On social class?

Is "virtue" a fluid quality, allowing for the necessities of the moment?

How do you define "virtue" and how is it expressed within the context of your life; i.e., religion, culture, etc.

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    I guess virtue to me is to be a member of society which does far more good than harm, that is law abiding and has respect for their fellow human beings.

    As humans are imperfect, we can't uphold this at every single moment during our lives, but if the scales settle more on 'good' than on harmful then I think a person is virtuous.

  • 1 decade ago

    Very interesting question. I define virtue in terms of a person's behaviour and character. It must be genuine or it is just "puttin' on airs". Virtue, to me, is when a person is morally upright - not the kind of person you will find down at the bar hitting on all the loose women (and not the kind of person to *be* a loose woman either). Virtue is having strong convictions and standing up for them. It is having good character, helping others, having a good work ethic. It is true self-respect and treating others with true respect. Make sense?

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Virtue is based off beliefs systems so it depends what religious nature you are and what society you are living in.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It is completely relative, just as morality is, there is no absolute value, there are no fundamental truths that relate to the concept of 'virtue'.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Someone stole mine a very long time ago, mate. Long before I had ever heard of this word ... so I have never had reason to contemplate this question.

  • 1 decade ago

    first of all I have to use an analogy:

    virtue: being able to pick the hooker without the STD

  • 1 decade ago


    Source(s): AOU AOU AOU!
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