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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"Virtue is more clearly shown in the performance of fine actions than in the nonperformance of base ones." Aristotle

You cannot necessarily judge someone’s virtue by whether or not that person refrains from doing bad things. Many refrain from robbing banks because of their fear of being put in prison, not because they are virtuous. 

If they were assured that they would not be caught and punished, many would do the very things that they daily refrain from doing and which they loudly condemn others for doing. 

Their restraint does not testify to their virtue.

As Aristotle states, if you want to judge a person’s virtue, look at what they do, not at what they refrain from doing. 

One’s virtue is shown more clearly by their actions, and even more so by the intentions behind those actions. The character of every action depends on the circumstances and the intentions behind the action.

Look beneath the surface when trying to judge someone’s character. 

What is the motivation behind the action or the lack of action? 

You must make sure that you do the right thing, for the right reason. 
Keep your virtue intact. 
Live by your own ideals. 
Hold yourself to the highest standards.