|I'm not going to morally repudiate Robert. But on Solo, I have learned that disagreement on some of these issues will bring exactly that onto me. And if I call you "hypocrites" or "touchy" for it, then that only increases the ferver of your condemnation. So my choice is to blend in with the Solo collective, or state what I think. Not a hard choice.|
Robert is profoundly confused about the meaning of virtue. And so are all of you along with him.
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - AristotleHere Aristotle has the proper comprehension of the term "virtue": He says that excellence (and by my reading of this, moral excellence, that is, virtue) is a *habit*. That is different from calling it a *choice*.
Robert claims that no one is morally perfect, since we all make "mistakes." But he fails to distinguish two critically different causes of these "mistakes": a failure to act properly from bad habits, and a failure to act properly from a willful desire to get away with something wrong, or from apathy toward morality.
A good child, who is necessarily poorly trained in virtues because of his young age, will on occasion and under duress, lie. His emotion of self-preservation comes into play before his judgement was ever brought to bear, and he lies to protect himself. However, if the child is good, then upon thoughtful consideration of what happened, he will confess the lie. Such is the action of a *morally perfect* person, but one lacking a full development of the virtue - the trained habit or skill - of honesty.
A bad child on the other hand, may like the good child, lie on accident. However, he also lies consciously, and - from what is central to the development of a truly evil individual - cares not to correct himself. The good child will feel remorse of some sort, and then act to correct his error. The bad child might at some point, feel remorse, but through years of habituation of the idea of "get on with life", even the remorse goes away and the child is corrupted.
The key difference between the good child and the bad child is that the good one implicitly believed in what Aristotle called "the crown of all virtues", the virtue of pride: the habit of constant self-correction and improvement. And I don't think I need to say what the consequence of consciously, purposefully blurring the distinction between these two, very different types of behavior, would be.
(Edited by Shayne Wissler on 4/16, 1:00pm)