Thursday, October 12, 2006

Virtuous in Itself?

A question prompted by the virtues threads over in Faith in Everyday Life: are there intrinsic virtues, qualities that are virtuous in and of themselves?

In the discussions so far about curiosity and love of learning are suggestions that these are virtues because they have beneficial consequences, for instance preventing stagnation, facilitating communion (and vice versa: curiosity might not be a virtue if it leads to breaching privacy, for example.) Others seem to lean towards them being virtuous because they just are. Are there perhaps different classes of virtue, intrinsic and consequentualist? Maybe virtues are virtues because God/s deem them to be so, or on some other grounds that escape me entirely?

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