The dictionary defines virtue simply as “behavior showing high moral standards”, but people have many different ways or defining what morality means to them.
Thus, it pays to define terms carefully before judging or debating with others.
Jesus preached personal charity: ““Whoever has two tunics should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise.” Luke 3:11 [NABRE]
But Immanuel Kant said the opposite. He preached that it was unjust to do anything for one needy person and that true justice was only found in doing the same thing for every needy person.
Since the definition of “every” is up for grabs, this strikes me as being not just anti-Christian, but anti-human.
Every who? Every needy person on my street? In my city? In the world? What a convenient way to justify being a greedy, self-centered, son of a bitch. Never mind that each person’s needs are unique. I’ve got personal experience with how the Left’s penchant for jamming everyone into predetermined, government-program, pigeon holes denies the needy the dignity that God says we all have. Sheesh!
Reading about Kant’s philosophy today went a long way toward explaining for me why so many Leftists claim the moral high ground, preaching pompously about our responsibility to help the needy, while living lives that are demonstrably less charitable than Christians in every way.
Arthur C. Brooks’ research demonstrated (against his “I was brought up Liberal and wanted to prove Liberals are better” desires) that politically liberal, secular people around the world are far less likely to donate blood, give money, or volunteer time than are politically conservative, church-goers.
I always thought Leftists were being hypocritical to equate voting Democrat with being compassionate and charitable. Now I see that I was wrong. They were being Kantian.
Kant’s philosophy also explains Democrat efforts to persecute those who attempt to do personal works of mercy.
E.g., Obamacare actually imposes fines on hospitals for giving pro bono care to those who cannot afford the medical care they need. Ditto soup kitchens. I remember reading about one 80-year old man who was arrested for feeding homeless people in his city. The Democrat mayor ordered the arrest, because he believed that being hungry would encourage the homeless to seek out government aid.
Below is the introduction to the Roman Catholic Catechism’s section on virtue. The Catechism goes into more detail in the pages following. It’s good reading and is available free on-line at the link below.
BTW, Phil 4:8 is one of my all-time favorite Bible passages. I read it every day during my morning Bible, prayer and meditation time.