March 19, 2012

Compassion and Courage

Interesting post about zeal by Edward Oakes:
I recently read a review of a book about Margaret Thatcher which argued that: “Thatcher. . . . wanted to restore the balance of virtues in Britain away from current sentimentalities such as compassion and toward the ‘vigorous virtues’ of courage and enterprise.” What struck me about the remark is that virtues can become their own enemies unless they are counterbalanced with other virtues. Thus if a society fosters only compassion at the expense of courage and enterprise, it risks becoming decadent and incapable of defending itself because it no longer fosters the virtue of courage.

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