Thursday, October 06, 2011

It Is Not Virtue to Use Force

It is not virtue to first use force, or even first to threaten force, to try to reach one's goals. To do so is to act just like a child does -- the two year old who cannot say too much, and pushes others thinking that will get his way; the spoiled brat who throws a fit as threat so she can get her way. These tactics are not virtue; these tactics are what children have before they have the social skills and language needed to live a life of virtue. To go to force or threat to get your way is to act like a child at best. There is no virtue in it.

As Aristotle says, for one to act with virtue you must first aim for the beautiful. The beautiful is both variety with unity, the golden mean's creative ratio. To aim thus at the beautiful is thus to aim at a society with great complexity -- that's unified and various, that uses limits proper to make healthy growth. But force or threat of force does not make social bonds -- these only break our social bonds and make us have a simpler society. It's one thing to appreciate the differences among us all as individuals and as subcultures and as cultures, too, but it's another to divide us all with but the purpose of division and destruction. Factions are not virtuous as difference with respect must truly be.

To act with virtue, then, you have to understand the true path to a truly beautiful society -- society where social bonds are made, where growth and creativity is present, where force and threats of force are not the first, or second, third or fourth or fifth on any list of how to deal with anything. Force is how you deal with force, and that is all -- the actions of an undeveloped child must be met on their terms -- but when you have a person who can reason, reason is the way to deal with them, the path of virtue. Are we adults or children? Will we allow ourselves to put mere children, whose first thoughts are force or threats, in charge of us? Will we resort to children's actions first? Or are we all adults, whose choice is virtue and whose aims are always for the beautiful?
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