Thursday, August 22, 2013

What are admirable virtues? What virtues does modern society lack?


What are admirable human virtues?  What virtues are most missing in modern society?  Post your opinion, conversation style, as a comment here.  Minimum 200 words.  This is a conversation, so you need to read the posts before you and respond/build/add new thoughts.  Don't forget grammar, punctuation, and to be professional.  For Monday 8/26, you need to comment on either needs or virtues - not both.

20 comments:

  1. Virtue is one of the most commonly discussed topics in society, for it seems that many people lack this, and we all debate over what truly is necessary. We could put together a long list of admirable “virtues” like respect and acceptance but not everyone can comply with such standards. We are all different with varying personalities and divergent needs. We all come from contrasting backgrounds as well, so there truly cannot be a black and white expectation. This is simply not possible or fair. It is true that there is a lot of wrong and pain in the world, and that communities everywhere are fighting this perceived enemy. Yet the ideas are pounded into students in schools, citizens at work, and family members at home through mostly repetition and memorization. Yet the way in which we achieve these “virtues” should be the true issue.

    I believe that a part of any basic virtue is honesty. But through this I don’t mean that people should never tell a lie like following a formula, and they especially shouldn’t force themselves to adhere to this principle. I mean that anyone who adheres to certain virtues should do this from their own desire to, not from the messages programed into them by society. Currently this is missing. Virtue should be natural to us, otherwise we all become creatures of secrets and repression, which is usually followed by pain. Hence, the only virtue I believe people should wield is integrity, the admirable virtue of wholeness and honesty, for it is so hard to attain. Integrity calls for us to recognize and be ourselves, inside and outside. With integrity we must face our identities and be truthful with ourselves. Once this occurs, we will be able to see and with sight comes insight, not just into ourselves but into other individuals, society, and happiness. Hence, once we are true to ourselves and those around us, we can recognize the true meaning of, and live by, other virtues, organically. Therefore, we would be a society of natural virtue, the only type of virtue that truly works.

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  2. Dina Kharag

    I really agree with what you’re saying Till since you think that the basic virtue is honesty. I truly do think honesty is the best policy and its probably the building block to help start the healing for our Modern Society. However, with everyone always on their own screens, plugged in to their phones, and ears stuffed with their ear buds, it will certainly make things harder to get everyone on the same page. For me, whenever I want to get something done, communicating through facial interaction is the best way to accomplish this goal. I love communication because it then gets people to start understanding one another and find some common ground. However, this is falling apart in our modern society today. Lately, we can’t say anything without another person making rude stares or putting us down. It can even be to the simplest things of saying your opinion on an important matter to giving advice when someone even asked you for it. This could be due to everyone not trying to be considerate to the person who they’re talking to. This is the case due to everyone having different “personalities and divergent needs.” (Till). With the situation at hand, to come to a clear and decisive solution would be a complicated task to complete. I wonder if there is even a solution to solve the problem of miscommunication. Setting up new social rules? Getting rid of our technological advanced lives? Have enforced communication spaces so anyone can have a place to say anything that we want? Get rid of biased attitudes? Even I don’t know the clear path to find the solution, but everything we is done one step at a time.

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  3. I have to agree with Till on the fact that we can all make up a list of what are “good virtues” but not everyone will be able to agree and follow this certain set of virtues. We all are different human beings; we are all from different backgrounds, we are all raised in certain areas that make us who we are, we all have different beliefs. It is very hard to tell people to act a certain way or to do certain things because each on has a different mentality. Society now is the survival of the fittest, we must all adapt to what surrounds use in order to live and this changes ones mentality along with their sets of “virtues”. I also agree with Till on how in order to achieve and adhere to these virtues must be change, we all as humans must take a step back and look at society, find what is truly missing and change it.

    I feel that one of the most admirable and the virtue that lacks the most is acceptance. Acceptance is need throughout life; it comes up every single day. We all need to accept others for who they are and take it into regard. We must not lack respect towards others because they are different than you or different than the person next to you that is because one is also different. At the end of the day we are all unique and this is what makes each human a human being. We must accept life as it is and not try to change is forcefully. We must embrace it for what it is and rather trying to change it we must move on and continue living on with life. Every day you see people disrespecting others because of who they are, provoking them to change whether if it is because of the way they talk, dress, or even because of their sexuality. Constant disrespect is thrown around because one is different or not a typical figure of society. Changing the fact that people are not as accepting towards others is something that is hard to change, you cannot just tell others to change how they feel or think about other people. Along with what Dina said I would have to agree that we need to take one step at a time in order to fix this.

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  4. I believe that one of the most important virtues love. It allows humans to show their appeal to someone. It allows two people to realize that they are made for each other. No matter what kind of love it is, it almost always creates some kind of a relationship. Whether a student loves a teacher, or a guy loves a girl and she loves him back, love is responsible for it. Love creates companionships, one of the most essential needs a human has. Without the love it would be hard to start a companionship, there would be not stimuli for the people to become companions. And without the essential need being fulfilled, many humans will feel misery. This is why love is an essential virtue, it allows humans to show affection for each other and it is the beginning to most companionships, the essential need of humans. While love is essential to humans, it is, in my opinion, also the most missing thing in today's days. Compared to fifty, even forty years ago, there is no love on the air. Back then people would actually love each other and get married and would stay with each other for the rest of their lives from their youth years. Now days, it is all different, people just think the love someone because they like one trait of the person. They go out for a week and break up. That is because they do not actually love each other and are mainly together to gain higher status. So while love is one of the most important virtues for humans, it is also one of the most missing ones.

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  5. I would also like to comment how all human virtues are connected to each other in that they produce the same products of happiness and enjoyment. Humans wish to be happy in this world, and the solution to this impossible, complex equation is different for each individual. Some may claim that the answer love, respect, and acceptance; the list can be as endless as the amount of words in our vocabulary. One could go as far as provocatively saying that drugs provide happiness, though short lasted with other additional, numerous side- affects.
    With all of this being stated, a human virtue that may be absent is a sense of community. Looking at our lives we are all on a personal journey to reach our own personal goal of happiness. We hypothesize that if we get all straight A’s in high school we can go to Stanford, which would then make us happy. What every person needs to do is to stop looking at our own goals and begin looking at the pathways of others. Instead of spending all our lives on further bettering ourselves and making ourselves happy, we should maybe look towards aiding the lives of others who are less unfortunate, and making them happy. The innate, narcissistic mentality of society needs to be replaced by the virtue of community. We are all part of communities, whether they are local, national, or world-wide, and no community can function without the activity of its members. Only through taking a step back from our lives can we begin to contribute to the world-wide community that we are part of. This idea is what is most lacking from society in our modern days.

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  6. I agree with Dina that in our modern society we have lost the ability to have meaningful interactions with each other. We are so consumed with new technology that we cannot acknowledge the people around us. As Dina said, when we accomplish our goals,usually it involves interactions with others beyond ourselves. I think that a lot more now than in the past, we are forgetting to remember and recognize those who have helped us grow in different areas in our lives. We often think that its all about me, what can I do to gain glory? I think that an admirable human virtue is humility. Humility acknowledges someone else for the help they give me. Practicing and having humility is difficult to do because it takes us off of our high class. It makes us step down from where we think we should be and putting someone else on that high class.Where there is humility, comes with a lot of other admirable human virtues such as self control, being considerate, and compassion. All of these virtues are things we lack because many humans think only about themselves. With humility comes so much more than just recognition of others but also showing care for that person. In industries such as music, acting, etc., pride is a huge factor in causing conflicts and quarrels. People forget that projects involve more than just one person. Humility is so admirable because it puts selfishness and pride aside. Randy's post about respect and acceptance also ties into the virtue of humility. If people were to have respect, they would not fail to put others above themselves. Humility shows that a human can respect another person for their aid in an accomplishment.

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  7. I agree with Till and Dina in that honesty is an admirable virtue, but I don't think that it is the most admirable virtue. One of the most admirable virtues is having compassion, for themselves and others. How can you be honest with others if you cant care for others? In order to be happy, you need to make connections with other people. This provides you with interaction, companionship, security and confidence, basic human needs. Interacting with other human beings provides social skills and help you to not feel alone. By being compassionate with other people, you are not also helping them but helping yourself. Being compassionate and understanding of people and their differences makes the world worth living in. Sadly, many people lack the ability to feel compassion and others. They push other humans and their feelings aside to get to the top. They disregard how others feel. And while it's good to focus on yourself, who's going to be there for you? Life isn't a race to see who is better than the next person but instead it is about quality interactions with other human beings. Many people in society just let things happen and don't stand up for others because they just don't care. We as a society need to stick together and care for each other.

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  8. I respectfully disagree with Till, Dina, and Kate on the premise that honesty and compassion is a admirable virtue. I believe being your own person is the most admirable virtue that is lacking in society. Anyone can be honest or compassionate if someone tells him or her to enough times. I believe each generation has lost more and more of their personal identities. Like in Fahrenheit 451, the citizens have become the same in the aspects of their everyday life i.e. they enjoy the panel walls and driving fast, and have also been brain washed to fear the same things i.e. intellectual independence and books. An example of this brainwashing occurring in today’s world is in American politics. U.S citizens are only influenced to become apart of two political parties Democratic and Republican, and joining a smaller political party will only waste your voice. We have become so polarized in what our political party says that we don’t look at the situation in any other lens except the one they tell you to look though. We have created a generation of followers, which only creates a larger and larger gap between the people at the top and the people at the bottom.

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  9. I agree with Randy, Acceptance is definitely something most of our society lacks. Yes, we do live in one of the most diverse cities. However, within our "San Francisco bubble" racism, gender inequality, and Homophobia still live on. But, I also believe that acceptance can go even farther than that. Every day we make quick snap judgments based on what they look like, what they wear, and how they act. Those quick snap judgments then dictate how we act towards that person despite the possibility of our judgments being wrong. If we take the time to get to know these people for who they are and not what they look like, we would find ourselves in a much more accepting environment. It would no longer matter that the other person is of a different race because we would know who that person really is. It would no longer matter what sexual orientation they were because we would be judging the person by their actions and not by who they love. In saying that, I also believe that acceptance can be a way of showing love. Mark said that love creates companionship and describes a relationship. If we all “love our neighbors” and those around us, shouldn’t we accept them for who they are too?

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  10. So far, everyone has had very agreeable opinions on the main virtues that are important for human society. I have to especially agree with Shemuel because having one with out the other is like a missing piece to brick building. I whole-heatedly agree that community is something that is essential on our important list of human virtues. The term 'community' can be branched out to many of the important virtues, such as acceptance and honesty. To be a community is to trust each other, which is impossible to do if you aren't honest with each other. Acceptance is essential in a community because you have to have a sense of loyalty, as well. Loyalty is to have each others back no matter what may happen, hence the reason for acceptance. I was able to immerse myself in a successful community during my trip this past summer (despite the poverty). They rely on each other for their food, supplies, etc and in turn have to give back to the community. You ask someone about the people they know and they'll name everyone within at least a 5-mile radius of their home. Here, majority of us don't really know our neighbors and if we do, not on an intimate level.

    There are many more aspects of community that create a respectable society, which is why I feel is a very essential virtue that we lack.

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  11. Human virtue is what allows us to be moral human beings. Morality is a heavily disputed concept, especially in our society. Because no two people have the same ethical belief, it is difficult for any virtue to be inherently good or bad. I think Till put it simply in her description of the differences between humans. The ways in which we interpret our world is what allows some people to have true virtues that are not used in beneficial ways. One virtue that I believe is essential to human goodness is empathy. I agree strongly with Randy and his description of acceptance. I think empathy and acceptance go hand-in-hand. In order for one to be accepting, they must first have the empathy. Empathy is what allows humans to be, literally, humane.
    Our society is desperately lacking in empathy. We claim to fight for the idea that all men are created equal. However, we live in a time where we still lack gender equality, marriage equality, even religious equality. The people we do tend to accept are those who we believe are successful. And our clouded ideas of success are based on the premise of bringing in excessive income and having perfect white picket fence homes in a suburb. Those who are not successful in our eyes are automatically inferior. If we allowed some small amount of empathy into our society, people would be allowed to love who they choose, and be who they choose, without having to face the judgmental eyes of society

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  12. I feel that honesty, like Till, Dina, and Kate mentioned, is a very admirable virtue to possess and along with care, it will be easier to achieve honesty. I also believe that patience is the most important factor to creating a community full of care and honesty. Modern day society is completely different from how it was fifty years ago. Everyone's world revolves around themselves and what would benefit them because many lack the virtue of patience. Patience can be defined as taking time out of their own lives to give care and the best intentions to another human being. I feel that patience plays a big role in changing someone's life or just their current situation because patience is the foundation to other virtues such as honesty, care, compassion, and community. When someone takes their time to listen and give advice, it is the most valuable thing to receive. There are many people who don't bother to learn about others because they create quick judgements just like Lizzie mentioned. Many are surprised when they learn new things about others because it could be something they have in common or something different. Everyone comes from a different background which creates a diverse community. With patience, you can gain new information and give knowledge as well.

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  13. In response to Tom's point,I really agree that being your own person is a very important virtue in today's society, although I do think honest and compassion are also important. To me,compassion and honesty are worthless they come from an illegitimate source? "Realness" or being genuine is what defines a person, whether they show compassion or not. And I believe that it's this realness that is now lacking in society. There have always been crooks and liars, but never this amount of people who have lost themselves in their technology and world. Furthering the connection to the novel, people in society are becoming the opinions of the parlor walls and cannot think for themselves anymore.

    I don't know though that it's fair to say we are a "generation of followers" as our generation isn't old enough to make a judgment on. I also think it remains to be seen if technology is totally destructive to our independence and ability to feel. It seems like technology has come so fast that we just haven't yet adapted to how to properly use it. There's a lot of good technologies out there that really help people so I don't think that technology on the whole is what we should be fighting.

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  14. Like Kate, I believe the most admirable virtue in someone is the virtue of compassion, and like she said, without it, trying to obtain our most essential human needs would be something very hard to do. This virtue seems as if it would be able to suddenly cure all the problems there are in society. If people just thought about one another and decided to help with whatever they could do within their own power the world would be such a different place. Hannah’s addition of humility’s importance as a virtue really helped to emphasize the power compassion can give to us. I really like what Hannah’s opinion on the humility was, and it made me think of the power both virtues could have together. Because of this, humility and compassion I feel are the virtues that peoples should live their life by. If these two paths are fulfilled, suddenly all the other virtues and needs that people have mentioned are obtained. People then are truthful and accepting and loving and moral and even a sense of community is built. Just from these two very very important virtues almost everything mentioned is covered. If humbleness and care as a fixture in our lives could change the world as we know it.

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  15. I agree with Thomas, individuality is what allows us to be our own people (obviously). Most other animals simply conform with one another (minnows and the like). We humans have the ability to be our own, to express what makes us, well... us. I don't see any goth cheetahs, or preppy fish (despite being in schools). If we were unable to be individuals there would be no possible discussion on virtues, seeing as we would all be the same. Humans nowadays feel the need to press themselves into some kind of mold. Republican or Democrat, Religious or Sane, Gamer or N00B, and Alive or Dead. For some reason we feel the need to shun anyone who tried to be individual and promote and force conformity.
    Of course, everyone else also brings up great points. Patience is something that is completely absent. Why do people complain about flight delays? 40 minutes? Oh no, at least you didn't have to travel the Oregon Trail. Did you die? Did you catch typhoid? Oh... You flew through the air like a bird. Huh. I think waiting 40 minutes is preferable. People cant wait for their phone to magically pull up information out of the air. We get bored with miracles on a regular basis.

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  16. I agree with Nyssa about how humility and compassion would accomplish a lot of things if it were a virtue everyone had in the world today. Like Kate said, if everyone simply cared about things other than themselves, they would be able to understand others and show them compassion, which would then make the world a much better place. In Akilah’s response, she wrote about how trust was an important virtue also. Trust is hard for many people because they have seen it being crushed all the time. Because trust is constantly being destroyed, many people see the willingness to trust as a weakness. In our world today, if someone looked even a little bit weak, they would get crushed by others. This happens because people don’t care about others anymore. People think that if they don’t think about themselves first, no one else will, and that is the only way to survive. Everyone is selfish in their own way even though some are even more selfish than others.

    I think that selflessness is an important virtue that is missing in the world today because with it, comes consideration, compassion, and understanding. And because of these virtues that come along with selflessness, trust becomes a lot easier. With selflessness, no one would feel alone, and more people will feel cared for and understood. Trusting others and showing compassion won’t be seen as a weakness anymore. People would trust that their compassion towards others will not be taken advantage of. When someone is selfless, they consider others before themselves, and because of this, they will consider the trust they are entrusted with and go out of their way to keep it and to not crush it.

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  17. I agree with Raven that a virtue can not be inherently good or bad, and that morality is quite important but debatable. Even so, I think that an incredibly important human virtue is exactly that, morality. The ability to tell the difference between right and wrong on their own without simply repeating back various teachings such as religion or culture. Telling right from wrong is the basis of many of the virtues spoken about here, such as compassion. Empathy is based in being able to look at a situation and think, “It would be wrong of me to hurt this person for my own personal gain.” However, building off what Till said about individuality, this concept is slightly different for each person. For example, there is the highly debated question of whether or not the “ends justify the means.” Different people have very different answers, but the important part is that, usually, an answer is arrived at that is similar when an off balanced situation is provided. What makes people special is that they can for themselves honestly decide to do good, and like Till said, this is what makes people human. Also, people’s beliefs are greatly affected by the community they belong to, and thus society runs better and everyone is happier for it.

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  18. I agree with Hannah that humility is a virtue that all humans should be able to obtain. As what she said where humility acknowledges individuals for the help that are able to provide. I also believe that this is an important ideal to grasp upon because it accentuates the ideals of a person who can be humble and modest. To be able to remove any kind of narcissism or egotistical ideas from human society can be greatly beneficial because it evokes how a person can be grateful for other individuals and recognize their importance. I also appreciate what Kate said of how compassion is something that our society lacks. To be able to feel the importance of others, making positive connections with them, just overall idealizes the friendship that individuals can have around with other people and empathize with them.
    But in all cases, I think that integrity a human virtue that our society should have. I believe that this is the most important virtue to have because having integrity initializes showmanship – people who are honorable to themselves, and to have a sense of sincerity. I believe that this is something that our own society lacks and that it needs to be improved. Having integrity is something that makes the human being pure, to be honest to whom self, and to emphasize that one does have empathy towards other people. Having integrity can make others or yourself be appreciative and to show that you all have an understanding for each other .

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  19. I agree with Randy in that Acceptance and understanding is definitely something society has always and to this day, lacks. Because understanding is less of an inbred virtue and more of an art of open-mindedness, much of society falls short of the adversity and relatable struggle to put themselves in each other's shoes as many people decline the need to understand anything more than what their habitual circumference involves. Perhaps there is such a lack of understanding in our world because reality is not absolute in that everyone views reality in a different manner. For example, my reality is undoubtedly incompatible with that of a seventeen year old girl living in Dharavi, Mumbai (one of the many slums in India). Reality to her may be harsh and filled with poverty; taking care of her five brothers, sleeping in filth, and submissively marrying the man her father chooses; while my reality may be filled with opportunity and freedom. Subsequently, while you can hear about life on the other side of the world, it’s incredibly difficult to understand another unfamiliar life condition where their views may be entirely different than that of your own. People have a tendency to believe that the rest of the world revolves in their same axis; this however, is where the problem lies because unfortunately, the world is filled with an array of axis’s and a monumental variety of lenses to look through, therefore misunderstanding and judgment persists.

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  20. Thank you for such an insightful conversation! When a blog post is homework, the conversation is closed when that class begins (well, you can keep posting, but you wont receive credit.)

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