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The Virtue Ethic and Agapism

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Plato and Aristotle emphasize moral virtues. Agapism teaches that love should be the sole ultimate value and that all other values are derived from it.


Philosophical Ethics

Part 3

III. The Virtue Ethic

A. Modern Proponents

1. Robert Roberts

2. Paul Holmer

B. Plato

1. Four cardinal virtues

2. The properly virtuous human being

3. Plato's emphasis

C. C. S. Lewis

D. Thomas Aquinas' Three Theological Virtues

E. Cardinal Virtues vs. Theological Virtues

F. Aristotle's Moral Virtues

1. A moral virtue is a disposition.

2. The golden mean

3. Humans are prone to vice.

4. Some behavior is always wrong.

5. Criticism of Aristotle

a. Does not account for original sin

b. Does not account for the supernatural dimension


IV. Agapism

A. William Frankena

B. What is agapism?

C. Act Agapism

1. Love is the guiding principle.

2. Act agapism is situational ethics.

3. Criticism of act agapism

a. The notion of love is ambiguous.

b. It does not account for human depravity.

c. Love needs guidance.

D. Rule Agapism

1. It functions within a set of rules.

2. Love provides the justification for the rules.


V. Synthesis of the Four Schools of Thought

A. Love is the foundation for rules.

B. The moral life will develop virtues.

C. Scripture lists the important traits of character.

D. Rules are important.

E. Consequences should not be ignored.

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