The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

Virtue is insufficient temptation. Options
Daemon
Posted: Saturday, June 16, 2012 12:00:00 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/7/2009
Posts: 29,061
Neurons: 86,361
Location: Inside Farlex computers
Virtue is insufficient temptation.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
Marissa La Faye Isolde
Posted: Saturday, June 16, 2012 8:17:05 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/10/2009
Posts: 1,648
Neurons: 4,678
The implication here is that virtue alone is not enough, in and of itself to be gratifying; the impetus by which one is motivated.
GabhSigenod
Posted: Saturday, June 16, 2012 9:21:53 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 12/22/2010
Posts: 2,375
Neurons: 149,736
Location: Mulroog, Connaught, Ireland
Treasure is a more efficient temptation.

Mise, tá mé lán de dea-fhortún.
excaelis
Posted: Saturday, June 16, 2012 9:51:25 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/30/2010
Posts: 10,981
Neurons: 32,652
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I have occasionally been tempted to virtue, but I can usually resist.

Sanity is not statistical
FounDit
Posted: Saturday, June 16, 2012 10:20:16 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 12,064
Neurons: 60,045
Daemon wrote:
Virtue is insufficient temptation.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)



Ah! A Socialist reveals his true self!

We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
jcbarros
Posted: Saturday, June 16, 2012 11:32:39 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/14/2010
Posts: 2,356
Neurons: 9,052
Perhaps a mental disease... aka fanaticism.
uuaschbaer
Posted: Saturday, June 16, 2012 12:45:32 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/18/2009
Posts: 1,928
Neurons: 6,180
Mr. Shaw wrote:
Virtue is insufficient temptation.


What a ludicrous thing to say.

*
Ms. B. Have
Posted: Saturday, June 16, 2012 7:41:53 PM

Rank: Member

Joined: 4/6/2012
Posts: 355
Neurons: 686
uuaschbaer wrote:
Mr. Shaw wrote:
Virtue is insufficient temptation.


What a ludicrous thing to say.

That's very easy to say, but can you explain that?



Perception selects, and makes the world we see.
HWNN1961
Posted: Saturday, June 16, 2012 8:43:57 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/13/2010
Posts: 3,496
Neurons: 9,763
Daemon wrote:
Virtue is insufficient temptation.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)




Is he really saying that every man has his/her price?

That the only reason a virtuous person has that virtue intact is because they were never offered the right bribe?

If so, that is an amazingly cynical view of human ability.

"Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless, and do no wrong". (Knight's Oath, Kingdom of Heaven)
MTC
Posted: Saturday, June 16, 2012 11:25:13 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/18/2011
Posts: 2,780
Neurons: 8,606


Men act out of self-interest ("temptation",) not virtue, Shaw contends. When the object of their interest is insufficiently tempting they do not act. Other men may misperceive this inaction as "virtue."

Shaw's definition is intended to outrage, provoke thought, and shine a light on human foibles. It is not to be taken literally.
HWNN1961
Posted: Saturday, June 16, 2012 11:47:15 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/13/2010
Posts: 3,496
Neurons: 9,763
MTC wrote:


Men act out of self-interest ("temptation",) not virtue, Shaw contends. When the object of their interest is insufficiently tempting they do not act. Other men may misperceive this inaction as "virtue."

Shaw's definition is intended to outrage, provoke thought, and shine a light on human foibles. It is not to be taken literally.



Thanks MTC:

I sensed the ambiguity, but, could not have stated it half so well.

"Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless, and do no wrong". (Knight's Oath, Kingdom of Heaven)
uuaschbaer
Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2012 6:16:36 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/18/2009
Posts: 1,928
Neurons: 6,180
Ms. B. Have wrote:
uuaschbaer wrote:
Mr. Shaw wrote:
Virtue is insufficient temptation.


What a ludicrous thing to say.

That's very easy to say, but can you explain that?



Of course I can; isn't it self-evident that virtues are not coincidental absences of temptation? For instance, what outward temptation could suade men to beat their wives? Wouldn't you expect large parts of society to be exactly equally virtuous? And old people to be evil given their expected remaining time alive? Am I to believe that everyone is indistinguishable in character? I find that ludicrous.

Edit: I now see the line can be read differently. Not really worth discussing that way.

*
MTC
Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2012 7:12:35 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/18/2011
Posts: 2,780
Neurons: 8,606
Thanks for the compliment, HWNN1961.

Writers like Shaw, Twain, and Wilde delight in throwing spanners in the wheels of convention, then watching the inmates (translate "us") scramble.
As uuaschbaer points out, Shaw's definition of "Virtue" is hardly adequate, but then it was not intended to be. Don't you think a brilliant man like Shaw could have written a fully-understandable disquisition on "Virtue" if he had a mind to? Instead he threw a verbal spanner.
Ms. B. Have
Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2012 7:47:26 AM

Rank: Member

Joined: 4/6/2012
Posts: 355
Neurons: 686
MTC wrote:
As uuaschbaer points out, Shaw's definition of "Virtue" is hardly adequate, but then it was not intended to be.

I think Shaw's definition is very accurate, but awkward for those who prefer to ignore their own weaknesses.



Perception selects, and makes the world we see.
MTC
Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2012 9:41:32 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/18/2011
Posts: 2,780
Neurons: 8,606
Ms. B. Have wrote:
[quote=MTC]As uuaschbaer points out, Shaw's definition of "Virtue" is hardly adequate, but then it was not intended to be.

I think Shaw's definition is very accurate, but awkward for those who prefer to ignore their own weaknesses.

1.) Why is Shaw's definition "very accurate?"

2.) Why is it "awkward for those who prefer to ignore their own weaknesses?"

Explain yourself.
Ms. B. Have
Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2012 10:34:08 AM

Rank: Member

Joined: 4/6/2012
Posts: 355
Neurons: 686
MTC wrote:
Ms. B. Have wrote:
[quote=MTC]As uuaschbaer points out, Shaw's definition of "Virtue" is hardly adequate, but then it was not intended to be.

I think Shaw's definition is very accurate, but awkward for those who prefer to ignore their own weaknesses.

1.) Why is Shaw's definition "very accurate?"

2.) Why is it "awkward for those who prefer to ignore their own weaknesses?"

Explain yourself.


1.) Why is Shaw's definition "very accurate?"

For those who have everything they need it is easy not to steal. But that does not make them morally superior to those “theives” who were tempted to steal because their children are starving.

The less we are tempted to misconduct , the less effort it takes to behave virtuously.

2.) Why is it "awkward for those who prefer to ignore their own weaknesses?"

It is always very tempting to dedicate our courtesy to our good character instead of admitting the truth that we just never had enough reason to be villain.



Perception selects, and makes the world we see.
percivalpecksniff
Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2012 11:20:37 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/1/2011
Posts: 1,523
Neurons: 3,404
Location: United Kingdom
Miss behave you are at it again. you said: It is always very tempting to dedicate our courtesy to our good character instead of admitting the truth that we just never had enough reason to be villain.



That comment is exceedingly jaundiced and cynical. Admitting the truth? Are you saying there is no such thing as true virtue and that it is always a poor excuse for lack of temptation? Did not the Apostle Peter say 'Add to your faith virtue...

2 Peter 1:5-7
(ESV)
5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,[a] and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.


Virtue: Moral excellence.

What you are suggesting miss behave is that everybody who strives to live by a moral code is a liar and only deceiving themselves...you are saying that virtue only exists in the mind and that temptation always overrides it.

Of course no one is entirely virtuous... but the fact is many have died for their faith, which included living by a code.


It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle
Ms. B. Have
Posted: Sunday, June 17, 2012 8:47:06 PM

Rank: Member

Joined: 4/6/2012
Posts: 355
Neurons: 686
I didn't say anything about true virtue, only about the truth we can be confronted with if we follow the instruction of Delphi's oracle: “Know thyself” The beginning of true wisdom and the end of false pride.

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,
The proper study of mankind is Man.
Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the Stoic’s pride,
He hangs between, in doubt to act or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a God or Beast;
In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reas’ning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little or too much;
Chaos of thought and passion, all confused;
Still by himself abused or disabused;
Created half to rise, and half to fall:
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl’d;
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!

Go, wondrous creature! mount where Science guides;
Go measure earth, weigh air, and state the tides;
Instruct the planets in what orbs to run,
Correct old Time, and regulate the sun;
Go, soar with Plato to th’empyreal sphere,
To the first good, first perfect, and first fair;
Or tread the mazy round his followers trod,
And quitting sense call imitating God;
As eastern priests in giddy circles run,
And turn their heads to imitate the sun.
Go, teach Eternal Wisdom how to rule–
Then drop into thyself, and be a fool!

Superior beings, when of late they saw
A mortal man unfold all Nature’s law,
Admired such wisdom in a earthly shape,
And show’d a NEWTON as we show an ape.
Could he, whose rules the rapid comet bind,
Describe or fix one movement of his mind?
Who saw its fires here rise, and there descend,
Explain his own beginning or his end?
Alas! what wonder! Man’s superior part
Uncheck’d may rise, and climb from art to art;
But when his own great work is but begun,
What Reason weaves, by Passion is undone.


Alexander Pope, "Know Then Thyself" from An Essay on Man



Perception selects, and makes the world we see.
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2008-2019 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.