Cultivating character is the lifelong work of evaluating and choosing between various virtues. It's difficult, and it’s our calling.
So much religious talk is about naming, about describing a general reality in particular terms. This is important. But in our increasingly secular culture, it’s always striking when someone gets at deep religious truth without bothering with religious language. For instance, Jay Smooth offers a pretty crisp explication here of the nature of sin and virtue.
The debate about Scottish independence fits neatly into the categories the academic discipline of ethics likes to produce.
Charles Camosy's task is audacious: as a Catholic moral theologian, he thoughtfully engages the work of the controversial and often condemned ethicist Peter Singer.
The 19th-century Mormon kingdom emphasized the common good. Later came a shift toward personal morality as the mark of saintliness.
How should we decide who to vote for? Paul Root Wolpe thinks a candidate's personal ethics should be at the top of the list: When we care about a candidate’s character, we are really asking, Is this person authentic? Are their positions a true reflection of their inner values, or are they politically expedient? Is a change of opinion on an issue a result of the candidate listening to others, learning and making a principled decision, or is it a response to pressure, polls and popularity? . . . . It is in the American character to care about our leader’s values. We should be proud of that. I don't exactly disagree, but I don't find this all that helpful, either.