Critically assess the view that this approach presents no difficulties for the Christian.
Some people may be under the opinion that being a virtuous person will be no challenge to a Christian. A ‘virtuous person’ is often referred to as a morally excellent person, someone who keeps intact with the virtues identified by Aristotle. Virtues themselves are known as qualities that help us become a better person, Bowie comments “virtue theory is interested in defining good people”. There are two types of virtues, moral and intellectual. Many people believe that simply being a good Christian will make you a virtuous person, without even striving to maintain the virtues. However, other people may argue that to be virtuous isn’t that easy and would highlight how an atheist could even be deemed virtuous so religion might not actually have that much impact as some Christians may claim. It important to take all these perspectives into consideration.
One major argument for this view is Jesus. Jesus is known to have been a truly virtuous person, Christians strive to live their life like Jesus lived his. Therefore, the belief is that if Christians are successful in doing so this would essentially make them a virtuous person without that even being their intention. Hauerwas is a perfect example of someone who takes a Christian approach to ethics and she placed great emphasis on the virtues promoted by Jesus. Hauerwas believed that “character is more fundamental than acts, rules or principles” (Messer). Hauerwas claimed Jesus was the inspiration behind the type of virtues the Christian community must reflect. So surely if all Christians are successful in following the example of Jesus then yes, they would find no difficulties in the virtue ethics approach. However, the vast majority of Christians do not carry out their lives in this way. Take for example the many priests that abused children in the past. Not only were they mere christians but they were christians that were supposed to be examples for the rest of their parish. Examples such as this are where people are going to really criticise the view that christians will find no difficulty in being virtuous. The vast majority of Christians are incapable of carrying out their life in such a way Jesus would. If Christians find following Jesus’ example challenging they’re also going to find some difficulty in being truly virtuous.
Anscombe and McIntyre are two philosphers well-known for their virtuous approach to ethics. They set an example for how one can maintain a virtuous life. They are also both very Christian. One might argue that two christians that take so naturally and fondly to virtuous ethics are good examples of christians who find no difficulty in being virtuous, possibly due to their faith. Anscombe claimed that by following kantian ethics or utilitarianism a bad person could behave morally and true morality is about much more than simply following rules or principles. She also challenges the...