Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Determination and Persistence

Since the latter part of the 19th Century when  Friedrich Nietzshe went to war against virtues, character has increasingly been defined by individual choices, not absolute virtues.  The following is a quote from an article written by John Heenan that puts things in perspective...

"Just over one hundred years ago the German philosopher, Friedrich Vilhem Nietzsche began to speak of values in a new way. He used values not as a verb, meaning to value or esteem something; nor as a singular noun, meaning the measure of something (the economic value of money, labour or property); but in the plural, meaning the moral beliefs and attitudes of society.

      Neitzsche used the word consciously and repeatedly to signify what he believed to be the most profound event in human history. His invention of "values" was to be the final revolution against virtues. "Values" would be the death of morality and truth. There would be no good or evil, no virtue or vice. There would only be "values." His purpose was to degrade virtues into "values" and to create a new set of "values" for his "new man."     
John Heenan

But we are now left with a mess where virtues are almost forgotten, but not quite.  It appears that there is a universal movement back to character defined by virtues (Martin Seligman).  If you read this blog you will find more and more examples of virtues in action.  Examples and stories teach the heart more than truths that simply inform the mind.  Two very important virtues for the Christian life are determination and persistence.  Take a few moments and read about some really persistent people!


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