Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Book out of Character

The Seven Deadly Virtues: 
18 Conservative Writers on 
Why the Virtuous Life is Funny as Hell. 
Templeton Press. Kindle Edition.  (2014-10-14). 

"If you’re a parent, and you’re sending away to college kids who’ve never been asked to do a task that was too hard, or been given a responsibility they didn’t believe they could bear, or have never been asked to suffer a single moment for the sake of another—you haven’t succeeded. You’ve failed. Courage is the essential virtue." (p. 56)

As somber as my quote choice may come off, I wish to assure that this book is at once entertaining and profound. Almost by coincidence, because the virtues discussed follow a nearly classical hierarchy, the earlier chapters are without exception superior to the later. To say it another way, PART I: THE CARDINAL VIRTUES is uniformly witty and profound. I am not so convinced of the redeeming social value of the second part of the book, treating the so-called "everyday" virtues.

Apart from being recreational reading, the book offers a convincing counter to the relativism which would deprive us of real goodness, truth and beauty as they unfold in our lives today with an assuring constancy.  

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