Saturday, March 23, 2013

Virtue and Vice, Human Values

Some thoughts I had while considering this review of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina.

Vice and virtue are two different words for the same human experience. Sometimes that experience is pleasant in one way--building something beautiful and integral over a long period of time--and we call it virtue. Sometimes that experience is pleasant in another way--destroying something beautifully in one instant--and we call it vice.

Life is built out of death, and death paves the way for life. I do not know how history will judge my death (my life), but I know I will do my best to make that death (life) a beautiful one (whether it comes tomorrow or four decades from now, whether it arrives as the long culmination of virtuous pleasure or the sudden instance of something vicious).

Values may be simple in the mind of man, but life is always complex, making values in society very complicated (necessarily and inevitably).

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