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description: Judaism Main article: Jewish ethicsVirtues fighting vices, stained glass window (14th century) in the Niederhaslach ChurchLoving God, and obeying his laws, in particular the Ten Commandments are centr ...
Main article: Jewish ethics

Virtues fighting vices, stained glass window (14th century) in the Niederhaslach Church
Loving God, and obeying his laws, in particular the Ten Commandments are central to Jewish conceptions of virtue. Wisdom is personified in the first eight chapters of the Book of Proverbs and is not only the source of virtue but is depicted as the first and best creation of God (Proverbs 8:12-31). Wisdom is also celebrated in the Book of Wisdom.[citation needed]

A classic articulation of the Golden Rule came from the first century Rabbi Hillel the Elder. Renowned in the Jewish tradition as a sage and a scholar, he is associated with the development of the Mishnah and the Talmud and, as such, one of the most important figures in Jewish history. Asked for a summary of the Jewish religion in the most concise terms, Hillel replied (reputedly while standing on one leg): "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah. The rest is the explanation; go and learn."[10]

Main article: Christian ethics
See also: Seven virtues and Evangelical counsels
In Christianity, the three theological virtues are Faith, Hope and Love, a list which comes from 1 Corinthians 13:13 (νυνὶ δὲ μένει πίστις, ἐλπίς, ἀγάπη, τὰ τρία ταῦτα· μείζων δὲ τούτων ἡ ἀγάπη (pistis (faith), elpis (hope), agape (love)). The same chapter describes love as the greatest of the three, and further defines love as "patient, kind, not envious, boastful, arrogant, or rude." (The Christian virtue of love is sometimes called charity and at other times a Greek word agape is used to contrast the love of God and the love of humankind from other types of love such as friendship or physical affection.)

The Bible mentions additional virtues, such as in the "Fruit of the Holy Spirit," found in Galatians 5:22-23: "By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit it is benevolent-love: joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, benevolence, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is absolutely no law against such a thing."[11]

Main article: Islamic ethics
In Islam, the Qur'an is believed to be the literal word of God, and the definitive description of virtue. The Prophet Muhammad, as the messenger of God, is considered the best example of virtue in human form. The hadiths, his reported sayings, are central to the Islamic understanding of virtue.[citation needed]

Main article: Hindu ethics

Ahimsa - non-violence in action, words and thoughts - is considered the highest virtue in two Indian religions: Hinduism and Jainism.[12][13] It is also one of the five precepts of Buddhism. Above: non-violence sculpture by Carl Fredrik Reutersward in Malmo, Sweden.
Virtue is a much debated[14] and an evolving concept in ancient scriptures of Hinduism.[15][16] The essence, need and value of virtue is explained in Hindu philosophy as something that cannot be imposed, but something that is realized and voluntarily lived up to by each individual. For example, Apastamba explained it thus: "virtue and vice do not go about saying - here we are!; neither the Gods, Gandharvas, nor ancestors can convince us - this is right, this is wrong; virtue is an elusive concept, it demands careful and sustained reflection by every man and woman before it can become part of one's life.[17]

Virtues lead to punya (Sanskrit: पुण्य,[18] holy living) in Hindu literature; while vices lead to pap (Sanskrit: पाप,[19] sin). Sometimes, the word punya is used interchangeably with virtue.[20]

The virtues that constitute a dharmic life - that is a moral, ethical, virtuous life - evolve in vedas and upanishads. Over time, new virtues were conceptualized and added by ancient Hindu scholars, some replaced, others merged. For example, Manusamhita initially listed ten virtues necessary for a human being to live a dharmic life: Dhriti (courage), Kshama (forgiveness), Dama (temperance), Asteya (Non-covetousness/Non-stealing), Saucha (inner purity), Indriyani-graha (control of senses), dhi (reflective prudence), vidya (wisdom), satyam (truthfulness), akrodha (free from anger).[21] In later verses, this list was reduced to five virtues by the same scholar, by merging and creating a more broader concept. The shorter list of virtues became: Ahimsa (Non-violence), Dama (self restraint), Asteya (Non-covetousness/Non-stealing), Saucha (inner purity), Satyam (truthfulness).[22][23]

The Bhagavad Gita - considered one of the epitomes of historic Hindu discussion of virtues and an allegorical debate on what is right and what is wrong - argues some virtues are not necessarily always absolute, but sometimes relational; for example, it explains a virtue such as Ahimsa must be re-examined when one is faced with war or violence from the aggressiveness, immaturity or ignorance of others.[24][25][26]

Main article: Buddhist ethics
Buddhist practice as outlined in the Noble Eightfold Path can be regarded as a progressive list of virtues.[citation needed]

Right View - Realizing the Four Noble Truths (samyag-vyāyāma, sammā-vāyāma).
Right Mindfulness - Mental ability to see things for what they are with clear consciousness (samyak-smṛti, sammā-sati).
Right Concentration - Wholesome one-pointedness of mind (samyak-samādhi, sammā-samādhi).
Buddhism's four brahmavihara ("Divine States") can be more properly regarded as virtues in the European sense. They are:

Metta/Maitri: loving-kindness towards all; the hope that a person will be well; loving kindness is the wish that all sentient beings, without any exception, be happy.[27]
Karuṇā: compassion; the hope that a person's sufferings will diminish; compassion is the wish for all sentient beings to be free from suffering.[27]
Mudita: altruistic joy in the accomplishments of a person, oneself or other; sympathetic joy is the wholesome attitude of rejoicing in the happiness and virtues of all sentient beings.[27]
Upekkha/Upeksha: equanimity, or learning to accept both loss and gain, praise and blame, success and failure with detachment, equally, for oneself and for others. Equanimity means not to distinguish between friend, enemy or stranger, but to regard every sentient being as equal. It is a clear-minded tranquil state of mind - not being overpowered by delusions, mental dullness or agitation.[28]
There are also the Paramitas ("perfections"), which are the culmination of having acquired certain virtues. In Theravada Buddhism's canonical Buddhavamsa[29] there arre Ten Perfections (dasa pāramiyo). In Mahayana Buddhism, the Lotus Sutra (Saddharmapundarika), there are Six Perfections; while in the Ten Stages (Dasabhumika) Sutra, four more Paramitas are listed.

Bahá'í faith
In the Bahá'í Faith, virtues are direct spiritual qualities that the human soul possesses, inherited from God Himself. The development and manifestation of these virtues is the theme of the Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh and are discussed in great detail as the underpinnings of a divinely-inspired society by `Abdu'l-Bahá in such texts as The Secret of Divine Civilization.[citation needed]

"Virtue", translated from Chinese de (德), is also an important concept in Chinese philosophy, particularly Daoism. De (Chinese: 德; pinyin: dé; Wade–Giles: te) originally meant normative "virtue" in the sense of "personal character; inner strength; integrity", but semantically changed to moral "virtue; kindness; morality". Note the semantic parallel for English virtue, with an archaic meaning of "inner potency; divine power" (as in "by virtue of") and a modern one of "moral excellence; goodness".[citation needed]

In early periods of Confucianism, moral manifestations of "virtue" include ren ("humanity"), xiao ("filial piety"), and li ("proper behavior, performance of rituals"). The notion of ren - according to Simon Leys - means "humanity" and "goodness". Ren originally had the archaic meaning in the Confucian Book of Poems of "virility", but progressively took on shades of ethical meaning.[30] Some scholars consider the virtues identified in early Confucianism as non-theistic philosophy.[31]

The Daoist concept of De, compared to Confucianism, is more subtle, pertaining to the "virtue" or ability that an individual realizes by following the Dao ("the Way"). One important normative value in much of Chinese thinking is that one's social status should result from the amount of virtue that one demonstrates, rather than from one's birth. In the Analects, Confucius explains de as follows: "He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all the stars turn towards it."[32] In later periods, particularly from the Tang dynasty period, Confucianism as practiced, absorbed and melded its own concepts of virtues with those from Daoism and Buddhism.[31]

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