N T Wright’s argument for Virtue ethics

Here is a link to N T Wright’s video Learning the Language of Life: New Creation, and Christian Virtue  on the role of “virtue ethics” as an important foundation for doing good and for reaching the goal of human life.

Wright take’s Aristotle’s four essential characteristics of the “happy” person – the whole, complete person: 

1.  Courage
2.  Temperance
3.  Prudence
4.  Justice

and re-frames them as:

1.  Courage
2.  Restraint
3.  Cool judgment
4.  Concern for the well-being of others

on the basis of Christian eschatology: the goal to which they are in service is not just eudaimonia – the good life, but the New Heavens and New Earth.

These are not “natural” characteristics but learned, acquired over time and disciplined practice, like musicianship or artistry, or like the ability to guide a powerless plane to safe landing on the Hudson River, until they become “second nature” – and like learning to be fluent in a language that you had to learn as an adult.


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