Type: Research
Pages: 1 | Words: 285
Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Aquinas’ four cardinal virtues are the four principle hinges relevant to the human moral life. The term “cardinal” originates from the Latin word “cardo” that means “hinge”. The four virtues can be exercised by any individual as they represent the foundation of natural morality. The main objective of this paper is to explore Aquinas’ four cardinal virtues.

According to St. Thomas Aquinas, prudence is the first main virtue. Prudence assists individuals in making effectual judgments between right and wrong. Furthermore, it is described as “recta ratio agibilium”meaning the “right reason applied to practice”. Consequently, it may require the individuals to seek for counsel and guidance because of easiness to succumb evil.

Undoubtedly, justice, the second virtue, centers on will. Hardon describes justice as a constant and permanent determination to offer each individual his or her rightful due. On the other hand, injustice denotes the acts that result in undeserved loss due to the violation of the individual’s rights. Besides, injustice can refer to the unfair treatments of other individuals. Consequently, the legal rights may in most instances outweigh the natural rights (Dalai Lama n.pag.)

Fortitude, on the other hand, is a gift of the Holy Spirit. It helps individuals overcome fear and stand firm to one’s faith. Undoubtedly, an individual’s courage has to be reasonable and reasoned. Prudence and justice assist in making correct decisions giving people the strength to implement them.

Nevertheless, temperance entails the restraint of our passions and desires. It deals with self-control, an ability to resist one’s desires. Additionally, temperance assists individuals in balancing their legitimate goods and inordinate ones.

The four cardinal virtues are paramount for human morality and should be the basis of each modern society as well as the pillars of human relations.

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