Sunday Evening Adult Faith Development – March 3, 7 PM, Online

This sesson was postponed from February 18 due to a scheduling conflict. There is no meeting on February 25. We continue our Sunday Evening Adult Faith Development Program for the 2023-2024 season online on Sunday, March 3, 2024, beginning @ 7 pm, continuing with the 4th session of a NEW 10-part series on Ethics and Unitarian Universalism entitled “What We Choose.” This week’s session will explore “Cultivating a Virtuous Character” within our tradition.

Metal signpost with four arrows, "integrity", "ethics", "respect", "honesty" words on them, blue sky with clouds and sun in a background.

The moral virtues are produced in us neither by nature nor against nature. Nature, indeed, prepares in us the ground for their reception, but their complete formation is the product of habit.

— Aristotle

The philosophies of Kant and of Mill examined in Workshops 2 and 3 provide two different frameworks for ethically sound decisions. Virtue ethics, the focus of this workshop, provides a third framework. Frequently traced back to Aristotle’s influential work, Nicomachean Ethics, this approach to morality holds that cultivating and practicing virtues leads to virtuous character and ethical living. Our own virtuous behavior can, in turn, inform our community and shape the world around us. Virtue ethics holds that the individual cultivation of virtue is the foundation for societal transformation.

Virtue ethics, while often associated closely with Greek philosophy, is the approach taken by other important spiritual and ethical leaders. Jesus of Nazareth cultivated a virtuous life and exhorted his followers to live an examined life characterized by virtue. Mahatma Gandhi made this ethical framework the centerpiece of his world view. In modern times, the Dalai Lama is an example of a spiritual leader who strives to live a life of virtue. Unitarian Universalists need look no further than our own seven Principles to discover a call to virtuous living and the cultivation of character.

This workshop examines virtue ethics as a framework for our moral choices and actions. What does it mean to make cultivation of character the primary focus of our morality? In what ways is this approach sensible? In what ways might it present challenges? Participants explore what it means to live a life of virtue? What are important virtues to cultivate in our daily living? By what authority do we determine which virtues ought to be cultivated? How should we respond when we personally fall short of virtues we hold dear?

Please CLICK HERE to register for the online session.  Stay tuned to our weekly Message for more information about upcoming sessions and formats.

“Introduction” to Workshop 4: Tapestry of Faith: What We Choose: An Adult Program on Ethics for Unitarian Universalists