Rupert Sheldrake and I have published the latest in our discussions, on the nature of virtue and morality.
The subject of the virtues can be met with an inner groan, only sparking interest in relation to their shadowy opposites, the vices. It’s partly the product of an assumption that we are naturally nasty, right down to the level of our supposedly selfish genes, and so need ethics as a veneer to cover our brutishness. But given that there are spiritual realities with which we can learn to relate, then virtues can be viewed in an entirely different way. They could be the qualities needed to perceive this wider reality.
We discuss the evolution of ethics, from its deep roots in our nature as social animals to its expansive possibilities for our lives. We ask how the modern period has changed the discussion of morality, why the cultivation of virtues can be considered a spiritual practice, and how nurturing personal qualities and characteristics is integral to knowing a good life.