Whither Justice

Discussion in 'Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality' started by otherstar, Jul 1, 2018.

  1. otherstar

    otherstar Registered User

    In three previous posts (Whither Prudence, Whither Temperance, and Whither Fortitude) I laid out a very short summary of Virtue Ethics (VE) and the Cardinal Virtue Prudence as the mother of all virtues. Secondly,I explored the Virtue of Temperance. Thirdly, I explored Fortitude. In this post I am going to examine the last of the Cardinal Viirtues listed in the Texas Monitor for the EA Degree: Justice. In the Texas Monitor we read:

    Justice is that standard, or boundary of right, which enables us to render to every man his just due, without distinction. This virtue, in a great measure, constitutes the real good man; and it should be the invariable practice of every Mason, never to deviate from the minutest principles thereof.

    As I consider Prudence to be the Mother of all the Virtues, I consider Justice to be the Capstone because without Justice, the whole structure falls apart. Those who possess this virtue give both God and man that which they are due. Towards God, the just man gives worship and honor. Towards man the just man shows respect, rewards good,and punishes evil.

    Prudence, Temperance, and Fortitude are Virtues that focus upon the self and possessing those will make us better men. Justice is a virtue that we exercise towards others and, I think, is a reflection of our inner state of virtue. A man who has the rest of his inner house in order (who has some degree of prudence, temperance, and fortitude) will be much more likely to treat others justly than a man who is not virtuous. In this way, justice is an expression of the other virtues and is the measure of the good man, as mentioned in the selection of the monitor above.

    If we take the time to look at the charges of the three degrees, and the charges given at opening and closing the Lodge, we will see more evidence of how these virtues are intertwined and in many ways form the core of the ethical teachings of Freemasonry and weave it into a harmonious whole. This is expressed in a very beautiful way in the optional charge at Closing as given in the Monitor:

    Brethren: You are now about to quit this sacred retreat of friendship and virtue, to mix again with the world. Amidst its concerns and employments, forget not the duties you have heard so frequently inculcated and forcibly recommended in this Lodge. Be diligent, prudent, temperate, discreet. Remember that around this altar you have promised to befriend and relieve every brother who shall need your assistance. Remember that you have promised to remind him, in the most tender manner, of his failings, and aid his reformation. Vindicate his character when wrongfully traduced. Suggest in his behalf the most candid and favorable circumstances. Is he justly reprehended? Let the world observe how Masons love one another.

    These generous principles are to extend further; every human being has a claim upon your kind offices. "Do good unto all." Remember it more "especially to the household of the FAITHFUL."

    This I conclude my reflections on the Four Cardinal Virtues.
  2. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    Very well done!
  3. otherstar

    otherstar Registered User

    Thank you!

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