Knowing what is true; certainly is conducive to help a person be happy. The old adage ‘ignorance is bliss,’ certainly is not meant for true happiness. Sometimes it is not prudence to divulge certain things; but certainly not case in being party to complacency, apathy, or omission, especially to the degree of harmfulness to another or others.
Philosophy itself reveals a lot of true objective compassionate ideas. What are some of the elements or tenets of truth, especially leading to where this leads to helping others with all we are able? Most people are not mentally challenged and have a mind. Philosophy has tenets of intellectual virtues. This was explored by Aristotle and others. Thomas Aquinas explored these also. (two sources: A Wikipedia article on intellectual virtue. and Catholic Culture article on Aristotle/Aquinas Intellectual Virtue)
What are the five intellectual virtues given by the above sources?
- Wisdom intuitive awareness of highest truth and causes.
- Understanding habitual knowledge of self-evident truth.
- Science habitual drawing conclusions from first principles.
*note: philosophy is not physical science but valid by logic.
- Prudence knowing how to do things at the right time,
which requires being aware of the good of others.
Thus requires interiorizing moral virtues.
- Art or Craftsmanship The habit of making things, external objects.
The following on moral virtues will not delve deeply into the details of Aristotle’s ethics given from this source: sparknotes.com/philosophy/aristotle/section8/page/2/
Aristotle saw a virtue as a ‘mean’ between hurtful lack and hurtful excess in various ways. For example, courage falls between cowardice and rashness. This certainly makes sense. Aristotle saw the highest good as happiness. It is intuitive that a moral person cannot be happy causing harm to others. It certainly is true to know how to be an instrument of causing good for and to others is prudent and conducive to happiness.
While we all in practicing virtue fall short of this; to remain in lack of knowledge or overly skeptical; or be an instrument that does not diligently with prudence inform others, with a focus on personal friends and relationships, strive to inform others of objective moral truth makes a person unhappy to one degree or another.
*Note: We of the Judaeo Christian ethic realize Aristotle thought people were born to be in certain societal classes – many in history thought that. We believe the God gives dignity to everyone; and not only should their be opportunity for those who wish to learn higher things if they are predisposed to do this; that every virtuous person contributes with equitable dignity. Since all knowledge is revealed by our Creator, who knows all things, being an ambassador of high concepts, being equal in dignity to other things that contribute to the higher common good, should be done with humility and solemnity; as a responsibly ambassador. And every person has intrinsic value, dignity, and Sacredness of Life given by our Creator – Who sees the heart; no matter how we see their individual virtue. However, the common good in history requires common protection with special efforts on protecting helpless persons.