Virtue Theory: Similarities and Differences

  • Created by: jake1995
  • Created on: 08-06-14 20:16

Virtue Theory: Similarities and Differences


  • Both Christianity and Virtue Theory are concerned with the good of others. Aristotle believed that being virtuous led to a good community, similarly, Christianity teaches we should "love thy neighbour." The good of the community is paramount in this theory and Christians are encouraged to not be self-centred and seek the good of others.
  • Jesus led the virtuous life by doing what was right and behaving in a virtuous way. He embodies the virtues.
  • Jesus taught the parable of the Good Samaritan, which is an example of someone behaving in accordance with Virtue Theory. He instructed his followers to behave in a similar way towards others.
  • Aristotle believe that everything in life has a final aim, this is similar to the Christian belief that God has given everyone and everything some divine purpose.


  • Christians do not believe that the ultimate goal in life is happiness. For Christians, the goal is living in union with God and gaining eternal life in heaven as the chief end of man is to glorify God.
  • The bible does not stipulate that there are only 12 virtues that should be fostered.
  • God is regarded as the supreme figure of authority, all guidance and instruction should only come from him.
  • Aristotle requires that people use their reason to ensure they are behaving in a virtuous way; this would prevent very young, very old and mentally disabled people from living virtuous lives. However, Christianity teaches that salvation is for all and it based on revelation rather than reason.
  • Virtue Theory is secular and makes no references to Christianity. It's moral framework doesn't require a belief in God.

Overall comparison

Christians, namely Catholics, would prefer to follow ethical approaches like Natural Law which is a more 'Christian' ethical approach. 


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