The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Moral character

Moral character or character is an abstract evaluation of a person's moral and mental qualities. Such an evaluation is subjective — one person may evaluate someone's character on the basis of their virtue, another may consider their fortitude, courage, loyalty, honesty, or piety.

Some people consider that character is purely mental; that to improve or build someone's character (by whatever yard-stick you use) you must address their intellect. Examples of this can be found in religious preaching, sermons, lectures, philosophy, debate, morality tales, fables, and various works of literature, treatises and tracts.

Other people believe that there is a link between moral character and one's physical body; improvement of the character may be sought through privation, pain or other hardships. Examples of this are often found in religious life (hermits, Spartan conditions in monasteries and nunneries, flagellation and other self-mortification), and also in corporal punishment, the pain of childbirth, and restrictive diets and fasting.

This second concept of moral character can also be seen reflected in the English language in phrases such as "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" (used in both literal and abstract senses), or saying that some unpleasant act is "character forming".

External links

  • Concepts of moral character, historical and contemporary (Stanford Encyc. of Philosophy)
  • Cub Scouting Character Connections Program identifies 12 core values: Citizenship, Compassion, Cooperation, Courage, Faith, Health and Fitness, Honesty, Perseverance, Positive Attitude, Resourcefulness, Respect, Responsibility. Character can be defined as the collection of core values possessed by an individual that leads to moral commitment and action. Character is "values in action."
  • The Scout Law A Scout is ... trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. Several interpretations of those twelve important words followed by the Scout Law as it is said in other countries.
The contents of this article are licensed from under the GNU Free Documentation License. How to see transparent copy