Friday, March 24, 2017

The Glory of Habits

My Growing Child,
    If you researched the definition of Justice I provided before in my explanation about the relation between Justice and Fairness, you may have come across Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologicae. In there, he talks about Justice being a habit. Habits today tend to have a negative connotation due to the prevalence of addictions, but there are good habits too called virtues.
    Virtues are good habits of actions we perform as if they are part of our nature. In fact, habits are so intrinsic that we use them to describe and define a person. We say things like, "He's a just man," or "she's a loving mother." Habits are hard to change, but in this case, that is good.
    One objection I might expect from you stems from the ideal of Free Will. Since habits make it difficult to choose, wouldn't all habits be evil? There are two ways to address this. One way is to argue that the purpose of free will and life is to establish these habits. However, that would be a long debate. The second opinion is that habits do not eliminate choice. For example, I may be generous, but I can still decide the amount to give or refrain completely. There are various levels of virtue in which you can choose to grow or not. Likewise, you can choose to resist your habit or accept it.
    Now that you know this, I ask you how you would like to be known. Will people describe you with heroic virtues or selfish vices? The choice is up to you.
With Love,
N. D. Moharo

P. S. You can find the definition of justice as given by Thomas Aquinas at in his answer to Article 1. There, he says "justice is a habit whereby a man renders to each one his due by a constant and perpetual will"