Ethics offers us with moral principles that guides us on what can and cannot be done. The concept of moral principles focuses on the action and doings of people. These principles can be applied by what is needed of us in a given situation. For example in a situation were we have to consider whether to lie or not to lie. Individuals can be devoted to the principles of utilitarianism which focuses on the act that will achieve the greatest good to the greatest number. Others are passionate about the principle of Immanuel Kant were he implies that what is right for one is right for all. Everyone has a duty to behave in a manner that is respectful towards human dignity and others must pursue the same moral laws and treat others in correspondence with such laws.
A virtue is a trait of character manifested in habitual action that is good for a person to have (James 2007). Virtues make it possible for us to follow the principles which we have adopted. Examples of virtues are honesty, integrity, patience, compassion, courage and prudence. Virtues can be developed by practice and learning. The famous philosopher Aristotle suggested that an individual can improve their character by practicing self discipline, at the same time a good character can be altered by continuous self indulgence. Once acquired, virtues become a characteristic of an individual. For example, an individual who has developed the virtue of prudence can be referred to as a prudent individual because he or she is likely to be prudent in all situations. By developing virtues, individuals will be naturally lead to act in a manner that is in keeping with moral ideals.
Virtues play an important role in our everyday life. To deal with danger courage is needed, to build essential friendships and stand by friends through thick and thin loyalty is needed, to use careful and good judgement in a given situation prudence is needed, therefore, the importance of a virtue depend on the virtue in question....