Chief of the cardinal virtues is humility, a confession of our own helplessness and submission to God.
The older school had taught that Gotama, who had propounded the doctrine of Arahatship, was a Buddha, that only a Buddha is capable of discovering that doctrine, and that a Buddha is a man who by self-denying efforts, continued through many hundreds of different births, has acquired the so-called Ten Paramitas or cardinal virtues in such perfection that he is able, when sin and ignorance have gained the upper hand throughout the world, to save the human race from impending ruin.
The peculiarity of this work - written, of course, from what is known as the intuitional point of view - is its fivefold division of the springs of action and of their objects, of the primary and universal rights of man (personal security, property, contract, family rights and government), and of the cardinal virtues (benevolence, justice, truth, purity and order).
On this triple division of the soul he founded a systematic view of the four kinds of goodness recognized by the common moral consciousness of Greece, and in later times known as the Cardinal Virtues.
He seems to have taken as a starting-point Plato's four cardinal virtues.
It is interesting to compare Ambrose's account of what subsequently came to be known as the " four cardinal virtues " with the corresponding delineations in Cicero's 3 De officiis which served the bishop as a model.
Under the influence of Ambrose and Augustine, the four cardinal virtues furnished a basis on which the systematic ethical theories of subsequent theologians were built.
In arranging his list, however, he defers to the established doctrine of the four cardinal virtues (derived from Plato and the Stoics through Cicero); accordingly, the Aristotelian ten have to stand under the higher genera of (1) the prudence which gives reasoned rules of conduct, (2) the temperance which restrains misleading desire, and (3) the fortitude that resists misleading fear of dangers or toils.
The four cardinal virtues are represented as forms of wisdom, which again is inseparable from the Mosaic law.
Some authors, combining the two lists, have spoken of the Seven Cardinal Virtues.
preceptive literatures written in that period equated Buddhist morality and the Confucian cardinal virtues.
His father, Dr Jesper Swedberg, subsequently professor of theology at Upsala and bishop of Skara, was a pious and learned man, who did not escape the charge of heterodoxy, seeing that he placed more emphasis on the cardinal virtues of faith, love and communion with God than on the current dogmas of the Lutheran Church.
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