Enlightened self-interest is wisdom. Everything has a cost and you will have to pay in one way or another. If you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t, I feel it’s better to do what you will and accept the consequences.
Virtue is the only path to feeling good. As humans we move away from pressure, why? To preserve virtue, even to the point of applying pressure to preserve their own virtue.
It does not feel good. So it’s safe to say all creatures main goal is to “feel good.” But there are many false ways to feel good that don’t last that can and do become a bottomless pit called Hell. A horse sees me removing the spurs from his rib cage as feeling good – a reward. The path to feeling good and obeys happily. Without that path it could buck me off and kill me and since the horse always comes and licks my face, I see it didn’t want to hurt me but has to learn it can hurt me and how not to. The same with humans, virtue would enter here. It’s a commonly held view. So what then leads to vice?
Not knowing the path. Ignorance is the root of all suffering. I would offer that blind passion is the root of all suffering. In the pursuit of moral excellence it’s all too easy to sink into hubris. In my view, it’s actually inevitable. One can knowingly engage in a path of action leading to vice in the pursuit of moral excellence. “Reason” being one of the foremost of those. The argument of any vicious attitude is always based in some measure of logic, some flavour of reason. This is what led to the vicious conduct in the first place. The original meaning of the word vicious was “vice ridden.”
Would that be like Robin Hood? How so? Robbing the rich to give to the poor? A vice of stealing leading to generosity. The two are intertwined, yes.
Robin Hood is a story. I don’t know if there was a real Robin. There are some strong theories supporting that there might have been.
In a world of virtue people wouldn’t be valued as rich or poor. A million dollar horse could care less how much it’s worth! Value of objects = trained skill. In Taoist thinking, the true value of things is an innate intuition. One doesn’t have to be trained to breath.
Thieving is an art. To steal from those that have most everything. Would you call that a vice or a virtue? To have such skills to rob a palace full of security lasers and cameras so that you can give that run down neighbourhood a new life? Skills are not synonymous with virtue to my view. The intention may stem from virtue though.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.