A virtue is a trait or quality that is determined to be morally excellent. Many virtues differ from culture to culture. A virtue is sometimes synonymous with a value. Living life according to virtues is living life according to core beliefs. A virtue is the core of how people operate and react. Usually an individual's virtues are similar to the cultural virtues and values.

The Western Cardinal Virtues

The four classical Western cardinal virtues originated from Plato and were adapted by early Christian authors. These four include temperance, prudence, fortitude, and justice. Temperance is defined as moderation in action, thought, and feeling. Prudence is defined as the ability to exercise sound judgment. Fortitude is defined as the ability to comfort fear, pain, and uncertainty. A synonym of fortitude is courage. Justice is defined as rendering what to due to each person.


The main virtue in Hinduism is following Dharma, which means moral duty. The moral duty of each person varies among each person depending upon the person's caste. One should not attempt to follow another person's moral duty.


The Buddhist virtues are known as the Noble Eightfold Path given by the Buddha. They are right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. The Buddha said that following this eightfold path would lead to the cessation of suffering and self-awakening.


Some of the virtues in the Muslim tradition include submitting to the will of God, praying, giving to others, and fasting. In the Qur'an, the Prophet Muhammad is said to be the prime example of virtue in human form. He followed all the virtues.


Compassion is one of the most important virtues in the Jewish tradition. Compassion includes the golden rule, doing to others what you would want them to do to you. In the Hebrew Bible, God is shown to be compassionate; therefore, humans should show compassion on one another as well.


The theological virtues of Christianity are faith, hope, charity, and love. These are said to be the key to following Jesus' two greatest commandments to love God and to love one's neighbor.