Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fluttershy and the Virtue of Gentleness

Fluttershy the gentle pony

I'm not sure how I overlooked this post on the virtue of gentleness by Brandon. But the descriptions from Aquinas (ST 2.2.157) of gentleness as "the moderation of the passion of anger in accordance with right reason" and from Hugh Blair that it "makes us unwilling to give pain to any of our brethren" dovetail nicely with my own posts (Part 1 and 2) on Fluttershy and the virtue of friendliness (amiability).

When it comes to not wanting to cause pain to anypony, Fluttershy is a very good exemplar (her character description on mentions her as the "gentle" member of the Mane Six). Of course, her tendency towards agreeability can sometimes become a vice; witness how she normally responds to disagreement:

I have to admit, my natural temperament isn't too dissimilar, especially when I consider how philosophical debate can sometimes become "blood sport." I wouldn't want to become an angry, disagreeable Nastyshy either, especially to my friends:

Perhaps someday I will let go of my timidity and find the mean.

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