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Let me commend to your reading an excellent article from First Things that lays out the ethical purpose quite nicely. Here is an excerpt to whet your sensibilities:

What I am trying to indicate, in brief, is an ethics incumbent on us not as consumers but as neighbors. For what goes with that is a sense of the beauty of the ethical, a sense that acting rightly and well can be attractive and even in a way—here a pregnant ambiguity—graceful. It is when one conceives it as an everyday affair that one begins to see the difficulty and fragility but also the supreme draw of the well-lived life. Here is something worth doing.

…the point is this: There is a beauty to the moral gesture, the moral life, the moral soul; there is a quiet harmony to the parts of the act and to the priorities of the life and to the passions of the mind; and there is from all this a beauty that spreads slowly and subtly but unstoppably out across this sleeping world, like the first signs of the sun.

We desperately need, today and always but especially today, to recapture the understanding that the ethical life is a beautiful life. (This, of course, goes hand in hand with a need to recapture beauty from the pit to which it has been sent). If beauty were a virtue it would be the fifth cardinal virtue; I suggest that with each of the other four, without a sense of beauty in the mind of the person, they would fall. In an age of tepid characters and ambiguous souls, this is a radical and necessary charge: to actually live!

How, then, shall he be a god,
who has not as yet been made a man?

—St. Irenaeus

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