Talk:Charity (virtue)

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Hebrew Definition of Charity[edit]


The Hebrew word for charity is tseh'-dek, Gesenius's Strong's Concordance:6664—righteous, integrity, equity, justice, straightness. The root of tseh'-dek is tsaw-dak', Gesenius's Strong:6663—upright, just, straight, innocent, true, sincere; (the same root as for Righteousness). Implied in this etymology is that charity is the Golden Rule (ethics) in working clothes—enlightened self—interest. It is what one lung does when the other collapses; it takes over, for its very OWN survival; it is not altruism.

Yesselman 20:39, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

I feel the continuing of the article with Daan creates confusion for a lot of people because many of them donot understand Hinduism. While the information should stay it should be suitably edited as to make it more understandable to the general non-Hindu population.


Whoever added that good material, I think it needs its own page. I've created one for you, and linked it from this article. I think it could be a good discussion with a little work, but maybe it is not so related to the Western concept, and kinda ways this article down. Anyway, you can work the relations between the two at Dan (Hinduism)bodhidharma 01:03, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Religious Charity[edit]

I don't know what to call this chapter. Maybe another title is better.--Daanschr 12:42, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

There is a relatively long passage which leans heavily on Mormon sources. While this is not uninformative, and indeed would be welcome in an article of considerably longer size, it gives a undesirable bias to an this short entry.


The part about "Ceesars" seems more like advertising than useful information about charity.

I think you're right. Goldfritha 22:29, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

What kind of Wikipedians are you? It's obvious that its advertising! Just take it off!!! GRRR!!!


Latin: caritas, meaning "love, dearness, high price" according to my Oxford Latin Dictionary. This is a probable etymological link. Should be included. Ehjort 15:31, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Lead section[edit]

The lead section, when the article's title was "Charity" (now the title of a Dab) consisted of one sentence:

Charity, meaning selfless giving, is one conventional English translation of the Greek term agapē.

That may be true, but is it is not so "conventional" that either the MW Collegiate or the American Heritage uses "charity" or "agape" in its discussion of the other, and it is thus out of place as the lead. It is also almost certainly PoV to pitch the lead in terms of a Greek term whose modern use is almost entirely dependent on its use in the scripture of one religion.
--Jerzyt 20:20, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Proposed dismemberment[edit]

The article does not have a clearly defined encyclopedic topic. Here's what to do with the pieces:

  • Transwiki the etymology to Wiktionary
  • Divide "Religious charity" between the religion section (currently a stub) of Altruism, and an article (or section of something) on traditional institutions & practices of poor-aid. (The two existing sub-sections, "Virtue" and "Almsgiving" may divide it properly.)
  • The section on Internet-based charity would be more suited to an article on modern "enterprise-models" in the charitable organization article, since it is about mechanisms rather than goals or motivation.
  • The individual entries in the remaining sections would go to the same articles, once the inappropriate ones are discarded.

--Jerzyt 20:20, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

There were over a thousand links to the original page, which makes the actual dismemberment of this rather less advisable. It should, in fact, be moved back to the original page to give people time to comment on the movement. Goldfritha 21:00, 3 June 2006 (UTC)


I am against the propagandistic title of this article. Instead of the title 'Charity (virtue)', i would prefer 'Charity (practise)'.--Daanschr 11:08, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

I think the article is about what was defined by Christianity to be one of the virtues. In that context it seems correct, but I think "virtue" should be technically defined earlier. It is about the religious context, not the more general modern Charitable organization, nor giving to them, except in context. Notinasnaid 11:32, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

The seven virtues doesn't seem to include charity. Charity could be in the place of liberality (as opposed to Greed), but liberality refers to the article liberalism and not to this article. For me this is highly controversial, since liberalism is a specific political ideology, i don't belong to.--Daanschr 12:16, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

I see that kindness (as opposed to envy) includes charity. I would propose that this article will change its contents to make it fit into the Roman Catholic Seven Virtues as part of the virtue of kindness. Strange is that liberality doesn't refer to 'Liberalism (virtue)' but to 'liberalism'.--Daanschr 12:21, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

And then what? Eliminate everything from the virtue category on the grounds that it's propaganda to call anything a virtue?
Yes, charity is one of the seven Christian virtues, the theological virtues to be precise, and listed as such in the article you link. It is certainly not classified as part of kindness.
As for "liberalism (virtue)" -- this once was "Charity" and someone decided to move it. Talk to that Wikipedian if you want them to be parallel. Goldfritha 00:20, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
If charity is one of the seven Christian virtues, and kindness isn't, then seven virtues needs some attention. Notinasnaid 08:53, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Maybe so, but that is hardly relevant to this discussion128.36.86.191 15:53, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

It appears that the seven virtues were not always the same. Charity is mentioned as opposed to greed (in the archives of december 2005) and opposed to envy (according to Dante, see article). It would be good to mention the history of charity as a virtue in this article.--Daanschr 13:14, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

I think we have to make a decision about the fundamental nature of this article. If it is to refer to the Christian virtue of charity then a generic charity page ought to be created. May I suggest Charity (practice)? There will also be the issue of overlap with Caritas (one of the three theological virtues). If this page is not to be focused solely on the Christian conception of Charity, as I recommend, then we will need to modify it to include other points of view. For example in Islam charity is a personal religious obligation, not a mark of virtue. There are, of course, totally secular points to be made as well.Stephen Kenny 15:59, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Done. Caritas turned into a redirect to this page. Jheald 09:44, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Charity is a virtue and a virtue, for a Christian, is an obligation. Who comes up with the the Seven Virtues interpreted as "contrary virtues to the deadly sins" I don't know. I can't remember to have seem them in any Catechism at all (for example the CCC-Compendium), nor apparently St. Thomas mentions them in the Summa, etc. etc., to be silent about Holy Writ. There are quite many enumerations in Catholicism, including an enumeration of seven virtues but that's faith, hope, charity, prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance, and I'm sure if you ask a Catholic about the Seven Virtues that's what you'll get (if he knows any). There are Seven Gifts and Twelve Fruits but the idea of listing the contraries to the deadly sins, though respectable, is far from that importance apparently given in the Wikipedia. Also, in this list, to my unimportant ears liberality would sound better that charity, being the more directly opposition of greed, and a virtue indeed; but maybe it was wished that the Christian virtue should appear herself in the list of the contrary virtues. If somebody is so absolutely neutral that he doesn't want to agree with the, thanks to God, unanimous assertion that charity is something good, and thus doesn't want to call it virtue, he would be (well, an odd fellow, and) forced to call it a habit, since a virtue is a good habit. Charity is not a practice, but a specific act of charity, the giving of alms, is a practice of charity. -- (talk) 20:13, 30 October 2010 (UTC)


This article has two big problems and many smaller ones:

  1. No definition or introductory section
  2. Focuses overwhelmingly on Christian ideas, without even acknowledging this bias
  3. Huge quote
  4. Unhelpful illustrations

--Smack (talk) 04:55, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes, but.
While most religions have notions about almsgiving, the use of the word "charity" in the other sense of caritas or agape, as in "faith, hope and charity", is a specifically Christian theological term. Jheald 07:21, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I have now split out the material on Charity (practice) into a separate article, per Stephen Kenny's suggestion above. I hope this page is now approaching something reasonable. But the new other article now needs a lot of work. Jheald 09:47, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 03:50, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Images in the article ...[edit]

I would like to know the reason why the coin image is being constantly removed. I see no difference with the other images in the article. Let me clarify that I have myself a bit of doubt about the notability in the article, so I am open to suggestions. Miguel.mateo (talk) 08:06, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Because frankly the notability of the coin to the subject of this article is minimal. Which is the same reason that paragraphs about it have aready been removed from Charity (practice) and Christianity.
And if the coin isn't notable enough (it's hardly an iconic image) to deserve discussion in text, then as a non-free image, we can't have an image of it either. (And I'm not at all sure it even illustrates the subject of this article anyway).
But, if you think that's just my opinion, let's throw it wider and ask people at WPT:Christianity to come and give their views. Jheald (talk) 09:38, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Jheald, if you think notability is really low, then remove it, no big deal. I thought it was a good image for an article that it is imageless. How about just leaving the coin and not taking anything about the technicalities? Will do some changes, let me know. Miguel.mateo (talk) 12:15, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Actually I changed my mind, image and text is gone now. Miguel.mateo (talk) 12:16, 5 June 2008 (UTC)


Should the lead-in (& therefore overall tone) of this article be centered around the "christian" virtue of charity? I found my way here through a link on the Seven virtues page under a section expanding on the Psychomachia... For obvious reasons, the page itself should attempt to take a wider perspective. Lastoobs (talk) 21:51, 14 April 2013 (UTC)


by "obvious reasons" I mean to say that the term "christian" doesn't show up until around 16c while the term "charity" enjoys usage as early as 12c & while "Christianity" hails as early as 1300, & still not forgetting that the words 'charity' & 'christ' are linguistically linked together, the fact of the matter is that the idea of "christ" is actually a parallel to the idea of the Hebrew "mashiah" which dates 200BC and beyond... so, maybe the 'virtue' itself shouldn't be blatantly labeled as 'christian' when 'christian' is itself a translation. Lastoobs (talk) 22:06, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

lead in... wtf?[edit]

it's almost like the lead in is trying to make charity seem like more than it really is, as a virtue & a concept. Charity is "benevolence for the poor," I think what the lead in is missing is the idea that this concept is literally "the friendship of man for God", that sharing does actually "unites us to God"... as it stands, I'm rather demotivated to improve upon the lead in, but still. What about loving kindness & generosity is so hard to equate to virtue status without going all religOmatic on us. Have we forgotten what virtues even are? virtue (n.) early 13c., "moral life and conduct, moral excellence," vertu, from Anglo-French and Old French vertu, from Latin virtutem (nominative virtus) "moral strength, manliness, valor, excellence, worth," from vir "man" (see virile). For my part I honour with the name of virtue the habit of acting in a way troublesome to oneself and useful to others. [Stendhal "de l'Amour," 1822] Phrase by virtue of (early 13c.) preserves alternative Middle English sense of "efficacy." Wyclif Bible has virtue where KJV uses power. The seven cardinal virtues (early 14c.) were divided into the natural (justice, prudence, temperance, fortitude) and the theological (hope, faith, charity). To make a virtue of a necessity (late 14c.) translates Latin facere de necessitate virtutem [Jerome]. (from etymonline dot com) Lastoobs (talk) 22:15, 14 April 2013 (UTC)