Unification ethics is a virtue ethics in which the family is the existential basis for the cultivation of character. Notions discussed in traditional virtue ethics such as happiness (eudaimonia), practical wisdom (phronesis), benevolence ("ren" in Confucianism), fidelity, filial piety, and others are discussed in Unification ethics. While Unification ethics is similar to Confucian ethics for its family-based approach, it differs from Confucianism in its clear theistic orientation. Unification ethics presupposes religious themes such as sin, salvation, redemption and others.
In Book 2 of The Republic (2.359a - 2.360d), Plato tells the story of "Gyges' ring" in which an ordinary shepherd happens to find a magic ring which makes him invisible. Through this story, Plato raises questions regarding good and evil, power, and ethical behavior, which he then addresses through the rest of the Republic. Likewise, virtue ethics arise partly from the fundamental questions of evil and man's selfish desires that are in conflict with a rational understanding of moral or ethical principles. Virtue ethics focuses on character formation and the embodiment of moral principles. Unificationism also attempts to address these fundamental questions of evil and the importance of character formation, for which a family rooted in God's love is the key.
Unification Aspects is designed to relate the subject of this article to Unification Thought and to aid teachers and researchers who wish to further pursue these topics from a unification perspective.