The failings of human nature in this life give us opportunities for exercising our philosophy, which is the best use we can put our virtues to. If all men were righteous, all hearts true and frank and loyal, what purpose would most of our virtues serve?

Here, Philinte exposes the basic weakness of Alceste's approach to life, demonstrating that humankind would likely lose its vitality if Alceste's theories were applied to the whole of society. Philinte argues that flaw and failure give rise to character and invention. Veritably, if Célimène and the other victims of Alceste's scorn did not behave as they do, Alceste would have nothing to gripe about, which would rob him of a significant part of his personality. Philinte points out this irony to Alceste. The merit of Alceste's code of honor and ethics derives largely from the foul behavior of those whom he observes. Were they to share his values, society would be homogeneous, even boring. Philinte's comment also suggests that human differences make life worthwhile. Alceste's misanthropy might be directed against the very flaws that make human interaction interesting.