PHIL 202 Upper Iowa University Philosophy According Aristotle Questions.
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Aristotle is known as a man of brilliance, a deep thinker that set off ethics as we know it. I appreciate his thinking of having good virtues is a requirement for a good life. Even though I would like to think this is the case, I believe in my heart that it is not so. There are corporations, CEOs, or other individuals that have had shady business dealings or secrets in their life that have proved otherwise. Even in a world of information and accessibility, people are cunning enough to get away with things to enhance their well being and status that may not be “virtuous.” You can think of one example as a stockbroker. Insider trade agreements are offense in the eyes of the law, but if they have valuable information they may sell or buy stock to easily make profits. By the definition of virtue, they would overindulge on wealth and break the law at the same time.
Virtues are traits or qualities that are morally good. Good habits that you learn that can make your life better. There are many different types of virtues such as honesty, courage, compassion, etc. Aristotle believes that by having virtues you are a good person of good character. I do not think that a person must have good character to do well in life and to be happy. I think that being a good person would be ideal to me to have a great life, but some people would probably disagree. Some people could have grown up not knowing what good even is. So maybe they can live their own version of their best life and still be happy. Not everyone sees good the same either. So what is good and following the virtues to Aristotle, could be the opposite for someone else. As long as you try to be the best person possible, then you have at least some good character in you, but I do not think everyone would need that to be happy and do well in life. Someone with weak character and bad virtues could be living their best life because maybe they do not know about good character and virtues, or maybe they have tried that and it does not work for them. What successful and happy mean to someone could be the opposite for another, but I believe that everyone has the option of being happy with who they are regardless of their character and virtues.
I personally don’t feel this is 100% true. I think that even if someone has a bad or weak character they are still able to live a happy, successful life. However, I think it completely depends on the person. If you don’t care about having a bad character then that probably wont stop you from having a happy life, but if you do care about you character and you have a bad character then that most likely will affect you and your life. This also relates to virtues. If some has virtues then they are high moral standards. So, if you have virtues then most likely you are going to have a good character and not want to spend time with someone with a bad one. I also think this effects those around you as well. If you have a good character yet chose to surround yourself with people with weak or bad character then I feel that affects the person with a good character. They will start to develop a bad character and they are the one that will end up unhappy in life, since that is not necessarily how they want to be
I would like to believe that Aristotle is right, but im a blunt realist. I have seen several lazy and bad people take advantage of good people and reap the benefits. In many cases they even get away with it. Older people have past down this theory of good morals and hard work ethic through generations to maintain an order of good moeality. Of course not all bad people get away with it, but either way it goes, good people are not always the winners in this deal.
This topic about being a Nazi soldier is intriguing. On one hand, we know that Nazis were a plague to this world, killing millions and millions of innocents to further Adolf Hitler’s regime. With a Nazi soldier, we must understand that their point of views was different than ours. While the Allies thought he was evil, this soldiers mostly thought different. This could be due to a few different factors like the dictator’s entrancing speech style, fear for their life or for the love of their country, but that is besides the point. What they thought they were doing was just and courageous in the eyes of their government. Enemy combatants can be just as courageous as us. If you think of it, WE were enemy combatants to them, and no one thinks the Allied Forces were less than brave men and women. What makes us different? We served our country, and Nazi soldiers were just serving theirs.
Despite the reality of Nazi soldiers actions, I would like to think that even though German soldiers were forced to follow orders, but behind the scenes some chose to help other races. Like the movie ” The Pianist” when the Nazi soldier chose to help the Polish man survive the end of the war with food and clothes. Just because a book front looks bad, that doesn’t mean the contents are bad too. People justify their actions on the amount of information they know. Just like in the underground railroad, many people put on a front to keep up appearances.
There are different Nazi roles you can’t just assume their all concentration camp solders. Some of the brightest minds were Nazis. Erwin Rommel was one of the best tank commanders of all time. In the case of solders fighting on the front lines, I would say most likely these guys are courageous. These guys were high on meth (Pervitin was the official name) and pushed through Western Europe. I would say most enemy combatants are just as courageous as us Americans. How ever some don’t have the same fight, but shouldn’t be taken lightly.
I believe that a Nazi soldier would still be courageous fighting in World War II. Although he was not fighting for the morally right side, he was being loyal to his people. Courage is when you are not scared of the outcome, brave. I think that the act of fighting does show his courage. Maybe he did not know any better or had no choice. I would not say his actions were good, but I think you can have a virtue without being a morally good person, but the more good you are the more virtues you have. Enemy combats may be the enemy at the time, but I think there is a certain level of respect I would give them They are fighting for what they believe is right, even though it may not be our definition of right. You certainly do not have to like the enemy, but I do not see how you could not think that they are brave for fighting their fight. Although I would be against Nazis and anyone who is an enemy of someone fighting for me, I think that they are just as brave for putting their lives on the line for what they believe in.