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Morals and Ethics

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Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Nietzsche all had their own ideas for which one could reach happiness in his/her life. All have similarities in there reasoning except Nietzshe, who contradicts the others entirely.

Plato states that to understand virtue is happiness. In turn virtue suffices for happiness and is necessary. Also he intuits that human reasoning prevails over spirited element or a person?s appetite.

Aristotle?s arguments relate with Plato, but he builds more to it and finds his own answers. He agrees that all people desire happiness and virtue is necessary for happiness. In same mind with Plato, Aristotle says happiness comes from perfecting our minds and characters.

Unlike Plato, Aristotle questions and concludes that virtue does not suffice happiness. His definition of happiness is the activity of the soul in accordance with the most perfect virtue. He believes one must be active and make full use of his/her rational capacities to function well. This perfecting of ones character was Aristotle?s key to happiness.

Augustine shares with that of Plato and Aristotle that virtue is necessary, but he disagrees that is all of what is needed. He denies that the perfection of one?s character suffices for virtue or happiness. His revelation is that the chief good is happiness. Being the highest good, it cannot be attained in one?s physical life. Brought forth is the balance of the natural realm and the supernatural realm. This consists of the Cardinal Virtues and the Faith Virtues. This means to follow and to love God. To Augustine, achieving salvation is the highest good, therefore happiness.

Nietzshe shares nothing in common with the other three philosophers. He states that perfection doesn?t come from being morally good nor through religion; rather from self-mastery and free exercise of ones creative powers. His virtues(Master Morality) consist of pride, self-assertion, power, cruelty, honor, rank, and nobility. The Faith Values of Augustine are Nietzshe?s ?Slave Morality?. The conclusion is that we as people make our own happiness and we determine right and wrong. The striving and achieving of power is happiness.

I agree mostly with Augustine that happiness consists of our physical life as well as what we determine our supernatural beliefs. He would probably argue for strict Catholicism, but I see no problem with other beliefs as long as one focuses on the morally good. Although Nietzsche has extreme points, some are legitimate. Self-mastery and the use of creative powers can attribute to happiness if used correctly. I find that all the views are a bit primitive. If any of the mentioned people were alive in the world today his views would be dramatically changed.

2. The Platonic virtue of justice consists with that of the human soul, the virtues Plato holds important, and personality types of the people. Justice is the virtue of the soul and it allows it to perform its function well. To live happily and morally one must be just. One who understands goodness will comprehend Plato?s Idea of the Good. He finds that wisdom and courage are needed virtues. As these virtues are understood they work in harmony and lead to the virtue of temperance. The soul is now enabled to perform its function well. Justice follows from this harmony.

To be virtuous one must be in accordance with the right conduct. Plato states our actions must reflect the desired inner harmony of our soul. Right conduct is that which promotes, sustains, or issues from virtuous character. One must look at the effects of his/her actions and decide if it leads to a virtuous soul and character.

3. Plato and Aristotle reason that ones functions relate to the metaphysical. Plato created the titles of ?the world of forms? and ?the world of shadows?. The world of forms is based on the spiritual and the world of shadows is what is physical. His focus is on the importance of what is spiritual. His teleology focuses on the soul.

Aristotle?s views are slightly different. Like Plato, Aristotle



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