View the video titled “Ethical Theory: Aristotle's Virtue Ethics, Solitary Confinement, and Supererogatory Actions” on YouTube video, located at .
PART A "Happiness and the Virtues" Please respond to the following:
From the e-Activity and Aristotle’s essay, analyze Aristotle’s claim that reason determines right action. Discuss how this process occurs and how it is related to the general principle that virtuous action is a “mean” between extremes. Then, discuss the prisoner’s views about isolation. Discuss your agreement or disagreement with Aristotle’s view of happiness. Provide reasons and examples to support your view.
Debate It: Take a position for or against Augustine's claim: “Virtue gives perfection to the soul; the soul obtains virtue by following God; following God is the happy live.” Provide reasons and examples to support your view.
PLEASE RESPOND TO CLASSMATE DISCUSSION WHETHER YOU AGREE OR NOT & A DETAILED WHY: Aristotle - I made the connection what Aristotle is saying about reason and right action. The highest good that everyone wants to achieve is happiness. Well, happiness is pursued throughout life in which a person will utilize wise guidance by virtue. This highest of good can only be attained through action, and such an achievement is not simply gifted to humans, but it is something that is learned during phases of our life making it a growing process.
In the e-activity video, the character that spoke of being in confinement for five years and he was scared that when he is put back into the general public, it would be hard. I understood his concerns because it really messes with a person mental state and some cannot bounce back to even think about the highest of good, happiness. Long-term isolation with a lack of social interaction stimulation may lead to stress and depression, and a change in brain structures as a consequence that can also lead to a lack of good decision making. Long term confinement may also cause a person to have difficulties in controlling their emotions and stress levels, and all that does is make the concept of happiness seem unattainable. We all deserve some happiness, even if it is behind bars. If the opportunity is stripped from us, we will never see beyond the darkness, and that is not fair to anyone. I think this is what Aristotle was trying to convey. We learn how to do good by the teachings of others and being stripped of that makes it a challenge for people to do what is right.
Augustine - Yes, I agree with what Augustine is referring to about virtue and following God. Not long ago, my bible study group had a similar discussion about souls, and my pastor made some interesting points that are aligned with Augustine’s. The human soul is open, passive, contemplative and nothing more. Because the soul is such, it receives its knowledge of practical things through the senses; the soul also receives its religious and moral virtues through the instrumentally of the Spirit. The soul owes its origin of the external world to the natural light surrounding its body and its knowledge of celestial things to the heavily light which shapes its spiritual environment. But, this interior light, which is nothing but God himself, is not outside of us; if it were God would be an extended and material being; it is in us without being identical with us. In it and through it we observe the realities. God himself is the form of all things that is the external law of our soul’s origin development and existence. Basically, God is the Idea of the Ideas; he is perfection. If we abide by the teachings of God, we receive fulfillment and live a happy life.
PART B "Virtues and Vices" Please respond to the following:
Analyze and comment on Epictetus’ statement as it relates to behaving with virtue: “Some things are up to us and some are not up to us.”
Analyze the claim by Foot that “virtue belongs to the will.” Explain your understanding of the relationship between virtue and the will. Is virtue a relevant influence to our lives today? Provide reasons and examples to support your view.
PLEASE RESPOND TO CLASSMATE DISCUSSION WHETHER YOU AGREE OR NOT & A DETAILED WHY:Epictetus - The saying, “life is too short to waste” comes to mind, and it closely relates so much to what Epictetus’ was saying. I think the point of Epictetus’ quote is that life is not short rather it is long enough if our time is spent doing meaningful actions such as personal achievement. Do not waste time worrying about frivolous things that are out of our control because it leads to disappointment. For instance, some people worry about what others think about them, so they try to please others. By doing this, the only thing that a person is doing is becoming dependent on things outside their control that is not good. People are going to talk about you whether it is good or bad and it is out of our control to keep people tongues from flapping. The only things people need to focus on is on personal achievements that we can control such as keeping our freedom and living a life filled with sharing, caring and loving because these are things in our realm that we can control and the only things that matter to obtain personal achievement.
Foot - I think what Phillipa Foot was saying about “virtue belongs to the will” is that the will is typically controlled by motives. Or one can look at as virtue does not belong to a person's mind or body rather will must have a motive or power behind it and must act with contributing nature. It makes sense in a way because if we really think about it, motivation in a lot of times seems to be a definitive force that causes a person to take action. Not only does motivation initiates and drive goal-oriented behavior, but it also sustains the will. An example of this is changing one's eating habits to obtain a healthier lifestyle. The point is every action a person performs has a certain degree of motivation behind the action regardless if it is an emotional, social or biological nature.