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    Aristotle's Outlook of the Three Lives of Happiness plus Friendship

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    Daemon Spade

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    Aristotle's Outlook of the Three Lives of Happiness plus Friendship

    Post by Daemon Spade on Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:06 am

    Joel.Blankenship
    Intro To Philisophical Ethics
    G.Whitlock
    2/6/15
    Aristotle's View on The Three Lifes and Their Verisons of Happiness
    "I am truely happy in this life." the words of whom lives a life of nothing but pleasure seeking. " My life is complete." The words of those who live a life of honor. " I have found true happiness through knowledge." The words of people living the life of thought. "All I need our my best friends" the words of those who believe that they are surrounded by true friends .Aristotle would look at each one of these groups of people and laugh at them well maybe not the actual Aristotle but my version of him would. The actual Aristotle would look at the groups lives and simple state that all I see are beasts, fools, hermits, and one that is surrounded by no true friend. Aristotle believed that true happiness came through the moderation of pleasure, honor, thought, and true friendship and that either too little or too much would only lead to sorrow and misery!
    The life of pleasure according to Aristotle's Nicomachean ethic book X (http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.10.x.html) "Pleasure is the thought most likely to be connected with our human nature, which is the reason why in educating the young we steer them by the rudders of pleasure and pain; it it thought, too, that to enjoy the things we ought and to hate the things we ought has the greatest bearings on virtue of character. " At the begining of this sentence Aristotle states that Pleasure is most likely connected to our human nature; Aristotle states that human nature is to be rational so it is logical to state from the begining that the person seeking the most pleasure is most likely the most rational person. The problem with this possibility is that pleasure can come in many forms for many different people such as a drug addict will only find pleasure from taking large amounts of illegal or over the courter pills while a sex addict will do what ever it takes to reach sexual orgaism. In the middle of the sentence Aristotle states that due to Pleasure being connected to our human nature it is the reason that when teaching the younger generation we tend to lead them through the style of pleasure vs pain. When thinking about how children tend to behave when faced with either pleasure or pain as the result of their actions they wil most likely choose that which is pleasurible to them over the painful even if the pain happens to be the good while the pleasure is the evil. The FInal part of the sentence is where Aristotle states that to enjoy the things we ought and to hat the things we ought has the greatest bearings on virtue of character. From this last bit of information I believe Aristotle is stating that by seeking a life of pleasure it is rational to seek out what we desire of the world be it of pleasures of the flesh or mind and it is rational to hate what we desire yet are unable to possess no matter how badly we want it to be ours such as a formor lover or a piece of fertile land/ Valuable trinket of treasure. Aristotle criticizes people who pursue this type of life be discribing them as being no better then wild beasts; yet even as a wild beast Aristotle believes it is possible to lead a virtuous life !
    Honor... a word embodying another aspect of human nature. Honor is in many way something empty and valuless except to the person who obtains it. Honor is obtained through most commonly on the battlefield, yet it is also possible to acquire honor through intense study and acquire vast quanitys of knowledge. Personally as a historian and an avid student of strategy I believe that honor is not the only thing obtained within battle. Pride also comes from battle after honor, yet pride in excess in the same as honor both lead one to ruin; moving back to honor. The main fault of honor is while it is quick to obtain it is also taken away just as swift. A simple expamle would be boring really so let have some fun: three warriors stands facing each other on the blood soaked field of battle the warrior of the left's blade is stained in the blood out countless people men, woman, even children have met their end by his blade. The man on the right's is currently unstained by blood yet has only slew those who attempted to harm him. The third a man who blade is clean of blood and has never known it's copper flavor . Out of the three who would you consider to be more honorible the one who slew countless innocent, the one who only attacked in self-defence, or the one whose blade is unstained. While personally I believe that the man on the right is most honorable due to the fact that he only stains his sword in self-defense this type of man would also appear honorable within the code of Bushido. . According to Aristotles point of view he and I would actually agree for once due to his belief of happiness through moderation. In the end honor is born from others offering praise for the actions they take into battle or through studying. To live such a life one person's happiness according to the teachings of Aristotle ones person happiness wil be short lived and dashed away once their deeds are slandered!
    Thought .. a word with several meanings but in this case thought means that of a rational or irrational thoughts. according to Aristotle's Nicomachean ethics Book 1 url: (http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.1.i.html) as humans we possess traits both simular to other animals and others that are unique to us. Many people believe that our greatest trait as humans is that we posses the trait of being rational. Rationality as stated by many of the words greatest philosophers is the one trait amongst humans that gives our lives greater purpose then any other animal on this tiny orb of water we call home. I believe that thought while is a clear part of rationality it also serves as a way to share ones own beliefs. In terms of a detailed example of thought I believe this paper serves that means in it self as a perfect example of the value of thought due to every letter, sentence, and paragraph serve as a why to convey my thoughts on what I believe to be the correct way of describing the lives that Aristotle believes to lead to happiness. But for the sake of my honor and pride here goes: A woman in full battle armor stands infront of her troops; next to her stands her loyal tactician with a plan to cause the enemy army to fall into dissaray that plan in it's self is an amalgamation of complex thoughts . While it seems difficult to get carried away with the life of thought it is still possible with as stated before should a person value only thought they will become nothing more then a hermit or outcast of the world thus having no one to share their knowledge with and therefore becoming unhappy and in the end live a very sad and painful life!
    Friendship... a word symbolized by an invisible bond formed between two people that can be formed in an instint or over many many years. In the grand scheme of things there appears to be roughly five to six different kinds of "friends". There are friends who actually care if something happens to you, there are friends who only use you to fufill their own desires and in the end stab you in the back, there are friends who actually share interests with you and seek to help you excel at you desired path, there are friends who care about you yet eventually disappear when something happens between you and them, and there are friends whom you make on the field of battle standing side by side against the raging horde of enemy troops. in my personal oppinoin there is more then one type of true friend on that list though Aristotle would disagree and state that there is only one absolute friend for people in this world. My reasoning in stating that there is more then one type of friend in this world comes from my personal research of combat and strategy over the span of seven long years. On the battle field is where armies fight against each other in brutal bloody combat there are instinces where a warrior saves another's life those two are now forever linked to one another through that moment they become comrades in arms. The second type of a true friend as state above is the kind of person who cares about another person and seeks to help them grow into a acceptalbe member of society . According to Aristotle's Nicomachean ethics book eight url: (http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.8.viii.html) the second type of friend is the only actual true type of friend and my personal version of a true friend is nothing more then a friend that will stand by you through the bloodliest of battles. Aristotle also states that most people go their whole lives without having a true friend. While Aristotle and I would disagree in how many forms a true firned comes into he still agree in what it means to be a true friend which is to help people achieve their ambitions!
    Aristotle in my oppinoin had a very complex out look on the world while at most times I propbably would have a few words for Aristotle's out look on specific issues but then again we come from several millenniums apart from each other so I'll let my own views go for a few seconds. According to the entirety of the Nicomachean ethics Aristotle criticizes the four lives from above by explaining the extremes on both sides of the median. In the matter of pleasure Aristotle states that the excesses of pleasure lies within both that of a obsessive lustful beast and a "uptight prude". In the matter of honor the excesses which I guess I already explained in rather great detail but am going to say them again. As stated above the extremes of honor lead a person to be a foolish attention seeking child and the lack of honor leads a person to be considered both an outcast and being consider nothing more then a savage. In the terms of thought it could be difficult to describe actually but I'll give it my best shot; when taking thought to the extreme a person would most likely atempt to comprehend everything at one time and the complete lack of thought which in most cases is impossible because thinking of nothing is thinking of something because nothing is something. In the terms of friends well friends I guess would be having none as a lack of and having no true friend as an excess. In a nutshell Aristotle both explains the lives of others live yet he never really talks about his own view on happiness !
    While Aristotle spends a large amount of time criticizing he also spends time explaining his own version of Happiness even if it rather slim and far between when compared to how much he talks about how bad the lives seem to flow from extremes to complete lack of something. Aristotle believes that in order to live a "happy" or virtuous life is to find the moderation of your own habits. In terms of pleasure the moderation between the extreme which is a sex addict and a lack of a person who hates sex; while the moderation level is different for each people in every habit in terms of sex it's finding your level of comfort and way of reaching sexual orgaism . In terms of Friends I'd say the middle ground between having no true friends and having maybe one or two I'd say having people around you can trust not to stab you in the back . In terms of Thought I would say the healthy balance between the fact of becoming a hermit or being ignorant is to find things you are skilled with and do you best to master them. Finally in the terms of honor one should not be a foolish child, or a sniveling coward; a person with a healthly balance of honor stands firm against the enemy and previel through the chaos. While Aristotle and I may not agree on everything I still respect him as one of the greatest Philosophers and ethical thinkers of the western world!


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