Virtue Ethics Essay

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There are many ways to approach morality, virtue ethics being one in which Aristotle went about evaluating how moral dilemmas are reached rather than just the outcomes. Ethical navigation approaches, acknowledge that humans are complicated beings and that our existence and purpose really isn’t known or exactly provided for us. It is up to us to determine for ourselves how to go about evaluating our lives and its purpose and what our responsibilities are, in order to live ethical lives. Aristotle discovered that his theory in approaching this dilemma relies on virtue ethics where virtue is a state of being and when we possess the right virtues we are able to live well and successfully. We are all trying to find our own ways of navigating through life and discovering the importance of what lies at the end. Happiness, or living well, is the ultimate end because most of us can agree that the conception of happiness organizes our various paths. We must first understand that happiness is the action of living well, and without virtue we are not able to achieve happiness. “If any action is well performed when it is performed in accordance with the appropriate excellence: if this is the case, human good turns out to be activity of soul in accordance with virtue, and if there are more than one virtue, in accordance with the best and most complete” (Aristotle, Book I, Chapter 7). My interpretation of this is that it is in our nature to possess these virtues that allow us to act in the right manner. These virtues aren’t necessarily actions in themselves but they lead us to activities that are good for ourselves and for others. Our activities stem from our rationality, which is why the idea of a happy person includes them being virtuous and r... ... middle of paper ... ... what is appropriate and reasonable. Moral character defines a person with regard to his or her actions. Character influences how ethically we live our lives: “For in speaking about a man's character we do not say that he is wise or has understanding but that he is good-tempered or temperate; yet we praise the wise man also with respect to his state of mind; and of states of mind we call those which merit praise virtues” (Aristotle, Book I, Chapter 13). Temperance, bravery, and wisdom are just a few virtuous traits of character. Without virtue I believe that or character would be bitter and cold (…) Aristotle emphasizes one’s upbringing, as well as education in being influences on moral character. We can apply intellectual virtues with character because by being intellectually curious in areas such as education, we should use this resource to refine our character.

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