When it comes to making judgements on the merits of others, it seems as though Jesus is quite set on relaying to his disciples the dangers of hypocrisy. One’s own actions must be accounted for before trying to account for the actions of others. Lessons of this kind would have helped to empower early Christians to better apply some sort of objective consistency to their lives. Jesus conveyed such concepts to his followers when asking, “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye? Or how can you say to your brother ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?” (Matthew, pg. 179). Such questions may have lead Aristotle to agree with Jesus in principle about equality in relationships but their world views would cause a divergence in the way in which they thought about such problems.
Throughout Matthew, Jesus uses his parable to illustrate that the use of self-reflection should be to understand that there are distinctions between people that don’t always make for fair comparisons (Matthew, pg. 178). For instance when Jesus tells his followe...
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...good” you must embody qualities of God and not those of what you would expect of others.
Now what might we learn from two such distinctive philosophies that seem at once to have such staggering differences, but at the same time tell us something about how we should think about others? While both Jesus and Aristotle may have distinct visions about what constitutes goodness, their messages share similarities in that they are both messages of compassion. Jesus wishes to impart his followers with what he believes to be the tenets of God, imploring his disciples to try and treat each other with fairness, comfort those in need, and to show mercy to those who may have wronged you. Aristotle shares with us a very similar message one that advocates the use of reason and impartiality when dealing with those who are important to us such as our friends, neighbors, and community.
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