Essay on Aristotle

Good Essays
An ethical issue that is debated in our society is the concern of driving while intoxicated. Although this was naturally not the case during Aristotle’s time, many of his ethical beliefs can be applied to refute this dilemma. I will prove the standing issue to be unethical through Aristotle’s discussion of virtue and his concept of voluntary/involuntary actions in the Nicomachean Ethics.
Aristotle believed that of the virtues learned in our youth, each has a respective excess and deficiency. The virtue is the mean (or midpoint) of the excess and deficiency. The mean can be thought of as “just right';, and the extremities can be labeled as “vices';. The mean should not be thought of as the geometric
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“Thus, in one word, states arise out of like activities'; (Aristotle 377). This may be the case with a child who is reared in an alcohol abusive family. Say the child’s father frequently drove while intoxicated and the child was lead to believe that this was okay. Although this does not make it ethical, or lawful for that matter, for the child to drive drunk, it simply may have been a reason why. “It makes no small difference, then, whether we form habits of one kind or of another from our very youth; it makes a very great difference, or rather all the difference'; (Aristotle 377). Although this may be the reason why in this situation, it does not justify the learned activity; this is the rationale of Aristotle. Aristotle believed that although our actions are the results of our learning, virtue still involves rational choice. He is saying that if we have not been taught what is the moral excellence (the “midpoint'; of the two vices), of a particular action or behavior, we still have the ability to attain excellence through choice. If a drunk driver chooses to continue driving drunk (the vice), he will never attain moral excellence.
Aristotle believed that practicing virtue leads to a virtuous circle, in which the more you abstain from a vice, the easier it becomes to abstain. Eventually, performing virtuous activities becomes habit. This again can be related to the topic at
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