Category Archives: Philosophy

Who has the right to judge?

Ethical relativism is the theory that there are no universally valid moral principles, but that all moral principles are valid relative to culture or individual choice. It is to be distinguished from moral skepticism, there are no valid moral principles at all (or at least we cannot know whether there are any), and from all forms of moral objectivism or absolutism. The following statement by the relativist philosopher John Ladd is a good characterization of the theory.

 

Ethical relativism is the doctrine that the moral rightness and wrongness of actions varies from society to society and that there are no absolute universal moral standards binding on all men at all times. Accordingly, it holds that whether or not it is right for an individual to act in a certain way depends on or is relative to the society to which he belongs. (John Ladd, Ethital Relativism)

(Pojman, Louis. “Who is to Judge?”)

The above paragraph means that each culture holds its own beliefs on what is moral and what is immoral, what is acceptable and what is unacceptable- what is right and what is wrong. It is not the position for someone from one culture to judge the actions of someone from another culture, simply because they were raised differently, with different moral standards and norms.

I agree with the above statement, that it is not the right for people from one culture to judge those from another culture. It’s almost like when someone is tried in a court, the jury must be made up by council of their peers (ideally, anyway). People from the western world are raised differently than people in the eastern world. Can someone be judged by the actions if they were not aware of the severity of what they were doing? Norms and acceptable actions are different in different parts of the world. In the Middle East for example, in certain areas, it is wrong for women to walk outside without their proper coverings. While here, in America, it is pretty much acceptable for women to go outside in anything short of being naked. If someone from the middle east judged the American women, her actions would absolutely be found as inappropriate- when here, it would be found as the norm, a little eccentric at most, but not punishable by law or judgment from a higher power. I think is important to be accepting of other people’s cultures and traditions as long as they do not cause harm or suffering to other people, nations, or cultures. I think accepting cultures would lead to ultimate peace- however, this is far from what is going on in the world.

I think that the only time when one culture has the right to judge the actions of another culture is when human rights issues are involved- as with the Nazi Germany takeover, the Holocaust, genocide in Africa, etc. When it becomes an issue of the human race destroying itself or people harming others unjustly, then I believe it is our right to judge and our duty to intervene.

The argument of subjectivism states that someone is as moral as they feel they are; something is moral if they feel good after doing it and immoral if they feel wrong or badly after doing it. I think that the idea of subjectivism is absolutely asinine- it was suggested that if this theory was true, Adolf Hitler could be held to the same moral standard as Ghandi. Adolf Hitler might have felt good after discriminating against the Jewish at first, and then containing them in ghettos, and then exiling them to labor camps and death camps- but he was also insane, so there goes that argument. Morality can not be judged based on what we think is moral for us to do individually, but rather what morals we were raised to abide by as a culture and a society.

I believe that the idea of conventional relativism is legitimate. I believe that we can only be held to judgment of our morals by the morals of our culture and our society. There are exceptions, of course, as previously mentioned, in instances that teeter on the line of going against and threatening the human rights. In cases where cause harm to the human race, I believe it is just to find them as wrong and immoral, regardless of what culture they come from.

I do not believe that anyone has the right to judge anyone based on their culture- what is the norm in their culture may not be the norm in ours. It is only right to judge and intervene when it becomes a human race issue rather than a cultural issue. If people are being killed, lives are being threatened, and individuals are suffering- then it is our right to act upon what we believe to be right. I believe that there is a little bit of good in ever culture, but it is hard to see when some cultural norms are so different from others, and we are constantly on the defense, especially this day in age.

I chose the following song because it remind me of a very controversial time during my childhood- the September 11, 2001. This song came out just around that time. I was going to elementary school in New York at the time, I was in the fourth grade. There was a lot of talk about “we should just go to Afghanistan and kill all of them”- which I thought was absolutely horrible. I felt like these people were raised in a culture where they were taught to hate America and everything it stood for, and really, could they have been blamed for being raised that way? And also, there were people in Afghanistan and in the Middle East that were good and tolerant of other people’s cultures. Anywho, I chose this song because it demanded tolerance for other people’s cultures and demanded a recognition for the good in people.

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/blackeyedpeas/whereisthelove.html

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Friendship

Asking herself questions like the ones raised above, Mary Wollstonecraft concluded that moral virtue is unitary. Women, she said, are obligated to practice the same morality men practice; that is, human morality. Although she did not use terms like “socially-constructed gender roles,” Wollstonecraft denied that women are doomed by nature to be less virtuous than men. Deprived of sufficient opportunities to develop their rational powers, women wind up being overly emotional, hypersensitive, narcissistic, self-indulgent individuals. Wollstonecraft said there is nothing wrong about women, including their supposedly weak moral characters, that cannot be cured by a rigorous education; that is, the kind of education that aims to develop students’ rational powers. Men have concerns, causes, and commitments over and beyond petty, self-interested ones because they receive a proper education. Give women men’s education, said Wollstonecraft, and women, no less than men, will become morally-mature human beings (Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Women, p. 105).

Tong, Rosemarie and Williams, Nancy, “Feminist Ethics”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2011/entries/feminism-ethics/&gt;.

This post is communicating the point that women and men are not held to the same standard in terms of ethics and morality because they are not provided the opportunity to experience the same things as men in order to develop morality and an ethical standpoint. However, if men and women were given the same opportunities, particularly education, they would be able to and should be held to the same moral standards and judged on it equally.

In my opinion, men and women are different biologically and for that reason have different habits caused by nature. For example, the fact that women actually bear children and are the ones to carry the child for 40 weeks before the male becomes more involved predisposes the women to feeling more connected to the child, and in that, acting more morally on that child’s behalf. Because of the way we were made by God, I believe that our moral and ethical perspectives are different in nature, but are of equal importance in making the world ‘go round’. I also believe that if women and men were given the same educational opportunities, as they are in the present day America, that their moral and ethical standpoints would grow to be more similar. For example, now that men and women both go to school and college and often times the mother works fulltime, just as the father- the women may take on opinions of justice that she needs to be successful in the workplace, while the male may take on and develop knowledge of caring and nurturing, because he now too has to stay with and take care of the child. In conclusion, I agree that men and women will begin to develop more congruent ethical and moral ideas provided they are given the same opportunities. However, I also think that biological make up and the difference in human nature between men and women plays a large role in developing morals.

I will try to express my opinion of ethics of caring and ethics of justice in a way that sounds minimally sexist. I feel that men and women were meant to compliment each other, not for the suppressive women to serve the dominant man, but rather that the qualities of a woman will perfectly compliment the qualities of a man in a way in which they will become a functional unit (hopeless romantic, I know). I feel that women are predisposed genetically to be more caring because of their role as child bearers, and I feel that men are genetically predisposed to defend justice because of their lacking the ability to bear children, and so take of the role of protector of their mate and child. I do not feel that these ethical roles of caring and justice are opposite- rather I feel that compliment each other. And while genetics and biology predispose the women to fulfill one role and the men to fill another, I feel that in the event on is slacking, the other member will take on the ethical responsibilities of the other.

Friendship, true friendship, in my opinion is supporting one individual in their struggles and endeavors and trying to understand their point of view. The basis of friendship, mutual understanding, is an essential role in building our ethical opinions and moral standpoints, trying carefully not to judge others and respect where they are coming from.

My definition of empathy is to be able to understand where a person is coming from, and understanding their sorrow rather than just feeling sorry for them for a split second. Empathy is the ability to really look at a situation from the other person’s point of view and being able to understand their many emotions. Through empathy, we can learn not to judge others and learn to be more accepting of many points of view.

I feel that if we put too much emphasis on caring personally for one person, we will be too focused on their points of view and perspective. This may not be an issue, but if the person’s opinions are morally wrong, then we end up supporting morally unethical causes and in that, neglect larger ethical issues.

I chose the song ‘Thank You’ by Celine Dion as the multimedia piece to show what my opinions of friendship are and how important and meaningful and true friendship can be. The lyrics can be found on the following link:

http://www.lyricsfreak.com/c/celine+dion/thank+you_21068348.html

Suffering

“Fortunately the case for upholding the equality of human beings does not depend on equality of intelligence, moral capacity, physical strength, or any other matters of fact of this kind. Equality is a moral ideal, not a simple assertion of fact. There is no logically compelling reason for assuming that a factual difference in ability between two people justifies any difference in the amount of consideration we give to satisfying their needs and interests. The principle of equality of human beings is not a description of an alleged actual equality: it is a prescription of how we should treat human beings.”

P. Singer, The Animal Liberation Movement

Old Hammond Press, Nottingham, England 1985

The paragraph was not difficult to understand. The paragraph explains that each human being is different qualities- opinions, looks, physical statue, appearance, knowledge, etc.- and no two humans are alike. Despite that, we treat people equally. In essence, people are not all equal, but we (are to) treat all people equally.

I absolutely agree with this excerpt from the assigned reading. I am one of the people that recognizes that everyone is absolutely not equal for a number of reasons- social class, looks, goodness, badness, smarts, spunk, etc. However, it does not mean that we should treat individuals any differently, for we are all people and should be treated equally. I do not think that all people should be treated equally in everything. For example, if you have good grades and are smart, you should get into certain colleges, while someone who is not as motivated and does not have the same kind of grades should get into schools of a lower caliber. Equality should be emphasized in terms of human rights, dignity, respect, and kindness.

Speciesism is the idea that those of a different species are thought of differently and have different rights than those of the species of higher status, which in this case would be humans. Just as with sexism, and racism- there is one cohort that is thought of as the dominant and ‘better’, while the other cohort is thought of as ‘lesser’ and not as significant. While I do not think that animals should be subjected to cruelty for no reason, or even ridiculous reasons such as testing animals for a certain type of toothpaste flavoring. However, I do think that some animals should still be used as sustenance for humans. I do think that animals have emotions, feelings, and sensations, and so I do not condone animal cruelty or negligence in any other aspect other than simply feeding humans. I also don’t think that slaughtering animals should be done to satisfy the gluttony of humans these days. For example, if one pig can sustain ten people- well then only one pig should be slaughtered for those ten people so that they may live and be healthy. Two pigs should not be killed so that those ten people can ‘stuff their faces’, for lack of a better phrase.

I think that it is a birthright to be treated equally as other humans. However, when individuals commit crimes such as murder or robbery, then they give up their right to equality. I feel that humans are given the right to equality because they have the ability to reason. In that sense, I also feel like individuals are able to endanger their equality because they have the understanding or right and wrong and the free will the to act upon situations at their discretion.

I feel that humans are superior to animals because they were given the gift of free will and the ability to reason this free will with the knowledge and grace they have been given from their parents, faith system, community, etc. They have the reason to act differently on certain things, while often times, animals just act as they are inclined to given their ‘nature’. Human nature vs the nature of animals. With that being said, I do feel that we have the moral obligation to treat animals with dignity and respect- because we know better than to torture them with no cause because it is immoral. I think we should be respectful to certain animals (pigs, cows) out of gratitude because they are a source of food for us. I think humans should be able to still slaughter animals for food. I also think that animals should be used for agriculture in a fair manner- I don’t think they should be whipped and beaten and I think they should be kept in a an area of reasonable condition. I do not think that animals should be hunted for fun- if they are going to be hunted, they should be eaten. I can’t help but recognize that countries with greater respect to animals have a high level of poverty- like India for example. If they could eat the cow- perhaps the market would go up, they would be better nourished, etc. At the same time, we have a high level of poverty. Also, we perhaps abuse our access to animals as a source of food.

Sea_Lion_Pup

Sea lions were actually taken off of the endangered species list within the last few days. Yesterday there was reportedly four sea lions that washed up on the shore of a beach in Malibu, California with multiple fatal gun shot wounds.  We should protect these animals because shooting animals for no reason is cruel. These animals do not have weapons to defend themselves and do not have the reason to protect themselves from humans. Some humans are bad people, and there needs to be a law in place to protect animals from such cruel human acts of cruelty. I don’t know if these sea lions do anything important for our environment or are an important member of the food chain for more important species, but they are defenseless and we have to protect them FROM HUMAN ACTION because what happened within the last few days in just cruel.

 

Pleasures and Morality

“Now it is an unquestionable fact that those who are equally acquainted with, and equally capable of appreciating and enjoying, both, do give a most marked preference to the manner of existence which employs their higher faculties. Few human creatures would consent to be changed into any of the lower animals, for a promise of the fullest allowance of a beast’s pleasures; no intelligent human being would consent to be a fool, no instructed person would be an ignoramus, no person of feeling and conscience would be selfish and base, even though they should be persuaded that the fool, the dunce, or the rascal is better satisfied with his lot than they are with theirs. They would not resign what they possess more than he for the most complete satisfaction of all the desires which they have in common with him. If they ever fancy they would, it is only in cases of unhappiness so extreme, that to escape from it they would exchange their lot for almost any other, however undesirable in their own eyes. A being of higher faculties requires more to make him happy, is capable probably of more acute suffering, and certainly accessible to it at more points, than one of an inferior type; but in spite of these liabilities, he can never really wish to sink into what he feels to be a lower grade of existence. We may give what explanation we please of this unwillingness; we may attribute it to pride, a name which is given indiscriminately to some of the most and to some of the least estimable feelings of which mankind are capable: we may refer it to the love of liberty and personal independence, an appeal to which was with the Stoics one of the most effective means for the inculcation of it; to the love of power, or to the love of excitement, both of which do really enter into and contribute to it: but its most appropriate appellation is a sense of dignity, which all human beings possess in one form or other, and in some, though by no means in exact, proportion to their higher faculties, and which is so essential a part of the happiness of those in whom it is strong, that nothing which conflicts with it could be, otherwise than momentarily, an object of desire to them.”

J.S. Mill, The Greatest Happiness Principle

The above paragraph states that individuals are too proud in their own form to switch to another form or status, regardless of whether or not it may bring you more pleasure or less pain. Pleasure and pain are subjective to the individual and the status. A person of high status will need more things or a better quality of things to bring him pleasure than a man of a lower status- it is proportionate. People are too absorbed in what it means to have a certain status and would rather be miserable in their situation than happy in a lower status.

I agree with Mill’s argument in that people would rather be miserable in their situation than toy with the idea of being happier in a situation that holds a lower status. Pride is one of the main issues at hand here, and people are reluctant to give up their position in society. The demand for and spectrum of pleasure and happiness is greater based on what you have. For example, a homeless man will be happy with a piece of bread, while a rich man will only use bread as a side to his actual meal, in which case, the meal may not even make him happy, because it would be the norm and he would be used to it. It would probably take much more to make the rich man happy, materialistic goods, for example.  It must be a very humbling experience to give up status for a life of greater pleasure in a different proportion. For example, a couple I knew lived in a large house with four children. The house was soon to be foreclosed on as the economy tanked, and the four children moved out of the house one by one for one reason or another. The couple soon came to the conclusion that it would be easier if they moved to a smaller living space even though it would mean leaving the gated community and giving up their social status. Looking back, the couple realizes that this is the best decision to have made at the time, for now they appreciate each other more and what they have more- rather than just appreciating the status which wasn’t entirely all that fulfilling.

The quality of pleasure is discussed in terms of, what I think, is a spectrum of pleasure. As in the given example, does reading a book by a well-known poet bring more pleasure than reading a book with nursery rhymes? Is it reasonable to say that things which society holds at a higher value are known to give more pleasure. Mill states that it is moral to do what makes society feel pleasure as a whole, or rather the larger proportion of society. Utilitarianism is doing what makes the majority of individuals feel pleasure. It would discriminate against the minority- especially if what brings the majority pleasure is truly against the minority’s beliefs and morals.

I don’t agree with Mill that higher pleasures have greater value that lower pleasures- but I do believe that society does agree with Mill. I think pleasure is judged by everyone on an individual basis, and pleasure is pleasure based on my own scale. I am a firm believer in, ‘it’s the little things that count’. For example, I find pleasure in getting my coffee every morning and driving to school or work listening to my country music station. It’s a habit I have and it makes me happy. This is one of the ‘little things’ in life that for one reason or another, I enjoy. Some people may not find pleasure in any part of their morning, but that is because they judge pleasure differently, and that’s okay- because in my opinion, pleasure is subjective and is not the position of society to judge.

I do think that utilitarianism does demand too much from people because it makes everyone focus on the pleasure of the majority- pleasure should be an individual thing. While we should be concerned with not doing harm to others, we should not concern ourselves simply with making other people happy or feeling pleasure.

images

 

I chose the above picture because society isn’t usually in tune with what many people value based on their religion. With that being said, it is very important to recognize that many individuals do hold their religion and belief system very close to their heart and it greatly influences their life style. Many people find pleasure in fulfilling obligations set forth by their religions.

Rules

images

 

“A good will is good not because of what it performs or effects, not by its aptness for the attainment of some proposed end, but simply by virtue of the volition; that is, it is good in itself, and considered by itself is to be esteemed much higher than all that can be brought about by it in favour of any inclination, nay even of the sum total of all inclinations. Even if it should happen that, owing to special disfavour of fortune, or the niggardly provision of a step-motherly nature, this will should wholly lack power to accomplish its purpose, if with its greatest efforts it should yet achieve nothing, and there should remain only the good will (not, to be sure, a mere wish, but the summoning of all means in our power), then, like a jewel, it would still shine by its own light, as a thing which has its whole value in itself. Its usefulness or fruitlessness can neither add nor take away anything from this value. It would be, as it were, only the setting to enable us to handle it the more conveniently in common commerce, or to attract to it the attention of those who are not yet connoisseurs, but not to recommend it to true connoisseurs, or to determine its value”

Kant, Emmanuel. “Metaphysic of Morals.” (1785). Translated by Thomas Kingsmill Abbott.

In my opinion, Kant is stating that it is important to have good will. I believe he is stating that we are not judged by what we do with our good will, the goodness inside of us, but just that we simply have it within in. If we have all of these virtuous qualities, for example courage, they can be used the wrong way if we do not have the motivation and goodness inside of us. If we use this courage in a productive manner, then we will be known for being good and for doing this courageous act. If we do not have or use our courage, then we will still be good and if will not affect the goodness within us. Virtuous qualities and acts can only embellish the good will that we may have- not having virtuous qualities or doing virtuous acts would not negate the goodness. It does not matter what we do with our good will, it just matters that we have it.

I agree with Kant in that good will is the basis of doing good things, both of which are extremely important. I liked this section because I believe we live in a world in which we are all trying to ‘one up’ the other person, someone we see as our opponent in this highly competitive society. We all look at what the other person accomplished- made a miracle drug for cancer, saved an elderly lady from getting hit by a car, advocating for the rights of the underprivileged- the list of good deeds can go on and on. However, one good deed can not trump another good deed- doing good is simply doing good. I think it is important to be a good person and try our best to do good deeds, no matter how big or small. For example, in my opinion, holding the door open for someone is just as much of a good deed as saving someone’s life. If we have good intentions, we can not measure how big our good intentions are to directly translate into how good we are as individual people. Being a good person just simple means that we have good will inside of us.

Hypothetical imperative is considered the action one takes in an effort to get to another point. The final result would be dependent on us making this decision, and that is why we make it. On the other hand, categorical imperative is the action we take because it is our moral obligation, it is morally the right this to do, and it always takes precedence over the hypothetical imperative.

I believe that every choice we have to make has to be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. Not every decision we make is black and white, and there may be very extreme consequences if we make the wrong choice. I think a mature and reasonable individual would be more inclined to follow the hypothetical imperative because it isn’t always the immediate result we are concerned with, and sometimes, the end result would be more morally important than the immediate choice we would have made driven by the categorical imperative.

Kant spoke of dignity, intrinsic worth, and autonomy all as interrelated concepts of being a moral person. Dignity is respect- respecting oneself. Autonomy is the ability and right to choose what you value and the ability to make your own decisions. The individuals with all of these qualities- dignity, intrinsic worth and autonomy, will be the individuals to make the moral decisions. I agree with Kant in that it takes all of these qualities to be able to make moral decisions. A big concern of society these days is, “I wonder what other people would think”. If we don’t have autonomy, we can have dignity and intrinsic value, but we wouldn’t be able to act on them because we would be too concerned with what other people thought of us.

I do not feel like any of those criticisms are justified. What we feel, in terms of our emotions or love, are human nature and often times there is no room for justice and rationality in love. Whom we love is a part of us and makes us who we are, and there is no making sense or rationalizing it. Oftentimes if we want true happiness, we have to be true to ourselves and act on our emotions.

images-1

I chose the above picture because I believe that many people have good will, but are not always led in the proper direction by those who should have shown them the ‘way’. I believe that we are all human and oftentimes do make mistakes- but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have good will within us, which is the most important thing.

 

Happiness

“We must consider it, however, in the light not only of our conclusion and our premisses, but also of what is commonly said about it; for with a true view all the data harmonize, but with a false one the facts soon clash. Now goods have been divided into three classes, and some are described as external, others as relating to soul or to body; we call those that relate to soul most properly and truly goods, and psychical actions and activities we class as relating to soul. Therefore our account must be sound, at least according to this view, which is an old one and agreed on by philosophers. It is correct also in that we identify the end with certain actions and activities; for thus it falls among goods of the soul and not among external goods. Another belief which harmonizes with our account is that the happy man lives well and does well; for we have practically defined happiness as a sort of good life and good action. The characteristics that are looked for in happiness seem also, all of them, to belong to what we have defined happiness as being. For some identify happiness with virtue, some with practical wisdom, others with a kind of philosophic wisdom, others with these, or one of these, accompanied by pleasure or not without pleasure; while others include also external prosperity. Now some of these views have been held by many men and men of old, others by a few eminent persons; and it is not probable that either of these should be entirely mistaken, but rather that they should be right in at least some one respect or even in most respects.”

Aristotle. (350 B.C.). Nicomachean Ethics. (Book 1).

The paragraph above by Aristotle, translated by W.D. Ross, refers to the idea of happiness in relation to goodness and what goods are, both within us and externally. Aristotle mentions that ‘a happy many lives well and does well’, meaning, that those that do good will live a happy life. It also mentions the end, which I can only assume to be the end of life, and how the goods within a person are much more important than the physical goods that a person may have. Some people may think of themselves as happy because of the objects they have, but the true key to happiness is being a good person and doing good deeds.

I chose this paragraph because it answers some of the questions that I ask myself on a regular basis: what is the key to happiness. In today’s society, many of us, including myself, find happiness in objects- watches, shoes, clothes, bags, etc. However, this happiness is only acute happiness; it only provides us a feeling of ‘happy’ for a short while, whether it be 5 minutes, an actual short while, or 5 months- which in relation to a life long time period, is in fact a short while. What makes us happy when we look back on our lives? I wont be happy in 2020 because I bought myself a nice watch that I’ve been thinking about for months- I probably wont even remember the watch that I’m actually waiting to come in the mail any day now. But for right now, it seems to be all I can think about. It seems ridiculous that I base my happiness on something material when some individuals don’t even have the necessary material objects in life- food, clothes, etc. and still find a way to be happy. What makes my happiness different from anyone elses? Perhaps, what I base it on. I find myself dissecting my thoughts like this often.
And so, I chose this post because it made me realize that we are not content with ourselves as human beings, we are not ‘good’ people, doing ‘good’ things or deeds as often as we should, and so we try to find a short period of happiness in material objects to satisfy our need to feel pleasure and happy, and content with ourselves, really -because we have not yet reached the point of ‘goodness’ to give us everlasting happiness. While I recognize the fact that material object do in fact make me happy, simplicity and goodness make me happy too.
My questions: I find myself to be a generally nice person, with good intentions, and yet I find happiness in material objects as well as helping people and doing good deeds. Is that wrong? Is it wrong to treat myself once in a while, if at the end of the day I am a ‘good’ person?

I agree with Aristotle that the ultimate goal in life is to strive for happiness, whatever makes us happy- its what drives us. If providing for our family makes us happy, we work; if helping people makes us happy, we help. Happiness is interpreted differently for everyone and so that is why everyone finds themselves at a different point in life and in the world. But at the end of the day and at the end of our lives- happiness is the goal and what has driven us to this point.

Notions of happiness may be different based on your foundation, or the type of family you come from, your religion and belief system, etc. For example, if your family values close ties with one another, spending quality time with your family and helping your family members out may bring you great joy. In terms of class- if you’re part of the lower class, if may bring you great joy to go to college or be able to provide for someone to get an education because it is so far fetched from what you thought possible- as opposed to an individual from a wealthier family may not find great joy from going to college because they may take it for granted.

I find myself questioning the meaning of life often. Maybe the meaning and purpose of life is happiness. My concept of happiness is being content with yourself as a human being. My idea of happiness is spending time with my family and enjoying life as a gift from a higher power.
Based on my previous comment and question in relation to the fact that I find happiness in both being a good person and material things, I am going to mention the concept of virtue. Virtue is regarded as a mean, not an excessive amount, and not a deficient amount. Virtue is the balance. So then, if I balance the things that bring me pleasure, material goods and helping people, well then I have virtue, and in that happiness.

I think Aristotle’s definition and concept of happiness is useful in trying to understand true happiness and trying to attain it eventually. However, I do not feel that most people are on the right path, and have virtue in their lives, or balance. I think we, as a society, have very addictive personalities and try to mask the fact that were not happy with ourselves as moral human beings.
When looking at good people and people that help others on a regular basis, I do believe that Aristotle’s concept on happiness is very legitimate and useful in understanding the moral motivations of people. Doing good and being moral brings some people extreme happiness, and that is a beautiful thing.

Simplicity. Innocence. Happiness.

happiness