Aristotle claims about the pursuit of virtue/happiness


According to Aristotle, the essence of being alive and working hard on every occasion is primarily to attain happiness in any dimension. At the same time, he outlined that the need to achieve this should not conflict individual virtues to opt for unwarranted acts that while they might guarantee benefits to the individual, they might deny the society its happiness for breaking a few codes of societal ethics. In this manner, it becomes quite conflicting on the right actions to take in an endeavor to achieve satisfaction. In this paper, I differ with Aristotle that what is beneficial to the individual is always beneficial to the society and vice versa as many deeds that might benefits an individual might not necessarily profit the society.

Aristotle argues that human’s existence is primarily determined by the level of success attained by an individual. He explains that every other effort and achievement in an individual’s life is geared towards achieving some success. Each achievement both economic, academic, social, health and other forms lead to feelings of satisfaction (Aristotle.). Aristotle argues that in all ways, humans should observe channels of attaining this success that remains in line with the social ethics whereby failing to observe such codes renders any form of success insignificant and inconsequential as it hurts the community more than its benefits (Veenhoven, Ruut, 1045).  In this context, Aristotle is morally correct for his consideration of the entire society. Nonetheless, he remains wrong, and out of context as not every deal that an individual does to achieve their success and happiness does not necessarily benefit the society instead, it harms the community a lot more.

In many life cases, individuals have sought for success and ultimate happiness in very difficult ways. Nonetheless, these people have gone and achieved the success and happiness they needed. Notably though, during the pursuit, the people did not consider the society needed as such and ended up doing deeds that harmed the community a lot more. For instance, the famous Mexican drug cartel, Pablo Escobar was known worldwide for his desire and money and fame. He eventually got all the money he could have wished for in the world. In this manner, it is very apparent that Pablo attained individual success and happiness alike. At the same time, it becomes critical to consider his ways of getting to this position. From a small drug dealer, he quickly climbed the gang ranks for his exceptional dedication to his job. With more status came the challenge of sustaining this and resulted in some destructive acts killing and leaving a trail of dead bodies to his name. Additionally, he worked on selling and trafficking of illegal drugs to the US and other nations in the world (Haybron, Daniel M., 403). The violent activities are against the law whereby by indulging in these acts was firstly breaking the rules of the land. At the same time, he used brute force to manage his evil acts killing so many people leaving behind orphans and other disadvantaged children around. While some goods like giving other members of the community a lot of free items and supporting the community, Pablo harmed the community more than the benefits. He killed a lot of families and separated children from their parents; he created economic turmoil for the affected everyone. At the same time, those close to him lived a very satisfying lifestyle since they got the protection and other benefits. To them, Pablo was a perfect individual who cared for the needs of his community. The lack of peace made people a lot more uncomfortable. In this way, therefore, it becomes clear that while Pablo attained happiness according to Aristotle, Pablo caused more damage to the community (Aristotle.).

I vehemently object the notion that while success translates to happiness, doing well should prevent the people from committing acts to society. His argument that doing good should not conflict individual or society virtues for any reasons remains incorrect. While at the same time, it is clear that while Pablo was quite ruthless to the society, he remained a calm individual in front of his family and close friends. He afforded those close to him limited favors more than any other person. Being left alive alongside other jobs created, Pablo did take care of the community. Nonetheless, this was an expense of other community as they pay for this with their lives among other inhumane ways.

Concluding, the essence of life remains working and amassing a lot of wealth with time. As such, getting to see individual achievements comes with a feeling of gratitude. At the same time, evil practices such a nepotism among many others have corrupted the image as per the understanding of Aristotle. Evidently, while an individual could struggle to make ends meet, it is clear that nepotism, corruption, and other means might benefit an individual it is apparent that the society is hugely robbed. All deeds should please the community, and any other remains unwelcome.

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  1. Aristotle. The Nicomachean Ethics. 3rd ed., Lanham, Start Publishing LLC, 2013,.
  2. Haybron, Daniel M. “The Proper Pursuit Of Happiness.” Res Philosophica, vol 90, no. 3, 2013, pp. 387-411. Res Philosophica, doi:10.11612/resphil.2013.90.3.5.
  3. Veenhoven, Ruut. “Informed Pursuit Of Happiness: What We Should Know, Do Know And Can Get To Know.” Journal Of Happiness Studies, vol 16, no. 4, 2014, pp. 1035-1071. Springer Nature, doi:10.1007/s10902-014-9560-1.
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