Virtue ethics discussions

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Discussion 1

Someone who is greedy, deceitful or self-indulgent may be seen as enjoying great pleasure, but that does not mean that they are enjoying true happiness. Some of these people even do not know the meaning of true happiness because they put value in materialistic things instead of their character (Taylor, 2002). For example, some people focus more on their salary or remuneration rather that offering good products or services to the people. Such people think that by making more money, they become happy, which is not always the case. Aristotle states very well that flourishing people have an admirable character (Smith, 2015). These people also display this admirable character in a way that is balanced in the community.

Smith (2015) argues that being self-oriented can make other people have a bad perception of you and this can result in negative criticism. This can negatively impact on your happiness. For example, selfish politicians in the society end up losing the public confidence in matters related to governance. Even if they are successful in acquiring wealth, they have a bad reputation in the community. Their failure to consider the citizen’s value means that they are not flourishing. Aristotle states that to flourish and be happy you have to display moral wisdom in your dealings (Taylor, 2002).

In the modern world, many people are focused on acquiring objects and other material possessions to be happy. Happiness, according to Aristotle, should be for others and yourself alone (Smith, 2015). A person should focus to make others happy and this way they can be happy as well (Taylor, 2002). For example, if a person genuinely donates funds or food stuff to the poor, they are spreading happiness. These people are considered to be of good character, and they can be identified as flourishing (Smith, 2015).

Discussion 2

I require certain virtues to be able to improve on my hobby in community work. The community work that I mainly undertake involves donating certain items and mobilizing for finances for assisting the poor and the less fortunate in the society. Seeing other people satisfied and happy in their lives gives me happiness and satisfaction (Smith, 2015). This area in my life is essential because it helps me to contribute positively to the society. It also enables me to assist towards the growth and development of my community. This hobby also allows me to participate in environmental conservation, and this significantly allows me to remain confident and happy in my life.

Aristotle states that having admirable character and displaying it in a balanced manner is the best way of staying happy and flourishing (Smith, 2015). Based on the virtue ethics model, which focuses on doing well for others, I count myself as flourishing (Taylor, 2002). In community service, I interact with people who also share the same hobby. Some people mobilize for funds, but later misuse the funds instead of giving to the poor. They use the money for their reasons to be happy. I cannot categorize as being flourishing because it does not add value or happiness to the other people.

To flourish in this area of my life, one has to be responsible, accountable and honest (Smith, 2015). This way, one can maintain their admirable character in the society (Taylor, 2002). One has also to be good in making effective decisions using moral wisdom. Some of the vices that may get in the way include greediness and boastful over the activities that you have been doing for others in the society (Smith, 2015).

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  1. Smith, C. (2015). To flourish or destruct: A personalist theory of human goods, motivations, failure, and evil. Chicago; London: University of Chicago Press.
  2. Taylor, R. (2002). Virtue ethics: An introduction. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.
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