What is the Best Way To Live Your Life? Essay

What is the Best Way To Live Your Life? Essay

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In Nichomachean Ethics Aristotle explores the most important question that we humans can ask; what is the best way of living our lives? Throughout this book he establishes logical arguments and supports them to attempt to prove that happiness is the ultimate goal in life and that everything we do pursues it. He begins his argument by stating that everything that we do in everyday life we do because we believe that it is fundamentally good. Aristotle makes the observation that while we pursue that which is good, the way that we pursue it differs greatly. There are so many actions and things which we can do while pursuing what we believe is good that it is illogical to believe that one of these actions is the ultimate end. Aristotle states "An end pursued in its own right is more complete than an end pursued because of something else, and that an end that is never choiceworthy because of something else is more complete than the ends that are both in their own right and because of this end" (Nichomachean Ethics, 134). What exactly does this statement mean and how does it tie into Aristotle's grand scheme of leading the best lifestyle of happiness?
The first part of the statement simply says that an end that requires nothing else but itself is closer to the ultimate end then an end that is a subordinate to other ends. For instance, if I go to school simply to get a better job once I graduate and make more money than I am pursuing an end that is less complete. On the other hand if I go to school simply to educate myself because I love knowledge and wish to improve myself then that end is superior to going to school for money. Since knowledge is not a subordinate end to other ends then it is more complete. The goal is also always mor...


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...tional side of our soul must be able to control our irrational in order to achieve virtue is reason enough to discredit his theory. I believe that in order to be happy we must satisfy our desires as much as possible. If our desires are irrational then why do we have them? He says that since god gave us reason we must use it, but we desires too! Why shouldn't we use our desires to overpower our reason? I just don't see why we shouldn't do what makes us immediately satisfied in life because it is too short. I also believe that imposing all these perfect virtues of characters upon people is absurd. Why does being courageous make someone any less happy then someone that is a coward? I believe that being yourself is key to happiness and constantly shaping your personality and traits in order to mold into a perfect human being is wrong.


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Nichomachean Ethics

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