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Episode #005 ... Aristotle Pt. 1

2013-07-14 | 🔗

This week we talk about various different applications of Aristotle's ethics in modern life. We discuss making a "plan" for your life, the underlying similarities between all human desires and the best way to live life. 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
For more information about this or any episode of the podcast check out the website that philosophy, five, the start to work? We have additional content. Further reading transfer so every show all pre, of course, But if you value the shows an educational resource and you want to help keep it going, you can find that more about how to do that at patriarch, dot com, slash philosophize this or alter notably for you're, buying something from Amazon this week anyway, concern clicking through our banner it's at the bottom centre of the landing page of philosophize, this dot org small percentage goes back to the show. It may just be a click for you, but every little bit adds up there. he for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday, and I hope you have a show, but before we begin a quick note on how to approach listening to this episode tried to treat it like a self help Look if you can share, you can listen to it and just try to memorize facts, or you can have some fun with it. How about? As we talk about what Aristotle had to say about
What the best way to go about living life is trying to think of how each thing he's talking about applies to you. It certainly all stands the test of time. Surprisingly. Well I mean all the general concepts he touches on. You have a direct equivalent to it in your post, modern lifestyle. So, let's both try to get inside of Aristotle's head have some fun for once geese plus. I think I read somewhere that by having fun with something you're stunning up retaining a lot more of it too, like I'm pretty sure, that's why they take preschoolers outside to play. Hopscotch the learned count to ten as opposed to just writing it on the blackboard there's more of a context there? Not that you guys are like preschoolers. You know I mean I'm not saying that.
Yes, insulting the listeners, that's a great way to start a podcast. You know I may just be the worst podcasting hosts that as walk the planet since the days of Aristotle Haste speaking away before I forget to all the people that have taken the time to leave a positive. I tunes review, wow Thank you very much. That's all I can really say. Thank you. I mean I'm sure you guys know, aside from you, guys, tell your friends those reviews That's our only method of getting more people to listen to. This showed that so the fact that you ve taken your time at a year day to give me not one gold star, but five gold stars, I mean Jesus and I was reading some of these comments. Like I was reading. One comment- and I was like that is the nicest person I've ever met in my entire life. Gandhi himself could not have written that comment
and been nicer when doing it. I was trying to attribute each nice comment to a different saintly historic we'll figure, and I ran out of saintly historical figures. That's how amazing you guys are if this show continues to grow. As it has been, I mean it's going to be because of you guys. I can't thank you enough. The only thing I can really do is stop rambling and get under the information that you downloaded. The podcasting here. It all starts when you're, really young your teens early twenties, most people spend their days with no real direction. There's no definitive end goal in mind or if they have won it may change from day to day it's pretty uncertain. They spend most of their time doing recreational things having fun gaining experiences just being young, whatever plan that they may have doesn't usually look more than a week down the road like they might make a plan to go to the movies with there,
friends, one day or plan to go right, clods around in the sand dunes on the weekend, but nothing that as much. Do with bringing some distant master plan into fruition. But for the most part, when in some happening is the older, you get the more you begin. Considering your future, you start putting more thought into the decisions you make pick any normal everyday action you perform at whatever place life you are currently and think of how your met of doing it has evolved over time. For example, younger people might decide down in a chair children. You know over there sitting around places, while older people might pay attention to their posture trying to take preventative measures because lasting they want to do his walk around in pain and their sunset years. What I'm saying is you start to do things for a specific purpose, and although you may still slate aside a couple weeks for a vacation once a year, it's a far cry from your days of getting drunk, staying up all night and waken up in your friends, Bathtub Aristotle thought if we want to do it
achieve a certain level of mastery for living life. We needed a plan for our life for all of us can understand what it's like to try to get really good at something, and when starting out making a plan for how you're gonna improve. Plus, I think, whenever you're, achieving master at anything, the the more proficient you get it something the more purpose have behind every individual action you take. Do you know what's a great example of this distinction that we're making between an amateur doing something and a true consummate professional, doing something it happened to me a couple days ago I was sitting on my computer watching cat videos on Youtube and I look up at the top right hand, corner of the screen and Youtube's tell me, this video is recommended for me by them. You don't know me you to what is. Was Gordon Ramsay teaches us how to cook scrambled eggs Obviously you don't know me very well you too, because for the last year and a half I've cooked scrapped,
legs every single morning of my life and if there's one food that I'm not gonna, learn anything from Gordon Ramsay about cooking it scrambled eggs. I completely concede to the fact that he is a far superior chef to me I mean this guy's been cooking for years. He could cook anything. He could make a crunch bury souffle with the best of them, but I know how to cook scrambled eggs. My gonna learn from Gordon Ramsay. I got a whole system going, I mean I got. I cracked the eggs into the boy Oh I've, whisk em around. I add the salt and pepper and get the grass FED butter down at the bottom of the pan, pour the eggs and come back fifteen minutes later with a fire extinguisher and a shovel. I watched Gordon Ramsay make these scrambled eggs and I felt like a complete more on this guy. I mean, firstly, he doesn't even put butter at the bottom of the pan. He just cracks the eggs into the pan and puts the butter on top of it, because it gives it a lovely, Vela
but he finished or something plus he doesn't add- salt and pepper to the Ex beforehand, because the seasoning starts to break down the eggs, as he said, and I mean he was like it starts to turn it into something quite watery and dreadful, look or Ramsay, my eggs may not have a velvet he finished to them. Here's, but they certainly want watery and dreadful. At this point of the video, I'm completely offended her, attacking my scrambled eggs decorum. Then he says you should never whisk the egg beforehand. Like idea should whisk it in the pan, The last thing I want to do is break it down beforehand. Apparently, that's bad and then the top it off he's got some super advanced method of cooking re just keeps putting the pan on the stove and then taking it off, putting it on the stove, taking it off constantly stirring, like a fine risotto on the heat of the heat, only heat off the heat, it was insane. My point is, as all these things that I take for granted, all
things. I do completely mindlessly, while cooking scrambled eggs for no real purpose, Gordon Ramsay through years of sperience and wisdom has achieved a much higher level of mastery cooking, scrambled eggs, and I have and therefore much better than I am at it. The same rules apply to becoming better at life or better at living life. You start to develop priorities. You start to find out what's important to you and eventually do almost every thing for a purpose and usually the purpose. You do any one random thing forest and nurture the positive growth of your goals, like whatever your goals are like being healthy, living, a long life, making a lot of money, etc. Eventually, we fine all these various things we prioritizes sort of a rule book for living, a set of values that we live by Aristotle calls us a plan. I know it's advanced lingo, but that's not all. He also encourages everyone to make one of these
plans you need. One of these Aristotle was born in three hundred and eighty four BC. Fifteen years after Socrates had, then put on trial and put to death in Athens, but when Aristotle arrived in Athens and a role to play academy and became a student Plato, he no doubt all about Plato's, idle and mentor Socrates in its final days, as well as his famous saying that unexamined life is not worth living so in response to this startled at Socrates, one better. He said that an unplanned life is not worth examining. I mean what When does living a life, if we don't know what we're trying to do or why or we're gonna get there. We need a plan, but not just a set of priorities. That's not a plan. We need to find out how to use these priority. To distinguish certain goals that we want to achieve and figure out how we're going to achieve them. But even that's not good enough for Aristotle. Not only should you have a plan, but you should have his plan
the plan to Aristotle? There's only one fully correct plan for life. So if you don't follow it, then you may be happy, but not as happy as it could be. Now the idea of there being one single the plan that every human ass to follow is a relatively foreign. Idea for modern times and for good reason like to us. It seems like a way. The time to agonize over what the ultimate goal of life is, because it's obviously a glaring, an important question. That all of us ask at some point right and if there is a definite right, answer we probably would have figured it out along time, probably thousands of years ago. So we end up applying our own meaning to our life and deeming it to be the best for us, but when we use terms like what is the best in gold to life we're implying that there are better and worse in goals, but what makes them better or worse what metric are we use to determine what is better Aristotle
clearly thought a lot about this concept. Here's a quote from one of his dialogues. When he's talking about this complete inevitability of different humans wanting different things, sort of setting the stage for his ideas that were to come later, quote that Wishes for, for the end, has already been stated something it is for the good others for the apparent good now. Those who say that the good is the object of wish must admit in consequence that that which man who does not choose a right wishes for is not an object of wish for if it is to be so, it must also be good, but it was bad. While those who say the apparent good is the object of wish must admit that there is no natural, object of wish, but only what seems good to each man now different things appear good to different people and, if it so happens, even contrary things end quote: if one person deems the purpose of life to be the pursuit of knowledge.
And a completely different person thinks the purpose of life is finding a way to use your brain as little as possible. How can these two completely opposite? World views have the same end goal well, Aristotle. Thought they did, if only you analyze them a little deeper Aristotle thought the ultimate NGO of life, but we should all shoot for is living well now, real quickly. Let's establish a few things about living life right. There are few things we do solely for the sake of staying alive like eating drinking exercising things like that things that keep us alive. There are a whole set of other things. We do because we think that if we do them will be able to make living life easier or better in some way. For example, You can choose to educate yourself now it's not necessary to stay alive, but we think that by
Expanding our mind, annoying variety about a bunch of different subjects. We can use that knowledge to live a better life, not to mention the satisfaction we get from constantly growing as people. We can think of these two different types of things as things that we do just to live and things that we do to live well and we could think of both of them as end goals that we hope to achieve that are in line with the priorities we developed earlier. In fact, we could even break it down either. You only really need one of these things right living well, because you can't live Well, if you aren't alive so things, we do to stay alive, really are all requisites on our path to achieving. The goal of living. Well, Aristotle talks about how everything we do is either an end or a means to an end. We either do something for the sake of getting something else or we do something solely for its own sake. Now, if living well as one of our goals in life, is there anything we want after that, like are,
living well for the sake of achieving some further goal, Aristotle didn't think so he thinks we live well just for the sake of living. Well, therefore, living well to Aristotle is the ultimate in goal of life. Here's Aristotle talking about the idea of navigating these means that will ultimately get us to the end full of life. This is from the Nick Makin ethics book. Three part: three quote: we deliberate, not about ends, but about means for a doctor does not deliberate whether he shall heal nor an orator whether he shall persuade nor statesmen weather shall produce law and order nor anyone else deliberate about his end. They assume the end. Consider how and by what means it is to be attained and if it seems to be produced by several means they consider. By
which it is most easily and best produced, while if it is achieved by only one, they consider how it will be achieved by this and by what means this will be achieved till they come to the first cause which, in the order of discovery, is last End quote: Aristotle thinks there are a lot of things as humans that we desire in this world or things that we think are good like we send earlier example, one person may save the pursuit, of knowledge is the best thing one person may say the pursuit of using your brain as little as possible is the best thing and all these things that we think are good. Are really just our own little personalized path. We forge that we're taking with all the past events arriving at a single final destination, which is what you actually want living well modern translations of Aristotle's term for living well, say the best
it's late and for what he's talking about is our modern day concept of happiness, but just to be clear, I seen it translated in a few sources as success and a few sources as flourishing as well, but for our purposes here today, living well is happiness now happy, This is what we all seek, whether its through pursuing knowledge or not pursuing knowledge. Both of these people still want happiness, the differences, what brings them happiness? Aristotle, then just think this was the case. He thought that it was self evident that this was the ultimate income Of life, because when you asked someone why they want happiness, they can ever really give you an answer, so there obviously not doing it for the sake of giving something else, I mean
The only way you could really say that you wanted happiness, for a reason is if happiness was a requisite for achieving some other ultimate goal, but the way Aristotle saw it there was no such thing happiness or living. Well was the ultimate goal. Now, as I was saying before, what brings us happiness varies from person to person that shouldn't come as a surprise. I mean for the most part we experience happiness when we get what we want so because one person might be made happy by pursuing knowledge and someone else might be made miserable by pursuing knowledge, does not cookie cut a recipe for happiness right, so Aristotle thought that, even though our past to happiness were so astronomically different, if he'd still it down enough. We really all want the same things to and before we continue real quick. It's important to note that Aristotle thought that the things we think of as good are the same as the things we think of as
desirable, the two terms were completely synonymous to Aristotle, thought that is humans, we're all individuals. We all have individual dual up brings individual experiences in individual perspectives and its based on these experiences that we determine what is desirable to us. This is how you can explain the difference between someone who thinks it desirable to pursue knowledge or not to pursue knowledge are to be the greatest tennis player in the world or to strap dynamite yourself in glorify God. All of these things are based on things we deem to be desirable because of our individual backgrounds, but even if most of these desires differ from person to person as human beings, we all have similar desires to like being able to eat or drink or sleep, etc.
Same note, we all desire things that we don't actually need to stay alive. To I mean we desire to have the double bacon cheeseburger, but we don't need it. We desire to get that big promotion or to data supermodel, but we don't need it. We think that We had these things. They would be good for us and enrich our lives, so we desire them. Hence Aristotle's idea that if we see something as desirable, we see it as good, but just like in the case of the dumb, bacon cheeseburger, which, by the way is also my favorite Nancy, drew back the case of the double bacon, cheeseburger we desire and what we see is good is not actually good for us. The double bacon cheeseburgers a good example of how easily something can seem like it's a good idea for us at a particular time or place. But at a later time and place it may seem completely parable for us, and this dynamic applies to most things, even your worldview, like the guy that relentless pursues never using his brain or learning. Anything is the most desirable thing one day
to say some other day he's trying to memorize the ingredients of different alcoholic drinks for is bartenders exam. In that case, pursuing knowledge ends up being really good. Damn Aristotle uses this fact to mark a distinction between things that we think are desirable. That may vary from time to time and things that we think Desirable that never very like things we need to survive. This is another way of marking the contrast between two different types, the desires that I'm sure were more familiar with, wants and needs. Both are things that we desire, but they're not the same thing. So Aristotle referred to these things as either acquired desires or wants for us desires. We ve acquired based on our experiences during our lives and natural desires or needs for us which our desires we were born with, because, where human and all humans have them regardless of background, he says it. The only things that are really good, for you are the things that fulfil your natural desires.
Because these things we need whether were conscious of the need or not, whereas everything else you desire falls into deep acquired desires category and it only appears to be good at the time. Aristotle applies this idea across several areas of his possibly and he's actually addressing issues of metaphysics when he says the content of this next quote, but out of all of his work, I think This is the most distinct encapsulation of his thoughts on real verses, apparent goods, and I think he just as it best here quote. The primary objects of desire and of thought are the same for the apparent good is the object of appetite in the feel good is the primary object of rational wish, but desirous consequent on opinion, rather than opinion on desire for the thinking is the starting point. End quote the one correct
ultimate end goal or plan for living well, the plan that brings us happiness is a plan that includes us attaining all the things that are actually good for us to have those natural desires. So because all of these natural desires, we have the same for everyone, because we're all human and shared the same natural desires of things like food or shelter, water. What is truly good for one person is actually truly good for everyone. That's why Aristotle says happiness is the same in the case,
All human beings and that's why he refers to all these things that fulfill our natural desires as real goods now remember that term real goods. It's really important for what's coming up, we all have our own unique individual paths that we take to try to acquire all these real goods. Donald Trump's plan to secure things like food, clothing and shelter is obviously much different than a panhandling homeless, guys plan to acquire these things, and what Aristotle would say is that these differences definitely make some plans better than others. But remember Aristotle thought there was one ultimate plan that was the best you could do it's one that involves getting every real good in the right order and quantity, while simultaneously making it possible for us to seek the things we want, but don't necessarily need that will enrich our lives. So if we want to achieve true happiness by using Aristotle's plan, it seems the important to figure out what all these real goods are right I mean it.
Main thing. We need to be happy and Aristotle's eyes are all these real goods it is talking about, seems like we should least have a list of seems like we should have like laminated on our waller, something Aristotle separate, sees real goods down into a few different parts. He said human beings are animals with the unique ability to think and reason, because we're Anna ghost, with a machine like body that needs maintenance all the time. Some of these real good to help us with our bodily needs. These bodily goods, as they're called, are made up of vigor, vitality, health and sensual. Pleasures to Aristotle, says that, even though we go about getting these things, a variety of different ways. We not only share all these desires with every other human. We,
We share all these desires with every other animal in the animal kingdom, cause all animals avoid pain and seek pleasure as well as vigour, vitality and health. Now, if living well is the ultimate in gaol than vigour, vitality and health are three requisites on that road to living well their means to an end right, but to achieve even one of those three as a goal in itself, so there were requisites for achieving any one of them too, to have vigour, vitality and health. You need five things as Aristotle sought, food, drink, clothing, sleep and shelter. Now, when you break vigour, vitality and health down into these by tangible, or easily identifiable things. It's easy to see how they're extremely interrelated, like it doesn't matter how much food or drink you have. You can't be healthy. If you don't sleep and it really doesn't matter how much sleep you have are going to
much vigour at the end of the day of your walkin around naked, with no home to go to so because it makes sense and seemingly to make it easier for people like us, studying him twenty five hundred years later, when Aristotle does, as group all of these external things that we need to achieve bodily goods, he groups all altogether and calls them external goods or wealth. Now I realize I could have just said. Wealth was a requisite for living well, but that definitely would have been misleading. Our definition of wealth is not the same as Aristotle's. I wasn't trying to waste your time. If I mean you said well, if you guys would be thinking of that generic burlap sack with a dollar sign on it. The bank robbers have in the cartoons moving on when I think about Aristotle and these needs that correspond with goals that we need to achieve on our path to happiness, it may be kind of dumb, but I honestly remember it by thinking of the quote early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. Shall we
I heard our grandma tell us that fifteen hundred times, but just in case it helps you remember like it helps me. Remember I just like to explain it real, quick, Early to bed and early to rise. Part reminds me of the five external goods, because I think asleep and living in the time that I do when I think asleep, I think of being in my house, with my my sleeping attire on my cat sleeping cap. I think about my warm glass of milk, which symbolizes food. It reminds me of the other four x colonel goods as well as sleep, and then the makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise part reminds me of the different goals that harnessing those external goods is gonna. Give me healthy reminds me of the vigour, vitality and health. Wealthy reminds me of the five external goods that are also known as wealth, and the wise part represents the next part Workin
talk about, because what we talked about so far, isn't all you need just to be happy remember. He says human beings are animals with the unique ability to think and reason so because we have this unique ability to think and reason there are. Some real goods that we need to supplement and nurture our ability to think and reason instead of bodily goods or external goods. He group these into the goods of the soul. Now, at the time of Aristotle. This phenomenon, known as conscious, thought, wasn't connected to the brain, yet they thought that humans have a soul. That controls are ability to think and reason. I mean among doing a bunch of other things that are pretty funny, but when it comes to the goods of the soul, Aristotle thought to be truly happy. We need to pursue a certain amount of knowledge. I mean the way he sought were thinking curious learning creatures by nature and it seems like, without acquiring knowledge of some kind, something would be lacking.
So another one of these goods of the soul is the desire to be loved or the desire for friendship. We are social creatures, just like we talked about in the first episode of philosophize this you like a guy in solitary confinement for six months. He goes absolutely insane. We need interaction with other humans and even Aristotle realize this. He thought that our desire to be respected for our favorable characteristics like her skill at one particular thing or refined, six pack, abs. Whatever we have the desire, we have to be respected, for those things is actually really closely related to being loved because of this. He includes the real goods of self esteem and honour as part of the goods of the soul, but he make sure to note that all forms of honor are not created equal. It needs to be honor, that's gain for a legitimate reason. Like you can't just pretend be a smart guy hanging around a bunch of dumb people and be honoured as though you were great thinker of your time,
One exclusively modern example of what Aristotle's talking about would be the type of person that exists in today's world. That sits around constantly point with their Iphone and a leather holster, just waiting to pull it out and record anything out of the ordinary that happens to them in their daily travels. You know just praying that the video will somehow make them internet famous for doing absolutely nothing. It seems that for a contingent of people in today's world, fame is the most desirable in gaol, regardless of how they achieve at or whether its based on anything of substance, this type of person and Aristotle's eyes should consider the honor they seek as a vice, not as a real good Aristotle realise that all these real goods are end goals
themselves and when you're, creating a roadmap for for eventually arriving at living well and achieving happiness can can be unclear as to how you even get to these end, so so that you can then start your path to the ultimate goal goal of living. Well, so Aristotle developed a way for us to consistently make correct decisions to have have you ever had a bad habit before eat, something while driving her car round and then, when you get to where you're going, you just leave the trash sitting in your car. It s like that. You're up I'll get it next time, but then you don't and then the next time you leave Ask your car just piles up over and over again until your passenger seat looks like a yard sale. If you had a time lapse, camera videotaping your passenger seat. It would be really obvious to you that it was just one ban, habitual decision being made over and over. It takes conscious effort,
stop a bad habit, no matter what it is, Aristotle knew we were habitual creatures when you have a bad habit to stop doing it, Europe I just training your mind in the direction of a more productive, behavioral habit. It helps to have your mind on autopilot sometimes, but he knew this wasn't just restricted the negative habits. Positive behaviors can be return to behaviors. I can end up making your life better and leading to the real goods that we just talked about and equity. Be something as simple as eating in your car and not leaving the trash on the passenger seat. If you see the an appeal on your seat. Just take the initiative and thrown away because each time you do it the next time you staring down the banana appeal in your car and trying to find an excuse to leave it there. If you do it, it's slightly easier to do.
Throw it away the next time and if you leave it there, your slightly weaker and it slightly more difficult to throw it away the next time. But Aristotle didn't restrict this. Just to things like banana appeals, I mean to clarify, never said anything about banana pills. That's my dumb example. He thought to live well and to be happy. We have to make habits at a virtuous behaviour so that it comes as second nature to us. Eventually. And it's not even a decision. One example of this would be like if your on a diet, you know you're not supposed to eat at Mcdonald's. Do you know you're supposed to march into the woods and get to on some tree bark right and each time you're on your lunch break and see the golden arches and the distance anything man I'm not supposed to get fast food, but I mean maybe I'll diskette like a like a strawberry milkshake mean that as fruit and right, that's healthy and you pull into the Mcdonald's drive through and concede to those impulse
The more you let that happen, the easier it is free to do it. The next day, Aristotle called these sorts of bad habits vices and thought that if you made a habit of acting virtuously eventually it would be such ingrained habit that it wouldn't take any effort at all to whack virtuously Aristotle thought this applies to all virtuous behaviour and that by making it a habit to act,
swiftly, we'll be naturally moving on the path to achieving these goals of things like honour or wealth, or any of the other real goods that are requisites to living. Well, he thought that we needed virtuous behaviour and it makes sense Mcdonald's as a food. Food is one of the five external goods, but without virtuous habits telling us what type of food to eat or how much of it to eat or what time to eat it. We could technically stuff ourselves so full that we die. So, although he didn't give them Mcdonald's example, he thought the same. Dynamic applies to most decisions in life, controlling yourself, tat. Ninety, that Mcdonald's and stick to your diet is an example of Aristotle's virtue of temperance. Now the dictionary defines temperance as moderation and it's easy to see that we run into most of our problems as humans, be it
Wise or with relationships or whatever is when we do things in excess moderation or temperance, is a virtue. Temperance was one of two primary moral virtues. Aristotle wrote about the other. One was courage. Now, if you like me, you hear the word courage and you think of a soldier charging into battle right or a little kid going on a scary, roller coaster, but Aristotle thought of courage a little more broadly than that. He thought that doing things that causes temporary discomfort or pain to ultimately achieve some higher good is just another form of courage, for example, going to the gym, and pushing yourself to the next level, would be courage to Aristotle, challenging your brain or learning like him ever read a book. That's just challenging. Like your stomach
when you're reading at it so challenging, and you just want to stop and watch tv or something instead. Achieving mastery at anything is hard work and Aristotle called this courage. Both temperance and courage involve using our ability to reason to distinguish between things that just look like they're good for us and things that are actually good for us. These were the two primary virtues that Aristotle laid out in his writing, and then he laid out several other more minor ones, but qualified them all, as well as the real goods were pursuing by acting virtuously with the idea that achieving them was based, at least in some cases. Around luck. Luck plays a significant role in determining whether you ever have the chance of living. Well, you know
if there's a mass drought or a mass famine, you didn't do anything wrong to make that happen. It was just a bad role of the dice that made you unable to get the external goods of food and drink. Sometimes this applies to the goods are the sole too. I mean to acquire a certain amount or, of knowledge. It may just come down to whether you were lucky enough to have a teacher that could relay it to you effectively were lucky enough to be born into a good enough, neighborhood, not having that isn't necessarily your fault and how about diseases like cancer. I mean there are many examples of how this could be the case. So Aristotle makes a case for why acting in a virtuous way is not good enough on its own, but acting virtuously may ultimately put you in a lot more favorable circumstances that allow luck to go to Their way, but like definitely plays a role, but I want to misrepresent when Aristotle talked about his luck, I mean it's not something that
totally squanders virtuous behaviour. It's it's not just something that takes some one who lives a perfectly moral life and stars them to death. I mean it doesn't just make the outcomes of good actions worse. It can also make people who are not virtuous temporarily happier like I mean if a criminal wins the lottery or something or I mean it, could even make bad decisions worse. For example, imagine if there are two people going through that Mcdonald's drive through we were taught
earlier. Both of them decide to eat their mic. Chicken sandwich sandwiches on the way home and for the sake of this example, imagine that they're really bad at eating and driving like cartoonishly bad at eating and driving like holding the chicken sandwich in front of their face. So they can't see the road one of them, swerves off the road and crashes into a tree. Okay, the other one swerves off the road and crashes into a tree, but there happened to be a mother walking with her baby and a stroller in between them in the tree and they kill both of them. Both drivers have committed the exact same act of negligence, but because of bad luck them has a completely different life than the other moving forward. Now. This is an extreme example, but you guys can see how, on a smaller scale, the same dynamic can exist with non virtuous behaviour plus as a society. We would be justice on these two scenarios completely differently, which brings me to the last thing. Aristotle points out is things we need to make us happy justice
We cannot pursue living well alone right, we need other people and social interaction. We laid that out earlier, and justice is a virtue that requires a balancing of the scales between two parties during these social interactions, so Aristotle breakdown justice into two types, distributive justice, which simply put has to do with the elements of whatever system of government you were born into like if you're born into a life of slavery or a society with tons of unjust laws, it becomes really hard to live well. The other kind of justice is corrective justice which
gold's, correcting unfair distribution like when individuals make non virtuous decisions and don't exercise temperance right taking more than what they need at the jeopardy of others. So, as you can probably see, it starts to get difficult to know what the correct thing to do is when trying to incentivize human progress with things like capitalism, but Aristotle makes it very clear that we can't just be happy simply by being virtuous people We need to exercise these virtues. You may understand the idea of temperance and have the ability to use temperance if you were given a chance to, but if you dont actually practice it you're, never gonna be happy. Aristotle's
Is it the best athletes in the world only win at the Olympic Games? If they actually compete, he compares the athletes in his example to people that have the ability to act virtuously and want to be happy. A great quote by Aristotle that I use on a consistent basis. That really sums up a lot of his ideas for living. A good life is we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. It really is an inspirational quote, at least for me. I mean it puts our egos into context. It really doesn't matter, for what you ve done in the past like if you have a long list of accomplishments and successes, but you spend every day now doing nothing, making a bunch of bad decisions. Who are you exactly? Are you the successes that you ve had in the past? Are you a person that you are today and on that same note, on the other hand, you gotta messed up every single day before today you could have been the type of person that just leaves tracks
on the passenger seat of their car all the time. But if, for two weeks you take that trash and put in the trash can what kind of person are you now right? I mean we ve all heard the stories about the people that smoke cigarettes for thirty years and then one day decide their just. Never gonna touch him again, and I realize it doesn't usually work that way. But if you look at those people, even one minute after they had made that decision to never smoke again, do we consider them a smoker? Do we consider them? Sixty seconds sober some like that.
Regardless Aristotle's quotas, empowering it really makes you think about who you are not from the standpoint of what you say, your values are, but what you actually do consistently. Every day. A long time ago, I read a book on the power of self confidence as a great great time in my life and in the book, they ask you to do an exercise. That's really I opening when it comes to determining what kind of person you actually are- and I still try to do this exercise at least once a month. Philosophize this. If you knew you were gonna die tonight, you had to write your own obituary. That would appear in the newspaper the next day. What would you write? What would your actions portray as your true values, and how did you make the people around?
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Transcript generated on 2020-10-01.