Aristotle says that the virtues are necessary for humans to attain happiness, but he means this in terms of something we might call “flourishing” or “living well”, which he considers quite different than simply feeling good. Thus, according to Aristotle some people might feel that they are happy, but because they lack the virtues they are not truly flourishing. However, imagine someone that is deceitful, selfish, greedy, self-indulgent, and yet enjoys great pleasure and appears to be quite happy. Is someone like this “flourishing” or not?
Explain your answer this by referring to this week’s readings and media, and if possible provide examples from real life and/or from literature, film, television, etc.
An important aspect of Aristotle’s virtue ethics is the idea that virtues are “habits” that we acquire over time, and like any habit, virtues affect not just what we do, but our desires and emotions as well. Focusing on either Hill’s article or Robinson’s article, how might this be important when discussing environmental ethics or military ethics (focus your discussion on just one of those?
Taking on the position of a virtue ethics for yourself, how might you reply to someone who says that they wish they could do more to express concern for the environment or be more courageous, but are too “weak willed” to do that, or not “that kind of person”?