Involuntary And Voluntary Essay

1377 words - 6 pages

"Aristotle's notion of voluntary and involuntary. If we excepted this in today's society, how will this change the way we look at morals." Aristotle notion and discussion of voluntary and involuntary is at its simplest form, the recognition of man's ability to make choice. Whether it is by force or by ignorance men are able to choose and must be held accountable for the decisions made.When Aristotle first speaks of involuntary and voluntary he says that if a man is forced to do something morally wrong then it is an involuntary action. He also says that if man is ignorant to the situation then that too is involuntary. But as he describes, there are varying degrees of force and ignorance.If we examine the nature of force to try to come to absolute about voluntary or involuntary action we see that there are many variables. Aristotle says that without qualification actions are called forced upon when the cause is in the external circumstance and the agent contributes nothing. However, Aristotle also says that each situation has particular circumstances that should taken into account. For example, if someone was on the border of financial ruin and was about to lose all his possessions, creditors could request that he sale his home to pay down debt. If the same man chooses not to sale his home but to rob a bank and in the process kills a clerk, we can not say that he was forced to do so and should not be punished. Furthermore, it is absurd to say that this force made him involuntarily kill. We as humans are able to reason and have the capacity to set moral limits.If we then look at Aristotle's notion of voluntary and involuntary in regards to ignorance we must again look at particular instances when seeking judgement. Aristotle says, "acting by reason of ignorance seems to be different from acting in ignorance; for the man who is drunk or in a rage is thought to act as a result not of ignorance but of one of the causes mentioned, yet not knowingly in ignorance". In this case a man may be said to be acting involuntarily because the cause was being drunk. The ignorance is focused on the cause and is said that people can not act irrational and may act involuntary when placed in the state of intoxication. However the state of intoxication should not be held accountable for the ignorance that occurred as a result. It should be recognized that before the man took his first drink, he had a choice and should be held accountable for the choice that was made.In today's society the legal system has been manipulated and legal tests have replaced and have hindered societies ability to make good moral choices. If Aristotle's notion of voluntary and involuntary was excepted in today's society and was unable to be twisted by the courts, it would definitely change the way courts and society looks at morals. In our judicial system there seems to be no room for morality. Everything is based on legal tests. With these tests lies opportunity for corruption and...

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