Virtue Ethics: Aristotle Vs. Al’ Ghazili

1341 words - 6 pages

Matthew Camden Zollinger
Ethics and Values
Final Paper
Professor Hurtado
Virtue Ethics: Aristotle Vs. Al’ Ghazili
What is the purpose of life? This is a question that has been argued since the beginning of time. Countless honorable and wise men have pondered and made conclusions about what our true purpose is in life. Aristotle and al’Ghazili are two philosophers that studied this purpose of life for almost all of their human existence. Their two proposals about the purpose of life and the ethics that are required to accomplish this purpose share some common ideas, while also having serious contrasts.
According to Aristotle the ultimate goal to reach is happiness (Fitterer). All of our ...view middle of the document...

Temperance is the second virtue. Abstaining from things in life that will lead us off the path to our ultimate goal is key. Practicing this virtue will keep our moral in check and keep our acts aiming towards happiness (Aristotle).
Another virtue ethic that Aristotle discusses is the virtue of generosity. According to Aristotle this generosity is not a measure of how much we give but by giving to the right person and in the right quantity (Aristotle).
There are many more ethic virtues that Aristotle describes but the purpose of these ethics is to set our aim on the end goal, happiness. This proposal to the purpose of life seems very valid but there are other proposals that rival Aristotle. One of these rival proposals comes from al’Ghazili, a Muslim philosopher, who seems to focus more on an understanding and relationship with God as our source for happiness.
Al’Ghazili believed that the purpose of life is to transform into our more pure angelic form by searching and figuring out spiritual meanings through revelation while deepening our relationship with God (Ghazili). Through his writings in the Alchemy of Happiness, al’Ghazili explains that to accomplish our purpose in life we must become a more pure being (Ghazili). To become more pure humans must transform our animal form into an angel form. This transformation is accomplished through four stages: “the knowledge of self”, “the knowledge of Allah”, “the knowledge of this world as it really is”, and “the knowledge of the next world as it really is” (Hurtado).
The first stage known as “the knowledge of self” is the first stage for a reason. If we have any hopes and desires of gaining more knowledge about the other four stages then we must first search, learn, and understand more about ourselves. Al’Ghazili places emphasis on the heart in self-knowledge. The heart is merely a “traveler” in this world (Ghazili). One day the heart will return to its original home in the spiritual world with God. We as humans cannot let our hearts become occupied and caught up in worldly things if we wish to accomplish the four stages (Ghazili).
Gaining the knowledge of Allah after first gaining self-knowledge is essential. Al’Ghazili explains that God can control all things in this world and those events that may seem like a punishment may in fact just be Gods way of reaching out to us (Ghazili). Al’Ghazili talks more about the importance of the heart in this stage. God sent our hearts here to take on human form to worship Him; failure to do so will only lead to a painful meeting with God when our hearts return to the spiritual world (Ghazili).
The third stage, “the knowledge of this world as it really is”, is key to reaching the next world. It is our job in this world to learn as much about ourselves and God before we...

Find Another Essay On Virtue Ethics: Aristotle Vs. Al’ Ghazili

Critically Discuss Aristotle’s Conception of Virtue - MAYNOOTH UNIVERSITY PH102 - Essay assignment

1244 words - 5 pages Virtue ethics is a concept that is used in the process of moral decision making.[footnoteRef:1] It is dependent on the individuals themselves rather than on society, culture and religion. Aristotle was one of the main philosophers involved in virtue ethics. He was an advocate for virtue. Virtue ethics are associated with the type of person that one should become. It is solely concerned with human nature and morals. This essay will explore

Aristotle and the Book of Nicomanchean Ethics

950 words - 4 pages information about Aristotle and his beliefs in virtue and obtaining happiness. Using information from his book of ethics I will provide examples and quote on quote statements to support his views. In the second section, I will provide my agreements as to why I relate and very fond of Aristotle’s book of Nicomachean Ethics. In the third section, I will provide research as to why there are such objections to Aristotle’s book of ethics, and counter

Is Aristotelian Virtue Ethics a Successful Moral Theory?

2026 words - 8 pages Virtue ethics is a moral theory that was first developed by Aristotle. It suggests that humans are able to train their characters to acquire and exhibit particular virtues. As the individual has trained themselves to develop these virtues, in any given situation they are able to know the right thing to do. If everybody in society is able to do the same and develop these virtues, then a perfect community has been reached. In this essay, I shall

Aristotle and the Book of Nicomanchean Ethics

1506 words - 6 pages Aristotle and the Book of Nicomanchean Ethics In Book I of Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle states that the ultimate human goal or end is happiness. Aristotle describes the steps required for humans to obtain happiness. Aristotle states that activity is an important requirement of happiness. He states that a happy person cannot be inactive. He then goes on to say that living a life of virtue is something pleasurable in itself. The virtuous

Nichomachean Ethics by Aristotle: Arguments on Courage, Justice, and Pseudo-Courage

1972 words - 8 pages In his dissertation Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle discusses his views of an ethically virtuous person. He asserts three conditions exist for the moral agent to attain ethical virtue. First, the moral agent must "have knowledge." Aristotle does not make it clear whether he means such knowledge as either knowledge of the elements of a situation or universal moral knowledge. Most likely, Aristotle means knowledge of both forms, so the moral agent

Virtue Ethics

1058 words - 5 pages After reading the Books I AND II of Aristotle, “Nichomachean Ethics” on the nature of virtue, I have an idea more clearly about virtue. First we have to understand what means these words. Also, I researched more concerning to this topic virtue ethics. Will see in this essay how Aristotle ideas help us to pursuit our happiness or Good life to man with virtue. What virtues we have to do to be happy and have good life? In this project will

Happiness in Nicomachean Ethics and Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today

569 words - 2 pages Essay written by Elizabeth Sippel From pursuing pleasure to avoiding pain, life seems to ultimately be about achieving happiness. However, how to define and obtain happiness has and continues to be a widely debated issue. In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle gives his view on happiness. According to Aristotle, different types of people pursue different ends. “The many,” or ordinary people, pursue pleasure, whereas politicians seek glory

Positve Psychology and Aristotle's Virtue Ethics Converge

1627 words - 7 pages ideas presented by Aristotle in Nichomachean Ethics. The basic premise of each theory is the attainment of “true happiness” described as eudemonia, which can be accomplished through the exercise of virtue. Aristotle’s theory, as well as, the ideas presented by positive psychology primarily relies on the employment of virtue in order to obtain eudemonia though Aristotle does not denote specific character strengths associated with the virtues

Nicomachean Ethics: Friendship, Virtue and Happiness

935 words - 4 pages                 In the writings of Aristotle, seen in Nicomachean Ethics, it is evident that Aristotle believes that friendship is necessary for a virtuous and therefore happy life. I believe that this is accurate due to the similar conditions necessary for a complete friendship and a happy life. It is also evident that friendship is useful in achieving a happy life because friendship can make performing virtuous actions easier. His

Aristotle on Happiness and Virtue

2081 words - 8 pages upcoming moral philosophers. St. Thomas Aquinas and most of the other Christian philosophers were highly influenced by Aristotle’s work. Those people following the “Virtue Ethics" movement in the current era were, in fact, inspired by Aristotle himself. Arête & Eudaimonia The dictionary meaning of the Greek word ‘Eudaimonia’ is happiness. More accurately it means "living well” and "excellence". According to Aristotle, to achieve happiness is the

Ethics Education in Collegiate Aviation Institutions

2682 words - 11 pages if what they are doing is morally acceptable or not. There are many meanings to the world Ethics. Will Durant tell us that “Ethics is the study of ideal conduct (Christensen, 1995, p. 32).” There are many theories of ethics such as Virtue ethics, duty ethics, egoism, conventional morality and utilitarianism. Aristotle developed Virtue Ethics. With virtue ethics you are able to tell by the outcome of the act whether or not it was right or wrong

Similar Essays

Aristotle The Nature Of Virtue Notes Ethics Assignment

1163 words - 5 pages ARISTOTLE – THE NATURE OF VIRTUE Books I: Happiness Ends and Goods · Every action seems to seek some good. Many actions = many ends. I.e. health is the end of medicine, a boat of boat building, victory of generalship, etc. But, some of these pursuits are subordinate to some one capacity. I.e. bridle making and every other science producing equipment for horses are subordinate to horsemanship. · In all such cases, the ends of the ruling sciences

Kantian Vs. Virtue Ethics Essay

1673 words - 7 pages Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a virtue is a good and moral quality (2013). Virtue ethics actually dates back to the days of Aristotle (Rachels, p 158).” Aristotle definition of a virtue was, “a trait of character manifested in habitual action (Rachels, p 160).” Some examples of human virtues include honesty, self-control, compassion, generosity, patience and loyalty. Virtue ethics is more about the decisions a person makes based on their character

Aristotle's Philosophy On Purpose Essay

869 words - 3 pages together to create one conclusive result. Aristotle portrays many theories in his lectures and proposes many thought provoking ideas. Among these, his theory of practical wisdom. But, through all of the intricate connections, practical wisdom is the most valued and purposeful virtue, in Aristotelian Ethics. Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, c. 350 B.C. Book I: Translated by W.D. Ross Roth, John, et al. Ethics: Volume Two. California: Salem

Recipe For Happiness Essay

1007 words - 5 pages recipe for happiness because our tool is reasoning and the ingredients are virtues. Since he did not write down a cup of courage or a pinch of patience, humans need to find out themselves how much of the virtues to add. Once all of the virtues are added in correctly, then the individual will have a balanced character. In the end the goal of happiness can be reached by the individual who has a balanced character. Works Cited Aristotle. The Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle. Morality and the Good Life: An Introduction to Ethics through Classical Sources. Eds. Robert C. Solomon, et al. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2009. 108-147.