- According to Aristotle, happiness consists of living a life of virtue and contemplation, and it is achieved by engaging in activities that are in line with one’s nature and pursuing the highest good. Aristotle identifies two types of goods: primary and secondary goods. Primary goods are goods that are pursued for their own sake and not as a means to an end, whereas secondary goods are pursued for the sake of other things. Examples of primary goods include friendship, wisdom, and pleasure, whereas examples of secondary goods include wealth and fame. Aristotle argues that primary goods are necessary for happiness because they are intrinsically valuable and can bring pleasure and fulfillment to a person’s life.
I believe Aristotle is correct about primary goods because they provide a deeper sense of satisfaction and meaning to life than secondary goods. Pursuing wealth or fame may bring temporary pleasure or gratification, but it is not a sustainable source of happiness. On the other hand, building and maintaining strong relationships with loved ones and pursuing wisdom and personal growth can lead to a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
In the Myth of Gyges, Plato suggests that if a person had the power to do whatever they want without consequence, they would not act virtuously. This implication is inconsistent with Aristotle’s thoughts on happiness because Aristotle believes that virtuous actions are necessary for happiness. If a person were to act immorally, they would not be living a life of virtue and would not be able to achieve happiness. Therefore, I believe that Aristotle’s view on happiness is more convincing because it emphasizes the importance of living a virtuous life and pursuing things that have intrinsic value.
- John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty argues that freedom of expression is necessary for a flourishing society because it allows individuals to share their opinions and ideas freely, which in turn leads to the exchange of ideas and the progress of knowledge. Mill argues that suppressing someone’s opinion is wrong even if that opinion is false because it is only through the free exchange of ideas that the truth can be discovered. Plato’s Ship of Fools implies that freedom of expression can lead to chaos and that some people are not fit to participate in public discourse. In the allegory, the Ship of Fools represents a society in which everyone is allowed to voice their opinions regardless of their knowledge or expertise, and the result is that the ship crashes and everyone drowns.
I believe that we should be allowed to express ourselves as we wish, but we also have a responsibility to use our words in a way that is respectful and does not cause harm to others. While there is a risk that some people may abuse their right to freedom of expression, I believe that the benefits of a free and open society outweigh the risks. The best way to ensure that free speech is used responsibly is through education and encouraging people to think critically about their own opinions and those of others.
- In the Trolley Problem, a person is faced with the choice of saving many people by causing harm to one person or remaining uninvolved. From a consequentialist perspective, the best course of action would be to save the many because it would result in the greatest good for the greatest number of people. From a deontological perspective, it would be wrong to cause harm to the one person even if it would save many because it would violate the principle of not using others as a means to an end.
Personally, I believe that the best course of action in this situation is to save the many. While it is difficult to make a decision that would cause harm to someone, I believe that inaction in this case would also be a form of harm because it would result in the death of many people. The best way to decide on the best course of action is to weigh the consequences of each option and choose the one that leads to the most good and least.