Moral Excellence and Ethics

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‘Ethics as a subject began over 2,500 years ago, In its original form, ethics is concerned with the question of virtue of character, followed by having excellent and well-chosen habits.’ Happiness is the highest good for humans, one can only be happy if they fulfill their basic function or purpose, (which is an act according to reason).

The use of reason is a virtue, therefore happiness requires us to develop our virtues, in order to develop virtue, one has to act good and practice reasoning. Aristotle also divided virtue into intellectual virtues and moral virtues. Intellectual virtues include theoretical capacity - "virtue" is moral excellence. A virtue is a positive trait or quality subjectively deemed to be morally excellent and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being.

Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting collective and individual greatness - As Aristotle (2012, Para 2) aptly phrased it, "virtue is defined as behavior, not beliefs or motives. Therefore, virtue is concrete rather than abstract. It can be demonstrated, practiced, and defined." The opposite of virtue is vice (a vice is something one does that is 'bad' for ones health or 'morally bad', and enjoy's it, some people just can't resist bad habits, such as gambling, smoking, drinking - these are all vices.)

Aristotle used scientific observation and (common sense) to make judgment about the world around him, he observed the world and analyzed it, well before any knowledge of how the brain worked, he did so by studying human behavior. According to Aristotle, human beings have a purpose, which is to achieve “happiness.” Happiness translates as "eudemonia" a Greek word often translated as well-being, over a long period of time. In order to search for "eudemonia", one has to be complete and self sufficient, and one can gain this through practice of virtue. (Many years ago, Aristotle defined four virtues: courage, temperance, justice, and prudence)....
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