Morality in Politics
Civic virtue is the formation of habits of personal living that are claimed to be important for the success of the community. This term was important to Aristotle’s theories on politics. He felt that all humans should take pleasure in civic virtue and that it was essential for living “the good life”. Today, our democratic government is well-suited to promote civic virtue and participation of all people in the country. Although times have changed since Aristotle’s days, this ideology can be seen actively in our society. One of the main ideas in Aristotle’s philosophy was teleos, or the purpose or goal of something. To fully understand something, we must also understand its teleos. For example, I have an apple. I know that it is red, kind of round, and grows on a tree, but the real purpose or teleos of that apple to me is food. As far as humans go, Aristotle says that humans are meant to be happy. To be happy, humans must live a life of virtue, which means they always choose what is morally good. Humans have the abilities to think and speak, and therefore decide what is good and bad, right and wrong, etc. People that may think they are living a good life but are not making moral decisions are not truly happy in Aristotle’s eyes. Politics provides a place for people to interact with each other, talk about what is right and wrong, just or unjust, and to make laws reflecting these things. It allows people to participate in their lives, make ethical decisions, and fulfill their happiness potential. Politics is dynamic, unlike math or science that are concrete and unchanging. People can work with each other in politics and work for the greater good. The development of civic virtue allows for a person to relate to their community. It helps them understand their ties to the community and responsibility within it. It helps them see beyond their own personal interests. Some examples of civic virtue would be voting, volunteering, or going to a town...
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