Virtue Ethics

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Virtue Pages: 4 (1196 words) Published: May 20, 2008

Virtue ethics is a theory used to make moral decisions. It does not rely on religion, society or culture; it only depends on the individuals themselves. The main philosopher of Virtue Ethics is Aristotle. His theory was originally introduced in ancient Greek times. Aristotle was a great believer in virtues and the meaning of virtue to him meant being able to fulfil one's functions. Virtue ethics is not so much interested in the question 'What should I do?' but rather in the question 'what sort of person should I become?' It has more to do with character and the nature of what it is to be human, than with the rights and wrongs of actions. Instead of concentrating on what is the right thing to do, virtue ethics asks how you can be a better person. Aristotle says that those who do lead a virtuous life are very happy and have sense of well-being. Happiness is the ultimate goal for everyone in life. Aristotle's definition of happiness is, 'happiness is the activity of the soul in accord with perfect virtue'.

To become a better person, we must practice virtuous acts regularly. After a while, these acts will become a habit and so the virtuous acts part of our every day life and the person will be leading a virtuous life. For example, if a singer practices singing everyday, they will become better at it and used to doing it. People who practice their virtues improve their skills and therefore becoming happier. According to Aristotle the person who struggles to acquire virtues is in the long run a better person and is much happier as they feel that they deserve that happiness as they have worked very hard for it. By continuously practicing their virtues people will soon be acting in the right way. Aristotle says that virtues are something that we acquire and are not just born with; people are not intrinsically good or bad, but become good or bad according to their habits they develop throughout their lives. When a person learns how to use the virtues,...
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