Human ideal

Topics: Nicomachean Ethics, Thought, Plato Pages: 5 (1519 words) Published: April 23, 2014

Tyler Parsons
9:15 class
The Human Ideal
Human Ideal is a very subjective idea across the board. There are many factors that influence a person’s perspective on a prefect human ideal. The most prevalent factor seems to be the culture of the society. The culture and the society I was raised in brought me to the finalization of my personal human ideal. People should live to fulfill the ultimate good of happiness without stepping on others to reach it and at the same time to avoid extreme and take the middle way. My human ideal is pretty much stated in “Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle”, but the other texts have their own validated ways to reach the human ideal.

The Odyssey portrayed a character who seems to be the ideal mortal. His name was Odysseus and he had fought for his country with bravery. The gods were all in favor of his homecoming from Troy because of his bravery. “You dog, you never thought I would any more come back from the land of Troy, and because of that you despoiled my household,… and sought to win my wife while I was still alive, fearing neither the immortal gods who hold the wide heaven,…Now upon you all terms of destruction are fastened.”(Odyssey of Homer, 22:35-41) Odysseus’ house had been overtaken be suitors and the gods lead him to bring justice to the suitors. The suitors did not fear the “immortal gods” like Odysseus did so they were fated to be destroyed by the God-like Odysseus. The suitors would be an example of an anti-human ideal in the culture the book is based on. Gods play a huge role in deciding the correct way to be a mortal. If you did not fear them and respect their power, you would be looked down upon and would have “all terms of destruction” fastened upon you. Odysseus was a war hero who fought in Troy for his people and he alone survived and because of this he was held high above everyone else this is the major reason Zeus would grant him a glorious homecoming.

In” Euthyphro”, the human ideal is portrayed to be very different than “The Odysseus”. In order in to be prefect human, you had to live life without certainty and to always ask questions even when you feel you are correct in your way of thinking. Socrates believed that people were often ignorant and talked in a way where they were correct even when they far from it. Euthyphro was on his way to court where he had run into Socrates and Socrates asked him what he business was there. Euthyphro was there to prosecute his father for murder of a servant who had also committed murder. Socrates being the human ideal example for this text brought up the question of “If you had no clear knowledge of piety and impiety you would never have ventured to prosecute your old father for murder on behalf of servant” (Euthyphro). Socrates tested Euthyphro’s sense of piety because Socrates thought it was wrong that he had no doubt in his mind it was justified to bring his own father to court. Socrates believed you should always ask questions because not everything in the world can be black and white. Socrates believed that all things had a grey area where what is piety and what is impiety was unclear. This brought of the question should he not bring a murderer to count merely because it’s his own father and does it even make a difference if the person he murdered was a murderer himself?

My personal favorite human ideal of all the books is the one from The “Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle”. The basic idea behind Aristotle’s book is that the ultimate goal in life is to achieve true happiness. This particular idea makes the most sense to me. “Happiness, then, is found to be something perfect and self-sufficient, being the end to which our actions are directed” (Aristotle, Page 15). This quote states that happiness is the final, the end and all other things will lead up to this. Happiness is stated to direct our actions because people all want to be happy. This idea gives people the feeling of “self-sufficient” because no other person can...
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