Moral Virtue or Happiness According to Aristotle
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A human being is intrinsically good and what gives way to evil are ignorance and lack of knowledge of himself. Concepts of Aristotle (340 BC), the good and the evil, are tightly bound to the idea of moral virtue, or, according to Aristotle, happiness.
Thus, being a good, aspiring and law-abiding person is natural for a human being; however, deciding to perform an evil action, a human is making the unnatural and rather difficult decision which seemingly involves two outcomes of high value to his or her personality. First, the individual, for whom good behavior and compliance with the law are natural, is starting to contemplate the impact of his or her deed and is forced to prevent adverse consequences and help the manifestation of the good ones.
This is a natural by-effect of the growing up process when a teenager starts perceiving him or herself as a part of the adult world having similar rights and able to take risks. As Aristotle argued, “each person has a natural obligation to achieve, become, and make something of himself by pursuing his true ends and goals in life” (Younkins, 2003).
However, not only teenagers are rarely able to fully control his or her emotions and ambitions and are inclined to ungrounded cruelty and suicide, mature people are quite disposed to commit crimes as well. As for adults, the criminals are mostly members of the least socially protected classes, illegal immigrants working on low-paid or part-time jobs or residents of the districts with a high crime rate. Criminals rarely have full secondary school education and often are easily roused and disposed to act violently, as they, were not given chances to receive or perfect their ethical values.
Committing crime, a human becomes a good subject for a despised role of an outlaw, thus, for the severe restraining of his or her rights and freedoms by the government, and humiliation and ostracism both to them and their families. An offense that has called disorderly conduct might give to the offender up to six months of incarceration (State of Rhode Island General Laws, 2011), and after this period the person should acquire specific psychology, which is hardly if ever possible to fully overcome. Society punishes the individuals excessively, and in advance.
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This is a vicious and ignorant practice, and we have to thank for it our religion and our history when people for centuries were condemned to exhausting and psychologically devastating works (for example, drudgeries or workhouses in the Europe of 19th century). Claiming that sins and crime are intrinsic to human nature, Medieval Christianity argued that people were too weak to withstand the temptation of going beyond the law or morality. The whole reactive approach was pervasive in the Middle Ages. Moreover, it deprived the accused people of even a feeble chance to receive any education and respected profession.
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This ignorance and indifference are inherent to our society and law enforcement bodies and criminal courts that treat differently the criminals from the poorest blocks and those from the middle class are unchangeable and seem to be insurmountable. However, we can find a way to fight this injustice and vicious practice, as we have a law that should be applied equally to all the people, regardless of their “intrinsic” vices, and persistence in understanding that every man and woman, accused by a criminal justice or not, is aspiring and hoping creature for whom good is intrinsically natural.
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