The question is, can someone be virtuous? If being truly virtuous means one is perfect, many religions such as Christianity refutes the idea of a being having the ability to be perfect without being God. There are large issues that make one question how one can be virtuous, what path to take and discovering how that decision was made in the first place. This essay will discuss the idea of virtue and how it relates to the controversial topic of euthanasia.
The debate on whether or not virtue is inborn or acquired is as employ as the nature versus nurture and even the which came first, the chicken or the egg? To understand how one can get to be so virtuous, one must decide whether or not they were born with the virtue or had grown and been taught into such virtue. But it is much more complex. “. Moral virtue is a state of character concerned with choice and choice is deliberate desire.
” (Nice. Ethics, Book IV 2). This means that ultimately when faced with a decision, one will choose whichever is subconsciously more desired.
If this decision is subconscious thought then this would prove that the irate of the person is inborn, meaning since day one this person was virtuous. When a child misbehaves by not sharing a toy, by Aristotle standpoint this shows the child is being omnivorous and therefore has no inborn virtue. But as the child grows and they are taught that sharing is caring, they begin to act in a more virtuous way, thus making acquired virtue the way to be virtuous.
But what about all those psychopathic serial killers out there? Children born with no empathy are omnivorous for not caring about their behavior or showing forms of generosity. These children were like this from birth. Of course learning about the psychology of people is fairly new compared to the ideas Aristotle published. The way one becomes virtuous is far too complex to just put in a category. There are more factors that come into play, such as environment. Sigmund Freud was considered by many to be the father of psychology. He believed that every choice made in life is made on the subconscious thought of one’s own parents and their relevance on past decisions that were made that may have ended undesirably. CTD. In Sigmund Freud). One can not learn to be virtuous if they have nothing to learn by, I. E. Virtuous parents. Psychiatrists caution that there is no one type of youthful killer. But murderous children often come from families where they see or experience much violence. ” says Bryce Nelson of The New York Times (Nelson, 1983). Whether one admits it or not, the idea of following a virtuous life is the goal for everyone. It is important to strive for virtue because it gives meaning to a meaningless life. This is why people set goals for themselves to achieve every year, to give themselves something to work towards. Aristotle used virtue as a goal for the human race. Garth Smelling discusses the idea of using irate as a motivator since being truly virtuous is the guide to happiness according to Aristotle. (Nice. Ethics XX). “Genuine happiness lies in action that leads to virtue, since this alone provides true value and not Just amusement. Thus, Aristotle held that contemplation is the highest form of moral activity because it is continuous, pleasant, self-sufficient, and complete. ( Smelling, 2011) Many religions use the same idea as virtue to set goals for the ones who follow the religion. Muslims have the five pillars of Islam; to live a balanced and healthy life. There is the Shaded, devoting one’s life to God and their oath, Salad, prayer, Katz, giving to the needy, Swam, fasting during the month of Ramadan, and lastly Hajj], a pilgrimage to Mecca. (R. E. Saudi Arabia, 2013). Euthanasia is a topic that is sensitive to everyone. Death in general makes people feel uncomfortable. The idea of a doctor assisting in the suicide of a person is even more uncomfortable. Many are against the idea of having the choice to end one’s life with the help of a doctor because of religious views. Many believe that those who think that those who agree with having the choice will live an omnivorous life. But is that true? Brittany Maynard carries a prescription in her wallet. It was written by a doctor in Oregon, one of five states with legal protections for terminally ill patients who want to end their suffering. And in three weeks, she plans to use it to die. ” (Fever, 2014). The story of Brittany Maynard has been all over the news and has been a very large topic for debate. Maynard has terminal brain cancer and is getting worse by the day. She does not want to go through the pain of slowly losing her ability to control her body as it decays. She wants to die on her terms. Oregon is one of the five states that eave doctor assisted suicide legal. Surprisingly however, 67% of doctors across America are against euthanasia. (Fever, 2014). In the case of Brittany Maynard, her private life has been televised for the world to see and her privacy invaded by the media because of how her case is seen as controversial. Everyone is offering their opinion on what is her decision because they suddenly know everything about cancer and assisted suicide is not the answer Brittany should have. But this is Britain’s decision not the publics and certainly not the government’s . 86% of Americans believe in euthanasia as an ethical practice. Statistic Brain, 2014). If this is the case why is it not legal in more than five states? People wanting others to live a virtuous life should be the ones open to having the choice to decide on one’s fate rather than be close minded and refute that it is okay for people on life support or who are terminally ill to have assisted suicide. These people of course believe that they are virtuous themselves, thus proving that they are not virtuous. If a person is dying of an illness that will cause them a slow and painful death, should they not have the option to a more peaceful way to go? Suggesting that one should not have this option is depriving another of that decision and opportunity and that is omnivorous. No one can truly be virtuous. People make mistakes, there are times when one may say something they didn’t mean that hurts another person. Everyone makes mistakes. No one can be perfect in every aspect of life. That does not mean striving for a virtuous life is a waste of time. Every person has their own interpretation of virtue and that is how the confusion sets in. What one person may find virtuous the other may not. Going back to Brittany Maynard, she has received pleas to not end her life. She ignores them because she knows exactly what she is going to do and she has accepted it as virtuous. If she did not find it virtuous she would not be going through with it. “The amount of sacrifice and change my family had to go through in order to get me to legal access to death with dignity – changing our residency, establishing a team of doctors, having a place to live – was profound,” [Brittany Maynard] told People. “There’s tons of Americans who don’t have time or the ability or finances and I don’t think that’s right or fair. ” (Fever, 2014) Helping others leads to a virtuous life. That is why with the little time she has left, Maynard will be raising awareness and try to help those who may not be able to afford the move to another state to use euthanasia. Virtue may be easily defined by Aristotle as a balanced life, however today it is far more complex to decipher between what is virtuous and what is not. Virtue is both inborn and acquired over time, this is true because of how children act and learn. Religion is another way to look at following a virtuous life. Brittany Maynard will be committing doctor-assisted suicide on November 1st. Practicing euthanasia may be questionable to some on how riotous it may be, however denying the right to euthanasia is omnivorous for it is making the decision for another person and giving one’s self too much pride in their own opinion to listen to anyone else. No one can be truly virtuous, but that does not mean that one should not try to be as virtuous as possible and bring goodness into the world rather than hatred and closed mindedness. Work Cited “The Internet Classics Archive I Encroachment Ethics by Aristotle. ” The Internet Classics Archive I Encroachment Ethics by Aristotle. Web. 16 Cot. 2014. Let;http://classics. MIT. Du/Aristotle/monomaniacs. 6. Vi. HTML>. Smelling, Garth. “Aristotle: Ethics. ” Aristotle: Ethics. The Philosophy Pages, 12 Novo. 2011. Web. 16 Cot. 2014. <http://www. Philosophies. Com/why/as. HTML>. Fever, Lindsey. “Cancer Patient Brittany Maynard, 29, Has Scheduled Her Death for Novo. 1 . ” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 8 Cot. 2014. Web. 16 Cot. 2014. <http://www. Washington’s. Com/news/morning-mix/WAP/2014/10/08/terminally-ill- Brittany-Maynard-29-has-scheduled-her-death-for-novo-1 />. “Euthanasia Statistics. ” Statistic Brain IRS. Statistic Brain, 14 July 2014. Web. 16 Cot. 2014. <http://www. Statistician. Com/euthanasia-statistics/>. Nelson, Bryce. "CHlLDREN WHO KILL: PERSONALITY PATTERNS ARE IDENTIFIED. ” The New York Times. The New York Times, 10 cot. 1983. Web. 16 cot. 2014. <wry. Anytime. Com/1983/10/11 [science/children-who-kill-personality-patterns-are- identified. HTML>. “The Five Pillars Of Islam. ” The Five Pillars Of Islam. Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, 1 Feb. 2013. Web. 16 Cot. 2014. <http:// www. Sedimentary. Net/about/country-information/LULAS/ five_pillars_of_LULAS. Asps>.