Essay 3

Essay 3 - Tony Jones April 27th, 2009 What is a good life?...

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Tony Jones April 27 th , 2009 What is a good life? Augustine vs. Aristotle: Can the good life be achieved by all humans? Jones, 1
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Confessions written by Augustine of Hippo is a subjective autobiography combined with texts concerning that of moral ethics through the Christian faith of Catholicism . In comparison to many other philosophers, such as Plato and Aristotle, in his book Augustine proposes his mechanism in reaching the happy life . Augustine, a confirmed Christian Platonist, draws many ideas from both Plato as well as Aristotle in formulating his own ideas in how the good life is achieved . According to Augustine, such a life can only be achieved through the love of the Christian God, Jesus Christ, which then gives the human soul the capacity to be virtuous . Aristotle, on the other hand, proposes that the ultimate virtue of prudence paves the souls path to living a good life through moral habitual action . Thus, Aristotle’s prudence and Augustine’s love of God provide a meta-ethical parallel in that they both provide a mechanism that enables an individual to live the happy life through a life of virtue . However, the greatest weakness of Augustine's account of attaining the good life through virtue is that an individual must first acquire the love of Jesus Christ, which is found within the soul, in order to acquire these (Aristotle’s) virtues, which dramatically limits the amount of individuals who are capable of achieving the good life due to the intolerance of the souls that do not accept Jesus Christ as their God . Aristotle's account, however, does not have this problem of intolerance . Although Aristotle, like Augustine, believes that all Gods and deities (Christianity was not yet established at this time) represent the highest good, he does not believe that the love of the Gods is necessary in order to be a virtuous individual . Aristotle believes that the principles of virtue embed themselves within the Jones, 2
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soul solely through moral and habitual action, regardless of any religious or spiritual affiliations, thus providing the opportunity for all human souls to attain the happy life . Thus, Aristotle provides a more superior mechanism to reach the good life . Augustine’s interpretation of obtaining the happy life is through the love of the Christian God, Jesus Christ . God is the creator of all things; thus, he is present in all inanimate and living things . However, humans are the only forms of life that hold the capacity to find God due to the possession of a soul
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Essay 3 - Tony Jones April 27th, 2009 What is a good life?...

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