Aristotle’s ethical approach is considered one of the influential ancient scripts on human nature and life topics. It is considered relevant to date. The purpose of Nicomachean ethics is to educate individuals on being good to themselves and others. One of the theory’s notable discussions on human life is Eudaimonia, a Greek word meaning happiness (Egbekpalu, 2021). Aristotle’s aspect of eudaimonia forms the basis of the ethical theory known as virtue ethics, tailored to improving an individual’s moral conduct. This analysis explores happiness as a virtue in ethics.
As claimed by Aristotle, happiness involves accomplishing set objectives in the entire one’s lifetime (Bonevac, 2021). An individual is considered a happy person after attaining set life target goals. A crucial component of Aristotle’s theory of happiness is good morals, known as virtues that make individuals happy. The following aspects bring happiness; wealth, health and friends. Once in possession, an individual feels complete, leading to excellence and advancement of human life.
I agree with Aristotle’s aspect of happiness because different individuals have varied views on a happy life (Bonevac, 2021). What brings happiness to someone may not bring happiness to another person, and everybody has a definition of his best life. I recently saw some individuals unable to purchase tickets to watch a football match in a stadium and opted to pay less in local joints to watch television. They cheered and got satisfied just like those in the stadium. This made me conclude that happiness is a state of mind, as long as the happiness is realized morally.
Friendship as an ethical aspect contributes greatly to the happiness of an individual. Having good and trustworthy friends is fascinating because they enhance the fulfillment of life desires. For instance, friends can live morally by supporting each other in good and bad times by offering financial and emotional support. Friends can provide good company to an individual, eliminating loneliness and providing a sense of togetherness. Further, friends can offer advice during depression periods by giving required comfort, and during achievements, they are there to celebrate with you. Maintaining good friends is crucial in achieving the required happiness and living a virtuous life.
Wealth is a crucial factor that can lead to happiness when guided by living a morally upright life. It involves having enough money for an individual’s expenses. Having a lot of money exposes someone to buying nice cars, houses, expensive electronics, clothes and better healthcare, which leads to more happy experiences. Some wealthy individuals live a virtuous life and find happiness from sharing their surplus wealth with the less privileged. It includes donating surplus foodstuff, clothes, and money to children’s orphanage homes, and the experience of seeing the orphans happy makes them happy too. Most people work hard to accumulate wealth because wealthier individuals seem to be happier than poor individuals. Such wealth brings comfort and fulfillment when obtained and used in a virtuous manner.
Furthermore, the virtue of happiness is related to good health. Good health means an individual is free from diseases and physically active. Being physically active helps improve an individual’s moods and lower stress because they can participate in various constructive activities compared to a person not physically fit. Good health also brings a sense of well-being, greater self-esteem and life satisfaction. This pushes individuals to maintain a healthy lifestyle through better diets and exercises to improve their lifespan and maintain long happiness. Ultimately, one can live virtuously when physically and psychologically healthy.
Bonevac, D. (2021, April 1). Aristotle on Happiness (YouTube), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpnTUGAOc9A&t=1s
Egbekpalu, P. E. (2021). Aristotelian Concept of Happiness (Eudaimonia) and its Conative Role in Human Existence: A Critical Evaluation. Conatus-Journal of Philosophy, 6(2), 75-86.