Spring 2013 Ethics Course Practice Exam Questions

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Stephen Glandsburg

Aristotle argues that happiness is the goal of human existence through explaining that it is our wants and desires that ultimately are a factor in determining whether or not we are happy. Therefore in a quest to achieve our goals and to receive the fruits of our wants and needs , we are really just trying to be happy when it is all said and done. Someone can argue against this by saying that although we have all of the wants desires and needs, they will not always make you happy in the end. An example of this would be a rich man who has obtained millions of dollars on his "quest to happiness" but he still is not happy because he needs to fill what money cannot buy.


(pseudonym)Pheobe phebo

(Answer)Aristotle argues that happiness is a goal of and part of human existence by arguing that the highest end, the supreme good of our existence, is happiness. Aristotle suggests that happiness is the highest good because as humans, we choose happiness as an end sufficient in itself. with happiness comes the idea of intelligence and virtues. Many people make the argument that one cannot be happy before death because you must evaluate a persons life not in parts but as a whole. Thus, according to Aristotle, a happy person, or happiness, is determined by or as someone who posses a virtuous rational, and active lifestyle. Within the soul there are two different parts, the rational and irrational. Humans must control the impulses, etc., and thus become a more virtuous person.


Practice Question: How does Aristotle argue that happiness is goal of human existence? Identify a couple of strengths of this view. How might someone argue against it? (2 paragraphs)


The Cake

Aristotle begins to prove that happiness is the goal of human existence by giving examples of the many things that are not. The goal of human existence must be something desired for itself and not to obtain something else, like money. We desire happiness for its own sake and nothing more is produced by it, so it must be the goal or end of human existence. This view is reasonable from a rational point of view, although perhaps I may be attacked from a practical point of view. Yes, we all want happiness. Happiness is an underlying drive of human action, whether happiness in this life or another. It is, perhaps, too idealistic to think that what we desire most is actually our goal. Some might argue that survival and power are the goal of human existence; whereas happiness is only a desirable product of our goal.


The Magic School Bus

Aristotle argues that every person has a telos, or goal that they strive to achieve. The final aim, is the end/goal and once you achieve that aim, you have (hopefully) reached happiness. A couple of strengths could include that most people in society strive to act morally and as such, would be able to reach happiness and their final aim. However, how is it possible that a person can rely solely on a final aim and if they do so properly, they can achieve telos. Some may argue that looking for that final aim is simply insufficient to go about living life and leading your life based off of one core focus.


Gabriel Arkanym

Aristotle argues that happiness is the goal of human existence by saying that each person's goal is to be happy in some eventuality. People either enjoy their lives in this life by loving, eating, and enjoying other pleasures, or they are pious in this life in the hopes that they will be happy in another life. He says that no one tries to live an unhappy life because that kind of life would not be a fulfilling life. It seems common sense that no one would try for an unhappy life as well as that an unhappy life would be an unfulfilled life, therefore resulting in a "failure" of a life. To argue against this, one would have to say that while happiness is a part of the goal of life, it isn't the overreaching goal.


Black Widow

Aristotle begins his quest to find the goal of human existence by questioning the difference between ends and means. He goes through a number of different ends that humans work for. These include things such as the arts, academics, and other aims in life. He eventually concludes that the goal of human existence must be something that is an end in and of itself. This thing must be pursued only for the sake of itself and not as a means to some other goal. He decides through this line of thinking that happiness is the only thing which is pursued for its own sake alone. The idea that the ultimate goal of life is to be happy is one that most people wouldn't want to argue with. However, one argument against it comes from Christians and other religious groups, who say that the ultimate goal of life is heaven and eternal life, and happiness isn't necessary in order to get to heaven. Aristotle's view has its strengths in the strong reasoning used to conclude that happiness is our primary goal. It is also an easily accepted idea that the ultimate goal of our life is to be happy. However, the point is raised that someone could live an absolutely tragic life and still be fulfilled, but that doesn't mean they are happy. No one is happy all the time, and in that Aristotle's arguments is slightly weakened.


Marla

Aristotle argues happiness is the goal of all human existence because happiness is never a means to anything else. Happiness is the ultimate end and all other aspects of life act as means to this end. An example of this is just to ask someone why they do the things they do, through a line of questioning, more often than not, the last answer will be, "because I want to be happy." We act virtuously to gain happiness - this is achieved by habit and learning by example. Someone could argue against this point with examples of humans who do not have the option of gaining happiness in their life due to a lack of resources. The goal of a person's life who lives in a third world country would be to find food, water, shelter. The goal of happiness does not concern these people because they are still struggling at the bottom of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. (Which also supports Aristotle's view of happiness). Aristotle says that in order to be happy one must live a fulfilling and virtuous life. He does state to be happy does not mean that every moment of someone's life must be happy. There are hard times and trials everyone must go through, but those whodeal with these hard times in the most virtuous way will be overall happy. Happiness is the ultimate end to every other means.


Ben Walker

Aristotle believes that happiness is the goal of human existence, because it is the telos of the rational thought development. In Nicomachean Ethics, he defines this process. It begins with good thoughts, which turn into good actions, which turn into good habits, which turn into good virtues, which turn into good character, which ultimately turns into happiness (or eudaimonia). As long as we behave as rational beings throughout the vast majority of our lives, we will ultimately achieve the goal of our existence.

Some argue that Aristotle fails to take into account our emotions (or elephant) that can influence our decisions and result in unhappiness. Aristotle would simply say that rational beings should be able to control their emotions; that the rider is in control over the elephant. This should lead to the final telos of happiness.


Harold Holt

Aristotle argues that happiness is the goal of human existence by stating that we attempt to achieve happiness for happiness in it of itself- happiness is not a means, but rather the ultimate end. He compares happiness to many other popularly held life ends, including money and honor. However, each of these is just a means to another end and honor is bestowed onto someone and there cannot act us on objectives goal for life.

The strengths of this view can be seen through one's own personal experience, in which one might recognize that many of the things one do are the means to another end, save for happiness. However, one argument against this view would be that one who strives for happiness may not be leaving a virtuous life. Therefore, happiness must also involve a combination of virtue and "living the good life".


Gill F. Mayweather

Aristotle believes that the goal of human existence should be self-serving. He gives examples that could be mistakenly seen as the goal to prove his point. One is the idea that we should try to be rich, but money is an entirely external idea, so he throws it out. He also suggests that it may be honor, however honor must be given to us by others, and therefore is also not self-serving. These precursors definitely strengthen his point because it is simply refreshing when he arrives at happiness as the only thing worth basing life around. His point is strong because it is easy to identify with; we all want to be happy. It lacks, however an outside aspect to morality. This may have to do with the fact that his definition of morality has more to do with being your best than helping others, however, there is an important part of morality, a collective aspect, that this idea misses.


Colin Kaepernick

Aristotle argues that happiness is the goal of human existence. Throughout our lives, we will make decisions that ultimately affect our level of happiness. We reason and contemplate through each decision to reach our goal of happiness. It is a constant effort to make conscious decisions to continue to be in a elated state. However, one could argue that a life cannot be judged until after the person has died. Morality is tough to judge, but once the person is deceased, it becomes more clear on how to reflect upon their decisions. In essence, if the person is judged to live a moral life, then happiness is to follow. But, the ultimate goal of happiness would not have been attained in their lifetime.


Chicken Little

Aristotle argues that happiness is the goal of human existence through the explanation that no morally, mentally sound person chooses things that are "bad" or "unhealthy" willingly. This then only leaves us with the alternative which is to choose "good" for ourselves. Aristotle also states that the only way to be happy is to be a morally minded individual. The strengths of this argument is that when you get down to the core of what he's saying, and we ask ourselves what do "we" really want and what we really is always in favor for our advancement. On the reverse side someone may also argue that what humans "choose" for themselves hasn't always promoted whats best for the individual. An example of this is when people choose to smoke. We know that smoking is unhealthy and has bad consequences so why do people knowingly choose it. From Aristotle's point of view though, people who choose to smoke must not truly know, or understand that it's bad for them or they wouldn't actually choose it.


167

Aristotle argues that happiness is the goal of human existence. It is that which all things aim. Aristotle argues that each action we perform in or lives is done to pursue the end goal of happiness. He says that we become virtuous people by performing virtuous actions. Once we voluntarily or freely choose to perform these actions we will be able to achieve a fulfilling life. He defines happiness as the end to our means. The means or actions we pursue have the final goal in mind, which is to achieve happiness. Happiness is the ultimate end because there is nothing we can pursue happiness for. There is nothing that goes beyond living a flourishing and fulfilling life.

The argument against Aristotle's claim would be that as individuals we aim at several goods. We can be virtuous human beings, but still not be happy. Luck also plays a role. We need some sort of luck in order to be happy and flourishing people. Happiness is the ultimate goal, but we also need luck and good fortune to achieve it.


Hannah Montana

Aristotle argues that happiness is the goal of human existence because it is an end, not a means. Things like wealth and status are a means to make a person happy-so how can these things be a goal of existence? He also argues that an end goal should come from within yourself, it shouldn't be granted to you by another person. People may argue against it by saying that reaching an afterlife(like the Christian Heaven) is the goal to life. This argument, however, is not necessarily plausible because you are trying to reach happiness- whether is be your own or trying to make God happy.



Chuppacabra

According to Aristotle, happiness is the goal of human existence because it is an end in itself. Even through virtue a person can find happiness. Whatever humans do they do for happiness as a means to happiness. The strengths are that people do actions or try to accomplish something to bring pleasure to themselves and happiness is the ultimate goal.

Someone might argue against it by questioning whether another action may be done for the sake of the action and not a means to an end but the end. Happiness could be considered another means to an end to attain something higher than happiness. The argument would be whether happiness is truly the ultimate end.


Muhammad

Happiness is the goal of human existence because everything we do works up to it. Little goals we have ultimately are aimed toward our happiness and even when these smaller goals change over our lives, happiness as a goal remains. Someone could argue against it.


Party Joe

One could argue that another goal to human existence is experience. People need experiences whether good or bad to learn. Bad experiences are not define with happiness, but one could say they are necessary to learn about life. People often say how they learned more about themselves or got more out of experiencing hardships and coming back from it, than just coasting through life without these experiences.


Plato Jr.

Aristotle sees human beings as pleasure seeking organisms and each of us are only concerned with our plearure (happiness). This view defines human existance of self serving.


Marshawn Lynch

Aristotle aruges that happiness is the goal of human existence by demonstrating that if it is the only objective in the world that can be worked towards as an ed in itself. One stirves to make money so that they can buy things, and one practices and instrument so that they can be a good musician. Everything that one does in life could considered both a means and an end, but happiness is the only thing that could be purely considered an end. There is nothing further in life than pure happiness. Therefore Aristotle argues that this overarching gaol is in fact the one true goal of human existence.

This argument seems to make sense. Happiness itself is a large goal, and if a person were to die "happy" many might say that his or her life was fulfilled. However, one might counter this argument by proposing a similar notion, such as peace. Couldn't the ultimate goal of human life be to find peace? this might be similar to the happiness argument, but it is not happiness per say. Peace itself is an ultimate goal. in a likewise manner, one might argue that the goal of an individual's existence is to completely fulfill their unique talents. happiness is not universal by definition, and may look different to different people. However, one could argue that if a person worked to the best of their abilities and talents then their life could be counted as fulfilled.


Chalupa Batman

Aristotle argues that happiness is the goal of human existence by first trying to show that perfection in whatever action you do is trying to achieve happiness. For example, a carpenter wishes to be the best carpenter he/she can be, and by achieving this is achieving happiness. Aristotle goes on to show that money, fame, etc., aren't really happiness, furthering that point that perfection is happiness and is the goal of all human beings.

Aristotle also argues against this by raising arguments such as one cannot achieve happiness by this definition, since no one can achieve perfection. When a person is dead, they can say they achieved happiness, but saying a dead man is happy is an illogical thought in itself. Another way to argue against it is by looking at infants. They don't appear to be pursuing perfection, but to say that they aren't capable of happiness is illogical as well.


Ben

Aristotle believes that a non-virtuous life is a pointless life. He says that you strive to be happy in life and that you try your whole life to achieve it. One good thing about this view is that money is not a component to happiness, which shows that you don't have to be rich to be happy. One argument against Aristotle might be that in order to achieve certain aspects of happiness, certain material needs are required.


Latisha

Aristotle argues that happiness is the goal of human experience by suggesting that one must find their strengths, work to perfect them, and become the best possible version of themself. Looking at Aristotle's view of society, this would be a strength because humans are entirely unique, we have differing passions and skills. If one focuses on their own individual traits and aims to perfect them, a society will be granted with many differing, real and potential beneficial civilians. The system will work as a whole, while individuals like their best life, best profession, happily.

Another strength is that by encouraging people to look within themselves to determine their own strengths and passions, they do not feel external pressure to conform in a society. This sticks out to me, especially because at home in America, we are less likely to be encouraged to lead a life that is focused around ones passions. If one loves coffee, they may be judged and ridiculed for "settling" for a job as a barista. Even when they themselves are entirely content with that position.


Rusty Shackleford

Aristotle argues that happiness is the goal of human existence by arguing that it is the ultimate end we seek in all of our activities. It is the only thing whose end doesn't lead to something else. Through relatable examples, Aristotle provides much strength for this argument. His shows how some pursuits lead to other pursuits that ultimately end with happiness.

Someone might argue against this by citing the self-interested nature of happiness. Because happiness is incredibly self-interested and relative, it may not be the ideal goal for human existence. Other pursuits, such as self-sacrificing for your community, might be a better goal. It might be painful but would be the most beneficial.


Dr. Seuss

Aristotle argues that happiness is a goal of human existence by pointing out that humans make decisions based upon what is pleasing to us. As humans, we strive to live good and happy lives, and therefore we will choose what our emotions say is something that will make us happy. On the contrary, humans would not choose to do something that would make us unhappy.

Aristotle's argument can be refuted by saying that you must also consider others when making a decision. For example, a person could decide to do something that brings him happiness while negatively affecting others' happiness. It could be said that happiness is not the true goal or end to our existence.


Paul Walker

Aristotle believe happiness, ultimately, drives human existence. He explains this belief in his words "words of wisdom" to his son. Aristotles Nichomacean ethics proves that being virtuous can make one happy. He utilizes a "golden mean: method; this methods suggests that a middle between emotions - anger and courage, for example - anger and courage; for example - can lead to a virtuous life. Furthermore, a virtuous life gives way to a happy life. Aristotle also argues that everything we do in in the pursuit of happiness. Someone, however, may argue that we do things for someone else's happiness. For example, giving up money to charity in order for someone else to not starve.


Dr. Alfino Jr.

Each human, according to Aristotle has a telos - a purpose, a good oriented behior. This behavior allows us to strive for what is worth aiming for. That being said, the question then becomes, what are we living for? Aristotle would argue we are working to live a happy life. He argues this because he believes that happiness is only for itself. This is truly the strength of the argument. Aristotle states that happiness is only for itself, whereas things such as pleasure, which is temporary selfish interest, or money, which is only a mean to an end are things that should not be sought after. What should be sought after is happiness and Aristotle believes that happiness derives from habitually practicing in reason - our number one attribute that sets us apart. Pretty good, right? Well one might then argue and ask, are there limitations or perhaps even checkpoints that are necessary for achieving happiness? Aristotle would answer in saying that one must be lucky and live a long life, and be a male. With these facts it seems that if you are a young female, you will never be able to achieve happiness, but is that actually plausible?


Goodies

Aristotle argues that happiness is the only goal that is aimed at for the sake of itself. Therefore, it is the goal of human existence.

Some strengths are that it is the sake of itself, our function done well is the best of us, and it's not just survival or reproduction. A weakness is that it is not perfectly realistically attainable. And if humans exist in reality, how can we have a goal for our existence that has never had an ideal/paradigm example. Also how can we conceive perfection of happiness without never having experienced it?


Regina George

Aristotle tells us that happiness is the goal of human existance. We will not find happiness through pleasure, honor, or moneymaking, rather through perfecting our nature and seeking virtue. Virtue makes its object excellent. It is vital to find a medium between excess and deficiency to achieve virture and happiness. We cannot seek temporary pleasure or be overly dependant on others. However to achieve happiness we must do more than pursue excellence, we must have good luck as well.


Wally

Happiness, according to Aristotle, is the goal of human existence because it is in the end the final cause. He examines other pursuits however and notes that ultimately they are all just means to the end that is happiness. This is a strong view in that its reasoning of looking at why we do each thing that we do and then why we do that to trace back to the final cause is very solid. It is also plausible because it is easily relatable to our own experience. Someone might argue against happiness as the goal of human existence by pointing out cases where we clearly act in contradiction with that goal such as when we serve others in places we don't want to be. Another example that might disprove happiness as the goal of human existence is when we give up our lives for others. This ends our possibility to achieve happiness and therefore cannot support happiness as the goal of human existence.


Mother****er Jones

Aristotle argues that happiness is the ultimate goal of human existence because it is the only thing we do only for itself. People want to be wealthy, famous, and powerful only because these things, they believe, will lead them to happiness. Aristotle believes that since all other thing people desire end in happiness, that this is indeed the ultimate end of human existence.

But this may sound a bit selfish. Is it only our own happiness that is the ultimate goal in life? I don't think so. To be truly happy seems to necessitate that the important people in your life are happy as well. To be happy is to have a happy family and friends and to raise children that can also experience a happy life.


Princess consuela bannanahammock Happiness is a goal of human existence because it is the end that we are constantly trying to achieve. Aristotle explains that everything in life we do in order to achieve happiness, and we are aiming to find the means to accomplish this through things such as money, being brave, and having others in our life. He explains that we all desire to be happy which makes it a life goal.

Someone could argue against this by explaining that we are only trying to achieve pleasure we do what makes us feel pleasure in each moment, which does not necessarily equate to happiness. For example, having money or ving brave does not have to mean that someone is happy, instead it just shows different goals of life. This goal of happiness is also flawed because when we sleep, we may fell happy, but this is subconscious and may not be a valid representation of our lives.


Watson

Aristotle argues that happiness is the goal of human existence because it is the only pursuit done for itself. For example, people pursue wealth but they only do so because they want wealth to buy/do more, therefore it can't be the goal of human existence. Aristotle gives many other examples as well. One strength of this view is that it makes complete rational sense. It also is something that seems attainable. Someone might argue against it by questioning what happiness is and how one could reach such a state. Aristotle responds to these queries but his answers seem to limit how to attain happiness and how to know if you've achieved it. One might argue that his definition of happiness is false.


Pope Bennedict

Aristotle begins his argument that happiness is the goal of human existence by first elucidating what is not the end goal. For example, Aristotle discusses the affects of pleasure, honor, and money making upon the individual. Pleasure is not the end goal for it is selfish in nature, in addition too much pleasure will not bring happiness but excess. Honor is sought for validation from others, and wealth is just a means to an end that results in excess. Overall, these three states of being are done to achieve something else, so they can not be the end goal. Aristotle defines the goal of human nature to be something that is done in and of itself. As the previous three states of being are done to reach an ulterior end they do not comply with this definition. Moreover, aristotle argues that happiness is the only state of being that we seek to achieve only for the sake of being happy and so it is the end goal of hman existance. It could be argued that happiness is actually the pursuit of one's own values, and therefor actually a pursuit of pleasure. However, Aristiotle discounts this argument by explaining that happiness is a gradual process achieved throughout life.


Magic Johnson

Aristotle believes that happiness is the fundamental goal of humans. He describes happiness as the activity of the soul in accordance with virtue. The more virtuous one is the more happier one is. Seeking virtue in life is the pursuit of excellence in one's life, in other words the fundamental realization of the potential of our nature. To Aristotle it is the biggest factor contributing to a happy life. In addition, happiness also requires good luck and a complete life. Good luck is needed since certain obstacles threatening out happiness would not be overcomable without some sort of luck. A complete life is needed so that nothing is lacking which can be used to help attain a sense of happiness, like health, family, and friends. To Aristotle a happy life is attainable by anyone and is not subject to predestination.


LaDainian Tomlinson

When Aristotle is writing about the Good for human beings, he is talking about happiness. He claims that this Good, happiness, is the ultimate goal of a man's life. If a person reaches the end of their life and can experience "eudaimonia" because of what they have accomplished, how they have accomplished it, and can experience the success of their community, then they have achieved life's ultimate goal. The happiness Aristotle writes about is the end goal for man because it is the goal for humans that is an end unto itself. While humans may set intermediate goals throughout life (get in shape, get a promotion etc.) those goals are only a means to a greater end:happeninss. N9ow, one may argue that the happiness Aristotle talks about is not feasible because the person could not experience it until they are dead. Also one could argue that you must live to a ripe old age to be "happy". This seems to be in conflict with our view of the world. There are plenty of happy young people in our world.