Sometimes methinks you are too verbose, Jessica. I had to read the question a few times before I understood what exactly you were saying and what your position was. And I am stil not entirely clear what hte question is. However, I shall proceed anyway.
To address your first question: I would agree with you that the man who reasons what is the good is the more virtuous since man is a (usually) reasoning creature and through discovering it himself, he is using his own will instead of blindly following.
However, I would not say that doing good from habit is a bad thing. Sure, it isn't the ideal, but at least the world is a little less screwed up if one person is good by habit.
Um...I probably have not clarified myself enough but hopefully that makes sense.
Yeah, y'know I realized that the question makes perfect sense in my own mind given the context, but it is really nonsensical to anyone looking at it without the benefit of my wild logic ^_^ so I give, and raise a toast to Racho for so valiantly engaging in discussions thus far ^_^. What do y'all say (I know, I'm being somewhat optimistic here, considering so far Racho is the only member...) to just dropping this question (at least until I can think of a more suitable way to ask it)?
Yeah, I agree, the wording was a bit confusion.
I might be a little rusty on my Aristotle; but here goes. With questions along the way.
Your question was....
Is it better to find the good through:
1) habitual good
Well, since I'm rusty on my Aristotle, I seem to have forgotten exactly what "good by habit" is. That means I'm (oh dang it) busting out the Book o' Nicky. See, see, the things you make me DO Jessica-Pumpkin! O_O
Okay, I can't find the exact section, so I guess this is just coming out of my brain.
So...habit. Does that mean accidental habit (I just HAPPENED to stumble on the right thing) or habit forced upon you by others (my MOTHER made me do it)?
In either case, I think reasoning through it on your own would be the more virtuous option(i.e. if I saw a person do both, I would feel prouder of the person who did it that way), and this is why: Reasoning through to virtue is more difficult than the other option(s). If you stumble upon the truth, then at least you're on the right path; you're not steered off in an entirely wrong direction. And if the good is fed to you, the same thing happens.
That raises another problem though....sometimes, we are given the right path and are repelled by it--rocketing off in an entirely different direction. Think of any time when your parents told you to do something and you disobeyed, just to be ornery - even if you knew they were right. (Well, maybe you're the perfect child and don't do that - but I know that I have been annoyed at having dried the dishes just because I was TOLD, even though I would have done it anyway - I would have been happier had they not told me to go do them). So it might actually be more difficult if the "correct" road were presented to you, because you would question that one in particular more than the other options - whereas if you were just looking at the options, you might regard them all more equally.
(Sorry this took so long for me to respond to - these were just such long-looking paragraphs! And I've been lazy. And it was a little convoluted. Maybe short and sweet questions would invite people to just toss their opinions in faster, and heat up the discussion? <--a suggestion)
Wait.....can members of this thingy post in it? We can....can't we? *broody thoughts*
^_^ yeah, loquacity does tend to be one of my prime faults; it's caused me to make a grand fool out of myself on more than one occasion...but hey, what's a blog but a learning experience? I'll work on condensation (wait, that makes me sound like some sort of cloud commander. "we need more condensation! Thunderhead 5, you've been down on your percipitation production lately. Cloud Hinting Slightly of Rain, hinting doesn't quite cut it anymore. People are too busy to pay much attention to the sky anymore. In this day and age we need something that more Obviously Implies rain." ... ...x_X) *coff* Good heavens (no pun intended). Here I go writing another long paragraph again. It's hopeless.
1) thanks for replying to my absurd question ^_^ 2) the kind of habit I meant was a sort of governmentally enforced habit (as in, the government/parents/whatever force someone to do the right thing until it becomes habitual). I personally think that this is less virtuous, but then the question comes up of whether it is possible to run a city based on the other possibility, that of each individual exercising his reason in order to come to the good. As Mr. Ellison pointed out (he was the one grading the paper), the majority of men are probably more easily swayed by force than by argument. So by bypassing reason in favor of utility (ok, so that is an extreme manner of putting it), is Aristotle in the right?
... ...it's terrible, I'm going all fuzzy about Aristotle too (fuzzy in the head that is. Certainly no fuzzy feelings in the heart ^_^). I'll probably forget everything I ever learned presently.
Oh, and members CAN post--and please do! I'm tired of throwing around confusing ideas well-couched in overstated prose, and besides I make a fool of myself so often during school that it's a pity to overdo it during the summer ^_^