6/16/12

Aristotle gives first place to honor


Aristotle gives first place to honor 
Honor is not something one generally wills
 It is something that is conferred by others
Or given by oneself to another
It is a characteristic not an action

Aristotle's list of virtues is noted on page 178 
of "What Nietzsche Really Said" 
by Robert C. Solomon and Kathleen M. Higgins.
They are temperance 
liberality
 magnificence
 justice
 truthfulness
 wittiness
 friendliness
 and honor
the latter being "all-embracing"

Aristotle's emphasis on honor 
no doubt lies behind honor's survival as a "value" 
But honor and these other characteristic are not values 
They have no essential worth
They are possible virtues and nothing more

Indeed honor is what Shakespeare correctly observed 
via Falstaff 
died on Wednesday.
a mere scutcheon

The future of the world lies in the embrace 
of conscious willed values
chosen because they help us to survive

Aristotle has no workable value system
Yet his thought rules 
It has not worked to keep us from the results of 
idolatry intolerance greed and autocracy

Aristotle's wisdom is not as wise as that of Jesus 
whose basic value is no other Gods
One can will and practice non-idolatry 
and many do unconsciously 
simply by a habit of skepticism and open-mindedness

The ontological values 
one can discover within 
and infer from Jesus 
and other teachers of willed values 
are 
tolerance democracy 
helpfulness and non-idolatry




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