The Atrocities of Aristotle’s Philosophy

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This is an essay which includes rhetoric of philosophical thoughts and/or ideas of current issues American citizens face today. This essay is meant to be insightful, or challenge your worldview. This essay may include topics such as the current immigration system, political schools of thought, and concepts from the famous philosopher Plato. All ideas and political school of thought are welcome! This college level essay is meant to inspire, not to divide. Comment if you wish.

Victoria Lynn Loftlin

Composition Two

Professor Chief Sentman

1 December 2019


 

  The Atrocities of Aristotle’s Philosophy

 

Aristotle has inspired the masses through his innovative philosophy and school of thought.  He is also the father of western thought, which eventually created democracy. While Aristotle may have inspired basic principles of democracy, he also has failed to address many truths about society.  Aristotle’s philosophy fails to recognize the issue of applying majority rules to a world that is consumed with diverse ideas. While a majority rule may satisfy most, it does not always have the world’s best interest. Aristotle’s philosophy lacks inclusivity, which ultimately creates internal conflict. Plato, who died for his own beliefs, is the epittmony of the issues with Aristotle's school of thought. In order to understand the problematic issues that Aristotle has not addressed, we should first understand Aristotle’s philosophy. 

There are two basic principles that Aristotle's philosophy were founded upon. The majority have the ability to make decisions for society, and also have the ability to choose. Monarchies should not govern the public. History has not taught us well. Consider leaders such as Julius Caesar and Aldof Hitler. They were able to conquer a vast majority of the planet. How were they able to do this? They were able to influence through a position of extreme power, and eliminate any opposition. A dangerous concoction of power, which exercises sole control over a single country, and the ability to eliminate free speech creates conflict. Aristotle’s philosophy also has a second principle. While the majority of society has the ability to choose, they do not exercise control themselves. This may be for multiple reasons. Elections allow the public to vote for any candidate of their choice. However, they ultimately rely on the chosen candidate. It would be tedious and difficult to rely on the public to exercise control. As well, while the public may have expectations of a chosen candidate, they fail to think realistically. This would ultimately lead to unintended consequences. While Aristotle’s philosophy is complicated, for the sake of this essay, just understand these two basic principles.

Plato’s philosophy highlights issues which are problematic for democracy.  Plato was a greek philosopher who died at the hands of an angry, yet blinded public. Plato addressed the Greek public through a nonchalant, unbiased series of philosophical questions. This challenged a chaotic Greek public, who were slowly eliminated. Ask yourself, have you developed a preconceived notion? Could it have been due to a blinded worldview which lacks diversity of opinions? Is your piousness always just? Plato addressed these dominant worldviews, which ultimately lead to his death. The majority rules concept fails to address reasoning. If Plato did not enforce his own worldviews, why did the public enforce theirs onto Plato? The majority rules concept ultimately becomes dangerous to a blind public, who cannot see beyond their domineering worldviews. It may not be the best interest of society to ignore resistance. Consider current issues of today.  The immigration system can be controversial and difficult to address. Today, it is extremly unpopular to recgonize that the United States indeed has an illegal immigration problem. Although we must address the situation better, we should not oust minority opinions. It would also lack reasoning to ignore the issue altogether. If Plato were alive today, he would be the most hated man in America. This is ultimately the issue we currently face. 

Plato's Cave Allegory addresses another issue hidden within society. Aristotle fails to address the public’s lack of awareness, which ultimately hurts themselves. The Cave Allegory proves this theory. Imagine a public who views mere shadows, casted upon a wall. Their reality is clouded. While it may seem real, there are puppet masters manipulating the shadows. One member is set free to roam. They are confused, until they finally see reality. When they inform the rest of the public, they cannot comprehend. This ultimately becomes problematic. Aristotle’s philosophy fails to address this. If a democratic society must rely on a public who refuses to change a worldview, how can we make decisions that have our best interests in mind? Although a decision may seem unpopular, or even infamous, it may ultimately help. When dealing with an unaware public with a domanierring worldview, it may be difficult to help. Therefore, a majority rule concept may not apply to every situation. 

History has shown us the consequences of the majority blindly following a false sense of piety. Aristotle's philosophical ideas certainly has improved western society’s school of thought for the better. However, we must also view his ideas through Plato’s moral ideals. The fundamentals of a democratic government lies within the public’s own piety.  If the public lacks piety, then would we have a functioning society at all? As Euthyphro once said, “the impious, whoever he may be, ought not to go unpunished. For do not men regard Zeus as the best and most righteous of the gods?-and yet they admit that he bound his father because he wickedly devoured his sons..” Plato,  ,___).  Euthyphro defines piety through the word of god. However, who is to say a sense of piety differs from a skeptical Atheist, or a passive Buddist? Plato would agree. Aristotle had never addressed piety. It would be contradictory of Aristotle to define piety. If the majority were to disagree, his philosophy ultimately collapses on itself. America’s piety has been predominantly Christan. Although some may consider the United States puralstic, it is a falsehood. America’s greatest atrocities have been justified under the pretext of religion. Christanity within the United States has justified the Salem Witch Trials, slavery, and even genocide for western expansion. If you skim through any history book, you will find plenty of instances. Therefore, Aristotle's majority rules concept can become dangerous for society as a whole. 

Democratic society can best be described as the famous “elevator experiment”.  The Asch Conformity Experiments of the 1950’s represent democractic society as a whole. These social experiments tested random individuals within a crowded elevator. Imagine walking into an elevator where everyone stood in the opposite direction. Would you give into peer pressure and face the wall? Wouldn’t it seem strange to everyone that you were the only one facing the right direction? This is precisely why Aristotle’s philosophy lacks to address certain societal issues today. It is difficult to prove to the majority that a minority opinion may actually be the correct choice.

Aristotle’s philosophy may have greatly influenced democracy based upon a blind majority,but he fails to address other societal issues. The danger of relying on pretenses of a blind majority lacks reasoning. This school of thought has justified atrosities such as slavery, and genocide. It is easy to follow the majority. However, societal decisions must be made based on rationality. Plato’s philosophy argues that the politically correct school of thought may not always make the best societal decisions. Plato’s philosophy therefore clearly should not be ousted.




 

Works Cited 

 

Plato, et al. Euthyphro ; Apology ; Crito ; Phaedo. Harvard University Press, 2017.

Asch, Solomo. “Brain Pickings .” Brain Pickings , Amazon Service LLC, 13 Jan. 2012, https://www.brainpickings.org/2012/01/13/asch-elevator-experiment/.  

 

 


 


Submitted: December 02, 2019

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