Aristotle Courage War And The Bible Essay

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Aristotle, Courage, War And The Bible Essay, Research Paper Introduction From Desert Storm to Tailhook, prevailing attitudes about military women are being reformulated and tested in myriad ways. How smoothly or quickly a shift in attitudes occurs is chiefly a matter of leadership. Commanders must give women equal access to a level playing field on which each competitor either succeeds or fails based on individual merit. If you put points on the scoreboard, you play. Tough standards outlawing fraternization, shunning paternalism, and minimizing segregation must be accompanied by changes, the hard fact is that women will fight as well as die in our next war. While a gender-neutral meritocracy may be difficult to achieve, an initial step is to promote a shared common identity

and purpose: man or woman, a soldier is a soldier first. (Mariner 54) Rosemary Mariner writes on a very important topic that circulates through the ranks of the military as well as through the public eye. We ponder whether or not women should be allowed to serve among the ranks of those serving in the combat arms and fighting at the front lines; and if they are not allowed to do so, why? The reason most likely stems from the early writings of the great philosophers, which give credence to the belief that women are incapable of possessing virtues, and in this case the virtue of courage. “Aristotle maintains that woman is a mutilated or incomplete man…[and] since he associates heat with life or soul, he therefore supposes women to have less soul than men” (Agonito 41). For

Aristotle the virtue of courage is associated with the actions of soldiers in battle and soldiers in the armies of his times were all men. If such is the case, according to Aristotle, then women are incapable of fighting in wartime situations, because they are not courageous enough. Plato on the other hand argues that “…we’re dealing with a physically weaker sex: the males are stronger” (Plato1 162). Other Platonic writings coincide with this belief. Plato wrote in Laches “If someone is willing to remain in the ranks and ward off the enemies and not run, you know he is courageous” (Plato2 100), this being the definition of courage according to General Laches. Laches further explains that “manliness, though fully expressed only in the actions of war, naturally

includes a whole set of other physical and mental habits without which the citizen-soldier would be incapable of fighting bravely and would lack the willingness to do his duty, if only because of physical and emotional exhaustion” (Plato2 109). In either case it would seem that the consensus is that women should not be allowed to participate in war either because they are incapable of possessing virtue, or because they are too weak. Nevertheless, it will be the primary focus of this paper to argue that courage is not a gender specific virtue. There will be no discussion as to whether or not females are the weaker of the two sexes as this is a moot topic today, primarily because of the use of steroids and other strength enhancement drugs as well as the acceptance of women into

the realm of professional strength training. Virtue Virtue ethics as a theory of morality has existed, most notably, since Aristotle, who maintains that women are “incomplete men”. Courage is one of the virtues discussed by Aristotle. To display courage a person must experience fear and perceive danger, although the circumstances surrounding an act of courage need to be proportionate to perceived risk to avoid the activity becoming an enterprise of foolishness. Furthermore, the potential consequences associated with the risk must be proportionate to the ends concerning the bravery. These elements associated with courage are undoubtedly equally available to both sexes, and in the sense of equality woman can and have been courageous. A virtue is an ideal of the way someone