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The understanding of what is good in these two philosophies is distinct. Aristotle believes that good, "has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim" (35). Aristotle believes that all actions are performed toward some good. To Aristotle there is no specific good because good is happiness and happiness is different to every person. Politics is the "science of the good" (35) to Aristotle because the bettering of the state as a whole is what is most important. Aristotle categorizes happiness into three kinds, which are gratification, politics, and study. Gratification is where "the mass of mankind are evidently quite slavish in their tastes (38). This is the life of happiness through material objects like money. Politics is not as solipsistic but it still involves happiness through honor, and therefore still superficial. The life of study is the least base of the three because happiness comes from within and does not rely on any outside forces. In Christianity the understanding of good is different because there is one specific good. Living a good life, translates into living a life completely directed toward God. All actions are meant to achieve salvation and to be blessed by God. Those who do not follow the commandments "will be called least in the kingdom of heaven" (182) and those who do follow the commandments and teach others to do the same "will be called great in the kingdom of heaven" (182). The difference is that Aristotle believes that every man has his own happiness, but in Christianity happiness is assumed to be salvation by God. The dictionary definition of good, valid and genuine, applies to both the Christian good and Aristotle's good. The good achieved in Christianity must be valid and genuine since God cannot be tricked, or deceived. Aristotle's good must also be genuine, because to Aristotle any action must be toward some genuine good to that particular person. No one would choose right over wrong if they did not truly believe that their choice was the necessary and proper choice at the time.
Virtue is the result of being good, and it is another aspect that
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- Aristotle believes that good, "has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim" ...
- Aristotle also believes that "moral virtue comes about as a result of habit" ...
- Aristotle also understands this and states, "For men are good in but one way, but bad in many".
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