10
   

What thing would exist only to destroy itself?

 
 
JPhil
 
Reply Sat 28 May, 2011 09:51 pm
What I mean is that every action this thing makes is only for its own doom. Of Which every action or thought this thing makes is only for bringing an 'end' to itself. Not in a way such that it 'thinks' its doing some good but it knows it is doing bad. I'm looking for a counter example to Aristotle's claim that "every action is thought to aim toward some good." But I'm saying this may not be true in every case. There may be some actions such that it "aims at some bad" not just from the observer but also from the doer.
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Type: Question • Score: 10 • Views: 6,925 • Replies: 44
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High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 May, 2011 10:05 pm
@JPhil,
JPhil wrote:

I'm looking for a counter example to Aristotle's claim that "every action is thought to aim toward some good."

He claims nothing of the sort - you better double-check your source:
Quote:

ἐπαινετὰ μέν ἐστι τὰ καλά, ψεκτὰ δὲ τὰ αἰσχρά. καὶ τῶν μὲν καλῶν ἡγοῦνται αἱ ἀρεταί, τῶν δ᾽ αἰσχρῶν αἱ κακίαι. ἐπαινετὰ δ᾽ ἐστὶ καὶ τὰ αἴτια τῶν ἀρετῶν καὶ τὰ παρεπόμενα ταῖς ἀρεταῖς καὶ τὰ γινόμενα ἀπ᾽ αὐτῶν καὶ τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν, ψεκτὰ δὲ τὰ ἐναντία.

Aristotle, Virtues and Vices
I. Bekker, Ed.
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/
JPhil
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 May, 2011 07:04 am
@High Seas,
Yes he does. It is the very first sentence in Nicomachean Ethics, "Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and pursuit, is 'thought to aim at some good'; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim." http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.1.i.html The very first sentence on this site.
High Seas
 
  2  
Reply Sun 29 May, 2011 10:45 am
@JPhil,
Thanks for that link to that translation - which is misleading, as it really camouflages the subtlety in the original. Obviously this isn't what Aristotle wrote (English didn't even exist at the time) so you can't state that "Yes he does" (!) only what your cited translator wrote. Aristotle however wrote:
Quote:

πᾶσα τέχνη καὶ πᾶσα μέθοδος, ὁμοίως δὲ πρᾶξίς τε καὶ προαίρεσις, ἀγαθοῦ τινὸς ἐφίεσθαι δοκεῖ: διὸ καλῶς ἀπεφήναντο τἀγαθόν, οὗ πάντ᾽ ἐφίεται.

It's very hard to translate in a literary manner but this is the precise (sadly not quite as literary), meaning of all the words used in this opening:

Quote:
"Every art and every method, and similarly every action and intention, appears to attempt to reach some good; it's therefore well said that the good is what everything aims at."


Note the words in bold - see how Aristotle hedges his opening statement, not once but twice? If you keep on reading the text you'll see why he does that.

JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 May, 2011 11:19 am
Volcanos and explosives?
JPhil
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Jun, 2011 07:05 am
@High Seas,
Even so, besides his argument. I'm still wanting to know is there anything that exist to destroy itself? Something that lives or only exist to do away with it self.
JPhil
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Jun, 2011 08:13 am
@JLNobody,
Hm..I think explosives could be. But do volcanoes really live to die, I mean there is always some vegetation on them? I guess what I'm asking is, is there a things that actively kills itself?
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Thu 2 Jun, 2011 08:30 am
@JPhil,
JPhil wrote:
things that actively kills itself?

Salmon.

They die so that their offspring can feed off of the bugs that come to eat their corpse.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Jun, 2011 09:36 pm
@DrewDad,
Bingo!
0 Replies
 
melisawilson
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jun, 2011 01:44 am
@JPhil,
I think Ego is the destroyer of self and is meant to destroy self..by doing selfish activities all the time.
Krumple
 
  2  
Reply Fri 3 Jun, 2011 02:05 am
@JPhil,
I think one of the major problems with your question is the use of the word "Good". What is the subject that the word good is being applied to? Good for whom? Good for what? For example, I could do something that is good for myself but perhaps it is not good for the planet or perhaps society in general. Or to put it on a more simplistic level, I could do something that is good for myself but bad for my neighbor.

That salmon example is a horrible one, because it implies that the salmon sacrifices itself with the intent to feed the young. How can you actually make that claim? I highly doubt that is what motivates the salmon to be honest. I could be wrong but every salmon does that? Seems suspect. I think something more simplistic is happening that does not include any intention on the part of the salmon. What could that be? Well perhaps there is something biologically happening within the salmon itself, such as when it becomes time to spawn it's other biological habits such as feeding are in some ways effected which become detrimental to the organism itself. So the salmon dies from this result. That is only an example, I am not trying to claim that this is what actually happens but my point is, making a claim that a salmon self sacrifices to feed the young is a bit outlandish of a claim without something to actually back it up with. There are other possible reasons why the result happens that can do without any sort of conscious intention behind it's actions.

I personally do not see the world in such a way that everything happens for good reasons or good intentions. I think that is looking too narrow when examining to the world to be honest. How so? Just look at what you do to survive? If you are a consumer of meat, just ask the cow or the chicken who is getting the better part of the deal and you will see what I mean.

So when you use the word good, you have to give a context otherwise the use of the word is so relative that it becomes meaningless.
JPhil
 
  2  
Reply Sat 4 Jun, 2011 07:29 am
@DrewDad,
huh. interesting. thank you.
0 Replies
 
JPhil
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jun, 2011 07:42 am
@Krumple,
Ok. I agree, I should be more specific. Well I meant by "good" is that it is not beneficial for the thing making the action but destroys the thing. With every action of this thing it "destroys itself" willingly and purposefully. This thing exist and wants to "destroy itself." It is not doing so for the benefit of anything else, even more the intention of this thing is not for any benefit at all, but destruction. Furthermore, the intentions of this thing is not to destroy anything else but only "destroy itself."
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 4 Jun, 2011 07:48 am
@JLNobody,
JLNobody wrote:

Volcanos and explosives?


Toilet paper
0 Replies
 
raprap
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jun, 2011 08:18 am
Auto-destructive Art


Rap
0 Replies
 
igm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jun, 2011 10:27 am
@JPhil,
Answer: A human who tells someone they want to commit suicide because they want to, even though they think the act is not good but bad. Then that human acts from then on in such a way that never contradicts this aim and results in the death of that human. If that human never changed its mind and died, then from the time that human made the decision, the human (i.e. thing) would exist only to destroy itself.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sat 4 Jun, 2011 10:50 am
@JPhil,
JPhil wrote:
I'm still wanting to know is there anything that exist to destroy itself?


everything that lives dies, everything that's created, eventually decays
JPhil
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2011 05:41 am
@igm,
Yeah I guess for humans it would depend on their changing motives.
0 Replies
 
JPhil
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2011 05:42 am
@djjd62,
It doesn't mean the actions everything takes in for their own destruction.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2011 05:51 am
@JPhil,
sure it does, conception is an action that starts the ball rolling towards the eventual destruction of the life created, no one lives forever, every couple who make a child no it's going to die on day (they probably deluded themselves that it won't happen, and since parents tend to die first, i guess it's easily accomplished)
 

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