Cornell West is a man who is renowned for his two major roles. First of all, he is a philosophical, religious and an African American scholar. Besides the world of academics, he is an intellectual provocateur. This means that he has participated in various lectures, at rallies and in movies like the matrix sequels (Yancy 2001:363). Cornell believes that the celebrity status of a man should be employed to struggle for freedom and goodness of others. He urges people not to fear being famous as it can be used as a force for good. His scholarly works have been mainly on social theory, philosophy and religious notions.
Part 2: Question 3
Many people see happiness as the ability to enjoy a number of activities. Others think that a good life is characterized by the ability of a person to spend time doing things he loves. Aristotle believes that good life is the ability to enjoy the proper things in life. In addition, Aristotle believes that proper activities would be able to assist a person to be happy. He admits that proper activities are those that illustrate or execute the purpose of man. This unique ability to do humanity’s purpose is what separates them from other species (Aristotle 1987:1098a13-17). Reason is the sole thing that separates man from other species. Having a good life means engaging in activities that exploit our abilities to reason. Aristotle argues that a good life is not characterized by illegal activities like stealing or killing.
Aristotle believes that all human beings have a purpose. Normally, this purpose is found in the unique ability of a human being to employ reason. Man is the only species in the entire creation that can be rational. Whenever individuals pursue activities that are rational, people fulfill purpose. Aristotle argues that living in the life of contemplation is the highest form of goodness (Aristotle 1987:1177a11-18). Contemplation has been best expressed in the ability to reason. Nevertheless, most people are not able to employ this ability. Aristotle believed that many people from the lower class, women and children could not have a good life. This is because they had no power to choose their path of life. In addition, they could not be able to choose any actions that benefited them. This made them not to have the proper virtues that are necessary for a good life. Animals were not included in having a good life, because they had no ability to be rational.
Children were excluded from having a good life, because they had not had any chance to practice their intellectual virtues. Aristotle argues that people who had experienced pain had no ability to learn new friendships. According to Aristotle, friendships were a vital feature for having a good life. People who had chronic diseases were not able to have a good life also. This is because they had no ability to comprehend the desires of a healthy person (Aristotle 1987:1098a13-17). Aristotle argued that the gods too were excluded from a good life. This is because their own inabilities to have limitations were restricting. In addition, they would desire for things that are risky, such as falling in love with mortal beings. People who are isolated could not be able to lead a good life. This is because good virtues require an object that will receive the treatment. For instance, for a person to execute the virtue of generosity, a needy person has to exist. All these people could not be able to access a good life, because of things that were out of their control.
Being in the correct social class or an influential family were necessary conditions for one to have a good life. Additionally, they must be of the correct age. He argues that these people were exempted from having bad experiences like diseases or being isolated from the society. For one to be a candidate of a good life, they must have knowledge of what they were doing. They must have the ability to choose their own path. Having a good life relies greatly on the external factors that are beyond the control of human beings (Aristotle 1987:1177a11-18). Aristotle argues that luck is significant in a person’s ability to lead a good life. He states that people ought not to leave their entire life at the mercies of fate. This is because everything that is necessary to have a good life is normally beyond the control of an individual. This would make living purposeless, because things would be outside the control of the agent.
Aristotle’s believed in the existence of God. In his argument, he states that God resides in the world’s circumference. God causes motion in the world trough the forces of love. He believed that God did not create the universe. This is because the world was not created and is eternal. Aristotle believes that the material world would not have come from a second material entity. Being the mover of this universe, God loves having the best things in life. God is not aware completely of anything that is outside Himself. He deems himself as the only thing that is worthy of thought (Aristotle 1988:132). Aristotle believed that there were no other worlds. The world that human beings lived had enough material to make one world. To Aristotle, God was not an object to be adored. Aristotle did not believe that God played any function in his natural philosophy. These arguments have created criticism for both Christians and Muslims. Christians thought the arguments placed restrictions on the power of God.
The movie, The Matrix is mainly about artificial intelligent machines that take over the universe. These machines have been able to bring destruction to the real world. This has been done by creating another world that only exists in the minds of human beings. Cornell argues that, the matrix depicts a life of oppression by an illusion that humans cannot see (Yancy 2001:66). The film, The Matrix believes in the existence of God. This is depicted in the character Neo, who is the deliverer of the human race. In the film, God knows everything that happens to human beings, but chooses to keep a distance from all that is happening. God is the architect in the film. After creating the matrix, he sat down to watch the creation he had made. The film depicts how the outside forces hinder people from having the good life that they desire.