Theory of Golden Mean by Aristotle

Virtuous mean lies between the extremes of excess and deficiency.

Virtuous mean lies between the extremes of excess and deficiency.

Aristotle believes that every human being has rational thinking and different desire. Moral virtue refers to the ability of human being controlling these desires in a rational way. It is a desire-regulating character traits which are at a mean between the problems of excessive or deficiency. Aristotle’s theory of the golden mean is the balance between cowardice and recklessness. We have to exercise phronesis to determine the mean to make rational choices and decisions depend on personal fact and situations.

The worst floods in decades hit Malaysia from the end of 2014 until the starting of 2015. Around 11 areas were affected in Malaysia (AsiaOne Online, 2014). The good news was the flood however, sees the return of kind citizens who sponsor and donate to the victims of the disaster. We have chose to apply the Golden Mean theory in the societal perspective in the case study.

To donate is said to be a good action when people among us need our help, but to donate in an excessive way brings trouble to them in contrarily. As for example, a citizen donated a lorry of eggs to the disaster area but the relief centre has no enough spaces to accommodate the donations. Besides, ‘second hand items’ that were unnecessary needs to the victims such as half used hand cream were also found in the donated goods (Sin Chew Daily, 2015).

There were also citizens who had acted deficiency during the flood in our country. Some might not have been noticed about the news while some noticed but think that they were not able to help. The worse part of the news was some profiteers such as boat owners in Pahang seize the flood as an opportunity to earn money (The Star Online, 2014). The act of ignoring what is happening around and the need of help of the victims even that of our own country or making profits from a disaster is deficiency.

The mean that can help to resolve the ethical dilemmas in the case study is to research and concern about victims from each affected areas to know what are the essentials they need. According to Ryonn Leong from Kelantan, serious shortage of food and drinks and has forces some victims to break into houses to steal (The Malay Mail Online, 2014). By donating essential items such as food, drinks or daily use products in a sufficient amount can be a mean of the extremes.

As a result, it is clear that not every problems can be solved in the application of Golden Mean. The action and decision that are made shows the whole character of the person.


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