Briefly discuss – “To be ethical is to live a rational life”.

Heraclitus says: “To be ethical is to live a rational life, to obey the dictates of reason, which is the same for us all, the same for the whole world.” Man is entrusting himself to his senses, and he lives as if he were epileptic. The strife between opposites, such as love and hate, is to be resolved according to a measure (metron). Research on Heraclitus reveals that his moral views are of primary importance in his teaching. Morality means respect for law, self-discipline, control of the passions; to be moral is to govern oneself by rational principles. The following excerpts from his writings illustrate the lofty idealism of Heraclitus’ ethics:

“Character is a man’s guardian divinity”; “It is hard to contend with passion; for whatever it desires to get it buys at the cost of the soul”. “To me one man is ten thousand if he be the best”. Man’s condition is bad if we look into his mind. One more element is added here to the richness of the concept of our good. Would not this be thought a great influence for the character disposition in Aristotle’s virtue theory? Aristotle says that a good action springs from a permanent state of good moral character. “The many are not worth anything, only the few are valuable”.

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