In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle understands good things to be either good in themselves (i.e. pleasure, honor, wisdom, sight) or good as a means to the inherently good things. Consequently, humans are not inherently good but must be actively good to acquire those things good in themselves; to Aristotle, good is a way of living for those who wish for proximity to or for the qualities of inherent goodness. Aristotle acknowledges that the human pursuit for these good things, then, is a selfish one. He writes that honor is too superficial to be good “since it appears to depend on those who confer more than on him upon whom it is conferred” and because “men’s motive in pursuing honour seems to be to assure themselves of their own merit” (15). Wealth and pleasure, other “good things” cited by Aristotle, also exist clearly to comfort man’s body or ego. Thus, human goodness is somehow impure. Aristotle writes, though, that the Idea of Good – a transcendent idea of goodness – is “not relevant to Ethics” because “it clearly will not be practicable or attainable by man” (23). Instead, he believes that “the Good which we are now seeking is a good within human reach” (23). So, man cannot achieve Goodness, for there is no Goodness to for him to achieve. He can merely adhere to good action to obtain inherently good things, and, at best, his good action will be voluntary but superficial or impure, since “pleasure and nobility supply the motives of all actions whatsoever” (121,123). Aristotle writes, “it is our choice of good or evil that determines our character” and here raises a question of desire (133). For though both good and bad choices can be self-serving, a man must decide whether he desires a good or an evil character as recognized by his society. In this way, character becomes somewhat of an act determined by society. It seems to me that both Aristotle – with his view of human goodness – and a stringent society confine the ultimate understanding and the potential of human character to transcend into the realm of Goodness.