What Is Happiness

Topics: Thomas Aquinas, Happiness, Augustine of Hippo Pages: 4 (1378 words) Published: August 9, 2010
what is Happiness?

what is happiness?
Since human beings appeared on earth, everyone in the world regardless of social class or rank has given a lot of effort to get happiness. The three kinds of rights, which are the rights to pursue life, liberty and happiness are clearly declared in United States Declaration of Independence. If people lost the right of pursuing happiness, human being’s lives, quality and value will be also lost. Hence, many people are striving to be happy. The author of the book, “Stumbling on Happiness,” argues that the definition of happiness is related to the definition of desire by citing the psychologist Freud’s theory, in which people’s endeavor to strive after happiness has two aspects of negative and positive meaning. The first one is to strive after an absence of “pain and displeasure” and the latter one is, “endeavor to experience strong feelings of pleasure.” How many people are realizing the true meaning of happiness despite their effort to be happy? There are two different definitions of happiness defined by secular scholars and Christian scholars. After going over the definition of happiness by Aristotle and Plato as secular scholars, this article will discuss the definition of happiness by St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas as Christian scholars. In the book “Plato Gorgias,” the author defines happiness as a product of virtue with saying that, “Happiness is impossible without virtuous activity.” According to Plato, virtue represents the recovery of the broken inner harmony of man. The virtue enables reason to control over desire and physical stimulation. He compared virtue with taking care of the soul. He insisted on being moral to be happy because he considered virtue as happiness. In the book “The Republic,” Plato also mentioned the individual’s happiness and the whole city’s happiness. He thought that the composition of the individual soul is similar to the structure of the country. His point was that when each class of...

Bibliography: Gilbert Daniel. Stumbling on Happiness. Berryville: Berryville Graphic, 1966.
Plato. Plato Gorgias. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc, 1994.
Plato Republic. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc, 1992.
Santas Gerasimos. Goodness and justice: Plato, Aristotle, and the moderns. Malden: Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 2001.
[ 2 ]. Plato, Plato Gorgias (New York: Oxford University Press, Inc, 1994), XXii, XXiv.
[ 3 ]. Plato, Plato Republic (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc, 1992), 95.
[ 4 ]. Gerasimos Santas, Goodness and justice: Plato, Aristotle, and the Moderns (Malden: Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 2001), 163.
[ 10 ]. Ellen T.Charry, "Happy Pursuits," Christian Century, no. 15 (July 2007): 31.
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