Aquinas View On Happiness

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Aquinas makes numerous claims regarding happiness. Specifically, Aquinas uses the term “happiness” in a sense of objective fulfillment, rather than subjective well-being. He asserts that human happiness does not consist in acquiring things such as money, honor, fame, power, goods of the body, or pleasure. He also claims that complete, i.e. perfect, happiness can only be achieved by contemplating God in the afterlife. I will discuss arguments for, arguments against, and my opinion for both claims.
To support Aquinas’ claim that money, honor, fame, power, goods of the body, or pleasure is not required for human happiness, one may cite they share ends for the sake of human beings. That is, their ends are meant only to fulfill human capacities
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It can somewhat be seen as a more complete fulfillment. An opponent to Aquinas’ claim may discuss that the nature of ultimate human happiness just is based on what it means to be human. Specifically, it results from what a person thinks contributes to his or her own happiness. Since every person has different conceptions of happiness, different things can produce that happiness. For instance, a person may believe that ultimate human happiness consists in maximizing pleasure while minimizing pain. This view does not discriminate on the sources of happiness. A person may gain pleasure through the acquisition of money without experiencing any pain. If this happens on a continual basis, it is fair for that person to claim that he or she has obtained complete human happiness. This is because that person has successfully obtained what he or she thinks constitutes ultimate human happiness. With this approach, it is unreasonable to say that certain things do or do not contribute to a person’s happiness, such that each person’s happiness is individualized. I am inclined to agree with Aquinas’ claim. It is a case where I more greatly disagree with the opponent’s argument than I agree with the argument supporting Aquinas’ claim. I believe that within the human nature there is a certain limit to what humans can accomplish (capacities). Complete fulfillment, then, would mean to fulfill those capacities to the
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