“Are You Happy Now?” Essay

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Happiness is a term that typically has different definitions. Some define happiness, as the things one possess; others may define it as doing a good deed and the feeling one has after doing a good deed. Merriam-Webster defines happiness as, “a state of well-being and contentment” . Even Aristotle acknowledges that everyone disagrees on the definition of happiness because we all have a different thought-process and prior knowledge. Even though there are many definitions to happiness, both Aristotle and John Stuart Mill take a similar approach when attempting to define happiness in their books. Aristotle and Mill discuss their theories of happiness and pleasure, and their views of virtue in ethics and its relation to happiness. Aristotle …show more content…
Mill is looking for the “criteria of right and wrong,” which serves as the basic standard to decide what is moral. Both Mill and Aristotle knew that happiness is very important to human beings and they both defined happiness in their books. Aristotle and Mill came to the conclusion that in order to attain happiness, men should be participating in activities that belong to humans. Aristotle and Mill have slightly different opinions to what they believe are human characteristics. They both shared a similar idea. In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle begins by discussing that everything we do as human beings can be described in one way, “the way which all things aim” (I.1, 1094a 1-3). The good is that of which all things aim, resulting in everything we do aims at some good. The good does not necessarily mean morally good, but what you believe to be good. In class we discussed, “it is good to protect my family, even if it means killing a person” . This idea is similar to Mill believe of the greatest happiness/good for the greatest number. By protecting multiple members of one’s family and killing a person is better the members of one’s family getting hurt or killed. Even though the idea of Utilitarianism was a reality until the late 1700s and early 1800s, Aristotle was laying groundwork for the greatest good for the greatest number. First, Aristotle defines happiness as, “an end that justifies all other ends”

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