Aristotle And Aquinas Analysis

Superior Essays
To begin with, purpose has been regarded as the key to decision making, as an evolutionary adaptation, as a means of making sense out of chaos and as an individual’s ultimate goal. Purpose is the inner strength and the responsibility that a man has for his existence. Among our potentials are the ability to seek our own individual good and the ability to seek well of the society.
Many philosophers and theologians have tried to explain the ultimate purpose of life and the goals for an individual’s existence. This has led to many conclusions about the human body and soul and the end life of human beings. Aristotle and Aquinas have held that the good of society is paramount and that we should refer it to our individual good. About the self,
…show more content…
The main aim of summa is to show why human beings exist, their destiny and how they can achieve it (Kreeft, 1990). He argues that human beings exist to know God and that their destiny is to enjoy God’s vision in the next life. This means they ought to act properly in this life in order to be worthy of their destiny. About human end, Aquinas argues that every thing has a nature that aims to achieve its specific perfection which is its end. Accordingly, human beings differ from other kinds of materials in that they have the power to understand and reason. Since the power of reason is the specific perfection of human beings, they attain their ultimate perfection and the state of happiness by reasoning activities and activities in accord to reason. He rejects any contention that human happiness consists of material goods, although some like a sound body and moderate wealth are necessary for life happiness. Aquinas believes that human happiness is a soul condition produced by activities of reason and other human activities in this life in accord with reason. In these points Aquinas is in basic agreement with Aristotle. However, when Aquinas specifies the object of human happiness, he decisively disagrees with Aristotle. Aquinas argues that the object of perfect happiness is the intellectual vision of God’s essence, albeit not a comprehensive vision. He has argued that human beings will …show more content…
On one hand, the fact that human beings have a desire from nature for the complete happiness of the beatific vision, this seem to suggest that God who created them with that desire ought to fulfill it if human beings act in accord with right reason and his will. On the contrary, to suppose that God could have not bestowed the beatific vision on those who follow the dictates of right reason, and his will seems to imply that God ought to have left unfulfilled the natural desire of human beings for complete happiness in his vision. The position of Aquinas regarding this is that, human beings can attain an incomplete and imperfect happiness in this life by their natural power to acquire intellectual and moral virtue. However, they cannot by their natural power acquire the complete and perfect happiness of the beatific vision. This can be assumed to mean that the beatific vision is a God’s gift which he freely designs to bestow on those who do his

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    As philosophers, by contemplating the good they are also closest to the good. They 're happy because they know how to act in accordance with beliefs. They make true choices about the value and worth of their actions, thus resulting in happiness. Plato fought against “sophists” who claimed that there was no truth, only opinion, which is ruled by basic needs and desires rather than reason. Plato argued that it is through reason that we find the good.…

    • 1141 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Mill used utilitarianism as a basis for ethics and he argued that we already do use utilitarianism as a moral standard. To Mill an action is right if it promotes happiness and it is wrong if it reverse happiness. Kant on the other hand bases his view of ethics on good will rather than the outcomes of happiness. As we read, utilitarianism focuses on outcomes of happiness, here we can concluded that it is based on ends, not on means or intentions. I do not totally agree with this however, a person could intend something bad and wrong but in the end, end up causing great happiness.…

    • 1351 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    It ask question like what is morality or why should I have morals. With the meaning of life, it come down to having the right thoughts on what you’re doing in such way to have you think it’s the correct way. The meaning of life is finding the god with in you to make it possible to have the right idea of selecting your right or wrong doings. The good that I believe is proper is what as a human we hold inside ourselves. Our actions and functions as human make us unique.…

    • 864 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    For Epicurus, he believed that human pleasure was the ultimate happiness. He believed that virtues were a way to gain human pleasure. Aristotle did not agree with pleasure being the source of happiness. Instead, he believed that a person should look out for their own self-interests. Secondly, both philosophers believed that happiness can be found in the community.…

    • 1025 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Swenson takes a decidedly theistic stance on the meaning life in which the beginning of his argument is based on the idea of happiness. Swenson argues that life’s true purpose is based on achieving happiness through serving the moral consciousness. It is the moral consciousness through an action and devotion in which reveals the existence of God thus giving meaning and dignity to life. Furthermore, Swenson begin an idea that humans are provided by nature with the desire for happiness (Swenson 2008, p. 18). To further the idea that happiness must be sought, he states the thought that life is not life unless it is considered happy with the comparison, happiness is not happiness unless it can be justified (Swenson 2008, p. 19).…

    • 1162 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Happiness, Aristotle argues, is a complete and sufficient good (Aristotle 's Ethics). This means that happiness is desired only for itself, that the sake of nothing else is the reason for desiring it, that it is without evils, and it satisfies all desire. In this logic, moral virtue is not the end of life, that for which all is aimed, since misery and inactivity may accompany moral virtue. Thus, happiness is the best good. To be complete, happiness is an activity which involves both moral and intellectual reasoning.…

    • 1645 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Thomas Aquinas’, and some that differ. In Kant’s Groundwork of Metaphysics of Morals, also talks about good will and happiness. As opposed to Aquinas, however, he believes that instinct is better used to attain happiness. According to Kant, without a good will one cannot even be worthy of happiness. What makes the good will is its efficacy in accomplishing some intended end.…

    • 710 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    I am a child of God, and it is my duty to do what he commands. In faith, I believe that God’s commands are for my own good. He loves us and wants to help us, not give us some unnecessary obligation. As our creator, he has the knowledge to know how we should live our lives, what works best, and what will cause the most happiness. With this belief, I have the hope that I will be able to live a moral life.…

    • 1302 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Are the properties of being loving and kind good because they are assets that God exemplifies, or is God good because he exemplifies those traits? Both of these possibilities are not accepted completely. The first because it seems to deprive God from the claim that He is good of all its content, and the second because it makes goodness separate from God…

    • 807 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In this essay I will argue that Aristotle’s view of morality is superior to that of Immanuel Kant because Aristotle takes into account an individual’s entire life when determining if they are an ethical person, whereas Kant looks only at the individual actions. He determines morality by looking at what kind of person we should be, while Kant answers these questions by looking at what actions we should perform. Secondly, Kant argues that happiness shouldn’t be involved in the ethical decision making process, while Aristotle believes that not only are happiness and ethical decisions linked, but in order to achieve happiness, it is required to make virtuous decisions. A third reason why I prefer Aristotle’s moral reasoning is that Kant says that…

    • 1242 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays