Analysis Of St. Thomas Aquinas Treatise On Happiness

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In the Treatise on Happiness, St. Thomas Aquinas lays out his argument for the existence of an ultimate purpose to human life. He first argues that this ultimate end is applied to any one human being, followed by all human beings. An “end” is considered purpose, or that for which something exists. This argument will acknowledge all of Aquinas’s points up until he applies this ultimate end to the whole of humanity. Human beings do act towards an end, but this end cannot be considered universal. Since human beings only act towards a known purpose – and the universal end is unknown – humans can never work towards the universal end, rendering it irrelevant.
First, we must agree that humans are rational. To be rational according to Aquinas means to be a master of his or her actions through his reason and will, something exclusive to
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If we never can know what the universal end is or how to get there, then we can never progress towards it and therefore never achieve it. It is possible to argue that since we each strive to be the best version of ourselves, this can be defined as the universal end. I find this definition as incomplete and inconsistent because it is a sweepingly broad term when in reality each person has a different “best version” in mind.
Even though this argument may make sense, Aquinas would probably have some obvious objections. First, Aquinas would argue that the universal end does not need to be achieved in order to strive towards it, or it can be achieved in some way that transcends the material world. Second, he would probably say that all our goals and desires reflect a lesser version of a greater end that we all are hoping to achieve. Lastly, it is more inspiring and motivating to say that we as humanity all strive for one end goal that unites all of us, rather than saying our lives begin and end with

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