Why Do We As Humans Do What We Do?

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Why do we as humans do what we do? Is there an explanation for our actions? What exactly are our actions and what goes into those actions? All of these questions can be answered and it all comes down to the point of happiness. Through text such as “Human Fulfillment” by David Cloutier, Moral Theology True Happiness and the Virtues by William C. Mattison, and “On Free Choice of the Will” by Augustine we will find answers and examples to these questions. It is everyone’s purpose in life to live a happy life or a life that leads to happiness, but not all of us as humans can achieve this happiness. Through human action we can understand what needs to be done to achieve happiness. First we need to understand why anyone does anything at all. …show more content…
Human action is described by Mattison as free action. Here he defines what free action is, “Free action is goal-directed activity, but not simply that. It is the activity of a person who understands the goal of an activity and therefore does, or does not, do it with a certain understanding of that goal in mind.” (Mattison 48) Anyone, anything, can have an intentional action where you have a goal and you make it happen, but it takes a free action for someone to understand that goal and understand what they do to accomplish this goal. Animals do not have free actions thus why this is a human action. There are also three aspects of human action that Mattison points out. These three aspects are Object, intention, and circumstance. Object would be the action, intention would be the goal, and circumstance is the features of the situation which help to determine the morality of the action. These aspects can help us to evaluate human action. Take the example of self-defense: the object would be the action of harming another human, the intention is to protect yourself, and the circumstance would be you are being attacked and need to protect yourself to survive. Through human action we can understand why we are doing these actions and how these actions separate us from animal. Animals have actions but they do not have free actions because …show more content…
Still, we need to remember that we cannot just desire to be happy but do the goodwill rightly to actually achieve happiness. Cloutier taught us that we do what we do in life to affect our future, because eventually in the end we will achieve happiness. Mattison taught us what human action is and how it can differ from the actions that animals have. Our human free action is one with understanding as opposed to animals who have a goal and just do it. We as humans actually question our actions and evaluate what we do. Through the three aspects of human action we can truly evaluate our own actions and understand. Augustine taught us that everyone can will, desire, to be happy, but this does not mean they will become happy. To become happy you have to be good and do good actions, good will, to be truly happy. Over all, our human actions determine if we will be happy in the end of life. We have free will and can make our own choices in life, and these choices will determine if we become happy or not. If we focus on the future and understand our actions and use them with good intentions and do the good will then we will be

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