Author Topic: Whether mans happiness consists in any bodily good?  (Read 1470 times)

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Whether mans happiness consists in any bodily good?
« on: February 07, 2014, 12:11:15 PM »
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  • http://www.newadvent.org/summa/2002.htm#article5

    Article 5. Whether man's happiness consists in any bodily good?

    Objection 1. It would seem that man's happiness consists in bodily goods. For it is written (Sirach 30:16): "There is no riches above the riches of the health of the body." But happiness consists in that which is best. Therefore it consists in the health of the body.

    Objection 2. Further, Dionysius says (Div. Nom. v), that "to be" is better than "to live," and "to live" is better than all that follows. But for man's being and living, the health of the body is necessary. Since, therefore, happiness is man's supreme good, it seems that health of the body belongs more than anything else to happiness.

    Objection 3. Further, the more universal a thing is, the higher the principle from which it depends; because the higher a cause is, the greater the scope of its power. Now just as the causality of the efficient cause consists in its flowing into something, so the causality of the end consists in its drawing the appetite. Therefore, just as the First Cause is that which flows into all things, so the last end is that which attracts the desire of all. But being itself is that which is most desired by all. Therefore man's happiness consists most of all in things pertaining to his being, such as the health of the body.

    On the contrary, Man surpasses all other animals in regard to happiness. But in bodily goods he is surpassed by many animals; for instance, by the elephant in longevity, by the lion in strength, by the stag in fleetness. Therefore man's happiness does not consist in goods of the body.

    I answer that, It is impossible for man's happiness to consist in the goods of the body; and this for two reasons. First, because, if a thing be ordained to another as to its end, its last end cannot consist in the preservation of its being. Hence a captain does not intend as a last end, the preservation of the ship entrusted to him, since a ship is ordained to something else as its end, viz. to navigation. Now just as the ship is entrusted to the captain that he may steer its course, so man is given over to his will and reason; according to Sirach 15:14: "God made man from the beginning and left him in the hand of his own counsel." Now it is evident that man is ordained to something as his end: since man is not the supreme good. Therefore the last end of man's reason and will cannot be the preservation of man's being.

    Secondly, because, granted that the end of man's will and reason be the preservation of man's being, it could not be said that the end of man is some good of the body. For man's being consists in soul and body; and though the being of the body depends on the soul, yet the being of the human soul depends not on the body, as shown above (I, 75, 2); and the very body is for the soul, as matter for its form, and the instruments for the man that puts them into motion, that by their means he may do his work. Wherefore all goods of the body are ordained to the goods of the soul, as to their end. Consequently happiness, which is man's last end, cannot consist in goods of the body.

    Reply to Objection 1. Just as the body is ordained to the soul, as its end, so are external goods ordained to the body itself. And therefore it is with reason that the good of the body is preferred to external goods, which are signified by "riches," just as the good of the soul is preferred to all bodily goods.

    Reply to Objection 2. Being taken simply, as including all perfection of being, surpasses life and all that follows it; for thus being itself includes all these. And in this sense Dionysius speaks. But if we consider being itself as participated in this or that thing, which does not possess the whole perfection of being, but has imperfect being, such as the being of any creature; then it is evident that being itself together with an additional perfection is more excellent. Hence in the same passage Dionysius says that things that live are better than things that exist, and intelligent better than living things.

    Reply to Objection 3.
    Since the end corresponds to the beginning; this argument proves that the last end is the first beginning of being, in Whom every perfection of being is: Whose likeness, according to their proportion, some desire as to being only, some as to living being, some as to being which is living, intelligent and happy. And this belongs to few.

    Come on teach me.  Ask me a question.  Do something man.  This is Aquinas!

    Anonymous

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    Whether mans happiness consists in any bodily good?
    « Reply #1 on: February 12, 2014, 06:24:33 PM »
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    If there is no happiness in bodily good why won't Catholic men marry ugly women who are virtuous in soul?


    Anonymous

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    Whether mans happiness consists in any bodily good?
    « Reply #2 on: February 28, 2014, 09:40:29 AM »
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    If there is no happiness in bodily good why won't Catholic men marry ugly women who are virtuous in soul?


    I think Thomas is speaking of genuine happiness which is lasting rather than passing pleasures.  

    Who would consider the various features of women to be "accidents" not their "essence".  Their essence is body soul composite with the soul being immortal and rational.  

    This speaks of people searching for "happiness" in all the wrong places, having an end in pleasure (with women) and how they are perceived (with a beautiful women) rather than obtaining the goal for which we were meant, the Beatific Vision which is the eternal fulfillment of all our desires beyond our wildest imagination.    

    Anonymous

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    Whether mans happiness consists in any bodily good?
    « Reply #3 on: February 28, 2014, 10:29:18 AM »
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    If there is no happiness in bodily good why won't Catholic men marry ugly women who are virtuous in soul?


    I think Thomas is speaking of genuine happiness which is lasting rather than passing pleasures.  

    Who would consider the various features of women to be "accidents" not their "essence".  Their essence is body soul composite with the soul being immortal and rational.  

    This speaks of people searching for "happiness" in all the wrong places, having an end in pleasure (with women) and how they are perceived (with a beautiful women) rather than obtaining the goal for which we were meant, the Beatific Vision which is the eternal fulfillment of all our desires beyond our wildest imagination.    


    I understand but explain why there are so many unmarried trad men upwards of 30 who won't lower their standards for physical beauty (which fades in a few short years--trust me on that) and seek marriage with a simple but virtuous woman?  A truly Catholic woman isn't going to be beautiful by worldly standards so why do Catholic men seek that?

    Anonymous

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    Whether mans happiness consists in any bodily good?
    « Reply #4 on: February 28, 2014, 11:49:30 AM »
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    If there is no happiness in bodily good why won't Catholic men marry ugly women who are virtuous in soul?


    I think Thomas is speaking of genuine happiness which is lasting rather than passing pleasures.  

    Who would consider the various features of women to be "accidents" not their "essence".  Their essence is body soul composite with the soul being immortal and rational.  

    This speaks of people searching for "happiness" in all the wrong places, having an end in pleasure (with women) and how they are perceived (with a beautiful women) rather than obtaining the goal for which we were meant, the Beatific Vision which is the eternal fulfillment of all our desires beyond our wildest imagination.    


    I understand but explain why there are so many unmarried trad men upwards of 30 who won't lower their standards for physical beauty (which fades in a few short years--trust me on that) and seek marriage with a simple but virtuous woman?  A truly Catholic woman isn't going to be beautiful by worldly standards so why do Catholic men seek that?


    First (I will answer your question at the end) let clarify also that Aquinas speaks of what "constitutes" happiness rather than what makes a man "feel" happy:

    I answer that, It is impossible for any created good to constitute man's happiness. For happiness is the perfect good, which lulls the appetite altogether; else it would not be the last end, if something yet remained to be desired. Now the object of the will, i.e. of man's appetite, is the universal good; just as the object of the intellect is the universal true. Hence it is evident that naught can lull man's will, save the universal good. This is to be found, not in any creature, but in God alone; because every creature has goodness by participation. Wherefore God alone can satisfy the will of man, according to the words of Psalm 102:5: "Who satisfieth thy desire with good things." Therefore God alone constitutes man's happiness.

    ____
    I have a saying "The truth will set you free" that I like to repeat.  Let me tell you why.  I have always been attracted to women but when I became authentically Catholic and knew I did not have a religious vocation looks were not a concern for me.  The bottom line was she had to be Catholic in every way, how she dressed, at all times not just for Mass, agreement to stay home and raise our children, agreement not to go or bring children to anything attached to the NO including "indult/moto agreement on SV.  Agreement about many things that I considered essential if we had children.  

    Suffice it to say this weeded many women out, some quite beautiful.  I never had to break up with anyone and say this is not working.  My uncompromising stance did it for me.  The truth does indeed set you free, from a lifetime of heartache and an eternity of Hell.  Looks were not a consideration for me but merely Catholicism uncompromised and against all odds I found someone whom I believe I was not worthy to find and marry.  

    I believe I am not the only male that would insist on physical beauty.  In fact a truly uncompromising Catholic would not be concerned about the accidents (physical beauty) of a potential spouse but merely her "essence" is she Catholic to the chore or not.  If not, then there need not be a further pursual.  


    Offline ggreg

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    Whether mans happiness consists in any bodily good?
    « Reply #5 on: February 28, 2014, 12:37:47 PM »
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    If there is no happiness in bodily good why won't Catholic men marry ugly women who are virtuous in soul?


    I think Thomas is speaking of genuine happiness which is lasting rather than passing pleasures.  

    Who would consider the various features of women to be "accidents" not their "essence".  Their essence is body soul composite with the soul being immortal and rational.  

    This speaks of people searching for "happiness" in all the wrong places, having an end in pleasure (with women) and how they are perceived (with a beautiful women) rather than obtaining the goal for which we were meant, the Beatific Vision which is the eternal fulfillment of all our desires beyond our wildest imagination.    


    I understand but explain why there are so many unmarried trad men upwards of 30 who won't lower their standards for physical beauty (which fades in a few short years--trust me on that) and seek marriage with a simple but virtuous woman?  A truly Catholic woman isn't going to be beautiful by worldly standards so why do Catholic men seek that?


    Not all do.  My Dad deliberately married a less attractive woman since he knew beauty would fade.

    The men who don't or rather won't are often weak and unwise

    Anonymous

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    Whether mans happiness consists in any bodily good?
    « Reply #6 on: February 28, 2014, 01:59:15 PM »
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  • I just can't understand why a Catholic man would choose bachelorhood over having a less than hot wife.

     

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