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Offline Lover of Truth

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Whether mans happiness consists in any bodily good?
« on: February 07, 2014, 12:15:11 PM »
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  • newadvent/summa/2002#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!
    "I receive Thee, redeeming Prince of my soul. Out of love for Thee have I studied, watched through many nights, and exerted myself: Thee did I preach and teach. I have never said aught against Thee. Nor do I persist stubbornly in my views. If I have ever expressed myself erroneously on this Sacrament, I submit to the judgement of the Holy Roman Church, in obedience of which I now part from this world." Saint Thomas Aquinas the greatest Doctor of the Church

    Offline soulguard

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    Whether mans happiness consists in any bodily good?
    « Reply #1 on: February 08, 2014, 06:34:19 AM »
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  • Im assuming the last sentence is not from Aquinas...

    Question:

    Who is this dinosious whom St Thomas oft is seen to quote?


    Offline MyTruePower2

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    Whether mans happiness consists in any bodily good?
    « Reply #2 on: February 09, 2014, 10:07:42 AM »
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  • @Soulgard,

    "Dionysius" probably refers to Dionysius the Areopagite; a fifth century theologian.

    @Lover of Truth

    Saint Thomas says that man's happiness does not "consist" in any bodily good.  What this means is that the happiness is not *the same thing as* the bodily good.  The bodily good may be present, and the happiness not present.

    This is not to say that perfect happiness can be had in the absence of some good, however.  In fact, he says this in his 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."

    Existing is superior to living, because you can exist without being alive, but you cannot live unless you exist.  Being is also superior to living, because "being," in its perfection, encompasses all other goods as well.  Therefore, true happiness is had through a possession of all goods and no evils, and this is possible only with God, who simply is all good by his nature.

    This is also my reply to anyone who says that Heaven involves an endless sacrifice, or an endless limitation or deprivation of some kind (such as CS Lewis, who denied Heavenly self-identity.)  Insofar as these things are good, they are part of man's end, and his true happiness, but his happiness does not *consist* of them.

    Offline Lover of Truth

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    Whether mans happiness consists in any bodily good?
    « Reply #3 on: February 12, 2014, 06:20:17 AM »
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  • Quote from: MyTruePower2
    @Soulgard,

    "Dionysius" probably refers to Dionysius the Areopagite; a fifth century theologian.

    @Lover of Truth

    Saint Thomas says that man's happiness does not "consist" in any bodily good.  What this means is that the happiness is not *the same thing as* the bodily good.  The bodily good may be present, and the happiness not present.

    This is not to say that perfect happiness can be had in the absence of some good, however.  In fact, he says this in his 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."

    Existing is superior to living, because you can exist without being alive, but you cannot live unless you exist.  Being is also superior to living, because "being," in its perfection, encompasses all other goods as well.  Therefore, true happiness is had through a possession of all goods and no evils, and this is possible only with God, who simply is all good by his nature.

    This is also my reply to anyone who says that Heaven involves an endless sacrifice, or an endless limitation or deprivation of some kind (such as CS Lewis, who denied Heavenly self-identity.)  Insofar as these things are good, they are part of man's end, and his true happiness, but his happiness does not *consist* of them.


    Thank you so much MyTruePower!  I appreciate that.  I want to learn.  But no one seems to want to discuss his articles.

    I you assume you agree (hopefully this does not scandalize anyone) that Satan is good in that he exists and was created by God, but that he only does evil (evil is the only thing he does) and never does good.  Can I have worded that more precisely?  
    "I receive Thee, redeeming Prince of my soul. Out of love for Thee have I studied, watched through many nights, and exerted myself: Thee did I preach and teach. I have never said aught against Thee. Nor do I persist stubbornly in my views. If I have ever expressed myself erroneously on this Sacrament, I submit to the judgement of the Holy Roman Church, in obedience of which I now part from this world." Saint Thomas Aquinas the greatest Doctor of the Church

    Offline soulguard

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    Whether mans happiness consists in any bodily good?
    « Reply #4 on: February 12, 2014, 03:19:15 PM »
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  • True happiness is searched for with a devout life, and though the faith at times may seem stale and barren because of its burdening of our mind by logic, we persevere in it nevertheless because it provides fulfillment and nourishment for our intellect, and our soul also. Happy is the man who repents bitterly over his sins, for though he may weep over them, to do so is a sign of a happiness provided by the intellect, and he will mortify himself and desire to do penance so long as he remembers the sweet inner fulfillment that comes from one's intellect knowing that it does what is necessary to obtain life (eternal life).


    Offline soulguard

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    Whether mans happiness consists in any bodily good?
    « Reply #5 on: February 12, 2014, 03:21:21 PM »
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  • Quote from: Lover of Truth

    Thank you so much MyTruePower!  I appreciate that.  I want to learn.  But no one seems to want to discuss his articles.
     


    I will discuss these articles with thee, for i also seek knowledge and desire holiness. I fear only that this theology may be above me and that i will show forth my ignorance, but to be humiliated is a gift from the most high.

    Offline soulguard

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    Whether mans happiness consists in any bodily good?
    « Reply #6 on: February 12, 2014, 03:30:29 PM »
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  • Quote from: Lover of Truth
    newadvent/summa/2002#article5

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

    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.

    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.

     


    I just find it interesting that longevity in years of life is a superior quality, while many saints died young, but obtained eternal years. The fact that longevity is considered a good quality is a sign that the ability to reason and think, with which humanity is imbued, is valued for the sake that it is. Consequently the process of thought and the ability to do so is valued, for by it is the necessary things done to maintain life, which is the life of the intellect, and therefore we eat and drink that the mind may live. We value the existence of the intellect, yet this is also a sign of the imbuing of humanity with a subconcious knowledge of a higher being, because, if we value that ability of the intellect to think, we value the time in which it can do so, and therefore we all would be aware of Him who exists outside of time IF only the intellect possessed the impetus to think such a thing.

    What is preventing people from valuing the fact that they think itself?
    Answer:
    Distraction by what they do with their thoughts, as if the maintenance of the body in which the mind exists was the sole purpose of the mind.
    How great are they who can think about the fact that they think, and greater still are those who can ensure they may do so for eternity by obtaining this gift from Him who gave them the mind in the first place.

    Offline MyTruePower2

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    Whether mans happiness consists in any bodily good?
    « Reply #7 on: February 12, 2014, 04:17:01 PM »
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  • Quote from: Lover of Truth
    Thank you so much MyTruePower!  I appreciate that.  I want to learn.  But no one seems to want to discuss his articles.

    I you assume you agree (hopefully this does not scandalize anyone) that Satan is good in that he exists and was created by God, but that he only does evil (evil is the only thing he does) and never does good.  Can I have worded that more precisely?  


    You've conveyed the idea well enough.

    Yes, I basically agree.  Existence itself is a good thing, so insofar as Satan exists, he has at least one good thing about him.  However, Satan never -chooses- good over evil.  That seems to make sense to me.  As I see it, we have essentially three possibly options.

    1. Agreeing with Saint Thomas Aquinas that Satan's existence is a good thing in itself (insofar as existence is good by its nature.)

    2. Denying that existence is a good thing (in which case it would be hard to explain how God can exist, if existence is a bad thing to have in itself.)

    3. Denying the existence of Satan.

    Of these three options, needless to say, I think the first presents the fewest problems.


    Offline MyTruePower2

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    Whether mans happiness consists in any bodily good?
    « Reply #8 on: February 12, 2014, 04:21:10 PM »
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  • Quote from: soulguard
    True happiness is searched for with a devout life, and though the faith at times may seem stale and barren because of its burdening of our mind by logic, we persevere in it nevertheless because it provides fulfillment and nourishment for our intellect, and our soul also. Happy is the man who repents bitterly over his sins, for though he may weep over them, to do so is a sign of a happiness provided by the intellect, and he will mortify himself and desire to do penance so long as he remembers the sweet inner fulfillment that comes from one's intellect knowing that it does what is necessary to obtain life (eternal life).


    My own response would be that although logic may be an emotional burden at times, foolishness is far worse, as it is both a physical -and- emotional burden, if allowed to run its course, and may have a bad effect on our super-long-term fates as well. (Our eternal fates, in other words.)

    Offline MyTruePower2

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    Whether mans happiness consists in any bodily good?
    « Reply #9 on: February 12, 2014, 05:18:29 PM »
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  • Quote from: Lover of Truth
    I want to learn.


    Also, thank you for this in particular.  This is an extraordinary trait, and one of the most important, I think, in this age of the internet, where knowledge is so available to us.

    I remember about four years ago, I was under the impression that the faith was full of self-contradictory claims, but I wanted to learn how those claims had been defended, in the past, if at all, and that's what lead me to the Summa to begin with.

    Saint Thomas Aquinas had perhaps a bigger effect on me than any other person, living or dead.  His coherent answers and explanations saved me from over ten years of very unpleasant agnosticism.  I owe him a ton.

    Offline shin

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    Whether mans happiness consists in any bodily good?
    « Reply #10 on: February 12, 2014, 11:08:38 PM »
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  • Life itself, life itself, is such a valuable gift. To have being, to live, to simply be given it.

    When I think of suffering, then I think of how to simply exist, to be, to live is so valuable.
    Sincerely,

    Shin

    'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus.' (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)'-


    Offline MyTruePower2

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    Whether mans happiness consists in any bodily good?
    « Reply #11 on: February 13, 2014, 03:59:20 PM »
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  • Quote from: shin
    Life itself, life itself, is such a valuable gift. To have being, to live, to simply be given it.

    When I think of suffering, then I think of how to simply exist, to be, to live is so valuable.


    True, but I think it's important to point out that "living" and "being" are not the same.  Thomas Aquinas drew a distinction between them.

    With respect to your point, I think that people recognize that suffering is, in itself, a bad thing, and that a life without suffering and evil would be better than a life -with- them.  However, neither life would be worse than not existing.  As Chesterton once said...

    "How would I, if I did not exist, profit by not existing?"

    Offline shin

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    Whether mans happiness consists in any bodily good?
    « Reply #12 on: February 16, 2014, 03:10:17 AM »
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  • Yes you're right, it's truly important.

    It makes me think considering the difference between 'living' and 'being' is worth a lot of meditative thought.



    'He who lives in sin takes up the habits and the appearance of the beasts. The beast, which has not reason, knows nothing but its appetites. So the man who makes himself like the beasts loses his reason, and lets himself be guided by the inclinations of his body. He takes his pleasure in good eating and drinking, and in enjoying the vanities of the world, which pass away like the wind. I pity the poor wretches who run after that wind; they gain very little, they give a great deal for very little profit -- they give their eternity for the miserable smoke of the world.'

    St. Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, the Cure of Ars
    Sincerely,

    Shin

    'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus.' (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)'-

    Offline MyTruePower2

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    Whether mans happiness consists in any bodily good?
    « Reply #13 on: February 16, 2014, 02:15:59 PM »
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  • Quote from: shin
    Yes you're right, it's truly important.

    It makes me think considering the difference between 'living' and 'being' is worth a lot of meditative thought.



    'He who lives in sin takes up the habits and the appearance of the beasts. The beast, which has not reason, knows nothing but its appetites. So the man who makes himself like the beasts loses his reason, and lets himself be guided by the inclinations of his body. He takes his pleasure in good eating and drinking, and in enjoying the vanities of the world, which pass away like the wind. I pity the poor wretches who run after that wind; they gain very little, they give a great deal for very little profit -- they give their eternity for the miserable smoke of the world.'

    St. Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, the Cure of Ars


    That's a good quote, though whenever I hear someone speak of "eternity" or "eternal life," I often have the urge to ask them of what, in their view, it consists.  Is there temporal passage of some sort within eternity?  If not, that would preclude the existence of stories, would it not?  Stories are good things, however, so therefore, Heaven could not involve the possession of all goods, which seems absurd.  If so, how are souls in Heaven able to experience the totality of goods if they are constantly aware of the passing nature of good events?

    The issue of what Heaven consists of is my primary research interest, you see.

    Offline Lover of Truth

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    Whether mans happiness consists in any bodily good?
    « Reply #14 on: March 01, 2014, 05:29:43 PM »
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  • Quote from: soulguard
    Quote from: Lover of Truth

    Thank you so much MyTruePower!  I appreciate that.  I want to learn.  But no one seems to want to discuss his articles.
     


    I will discuss these articles with thee, for i also seek knowledge and desire holiness. I fear only that this theology may be above me and that i will show forth my ignorance, but to be humiliated is a gift from the most high.


    Well spoken soulguard.  If it takes a long time for me to respond here it is because when I'm on I hang around the crisis forum so much.  

    Aquinas is above a lot of people, though only few admit it.  Humility is a vital trait.  
    "I receive Thee, redeeming Prince of my soul. Out of love for Thee have I studied, watched through many nights, and exerted myself: Thee did I preach and teach. I have never said aught against Thee. Nor do I persist stubbornly in my views. If I have ever expressed myself erroneously on this Sacrament, I submit to the judgement of the Holy Roman Church, in obedience of which I now part from this world." Saint Thomas Aquinas the greatest Doctor of the Church

     

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