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BOETHIUS Book3- Happiness.doc

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Dominic Martin

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Book 3- Happiness
-only achieved by the possession of the ‘supreme good’ which consists
within it, all other goods.
-once attained ensures that no one can aspire for anything further
-state of perfection achieved by concentration of all goods within it
- all humans strive on different paths to attain the one goal of happiness
- but most are led into error by desiring false or temporal goods
The Human Desire for Happiness
(Cons. III, pr. 2)
“[1] Mortal creatures have one overall concern. This they
work at by toiling over a whole range of pursuits, advancing
on different paths, but striving to attain the one goal of
happiness. [2] This is the good which once attained ensures
that no one can aspire to anything further. Indeed, it is the
highest of all goods, and gathers all goods within itself. If any
good were lacking to it, it could not be the highest good,
since some desirable thing would be left outside. Thus it is
clear that happiness is the state of perfection achieved by
concentration of all goods within it. [3] All mortals, as I have
said, strive to attain it by different paths; for this longing for
the true good is naturally implanted in human minds, but
- error diverts them off course towards false goods.”
What people sometimes believe is happiness:
* Although all seem like worthy candidates, the problem arises when humans treat
these goods as the ultimate good or the path to happiness.
(fallen state of man is such that he seeks happiness in these inferior, exterior, multiple
goods rather than one supreme good of God.
1. wealth- its only a means to have more, and creates new needs such as protection.
Source of worry, either want to protect it from being lost, or just want more of it.
2. power/fame- constant aquisation makes us happier, neither fame nor power can be
spread to absolutely all of mankind. There is always more to aspire.
3. high public offices- earn respect and honor but does not confer virtue or wisdom on
the holder. Creates corruption and degrades rather than elevates the holder.
4. joy/pleasure-
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