Just like every individual on this Earth, a goal of mine is to achieve happiness. Of course other goals include health, long life, good friends companions, success and so on. However, when it comes down to it, most of us just want to be happy. This goal has driven majority of mankind for thousands of years. Despite this being a common wish, happiness is hard to possess. It is difficult to achieve because sometimes we do not have a good idea of what happiness truly is. There are many definitions of happiness and this subject drives religion, philosophy and economics. Yet, happiness comes down to how an individual perceives it.
“Happiness depends on ourselves.” Aristotle believed that happiness was the ultimate purpose to the human life. For Aristotle, a thing is greatly understood by looking at its end, purpose or goal. An example would be a knife. The purpose of a knife is to cut, and by observing this that one has an understanding of what a knife is. Aristotle mentions that an individuals good and bad fortune can have influence on determining their happiness. Examples of this would be an individuals looks or their place in society, however, Aristotle emphasizes that
if a person practices good deeds moderately and has external virtue and goods, they are destined to achieve true happiness. Happiness is more a question of a behavior or virtue rather than luck. An individual who works through their misfortunes and balance them out can never be absolutely unhappy.
Unlike Aristotle, Greek philosopher Epicurus believed that happiness stems from lack of pain and the maximizing of pleasure. Epicurus argued that pain is bad and that life is enjoyable when the mind is free of fears. He has a recipe for living the highest state of happiness possible, the four-part cure. The four-part cure is do not fear the gods, do not worry about death, what is good is easy to get and what is terrible is easy to endure.
Although Aristotle and Epicurus have different theories on happiness, they both agreed that all human actions purpose is to reach ultimate happiness. I agree with Aristotle’s theory on happiness. I believe that practicing good acts and achieving human functions results in ultimate happiness. Aristotle believed that an active life; life full of friendship, thinking and health can provide happiness. Today this theory can be proven with scientific research.
I do not agree with Epicurus’s theory on happiness because I do not believe with the four-part cure. The third rule in the four-part cure states that what is good is easy. I do not believe that is entirely true. I believe that good things are not always easy to attain. Individuals can work hard for years and still not achieve greatness. So, I do not believe good things are easy to get. The four and final rule included in the four-part cure is what is terrible is easy to endure. I struggle greatly to agree this rule. It is evident that everyone suffers at some point in their lives, however it is not always easy for people to endure. Suffering may not just be temporary for many. I do not believe individual’s need to follow the four-part cure to attain happiness. It is not easy to stop worrying and apply more pleasure into life. I believe an individual can attain happiness through virtuous actions whatever their situation may be. This will lead you to living your best life.