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Essay on The Aim of Human Life

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The Aim of Human Life


What is the aim of human life? Tolstoy ponders this thought in his Confessions. His philosophy was that the aim was a union with God. A lack of faith was death as shown in his quote from the Confessions, as quoted by Stumpf (Elements, 549).
The rational knowledge brought to me the recognition that life was meaningless, -my life stopped, and I wanted to destroy myself. When I looked around at people, at all humanity, I saw that people lived and asserted that they knew the meaning of life. I looked back at myself: I lived so long as I knew the meaning of life. As to other people, so even to me, did faith give the meaning of life and the possibility of living.

But faith only gave the possibility of life, so something more is needed. The moral life, as it seemed to Tolstoy. He talks of evils and vices, and therefore the corresponding goods and virtues. In this paper, I plan to address these two things. The supreme end of man and the goods and virtues used in attaining it. To attain this goal, we need to agree upon a common understanding of the supreme end of man. An explanation of how faith affects man attaining his supreme end leads us into God's predestination of man. Understanding this we see that faith is the key to reaching the supreme end of man. But now that we have the key we need to see what it unlocks. Faith compels us to avoid vices and therefore reach our moral end. This requires the acquiring and use of the virtues.
The Supreme End
In order to know the aim of human life I suppose we must know then what the supreme end of man is. The views of several philosophers on the supreme end of man have held relatively consistent over the centuries. According to Ar...


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...faith leads us to it. Faith leads man to his supreme end by allowing man a way to avoid vices by use of the virtues. These virtues are predestined by God to certain men based on their choices. God gives these men the virtues since it is known to him that those men will make good use of the virtues bestowed upon them. Virtues are any state of character that makes its object good and induces its work to be well done. The intellect, will, and appetites are affected by the virtues. The cardinal virtues are prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude. These virtues are the ones for control of oneself. This is because none of the virtues can exist without prudence since prudence allows the virtues to be applied in accordance with human nature adequately understood. Virtues make man adhere to the plan of God by avoiding the vices that draw man from God.


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