Essay about Happiness and the Golden Mean

Essay about Happiness and the Golden Mean

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In the Declaration of Independence, it states that all men, being equal by nature, have the equal right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is interesting from Thomas Jefferson’s point of view that he says that we have the right to pursue happiness. When he said this, what did he mean in ways of understanding it and pursing this happiness? To live, as we have experienced, is itself a means to living well. The same applies to freedom. We cannot pursue happiness if we cannot freely carry out the choices we make. “If everything is determined for us, if the pattern of our life is imposed upon us, there would be no sense in talking about planning our lives or about adopting a plan for living well.” We need to stay and be alive in order to live well. To live well, we need a planned effort. To make an effort, we need the liberty and freedom to carry that out. Since these things are needed to pursue happiness, we have a right to them. The question is, do we need to live well? If not, what was Thomas Jefferson referring to when he wrote in the Declaration that every man had the right to pursue happiness? Should happiness be pursued? This is answered through Aristotle’s philosophy. On happiness, Aristotle states, “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” “This end is realized through continuous acting in accordance with virtues which, like happiness, must be desired for themselves, not for the short term pleasures that can be derived from them.”
“Living well, or happiness, is the ultimate or final end of all our doing in this life—that which we seek for its own sake and for the sake of no further good beyond it. We also saw that we do in fact desire certain thing...

... middle of paper ...

... Mean, it only applies for virtues, not vices and of relativism of a person’s context.

Adler, Mortimer. Aristotle for Everybody. Toronto, New York, London, Sydney, Aukland: Bantam Books,

American Nihilist Underground Society, "Golden Mean." Accessed December 20, 2013.

"Essay On The Golden Mean Of Aristotle." Blogspot(blog), March 24, 2013. (accessed December 21, 2013).
Jancar, Barbara. The Philosophy of Aristotle. New York: Thor Publications, 1963.

"Philosophical discussion: Aristotle’s Golden Mean."L'homme absurd (blog), November 30, 2010. (accessed December 20, 2013).

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