Earthly And Fortuitious Things Essay, Research Paper
“Who Desires Earthly and Fortuitous Things can not be Happy”
Presented to: Mr. Chesher
tue – thur : 11:00-12:15
By Brett Caloia
The thesis can be argued in one of two ways. The first being the Greek philosophy which states that, the only thing that can make a person happy is wisdom because wisdom allows a person to make the best decisions for himself. The neoplatonism argument states that, earthly things could never bring happiness because these things are transitory. Those that own transitory things would constantly fear loss ; as a result those who live in fear can never really be happy. One constant that seems to run through most philosophical theories is that worldly goods can never really bring happiness, but in fact begets greed because the desire can never be satisfied.
The Greek concept of happiness revolved around wisdom and their search for knowledge. The ideals for Greek society therefore distance themselves from the accumulation of material goods preferring instead the search for wisdom and truth as things that can guide a person through a life well lived. Greek philosophy centered on moderation in obtaining happiness thus the desire that the gathering of things produces will only lead to unhappiness because it causes a person to become greedy. Greek philosophy acknowledged those that constantly desire things as falsely happy and in so doing distanced that from it s own ideals.
Neoplatonism agrees with the Greeks in that worldly goods do not bring happiness , however it follows a different line of reason. Neoplatonism states that
worldly objects can never bring happiness because the owner constantly lives in fear of their loss. The philosophy also states that greed is against divine will. Neoplatonism then goes on to see God as the fountain from which all good flows. Thus if something goes against God it is not good an d therefore can t make a person happy.
In conclusion it appears that with so many reasons why things would make a person unhappy less people would desire these things. I believe that moderation is the key to happiness this applies to all things (greed included). However this viewpoint may be a result of my greed and unwillingness to accept my greed induced unhappiness. Whatever the case it seems likely that many of the worlds problems could be solved by leading a simpler life, however we as Americans may have gotten the quest confused with the goal : in other words we have gotten bogged down with just trying to possess, instead of trying to possess what is really important, and in doing so may have lost sight of our original goals.