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Eudaimonia

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Eudaimonia

Eudaimonia is what everyone strives to be. Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) believes that happiness is the highest or central good in human life and is what we all aim for. Happiness is the ultimate end we all aim for, as it is the end in and of itself. Unlike, for example, going to the gym to work out and the end goal is being healthy, feeling, and looking better. This is not the end of the means of working out. In being healthy after working out, you lead yourself to living a longer life, and there is another end goal after this. What Aristotle tries to reach or answer in Nicomachean Ethics, is how to reach eudaimonia. “Nonetheless, happiness evidently also needs external goods to be added, as we said, since we cannot, or cannot easily, do fine actions if we lack the resources …” Aristotle believes that external goods such as wealth, power, and friends are all used to reach eudaimonia. We need external goods such as these in order to succeed and prosper in our endgame of reaching happiness, as it will be extremely hard without these goods. Aristotle deems that happiness needs to have prosperity or wealth, opulence, luxury, and the good life in order to be achieved. As prosperity tends to be associated with success and affluence, some people identify happiness as good fortune. This good fortune has results from favorable outcomes, good luck, destiny, and fate. Other people associate happiness with virtue. Virtue is the way people act in showing high moral standards. This focuses on the individual and includes virtues of being moral, having integrity, dignity, rectitude, honor, and decency. Aristotle states that it will be much harder for us to reach eudaimonia if we don’t use our external goods, because resources help us achieve our endgame much faster with guarantee. In realizing how much those goods help us along the way, so many people believe happiness is an affect or is directly related to good fortune. According to Aristotle, happiness is not pleasure (good fortune) or virtue. We do not need good luck in order to be happy. Happiness is the exercise of virtue and cannot be achieved until the end of one’s life, which is why it is an end goal and not a brief state. Our happiness is achieved and depends on gaining ethical charm in which we are aloud to show our bravery, rapport, righteousness, and social responsibility within our lives. Once those ethical character traits are gained we strike the balance between the scarcity and surplus or “mean”. Material possessions, such as those that come with good fortune like wealth, are not necessary but are useful in the steps we take towards happiness. For example, if we have a tremendous amount of wealth we can choose to align that with our virtue of helping others. In giving back to our communities or those less fortunate, we are returning our fortune to those whom need it as much as we do instead of keeping it for ourselves and being selfish. In time, when our lives begin to come to a close, we will be another step closer to reaching eudaimonia. Aristotle’s argument is clear in regards to his point that happiness is only achieved by the very few who are essentially blessed or born from the gods. His view of happiness is similar to the view of the one percent who run the country with their wealth and belief that they are the single elite. He is very clear when he says that if you miss or fail in just one of his requirements, you fail in totality in trying to reach eudaimonia. Although his argument is clear, it is not logical and convincing. I find it hard to believe that only the elite few who achieve all of Aristotle’s requirements may reach eudaimonia. If people who are genuinely good and have moral virtues are denounced of their “happiness” because of one day of anger or a mistake, that does not mean they have not reached eudaimonia. We as human beings are people of emotions, flaws, mistakes, greatness, and happiness. Most days we may live in happiness, but those days when we are trifled with sadness, are days that make us “real” human beings, people who care. This idea of happiness being achieved by true perfection is flawed, as we are not robots who can only think on settings and feel nothing.
In closing, I believe true eudaimonia is doing what we love for the benefit of our family, our society, and ourselves. We are allowed to make mistakes as long as we learn from them and try to better them. Happiness can be achieved by anyone who accepts who he or she is as a person and who chooses to truly live. If you accept all of your flaws and do what you can to better yourself and stay positive even in tough times, you will be happy. When you do struggle you will grow from your problems and become a better person. Happiness is the journey not the result. This is true eudaimonia.…...

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