Arquivo para October 27th, 2020

Bliss and beatitude

27 Oct

Although the term is associated with Christian holiness, and is also one of its aspects, the term in classical antiquity had a more generic meaning, a permanent state of perfect satisfaction and fullness that only a wise man could achieve, so thought Aristotle, but today it is conditioned only to the religious sense, it is intended here to show that they can be closer than we think.

The religious meaning is also that of happiness, but in the sense of joy of balanced pleasure of the soul, which can only reach those who enjoy the presence of God, that its fullness can be achieved only in eternal life, but does not mean discarding earthly life, “I have come that everyone may have life, and life in abundance” (John 10:10), so proclaims the evangelist, but what is different between the two proposals for happiness.

Aristotle in the book “Of the causes” will say that the end of beatitude is relative to its desire, so the ultimate nature of this end moves mainly by desire and this is pleasure, so much so that it absorbs man’s will and reason to the point of make other goods despise.

Both Boethius, that the church also beatified him (that is, he proclaimed him happy, blessed and holy), and Aristotle dealt with the theme, and their question is what if pleasure is really the ultimate end of happiness, of beatitude and that it also Tomás de Aquino will argue the contrary.

What Boethius says is that the consequences of pleasures are sad, all those who want to remember their sensualities know it, because, if these could make them happy, there would be no reason why the brutes too would not be considered such, and this is very reminiscent of current cases of abuse and objectionable violence.

For Boethius: “The beatitude is the perfect state of the union of all goods”, and so it seems that through money you can acquire all things, because the Philosopher, in book V of Ethics, says that money was invented for to be the guarantor of everything that man wanted to possess, which today can be translated as money buys everything.

In addition, Boethius also says: “Riches shine more when they are distributed than when they are conserved. For this reason, greed makes men hateful, generosity makes them illustrious ”, and so wealth is not condemned, but its bad distribution.

In the representation above the painting “The cheerful violinist with a glass of wine” (1624) by Gerard van Honthorst (1590-1656).