QUESTION 5: OF THE ATTAINMENT OF HAPPINESS
We must now consider the attainment of Happiness. Under this heading
there are eight points of inquiry:
(1) Whether man can attain Happiness?
(2) Whether one man can be happier than another?
(3) Whether any man can be happy in this life?
(4) Whether Happiness once had can be lost?
(5) Whether man can attain Happiness by means of his natural powers?
(6) Whether man attains Happiness through the action of some higher
(7) Whether any actions of man are necessary in order that man may
obtain Happiness of God?
(8) Whether every man desires Happiness?
Article 1: Whether man can attain happiness?
Objection 1: It would seem that man cannot attain happiness. For just as the
rational is above the sensible nature, so the intellectual is above the
rational, as Dionysius declares (Div. Nom. iv, vi, vii) in several
passages. But irrational animals that have the sensitive nature only,
cannot attain the end of the rational nature. Therefore neither can man,
who is of rational nature, attain the end of the intellectual nature,
which is Happiness.
Objection 2: Further, True Happiness consists in seeing God, Who is pure
Truth. But from his very nature, man considers truth in material things:
wherefore "he understands the intelligible species in the phantasm" (De
Anima iii, 7). Therefore he cannot attain Happiness.
Objection 3: Further, Happiness consists in attaining the Sovereign Good. But
we cannot arrive at the top without surmounting the middle. Since,
therefore, the angelic nature through which man cannot mount is midway
between God and human nature; it seems that he cannot attain Happiness.
On the contrary, It is written (Ps. 93:12): "Blessed is the man whom
Thou shalt instruct, O Lord."
I answer that, Happiness is the attainment of the Perfect Good. Whoever,
therefore, is capable of the Perfect Good can attain Happiness. Now, that
man is capable of the Perfect Good, is proved both because his intellect
can apprehend the universal and perfect good, and because his will can
desire it. And therefore man can attain Happiness. This can be proved
again from the fact that man is capable of seeing God, as stated in FP,
Question , Article : in which vision, as we stated above (Question , Article ) man's
perfect Happiness consists.
Reply to Objection 1: The rational exceeds the sensitive nature, otherwise than
the intellectual surpasses the rational. For the rational exceeds the
sensitive nature in respect of the object of its knowledge: since the
senses have no knowledge whatever of the universal, whereas the reason
has knowledge thereof. But the intellectual surpasses the rational
nature, as to the mode of knowing the same intelligible truth: for the
intellectual nature grasps forthwith the truth which the rational nature
reaches by the inquiry of reason, as was made clear in the FP, Question ,
Article ; FP, Question , Article . Therefore reason arrives by a kind of movement at
that which the intellect grasps. Consequently the rational nature can
attain Happiness, which is the perfection of the intellectual nature: but
otherwise than the angels. Because the angels attained it forthwith after
the beginning of their creation: whereas man attains if after a time. But
the sensitive nature can nowise attain this end.
Reply to Objection 2: To man in the present state of life the natural way of
knowing intelligible truth is by means of phantasms. But after this state
of life, he has another natural way, as was stated in the FP, Question , Article 
; FP, Question , Article .
Reply to Objection 3: Man cannot surmount the angels in the degree of nature so
as to be above them naturally. But he can surmount them by an operation
of the intellect, by understanding that there is above the angels
something that makes men happy; and when he has attained it, he will be
Article 2: Whether one man can be happier than another?
Objection 1: It would seem that one man cannot be happier than another. For
Happiness is "the reward of virtue," as the Philosopher says (Ethic. i,
9). But equal reward is given for all the works of virtue; because it is
written (Mt. 20:10) that all who labor in the vineyard "received every
man a penny"; for, as Gregory says (Hom. xix in Evang.), "each was
equally rewarded with eternal life." Therefore one man cannot be happier
Objection 2: Further, Happiness is the supreme good. But nothing can surpass
the supreme. Therefore one man's Happiness cannot be surpassed by
Objection 3: Further, since Happiness is "the perfect and sufficient good"
(Ethic. i, 7) it brings rest to man's desire. But his desire is not at
rest, if he yet lacks some good that can be got. And if he lack nothing
that he can get, there can be no still greater good. Therefore either man
is not happy; or, if he be happy, no other Happiness can be greater.
On the contrary, It is written (Jn. 14:2): "In My Father's house there
are many mansions"; which, according to Augustine (Tract. lxvii in Joan.)
signify "the diverse dignities of merits in the one eternal life." But
the dignity of eternal life which is given according to merit, is
Happiness itself. Therefore there are diverse degrees of Happiness, and
Happiness is not equally in all.
I answer that, As stated above (Question , Article ; Question , Article ), Happiness
implies two things, to wit, the last end itself, i.e. the Sovereign Good;
and the attainment or enjoyment of that same Good. As to that Good
itself, Which is the object and cause of Happiness, one Happiness cannot
be greater than another, since there is but one Sovereign Good, namely,
God, by enjoying Whom, men are made happy. But as to the attainment or
enjoyment of this Good, one man can be happier than another; because the
more a man enjoys this Good the happier he is. Now, that one man enjoys
God more than another, happens through his being better disposed or
ordered to the enjoyment of Him. And in this sense one man can be happier
Reply to Objection 1: The one penny signifies that Happiness is one in its
object. But the many mansions signify the manifold Happiness in the
divers degrees of enjoyment.
Reply to Objection 2: Happiness is said to be the supreme good, inasmuch as it is
the perfect possession or enjoyment of the Supreme Good.
Reply to Objection 3: None of the Blessed lacks any desirable good; since they
have the Infinite Good Itself, Which is "the good of all good," as
Augustine says (Enarr. in Ps. 134). But one is said to be happier than
another, by reason of diverse participation of the same good. And the
addition of other goods does not increase Happiness, since Augustine says
(Confess. v, 4): "He who knows Thee, and others besides, is not the
happier for knowing them, but is happy for knowing Thee alone."
Article 3: Whether one can be happy in this life?
Objection 1: It would seem that Happiness can be had in this life. For it is
written (Ps. 118:1): "Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in
the law of the Lord." But this happens in this life. Therefore one can be
happy in this life.
Objection 2: Further, imperfect participation in the Sovereign Good does not
destroy the nature of Happiness, otherwise one would not be happier than
another. But men can participate in the Sovereign Good in this life, by
knowing and loving God, albeit imperfectly. Therefore man can be happy in
Objection 3: Further, what is said by many cannot be altogether false: since
what is in many, comes, apparently, from nature; and nature does not fail
altogether. Now many say that Happiness can be had in this life, as
appears from Ps. 143:15: "They have called the people happy that hath
these things," to wit, the good things in this life. Therefore one can be
happy in this life.
On the contrary, It is written (Job 14:1): "Man born of a woman, living
for a short time, is filled with many miseries." But Happiness excludes
misery. Therefore man cannot be happy in this life.
I answer that, A certain participation of Happiness can be had in this
life: but perfect and true Happiness cannot be had in this life. This may
be seen from a twofold consideration.
First, from the general notion of happiness. For since happiness is a
"perfect and sufficient good," it excludes every evil, and fulfils every
desire. But in this life every evil cannot be excluded. For this present
life is subject to many unavoidable evils; to ignorance on the part of
the intellect; to inordinate affection on the part of the appetite, and
to many penalties on the part of the body; as Augustine sets forth in De
Civ. Dei xix, 4. Likewise neither can the desire for good be satiated in
this life. For man naturally desires the good, which he has, to be
abiding. Now the goods of the present life pass away; since life itself
passes away, which we naturally desire to have, and would wish to hold
abidingly, for man naturally shrinks from death. Wherefore it is
impossible to have true Happiness in this life.
Secondly, from a consideration of the specific nature of Happiness, viz.
the vision of the Divine Essence, which man cannot obtain in this life,
as was shown in the FP, Question , Article . Hence it is evident that none can
attain true and perfect Happiness in this life.
Reply to Objection 1: Some are said to be happy in this life, either on account
of the hope of obtaining Happiness in the life to come, according to Rm.
8:24: "We are saved by hope"; or on account of a certain participation of
Happiness, by reason of a kind of enjoyment of the Sovereign Good.
Reply to Objection 2: The imperfection of participated Happiness is due to one of
two causes. First, on the part of the object of Happiness, which is not
seen in Its Essence: and this imperfection destroys the nature of true
Happiness. Secondly, the imperfection may be on the part of the
participator, who indeed attains the object of Happiness, in itself,
namely, God: imperfectly, however, in comparison with the way in which
God enjoys Himself. This imperfection does not destroy the true nature of
Happiness; because, since Happiness is an operation, as stated above
(Question , Article ), the true nature of Happiness is taken from the object,
which specifies the act, and not from the subject.
Reply to Objection 3: Men esteem that there is some kind of happiness to be had
in this life, on account of a certain likeness to true Happiness. And
thus they do not fail altogether in their estimate.
Article 4: Whether happiness once had can be lost?
Objection 1: It would seem that Happiness can be lost. For Happiness is a
perfection. But every perfection is in the thing perfected according to
the mode of the latter. Since then man is, by his nature, changeable, it
seems that Happiness is participated by man in a changeable manner. And
consequently it seems that man can lose Happiness.
Objection 2: Further, Happiness consists in an act of the intellect; and the
intellect is subject to the will. But the will can be directed to
opposites. Therefore it seems that it can desist from the operation
whereby man is made happy: and thus man will cease to be happy.
Objection 3: Further, the end corresponds to the beginning. But man's
Happiness has a beginning, since man was not always happy. Therefore it
seems that it has an end.
On the contrary, It is written (Mt. 25:46) of the righteous that "they
shall god . . . into life everlasting," which, as above stated (Article ), is
the Happiness of the saints. Now what is eternal ceases not. Therefore
Happiness cannot be lost.
I answer that, If we speak of imperfect happiness, such as can be had in
this life, in this sense it can be lost. This is clear of contemplative
happiness, which is lost either by forgetfulness, for instance, when
knowledge is lost through sickness; or again by certain occupations,
whereby a man is altogether withdrawn from contemplation.
This is also clear of active happiness: since man's will can be changed
so as to fall to vice from the virtue, in whose act that happiness
principally consists. If, however, the virtue remain unimpaired, outward
changes can indeed disturb such like happiness, in so far as they hinder
many acts of virtue; but they cannot take it away altogether because
there still remains an act of virtue, whereby man bears these trials in a
praiseworthy manner. And since the happiness of this life can be lost, a
circumstance that appears to be contrary to the nature of happiness,
therefore did the Philosopher state (Ethic. i, 10) that some are happy in
this life, not simply, but "as men," whose nature is subject to change.
But if we speak of that perfect Happiness which we await after this
life, it must be observed that Origen (Peri Archon. ii, 3), following the
error of certain Platonists, held that man can become unhappy after the
This, however, is evidently false, for two reasons. First, from the
general notion of happiness. For since happiness is the "perfect and
sufficient good," it must needs set man's desire at rest and exclude
every evil. Now man naturally desires to hold to the good that he has,
and to have the surety of his holding: else he must of necessity be
troubled with the fear of losing it, or with the sorrow of knowing that
he will lose it. Therefore it is necessary for true Happiness that man
have the assured opinion of never losing the good that he possesses. If
this opinion be true, it follows that he never will lose happiness: but
if it be false, it is in itself an evil that he should have a false
opinion: because the false is the evil of the intellect, just as the true
is its good, as stated in Ethic. vi, 2. Consequently he will no longer be
truly happy, if evil be in him.
Secondly, it is again evident if we consider the specific nature of
Happiness. For it has been shown above (Question , Article ) that man's perfect
Happiness consists in the vision of the Divine Essence. Now it is
impossible for anyone seeing the Divine Essence, to wish not to see It.
Because every good that one possesses and yet wishes to be without, is
either insufficient, something more sufficing being desired in its stead;
or else has some inconvenience attached to it, by reason of which it
becomes wearisome. But the vision of the Divine Essence fills the soul
with all good things, since it unites it to the source of all goodness;
hence it is written (Ps. 16:15): "I shall be satisfied when Thy glory
shall appear"; and (Wis. 7:11): "All good things came to me together with
her," i.e. with the contemplation of wisdom. In like manner neither has
it any inconvenience attached to it; because it is written of the
contemplation of wisdom (Wis. 8:16): "Her conversation hath no
bitterness, nor her company any tediousness." It is thus evident that the
happy man cannot forsake Happiness of his own accord. Moreover, neither
can he lose Happiness, through God taking it away from him. Because,
since the withdrawal of Happiness is a punishment, it cannot be enforced
by God, the just Judge, except for some fault; and he that sees God
cannot fall into a fault, since rectitude of the will, of necessity,
results from that vision as was shown above (Question , Article ). Nor again can
it be withdrawn by any other agent. Because the mind that is united to
God is raised above all other things: and consequently no other agent can
sever the mind from that union. Therefore it seems unreasonable that as
time goes on, man should pass from happiness to misery, and vice versa;
because such like vicissitudes of time can only be for such things as are
subject to time and movement.
Reply to Objection 1: Happiness is consummate perfection, which excludes every
defect from the happy. And therefore whoever has happiness has it
altogether unchangeably: this is done by the Divine power, which raises
man to the participation of eternity which transcends all change.
Reply to Objection 2: The will can be directed to opposites, in things which are
ordained to the end; but it is ordained, of natural necessity, to the
last end. This is evident from the fact that man is unable not to wish to
Reply to Objection 3: Happiness has a beginning owing to the condition of the
participator: but it has no end by reason of the condition of the good,
the participation of which makes man happy. Hence the beginning of
happiness is from one cause, its endlessness is from another.
Article 5: Whether man can attain happiness by his natural powers?
Objection 1: It would seem that man can attain Happiness by his natural
powers. For nature does not fail in necessary things. But nothing is so
necessary to man as that by which he attains the last end. Therefore this
is not lacking to human nature. Therefore man can attain Happiness by his
Objection 2: Further, since man is more noble than irrational creatures, it
seems that he must be better equipped than they. But irrational creatures
can attain their end by their natural powers. Much more therefore can man
attain Happiness by his natural powers.
Objection 3: Further, Happiness is a "perfect operation," according to the
Philosopher (Ethic. vii, 13). Now the beginning of a thing belongs to the
same principle as the perfecting thereof. Since, therefore, the imperfect
operation, which is as the beginning in human operations, is subject to
man's natural power, whereby he is master of his own actions; it seems
that he can attain to perfect operation, i.e. Happiness, by his natural
On the contrary, Man is naturally the principle of his action, by his
intellect and will. But final Happiness prepared for the saints,
surpasses the intellect and will of man; for the Apostle says (1 Cor. 2:9) "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the
heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love Him."
Therefore man cannot attain Happiness by his natural powers.
I answer that, Imperfect happiness that can be had in this life, can be
acquired by man by his natural powers, in the same way as virtue, in
whose operation it consists: on this point we shall speak further on
(Question ). But man's perfect Happiness, as stated above (Question , Article ),
consists in the vision of the Divine Essence. Now the vision of God's
Essence surpasses the nature not only of man, but also of every creature,
as was shown in the FP, Question , Article . For the natural knowledge of every
creature is in keeping with the mode of his substance: thus it is said of
the intelligence (De Causis; Prop. viii) that "it knows things that are
above it, and things that are below it, according to the mode of its
substance." But every knowledge that is according to the mode of created
substance, falls short of the vision of the Divine Essence, which
infinitely surpasses all created substance. Consequently neither man, nor
any creature, can attain final Happiness by his natural powers.
Reply to Objection 1: Just as nature does not fail man in necessaries, although
it has not provided him with weapons and clothing, as it provided other
animals, because it gave him reason and hands, with which he is able to
get these things for himself; so neither did it fail man in things
necessary, although it gave him not the wherewithal to attain Happiness:
since this it could not do. But it did give him free-will, with which he
can turn to God, that He may make him happy. "For what we do by means of
our friends, is done, in a sense, by ourselves" (Ethic. iii, 3).
Reply to Objection 2: The nature that can attain perfect good, although it needs
help from without in order to attain it, is of more noble condition than
a nature which cannot attain perfect good, but attains some imperfect
good, although it need no help from without in order to attain it, as the
Philosopher says (De Coel. ii, 12). Thus he is better disposed to health
who can attain perfect health, albeit by means of medicine, than he who
can attain but imperfect health, without the help of medicine. And
therefore the rational creature, which can attain the perfect good of
happiness, but needs the Divine assistance for the purpose, is more
perfect than the irrational creature, which is not capable of attaining
this good, but attains some imperfect good by its natural powers.
Reply to Objection 3: When imperfect and perfect are of the same species, they
can be caused by the same power. But this does not follow of necessity,
if they be of different species: for not everything, that can cause the
disposition of matter, can produce the final perfection. Now the
imperfect operation, which is subject to man's natural power, is not of
the same species as that perfect operation which is man's happiness:
since operation takes its species from its object. Consequently the
argument does not prove.
Article 6: Whether man attains happiness through the action of some higher creature?
Objection 1: It would seem that man can be made happy through the action of
some higher creature, viz. an angel. For since we observe a twofold order
in things---one, of the parts of the universe to one another, the other,
of the whole universe to a good which is outside the universe; the former
order is ordained to the second as to its end (Metaph. xii, 10). Thus the
mutual order of the parts of an army is dependent on the order of the
parts of an army is dependent on the order of the whole army to the
general. But the mutual order of the parts of the universe consists in
the higher creatures acting on the lower, as stated in the FP, Question ,
Article : while happiness consists in the order of man to a good which is
outside the universe, i.e. God. Therefore man is made happy, through a
higher creature, viz. an angel, acting on him.
Objection 2: Further, that which is such in potentiality, can be reduced to
act, by that which is such actually: thus what is potentially hot, is
made actually hot, by something that is actually hot. But man is
potentially happy. Therefore he can be made actually happy by an angel
who is actually happy.
Objection 3: Further, Happiness consists in an operation of the intellect as
stated above (Question , Article ). But an angel can enlighten man's intellect as
shown in the FP, Question , Article . Therefore an angel can make a man happy.
On the contrary, It is written (Ps. 83:12): "The Lord will give grace
I answer that, Since every creature is subject to the laws of nature,
from the very fact that its power and action are limited: that which
surpasses created nature, cannot be done by the power of any creature.
Consequently if anything need to be done that is above nature, it is done
by God immediately; such as raising the dead to life, restoring sight to
the blind, and such like. Now it has been shown above (Article ) that
Happiness is a good surpassing created nature. Therefore it is impossible
that it be bestowed through the action of any creature: but by God alone
is man made happy, if we speak of perfect Happiness. If, however, we
speak of imperfect happiness, the same is to be said of it as of the
virtue, in whose act it consists.
Reply to Objection 1: It often happens in the case of active powers ordained to
one another, that it belongs to the highest power to reach the last end,
while the lower powers contribute to the attainment of that last end, by
causing a disposition thereto: thus to the art of sailing, which commands
the art of shipbuilding, it belongs to use a ship for the end for which
it was made. Thus, too, in the order of the universe, man is indeed
helped by the angels in the attainment of his last end, in respect of
certain preliminary dispositions thereto: whereas he attains the last end
itself through the First Agent, which is God.
Reply to Objection 2: When a form exists perfectly and naturally in something, it
can be the principle of action on something else: for instance a hot
thing heats through heat. But if a form exist in something imperfectly,
and not naturally, it cannot be the principle whereby it is communicated
to something else: thus the "intention" of color which is in the pupil,
cannot make a thing white; nor indeed can everything enlightened or
heated give heat or light to something else; for if they could,
enlightening and heating would go on to infinity. But the light of glory,
whereby God is seen, is in God perfectly and naturally; whereas in any
creature, it is imperfectly and by likeness or participation.
Consequently no creature can communicate its Happiness to another.
Reply to Objection 3: A happy angel enlightens the intellect of a man or of a
lower angel, as to certain notions of the Divine works: but not as to the
vision of the Divine Essence, as was stated in the FP, Question , Article :
since in order to see this, all are immediately enlightened by God.
Article 7: Whether any good works are necessary that man may receive happiness from God?
Objection 1: It would seem that no works of man are necessary that he may
obtain Happiness from God. For since God is an agent of infinite power,
He requires before acting, neither matter, nor disposition of matter, but
can forthwith produce the whole effect. But man's works, since they are
not required for Happiness, as the efficient cause thereof, as stated
above (Article ), can be required only as dispositions thereto. Therefore God
who does not require dispositions before acting, bestows Happiness
without any previous works.
Objection 2: Further, just as God is the immediate cause of Happiness, so is
He the immediate cause of nature. But when God first established nature,
He produced creatures without any previous disposition or action on the
part of the creature, but made each one perfect forthwith in its species.
Therefore it seems that He bestows Happiness on man without any previous
Objection 3: Further, the Apostle says (Rm. 4:6) that Happiness is of the man
"to whom God reputeth justice without works." Therefore no works of man
are necessary for attaining Happiness.
On the contrary, It is written (Jn. 13:17): "If you know these things,
you shall be blessed if you do them." Therefore Happiness is obtained
I answer that, Rectitude of the will, as stated above (Question , Article ), is
necessary for Happiness; since it is nothing else than the right order of
the will to the last end; and it is therefore necessary for obtaining the
end, just as the right disposition of matter, in order to receive the
form. But this does not prove that any work of man need precede his
Happiness: for God could make a will having a right tendency to the end,
and at the same time attaining the end; just as sometimes He disposes
matter and at the same time introduces the form. But the order of Divine
wisdom demands that it should not be thus; for as is stated in De Coel.
ii, 12, "of those things that have a natural capacity for the perfect
good, one has it without movement, some by one movement, some by
several." Now to possess the perfect good without movement, belongs to
that which has it naturally: and to have Happiness naturally belongs to
God alone. Therefore it belongs to God alone not to be moved towards
Happiness by any previous operation. Now since Happiness surpasses every
created nature, no pure creature can becomingly gain Happiness, without
the movement of operation, whereby it tends thereto. But the angel, who
is above man in the natural order, obtained it, according to the order of
Divine wisdom, by one movement of a meritorious work, as was explained in
the FP, Question , Article ; whereas man obtains it by many movements of works
which are called merits. Wherefore also according to the Philosopher
(Ethic. i, 9), happiness is the reward of works of virtue.
Reply to Objection 1: Works are necessary to man in order to gain Happiness; not
on account of the insufficiency of the Divine power which bestows
Happiness, but that the order in things be observed.
Reply to Objection 2: God produced the first creatures so that they are perfect
forthwith, without any previous disposition or operation of the creature;
because He instituted the first individuals of the various species, that
through them nature might be propagated to their progeny. In like manner,
because Happiness was to be bestowed on others through Christ, who is God
and Man, "Who," according to Heb. 2:10, "had brought many children into
glory"; therefore, from the very beginning of His conception, His soul
was happy, without any previous meritorious operation. But this is
peculiar to Him: for Christ's merit avails baptized children for the
gaining of Happiness, though they have no merits of their own; because by
Baptism they are made members of Christ.
Reply to Objection 3: The Apostle is speaking of the Happiness of Hope, which is
bestowed on us by sanctifying grace, which is not given on account of
previous works. For grace is not a term of movement, as Happiness is;
rather is it the principle of the movement that tends towards Happiness.
Article 8: Whether every man desires happiness?
Objection 1: It would seem that not all desire Happiness. For no man can
desire what he knows not; since the apprehended good is the object of the
appetite (De Anima iii, 10). But many know not what Happiness is. This is
evident from the fact that, as Augustine says (De Trin. xiii, 4), "some
thought that Happiness consists in pleasures of the body; some, in a
virtue of the soul; some in other things." Therefore not all desire
Objection 2: Further, the essence of Happiness is the vision of the Divine
Essence, as stated above (Question , Article ). But some consider it impossible
for man to see the Divine Essence; wherefore they desire it not.
Therefore all men do not desire Happiness.
Objection 3: Further, Augustine says (De Trin. xiii, 5) that "happy is he who
has all he desires, and desires nothing amiss." But all do not desire
this; for some desire certain things amiss, and yet they wish to desire
such things. Therefore all do not desire Happiness.
On the contrary, Augustine says (De Trin. xiii, 3): "If that actor had
said: 'You all wish to be happy; you do not wish to be unhappy,' he would
have said that which none would have failed to acknowledge in his will."
Therefore everyone desires to be happy.
I answer that, Happiness can be considered in two ways. First according
to the general notion of happiness: and thus, of necessity, every man
desires happiness. For the general notion of happiness consists in the
perfect good, as stated above (Articles ,4). But since good is the object of
the will, the perfect good of a man is that which entirely satisfies his
will. Consequently to desire happiness is nothing else than to desire
that one's will be satisfied. And this everyone desires. Secondly we may
speak of Happiness according to its specific notion, as to that in which
it consists. And thus all do not know Happiness; because they know not in
what thing the general notion of happiness is found. And consequently, in
this respect, not all desire it. Wherefore the reply to the first
Objection is clear.
Reply to Objection 2: Since the will follows the apprehension of the intellect or
reason; just as it happens that where there is no real distinction, there
may be a distinction according to the consideration of reason; so does it
happen that one and the same thing is desired in one way, and not desired
in another. So that happiness may be considered as the final and perfect
good, which is the general notion of happiness: and thus the will
naturally and of necessity tends thereto, as stated above. Again it can
be considered under other special aspects, either on the part of the
operation itself, or on the part of the operating power, or on the part
of the object; and thus the will does not tend thereto of necessity.
Reply to Objection 3: This definition of Happiness given by some---"Happy is the
man that has all he desires," or, "whose every wish is fulfilled" is a
good and adequate definition; but an inadequate definition if understood
in another. For if we understand it simply of all that man desires by his
natural appetite, thus it is true that he who has all that he desires, is
happy: since nothing satisfies man's natural desire, except the perfect
good which is Happiness. But if we understand it of those things that man
desires according to the apprehension of the reason, thus it does not
belong to Happiness, to have certain things that man desires; rather does
it belong to unhappiness, in so far as the possession of such things
hinders man from having all that he desires naturally; thus it is that
reason sometimes accepts as true things that are a hindrance to the
knowledge of truth. And it was through taking this into consideration
that Augustine added so as to include perfect Happiness---that he
"desires nothing amiss": although the first part suffices if rightly
understood, to wit, that "happy is he who has all he desires."