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Can True Happiness Be Achieved? Essay

877 words - 4 pages

In society today there is a common understanding that true happiness can never be achieved. Moreover, that the purpose of life is to suffer and to work until death. This thought raises many questions about the steps to take in order to achieve true happiness. The struggle to answer these questions goes above and beyond minds because humans are made so distinctly that the definition varies from person to person. But if true happiness is in fact achievable, it will be attained only when we are one with ourselves, with what we produce, and with the people that surround us.
Stoicism was established in approximately 300 B.C.E by Greek philosopher, and mathematician, Zeno, and included philosophers such as Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius. (Soccio 196) The Stoic school of philosophy taught of the soul and how to become enriched with inner peace. The Stoics, and specifically Epictetus, believed only attempting to control what was personally controllable, while accepting fate to be the controller of what was personally uncontrollable, could bring peace to the soul and mind.(Soccio 196) Further belief included that what happened, did so for a reason, and the control of one’s fate belonged to God. Stoic theories on human nature additionally included the struggle of good versus evil, and how it related to human interactions. Stoics concluded that “nothing that happens can be wrong or bad, since everything that happens is part of God’s rational plan”. (Soccio 201) Therefore; it cannot be said that a person is evil based on his or her actions since, according to the Stoic philosophy, a person’s actions are uncontrollable, but instead fated, and being they are fated by God, they cannot be evil. It is accepting of this evil as being fated, that would bring one closer to inner peace. These stoic teachings can be understood as the first steps in the search of true happiness.
Continuing the search for true happiness,philosopher Karl Marx supported the idea of becoming one with ourselves and the product thereof. Due to the multiple possible interpretations of Marx, his philosophy can be confusing to some. To understand how this relates to finding true happiness is as simple as understanding “Alienation.” Alienation, is a term used by Marx to explain how a person can become separated from their soul and hearts. The term alienation is described as, “A state of powerlessness, frustration, repressed resentment, and despair” (Soccio 386). In other words, to take the second step towards true happiness it is necessary to become the reverse, unalienation. The term, unalianation, can be described as becoming one...

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