In other words, moral virtue, however it is attained, will bring happiness. He divides goods into three classes,
A person who loves justice, or virtue will find pleasure in carrying out just or virtuous acts. Thus a virtuous person will find happiness in both himself and in acting upon his own goodness, and then be happy. Aristotle further explains that such happiness needs 'external goods' because a person must be equipped with certain other ingredients to perform noble acts. He cites friends, political power and wealth, which can be used to achieve this happiness, and includes certain aspects which might be described as living a 'charmed life' in modern terms. Having noble birth, beauty, good children and so on, all help to enable a person to live well, (think virtuous thoughts, do good acts) and so make a person happy. The inference then is that if someone is ugly, childless, poor or lonely, they have little chance of happiness.
be in. However, he does believe that to study and become of good character is the preferred method, leading to noble acts, complete virtue and a complete life. Aristotle acknowledges that changes encountered throughout life might overturn the happiness but concludes that the virtuous activities of man are the most long lasting and permanent, for by thinking virtuously and acting so, he is truly good, and by inference, and in fact, happy.
Such a person, described in Chapter 10, will be able to take what life throws at him, handle it because of his 'nobility and greatness of soul' (Bk. 1 Chp. 10, 350BC), always be happy, even in the afterlife.
In Chapter 11 he says 'the blessed dead will not be affected by good or bad fortunes of those left behind, their happy state is preserved' (Bk. 1 Chp 11, 350BC). (He considered that what happens to the living impinges on the dead). The hypothesis here would seem to be that thinking good thoughts, doing noble and virtuous acts, staying happy, secure in the knowledge that one is thinking well and living well, makes for happiness, in this life and the next. The soul, being the rational aspect of a human being, will ensure obedience and the production of such virtue will result.
His non-evolutionary concept of the universe, (nature is as it is) and how man exists within it, made his ethics fit well with the teachings of the Catholic Church and later, with Christianity as a whole. Serious challenges only arose with the Enlightenment of the 18th Century and the ideas preceding it during the 17th. From Galileo to Darwin, and many others, overturned his views, suffering at the hands of religious leaders in the process. Now, in the 21st Century, surrounded by the knowledge of man's physical, psychological and scientific