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Human Person as Oriented Towards

Their Impending Death


A. Happiness
B. Suffering
What role does suffering play in human life?
How should one face suffering and adversities in life?
C. Death
Paradox of Death
- Certainty of Death
- Uncertainty of Death
Philosophical Claims on Death
- Socrates
- Plato
- Aristotle
Attitude Towards Death
Happiness
• State of mind
• He or she is happy or “is in a good mood”
• Having a satisfying life that goes well for the
person living it
• Eudaimonia (good spirit) – person’s state of
well-being or happiness
Greeks
• Happiness is something to be achieved and
a happy life is a good life.
Plato
• Happiness is living a moral life, practicing
virtues, fulfilling personal duties, and
controlling

one’s desires.
Aristotle
• Happiness is the primary reason for human
action, and one becomes happy through the
practice of virtues and the accumulation of
achievements.
• To achieve happiness, a person must plan
his/her activities, and form a set of life goals to
achieve a worthwhile life and benefit society.
• The goal that will lead to true happiness is the
pursuit of knowledge.
Epicureans
• Happiness means a life of peace that is free
from fear and discomfort.
• They believe that happiness is possible if one
enjoys the simple pleasures of life and commits
to a life of virtue.
• The desires for wealth and status are merely
artificial goals and should not define one’s
happiness.
St. Augustine and St.
Thomas Aquinas
• Happiness as a union with God. A person’s life is
lived for the sole purpose of achieving unity with
the Divine, and man’s eventual union with God is
the epitome of happiness.
• Happiness can be found in the afterlife when
the spirit reunites with God.
Utilitarianism
• Greatest happiness principle – a person’s actions are
considered moral or desirable when they produce the
greatest happiness for other people.
• Society should promote activities or actions that produce the
greatest happiness or satisfaction for its members.
• Jeremy Betham - Happiness is achieved through wise
decision-making.
• One must exercise careful thought in engaging in activities,
and should only pursue those that are most worthwhile to
society.
Immanuel kant
• Achieving happiness is impossible because of the
ever-changing of nature of man’s desires.
• Our wants and desires varied and changing that
what can satisfy us today might no longer satisfy us
tomorrow.
• Human actions should not be defined by happiness
but rather good will.
• A person promotes good will if he or she fulfills his
or her duties towards others.
Psychologist
• Happiness is a balance between a person’s
emotions, moods, and feelings.
• Aside from internal factors, a person’s social
environment also plays a role in maintain his or
her well-being through interpersonal relations
and the existence of support systems.
“Happiness is inside
all of us. Sometimes
you just need someone
to help you find it.”
Happiness as
Dign well-being
• Contentment –
ity satisfaction with one’s
life
Welf • Welfare – satisfaction of
are a person’s wants and
desire
Content • Dignity – ability to
ment control and define one’s
own destiny, and the
freedom to live a life of
one’s choosing
Seatwork
1. The ancient Greek term that refers to a state of well-being or happiness
2. The utilitarian principle of happiness that promotes the satisfaction of many
3. An element of happiness which refers to satisfaction with one’s own life
4. Refers to the satisfaction of a person’s wants and desires
5. Ability to control and define one’s destiny
6. For Aristotle, this leads to true happiness
7. They believe that happiness is possible if one enjoys the simple pleasures of
life and commits to a life of virtue
8. He believes that happiness is achieved through wise decision-making
9. They believe that a happy life is a good life
10. These religious philosophers define happiness as a union with God
Suffering
• An experience of unpleasantness, discomfort, and
pain.
• Suffering is often associated with threats to human
existence or lack of pleasure or happiness in life
Physical Suffering
• Physical sensation such as discomfort, hunger,
distress, and pain.
• Causes: injury, disease, and lack of basic needs
Mental Suffering
• Associated with emotional and mental states such as
depression, anxiety, fear, loneliness, and grief.
• Causes: unexpected situations in life such as sudden
change in lifestyle, loss of employment, stressful
situations, and grief caused by the death of a loved
one
Suffering
One’s – feeling
Actual
notion of
state of
of a anxiety,
the uncertain
“perfect
world ty, and
world”
dread
Weltschmerz
• Man’s realization that the world can never live up to
the ideal, “perfect world” resulting to feelings of
sadness or apathy
Angst
• Fear and anxiety
• Existential dread – crisis brought about when a
person begins to question his or her purpose
and reason for being
Ennui
• Feeling of weariness and discontent brought about by
a lack of interest or intense boredom with the world
Two Major Philosophical Views
of Suffering
st
1 View
• Considers suffering as an undesirable human
condition, and that humans naturally seek pleasure
and avoid pain.
• Suffering can be avoided or eliminated entirely from
life.
• Greek philosophers: Suffering can be avoided by
seeking pleasurable things or activities, or through
the exercise of self-control
Arthur Schopenhauer
• A world controlled by chaotic forces bring about human suffering
• Pessimistic view – believes that human existence is characterized by suffering
caused by man’s inability to meet his unlimited wants and desires.
• Man is able to address the chaos and suffering in the world by focusing on
aesthetics and morality.
• Man must strive to maintain beauty, order, and righteousness in this world.
• Schopenhauer’s views were influenced by Eastern philosophy – Buddhism.
• Buddhist – Suffering as a defining feature of human existence.
The Four Noble Truth – Human suffering is caused by desire, and that
suffering will only end through the elimination of worldly desires.
• Hinduism – Suffering is closely tied to spiritual progress and that all suffering
ends when a person attains enlightenment.
2 nd View
• Suffering is necessary to human existence.
• Suffering is essential because it defines human
existence, without it, man is unable to grow and
improve, and his positive experiences lose meaning
and significance.
Friedrich Nietzsche
• Suffering is inevitable and man is meant to suffer.
• Certain forms of suffering can be beneficial and can
result in personal growth and development.
• Suffering is a test of person’s worth, therefore, man
should accept and embrace suffering as an important
component of life.
George Sefler
• Suffering as one of many interrelated elements that define the meaning of
experiences thought life.
• Suffering and happiness go hand-in-hand in defining a person’s views on his life’s
experiences.
• Balance between positive and negative experiences will result in a well-adjusted,
functional person.
• Having too much suffering or happiness will result in a warped sense of reality
which will lead to confusion and anxiety.
• Example: A person who has known only suffering and unhappiness all his or her life
will find it difficult to comprehend the concept of happiness or will find an act of
kindness bewildering.
• Example: A person who has experienced only pleasure and happiness for most of his
or her life will be greatly distressed and confused when confronted with adversities
and trials.
Theologians
• Suffering is related to God’s providence.
• Theodicy – a philosophical branch which tries to reconcile
the existence of a benevolent, all-good God with the reality
of suffering in the world.
• Irenaeus of Lyons – suffering is a consequence of free will,
and that is necessary to achieve moral perfection.
• Origen – considers the world as “a school and hospital for
souls” where suffering plays a role in educating and healing
the person
• Christian Theology – suffering as a means to achieve a
higher meaning in life.
Coping
• The means that a person employs in dealing with
difficult life situations, and involves a conscious effort
to solve personal and interpersonal problems.
• It entails identifying sources of stress and conflict, and
devising means to tolerate or minimize their effects.
Seatwork
A. Identify the following words.
1. Refers to an experience of unpleasantness, discomfort, and pain
2. A term used to the feeling of weariness and discontent brought about
by a lack of interest or intense boredom with the world
3. A crisis brought about when a person begins to question his or her
purpose and reason for being
4. The term used to refer to man’s realization that the world can never
live up to the ideal, “perfect world,” resulting to feelings of sadness or
apathy
5. The means that a person employs in dealing with difficult life
situations
6. Refers to fear and anxiety
Seatwork
B. Identify whether the following statement is 1st View or 2nd View
of suffering.
1. Suffering is essential because it defines human existence.
2. Suffering is inevitable and man is meant to suffer.
3. Suffering can be avoided or eliminated entirely from life.
4. Suffering as one of many interrelated elements that define the
meaning of experiences thought life.
5. Considers suffering as an undesirable human condition, and that
humans naturally seek pleasure and avoid pain
6. Suffering is necessary to human existence.
Death
• The end of all biological functions that sustain a living
organism.
• Medical terms: death of human being is associated
with “brain death” or the ceasing of all brain
functions.
• Causes: aging, disease, and fatal injury
• Death is considered to be a natural occurrence, and
as a person advances in age.
Aging or Senescence
• The process by which the body loses its vitality,
characterized by the decline of bodily and mental
function.
• Aging considers as being brought about by gradual
mutations and defects in the genes as the body ages,
leading to damage and loss of tissue in aging people.
• Aging as a product of evolution.
Paradox of Death
• Certainty of Death
• Uncertainty of Death
Philosophical Claims
Socrates
Happiness
• For a person to be happy, he has to live a virtuous life.
• Knowing what is in the mind of human being is
achieved through self-knowledge.
• Practical knowledge means that one does not only
know the rules of right living, but one lives them.
• True knowledge = wisdom = virtue
Socrates’ Major Ethical
Claims
1. Happiness is impossible without moral virtue
2. Unethical actions harm the person who
performs them more than the people they
victimize.
Plato
• Contemplation in the mind of Plato means that the mind
is in communion with the universal and eternal ideas.
• Contemplation is very important in the life of humanity
because this is the only available means for a mortal
human being to free himself from his space-time
confinement to ascend to the heaven of ideas and there
commune with the immortal, eternal, the infinite, and
the divine truths – Doing good in life.
• Humanity should contemplate beauty that is absolute,
simple, and everlasting.
Plato’s Theory of
Immortality
• Body is the source of endless trouble to us by reason of
the mere requirement of food, and is liable also to
diseases, which overtake and impede us in the search after
true being: it fills us full of love, lusts and fears, and fancies
of all kinds, and endless foolishness.
• To see the truth, we must quit the body – the soul in itself
must behold things in themselves, the we shall attain the
wisdom we desire.
• Knowledge can be attained after death: for if while in the
company of the body, the soul cannot have pure
knowledge.
Aristotle
• Everything in nature seeks to realize itself – to develop
its potentialities and finally realize its actualities.
• All things have strived toward their “end.”
• Entelechy – “to become its essence”, nothings happens
by chance
• Two Main Categories (Price, 2000):
(1) Nonliving thing – have no potentiality for change
(2) Living things – have potentiality for change
Aristotle
• All things in the world are potentially in motion and
continuously changing, therefore, there must be
something that is actual motion and which is moved by
nothing external – Unmoved Mover (God).
• Unmoved Mover (God) – pure actuality without any
potentiality
• All things are destructible but the Unmoved Mover is
eternal, immaterial, with pure actuality or perfection, and
with no potentiality.
• Striving to realize themselves, objects, and human
beings move towards their divine origin and perfection.
Attitude Towards Death
•Know Thyself
•Live a Meaningful Life
•Live Fully in the Present Moment
•Live Calmly
•Live Courageously
How should one face death
and loss?
• Grief – natural reaction to death and dying, it
involves multitude of emotions such as sadness,
anxiety, anger, and guilt and often brings challenges
or dilemmas regarding personal beliefs
• Bereavement – the state of loss brought about by
death
• Mourning – process by which persons deal with
death, provides opportunity for social support and
sympathy for those who are bereaved
Five Stages of Grief
(Elisabeth Kubler-
Ross)

Denial Anger Bargainin Depressio Acceptanc


g n e
Four Trajectories of
Grief (George Bonnano)

Resilience Recovery

Chronic Delayed
Depressio Grief
n
Resilience
• The person remains emotionally stable despite the
loss, and continues with his or her normal activities
• This is the most ideal emotional course when
experiencing grief
• Grieving people can still be happy and go about their
normal routine
Recovery
• The person experiences a period of grief, but this
eventually gives way to recovery and a return to
normalcy.
Chronic Depression
• The grieving person experiences intense and chronic
depression which continues long after the death or
traumatic experience has passed.
• The depression may persist for several years, and the
affected person often needs counseling and support
to overcome this.
Delayed Grief
• The person may seem to be well-adjusted but
experiences feelings of grief, anxiety, and distress at a
later time.
Seatwork
A. Identify the following words.
1. The end of all biological functions that sustain a living
organism
2. The process by which the body loses its vitality,
characterized by the decline of bodily and mental function
3.-4. Explain the Paradox of Death
5.-9. Give the Five (5) Stages of Grief according to Kubler-
Ross
10. Choose one (1) Trajectory of Grief according to
Bonnano then explain.