Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Eternal happiness


"For we mean by eternal life that life where there is endless happiness. For if the soul live in eternal punishments, by which also those unclean spirits shall be tormented, that is rather eternal death than eternal life. For there is no greater or worse death than when death never dies. But because the soul from its very nature, being created immortal, cannot be without some kind of life, its utmost death is alienation from the life of God in an eternity of punishment. So, then, He only who gives true happiness gives eternal life, that is, an endlessly happy life." -Augustine, The City of God, Book 6, Chapter 12
Augustine here continues his tirade against those who would worship "happiness" (a.k.a. felicity) or any other trait as a god in itself. Rather, it makes more sense that God gives happiness, than that happiness is a god. Furthermore, if we want to life a life of happiness, what better way than to live an eternal life of happiness? We will all live forever, but we must determine what kind of life it will be. God who gives happiness is the only one worth pursuing for eternal life.

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