Wang on human incompletion, happiness and the desire for God in B&N

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Wang on human incompletion, happiness and the desire for God in B&N by Mind Map: Wang on human incompletion, happiness and the desire for God in B&N

1. The impossibility of perfect happiness

1.1. We would like 2 things at the same time satisfaction of our desires (being-in-itself) and the freedom that comes with self-consciousness (being-for-itself)

1.2. We are always beyond what we are and we never quite reach what we could be - always another horizon or possibilities

2. Living with incompletion

2.1. to avoid incompletion or unhappiness it involves mauvaise foi. Sartre illustrates objectification by describing the experience of shame.

2.2. Authentic response to shame is not pride (resign ourselves to being only what we are and take refuge from freedom in this objectified being) but assertiveness. This is the reaffirmation of our freedom and the objectification of the others subjectivity.

2.3. Love allows us to be appreciated for who we are - which limits our freedom. On the other hand, desire allows us to appreciate another, which restores our freedom. We oscillate between loving and desiring the other.

2.4. For Sartre, conflict in a relationship is a positive sign as they have not turned themselves or the other into objects that can be possessed and manipulated.

3. The search for God

3.1. God represents the ideal synthesis between being and consciousness, which we can never achieve. Reaching towards God is the desire to be God.

3.2. Consciousness involves an awareness of what one is not, of one's own insufficiency. a projection beyond the present.

4. The paradox of Happiness

4.1. Aquinas has similar views to Sartre in his human desire for completion. Intellect: Is our ability to share in the being of what we understand. Our own identity is somehow found in them. Will: Our orientation to a completion that we do not as yet possess. Beyond the present. Happiness for Aquinas is beatitudo happiness - the perfect good which completely satisfies the longing of the will for completion. But, Aquinas write that perfect and true happiness cannot be had in this life.

4.2. Aquinas gives 3 reasons that happiness in this world is not possible: 1. Earthly desire is inexhaustible - human desire in this life never ends 2. Desire is unstable - all temporal goods, when possessed, cause us to despise them and look beyond them. Accompanied by appreciation of their insufficiency - Desire always moves on. 3. We do not know when we will die - takes possession of a secure identify. We cannot hold onto anything.

4.3. God is the universal good - to deny this is to deny the nature of human willing. Atheism is not a doctrine we can actually live by. We have to live by hope.

5. Conclusion

5.1. Sartre admits that in order to be free we have to avoid seriousness and accept that we will never find the ultimate meaning in this present life.

5.2. Aquinas and Sartre both agree that we are orientated to the beyond, the future.

5.3. A refusal to ever give up on the search for happiness in this life will mean that we are not trapped in a limited identity (acting in bad faith)

5.4. It is essential to have an openness to what is beyond comprehension.

5.5. Human desire is not free is it seeks to find perfect satisfaction in anything in this life. Because we seek happiness we have to seek God. We cannot be free unless we are searching for God - a final goal beyond the limitations of our present life and understanding.

5.6. Freedom is linked to hope. Therefore there must be some room for faith.