Buddhism and Aristotle

Topics: Noble Eightfold Path, Gautama Buddha, Dukkha Pages: 3 (859 words) Published: November 20, 2013
Buddhism & Aristotle

Both Buddhism and Aristotle present intriguing philosophies; Buddhism promotes gratitude and suffering. Buddhists believe that happiness is not achieved by wealth, prestige, and luxury. Happiness is achieved by understanding the teachings of Buddhism and achieving nirvnana, which means to free the soul from bad Karma. On the other hand, Aristotle felt that Eudaimonia (happiness) was only achievable by fulfilling one’s full potential. In other words, happiness comes from long term success. Although, these beliefs involve the attainment of happiness they, differ more than they relate. Buddhists believe that there is “no self”. Buddhism also follows the Four Noble Truths; Life is suffering, desire and hatred leads to suffering, happiness can be gained and suffering can be beaten, and the Noble Eightfold Path leads to nirvana. In contrast, Aristotle believes that virtues; such as insight, bravery and the ability to satisfy others helps lead to happiness, but what finally leads to happiness is reaching the highest point possible, in one’s life .Lastly, Buddhism and Aristotle, teach folks to value individualism and take matters into their own hands. Both Buddhism and Aristotle value happiness and believe that it is the ultimate form of success. Buddhism believes that following the Noble Eightfold Path eventually frees the soul from bad karma, and leads to nirvana. Aristotle believes that by following virtues that support one’s life style and reaching your highest point in life, leads to happiness. Overall Buddhism and Aristotle believe that happiness doesn’t just come and go. They believe that once a person finds nirvana or Eudaimonia it stays with them forever. But, why does Buddhism insist that there is no such thing as a “self” or a person? In “The Simile of the Chariot” Nagasena the Buddhist sage argues that there is no person or self. Nagasena believes that everything in life is simply labeled: “Well said, your majesty you truly...

Cited: Bentley, Jerry H., and Herbert F. Ziegler. Traditions & Encounters . 5. 1. New york: 2011. 1-461. Print.
Kessler, Gary E. Voices of Wisdom: A Multicultural Philosophy Reader. 8th. Boston, MA 02210: California State University, Bakersfield, 2010. 1-638. Print.
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