According to Aristotle Happiness exits in the rational exercise of the soul’s faculties in conformity with virtues such as courage, justice, temperance, benevolence, and prudence.
- Aristotle argues that virtue is achieved by maintaining the Mean, which is the balance between the two excesses. Aristotle’s doctrine of the Mean is reminiscent of Buddha’s Middle Path.
- Aristotle’s doctrine of virtue is “golden mean”. Courage, for example, is a mean regarding the feeling of fear, between the deficiency of rashness (too little fear) and the excess of cowardice (too much fear). Justice is a mean between getting or giving too much and getting or giving too little. Benevolence is a mean between giving to people who don’t deserve it and not giving to anyone at all.
- Similarly Buddhism aims not to eradicate all feelings but to liberate it from its attachment to false values. He gave the concept of the Middle Way, a path between the extremes of religious asceticism and worldly self-indulgence to move away from false values.
- Aristotle and the Buddha reached very similar conclusions as to how we should conduct our lives, if we wish to find happiness and fulfillment as human beings.
- However, for Aristotle the mean was a method of achieving virtue, but for Buddha the
- Middle Path referred to a peaceful way of life which negotiated the extremes of harsh asceticism and sensual pleasure seeking.