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CHAPTER XXXIVThat the Final Happiness Man does not consist in Acts of the Moral Virtues

HUMAN happiness, if it is final, is not referable to any further end. But all moral acts are referable to something further: thus acts of fortitude in war are directed to securing victory and peace: acts of justice to the preservation of peace amongst men by every one remaining in quiet possession of his own.

2. Moral virtues aim at the observance of the golden mean in passions and in the disposal of external things. But the moderation of the passions or of external things cannot possibly be the final end of human life, since these very passions and external things are referable to something else.

3. Man is man by the possession of reason; and therefore happiness, his proper good, must regard what is proper to reason. But that is more proper to reason which reason has in itself than what it does in another. Since then the good of moral virtue is something which reason establishes in things other than itself, moral virtue cannot be the best thing in man, which is happiness.569569   See Ethics and Natural Law, p. 8, n. 4; and p. 76, n. 4. When Milton says in the Comus    Virtue alone is happiness below,
   he cannot reasonably mean that moral virtue is formally and precisely happiness, but only that it is indispensable to happiness, and presupposed, as the base of a tower is presupposed to the spire. Moral virtue is more indispensable, but happiness is better. But the privation of happiness is a less evil than the privation of moral virtue. So it is less evil to have the spire blown down than to have the tower on which it rests blown up, although the spire is higher and nobler than the substructure.

   The doctrine of this chapter is in Aristotle, Nic. Eth. X, viii.

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