Do you agree with Aristotle? “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”
not really - I like the intention behind it yet I think "the whole aim" is a step too far for me - I don't know if 'happiness' stretches to all the imaginings that I have for what my aim is in life. I think also that misery and disappointment have taught me in my life to enjoy the happiness the laughter and joy when its there and to persevere when its not .
It certainly doesn't hurt to be happy. Having a sense of purpose is great and can keep you charged and moving forward but when objectively observing the aggregate of brutality and despair that exists in the world neither purpose or happiness can do the trick on their own. I think you need both, a healthy dose of realism/skepticism with a tinge of optimism mixed in for flavor. Besides, what would happiness be without sadness? It would likely become a stale state of being that would lead to a jaded pursuit of the next best thing.
I balk somewhat at "the meaning and the purpose," but I think it's a noble aim to have, not only for one's own life or the lives of those around us, but for humanity as a whole, now and for future generations. Sometimes we individually forego the happiness we hope others will experience.
As a human individual, my meaning and purpose can change moment by moment. How can you take an ever-changing, complex human life and define it to one meaning or purpose? Now my purpose is to communicate with my friends in my agnostic community. An hour from now it will be something different. I don't disagree with Aristotle's summation from a moment to moment intention.
As for the entire human race, does it have meaning or purpose, who knows? That's the kind of philosophic thought that leads to belief systems that can lead to religious thought, in my opinion. A Christian would tell you the meaning and purpose is to serve god, a Muslim - Allah, etc. I don't believe we as a race have any more meaning or purpose than any other life form on this planet. A current purpose might be evolve or suffer the consequences