One thing that sets different worldviews apart from one another is their conception of what is good, or what is the primary goal (or end) of life. Each worldview answers this question differently, even if some answers seem similar.
Aristotle, in his Nicomachean Ethics, says that happiness is the “supreme good.” Indeed he says the following:
“Happiness, then, is found to be something perfect and self-sufficient, being the end to which our actions are directed.” (Ethics, 1097b, 20)
For Aristotle, happiness is the point of life. What about the Christian? What should we say is the point of life? The famous phrase from the Westminster Shorter Catechism sums the answer up well (and those of you familiar with the teaching of John Piper will be familiar with this):
“What is the chief end of man?: To glorify God, and enjoy him forever.”
The point of life is firstly to glorify God. , after describing the defeat of the enemies of God’s people, gives credit to those who bring good news of “happiness”, and proclaim the rule of God. says that he will be “satisfied with [God’s] likeness.”
The second point of life is to enjoy God! describes how God’s people “delighted themselves in [God’s] great goodness.” says that “the fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied.” speaks of “how great is his goodness, and how great his beauty!”
It is certain that if we satisfy ourselves with glorifying God, and enjoying Him, we will find what Aristotle says the point of life is. But happiness is not the point of life: God is.
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7 How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of him who brings good news,
who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,
who publishes salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
15 As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.
25 And they captured fortified cities and a rich land, and took possession of houses full of all good things, cisterns already hewn, vineyards, olive orchards and fruit trees in abundance. So they ate and were filled and became fat and delighted themselves in your great goodness.
23 The fear of the Lord leads to life,
and whoever has it rests satisfied;
he will not be visited by harm.
17 For how great is his goodness, and how great his beauty!
Grain shall make the young men flourish,
and new wine the young women.