Originally posted by generalissimo
I think there's more to it than just a need for bliss.
I think most people become religious because they want answers to questions like "why are we here?", "what is the meaning of it all", etc.
I think you’re right. The aesthetic aspects of religion (and how we live our lives generally) likely need to be evaluated in different terms from the philosophical aspects (e.g., theological doctrine, truth-seeking).
Nevertheless, there is some philosophical underpinning for Buckky’s view here. Aristotle, asking what is the highest good—that which is valued solely in itself, rather than as a means to any other good—said it was eudaimonia
. That is sometimes translated as “happiness”, sometimes as “flourishing” (bbarr’s view), sometimes as “well-being”. I conflate (redundantly perhaps) the latter two: “flourishing well-being”. It is hard to imagine someone living a life of flourishing well-being also being chronically unhappy; unhappiness results from some ill-being (physical or mental).
Since Aristotle thought that philosophy was part of a life of eudaimonia
, your emendation to Buckky’s post would be included, I think. (The pursuit of truth, wondering and speculating about meaning—such things can have an aesthetic component as well.)