Why this blog?

Because wherever you are, you can have more happiness and for more of the time than you ever imagined. 'Do more of what you like, and less of what you don't!' (c) Richard Walker, 2009. And because happiness is often misunderstood. "Do you live to work, or do you work to live?" I reckon happy people do both at the same time. Make the decision now to tenaciously seek out what feels good – and find ways of doing more of it - rather than settle for “not bad.” There's a big difference. And when it comes to making changes, that's what I specialise in at abetterlife-uk.com and http://hertscollegeofhypnosisandnlp.co.uk

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Choose: more happy slobs or more unhappy intellectuals?

BBC Four just re-ran Michael Sandel’s lecture on Utilitarianism and Happiness. It's saved for you to watch here. Sandal puts JS Mill's assertion that 'it is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied.' This lecture is a good opener on this old debate, which still rumbles on; for example, Professor Layard, who advised the recent labour government, took James Bentham's opposing view.
Part 1 -- PUTTING A PRICE TAG ON LIFE: Sandel takes a modern view to explore how we attempt to resolve moral even political dilemmas. He makes a neat job of showing the possible objections to the utilitarian logic of seeking “the greatest good for the greatest number.”
Part 2 -- HOW TO MEASURE PLEASURE: Sandel then introduces J. S. Mill, a utilitarian philosopher who argues that seeking “the greatest good for the greatest number” is compatible with protecting individual rights, and that utilitarianism can make room for a distinction between higher and lower pleasures. Sandel tests this theory by playing video clips from three very different forms of entertainment: Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the reality show Fear Factor, and The Simpsons.

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