Why this blog?

Because HAPPINESS is misused. My theory is that Happiness is NOT the POINT of Life; rather, it is a POINTER IN LIFE. 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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