Thursday, May 9, 2013
In my first article, I talked about “kinds” of happiness, or happiness for some reason – good or bad, and even being happy for no reason. Whatever your views on this, there is certainly more to it than meets the eye. Let’s talk about good or bad reasons for happiness for a moment. What does it mean, “good” or “bad”? According to whom? According to what? Well, it might seem natural to suggest that the individual is the relevant “judge”, do you think? That raises questions however… I mean, for example, if the neighbours are happy blasting out their music, or some kids have great fun driving their off-road motorbikes all over the common and churning it up, what then?
Should we take account of others? Some might say that we should. In which case, let’s take another, more tricky, example; what if a certain entrepreneur successfully created the largest book-selling business in the country, and it made him very happy. Rightfully so? What if, in so doing, his business put thousands of small booksellers out of business, making them very unhappy? Whose happiness counts more? Does it matter then?
Perhaps some of you might look to the larger scale, and explore whether someone’s source of happiness contributed to the
service to the public. That’s an interesting idea isn’t it - the idea that
happiness may be involved in the good of society? Could we extend that to the
whole country, or UK Europe, or the whole