Essay on Morality and Happiness

Submitted By hnkkkk2
Words: 2190
Pages: 9

Goals and dreams an individual has are often only that person’s goals and dreams because once these ultimate destinations are reached; happiness is thought to also be achieved along with them. With this said, it seems that the true terminus sought out is happiness, which is shadowed behind its many facades. These facades are material items like money or fame, in other words, concepts that you would think would make one truly happy, in the end lead a person in the opposite direction of it. So what is indisputably true happiness? Should people even have the goal of happiness in the first place and direct their acts accordingly? These perplexing questions are what many philosophers have deliberated and disputed over throughout all human existence. Happiness is an idea that revolves around perspective and attainability. A study of the concept of happiness reveals that in Western thought opinions on the characterization of happiness actually shows to vary from person to person, however there seems to be no question that every human strives toward this emotional equilibrium with themselves and the world. “Those who think that a science of ethics can be founded on happiness as the first principle tend to maintain that there can be only one right conception of human happiness. The right conception consists in the cumulative possession of all real goods in the course of a life time with nothing to be desired.” Mortimer Adler shares that there can be many misconceptions of happiness pertaining to its definition (529). There are two types of ways to really define the word, in a psychological sense and in an ethical sense. The psychological sense would define it as meaning “contentment,” however, in its ethical sense of term it means a whole life well lived. When men are questioned on what they should do to achieve happiness it is answered only specifically related to the personal preference or individual opinion, certainly not by scientific demonstration or analysis. “But this applies to the individual only Locke does not think it is possible to show that when two men differ in their notions of happiness, one is right and the other is wrong. “Through all men’s desires tend to happiness yet they are not moved by the same object. Men may choose different things, and yet all choose right.” This perspective pertaining to happiness shows that happiness is truly indefinite. This proposes a problem to all of humanity and their individual strides towards their happiness. “Hence there can be no universal solution in terms of desire of the problem of how to be happy.” Adler is stating the point that each person’s ideas of happiness will end up clashing with each other, not everyone can be happy (340). This is often because of whether one’s idea of happiness is morally correct or not. With further insight into the focus, happiness is remote from being the whole good, making it even harder to gather the hope to attain it. “But even if happiness combined with moral worth does constitute the supreme good, Kant still refuses to admit that happiness, as a practical objective, can function as a moral principle.” Adler seems miffed with fellow philosopher, Kant, and proceeds to disagree with his statement including happiness functioning as an ethical code. This contradiction is correct despite what Kant believes. Moral philosophy and ethical philosophy are two things that shockingly cannot and heed to apply to feeling happy, and reaching happiness. Many will find that morals do not apply to their desired happiness, they end up having to break morals just be happy for a moment. Even if happiness was combined with moral worth, it would not constitute the supreme good; happiness cannot and will not ever function as a moral principle. It cannot be a condition. In a world where happiness and morals can be combined, then everyone could quite possibly attain it in a parallel way. A man can only hope to be happy rendering to moral laws. The ethics of duty