This chapter greatly explores the idea of living the good life by presenting its audience with the understanding that, in order to live the good life, one must not only live to please oneself, but to please those around them too. Mackay explores this idea when he says, “The whole idea of a good life will evaporate if we focus on ourselves, and what we get out of it”. He emphasizes the fact that the good life consists of living a life for others, - “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”. The author also explores the ideas of the good life by relating it to morals, goodness, solitary and religion and the Golden Rule. The good life is one defined by our ability for unselfishness, the quality of our relationships and our willingness to connect with others in a useful way. The ‘true’ goodness of life that Mackay wishes to inform us of is represented through the ideas.
Morals are explored as Mackay tries to show how many of us confuse emotions with morals, when it comes to moral judgments. To do this Mackay uses a vignette called, ‘Henry’s Little Secret’ as it strongly plays on the viewers’ emotions towards morality. The anecdote is used to give the readers a clearer realization of the fact that more often, than not, one mixes their mentions with their moral judgments, which in fact leaves the situation judged bias. Mackay’s main aim in doing this is to present the idea that everyone has their own definition of a good life due to their own moral values towards situations.
Mackay also presents the idea of goodness in this chapter, as he tries to further express the fact that the good life is slightly different to each person if you explore it further than living a life for others. He does this by pointing out that many people have different definitions of ‘good’, and that us, as a society, often have to compare good with bad to justify its ‘goodness’. Mackay does this when he says, “It’s just that these things aren’t what the good life is about”.
We also learn that solitary is not a way to live a good life, and that a life lived along is a life not lived ‘good’. He does this to encourage the idea of living a life for others as he says, “You can lead a blameless, exciting or passionate life on your own, but you cant lead a good life on your own, because morality is about our interactions.” He incorporates religion with the idea of a good life, as he tries to represent it as the main body holding the Golden Rule – the fact that we think of ourselves as members of society rather than individuals. He shows that the idea…