Saturday, May 31, 2014

Is Happiness All There Is?

Happiness. It is one of the many answers to the philosophical question "What is life all about?" It is the foundation on which many ethical theories rest (egoism, utilitarianism, etc...). It is also used in the attempt to discredit Christianity or question the God taught by Christianity. 

Over the course of the last few days it has become obvious that many people think happiness is all there is to this life, but I have to ask the question. Is happiness all there is?

Here are my thoughts. 

1. If happiness is all there is then life is pretty pointless. In view of the fact that we are all mortal and will some day die then I think the idea that the ultimate goal on earth is happiness is complete nonsense. What's the point? I'm happy now but when I die I will not remember it because happiness was all there was when I was and now I am not! I would argue that happiness is not the ultimate goal but, from a biological standpoint, survival and perpetuation of my genetic material would be (fortunately I am not an evolutionist).

2.  The kind of happiness I think most people are looking for is a non-stop/eternal type of happiness. The truth is, no one will ever achieve the kind of happiness they seek on this earth. It is completely impossible. Life is filled with pain, suffering, evil and selfishness. There will always be heartbreak, loss, and sadness. As long as we live in a world where there is evil (both natural and selfish driven) then lasting happiness will never be attainable. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.

3.  Happiness, by definition, is an emotion and as such emotions come and go. This relates to number 2, but there will always be something that causes the emotion of happiness to cease or it just plain wears off. Happiness is not an emotion that is maintainable. It is simply impossible. 

Based on just these three thoughts I have to come to the conclusion that there has got to be something more to life than happiness. 

No comments: