Free Essay

What Is Happiness?

In: English and Literature

Submitted By stephenran3178
Words 1950
Pages 8
Stephen Tran
Professor John Clanton
English 1A
24 March 2015 What is happiness? What is happiness? For some people it is the Mocha Frappucino from Starbucks™ that they have every single morning, some it is the moment their first child is born, and to me, well like most people, have not quite figured that out yet. In Eric Weiner’s eye-opening novel, The Geography of Bliss, Weiner travels to each corner of the earth to try and figure out what really makes people happy, why, and if there really is a science behind it. As Americans, our point of view of other countries is somewhat clouded due to how involved we are with our own but we cannot deny that we are not the happiest country in the world. What makes our country so unhappy? That question is as difficult to answer as what makes certain people and places happy because it can depend on so many factors. We, as citizens of the United States have many things we can improve upon to raise our happiness levels and also we can learn from other countries that are happier than us and in some cases, the ones that are not. For example, we value what kind of toppings we want on our ice cream while children in Africa struggle with feeding their families and themselves. Has our live of luxury made us opaque to what can truly enlighten us and help us achieve happiness? America is known as “A Big, Fat, Stupid Nation”, one writer from the media site Huffingtonpost.com literates. Without going into details about the article we can have a brief overview of what America is seen like to other countries. What do we have to do to change that view? I believe that we are not a lost cause and the key to happiness is not only finding it, but also taking things into moderation, clearing the clutter that enables us, and becoming the country with strong values. The premise is already there, we are also known for our emphasis on Freedom and our tea parties. For a country known for freedom, have we gone too far? We take our liberties here and there and do whatever we want and say it is because we are “free.” But at what cost? I stretch your focus to the statistically one of the happiest places on the earth according to Weiner and his associates’ data, no not Disney World – the Netherlands. What about the Netherlands makes its inhabitants so happy and so inclined to feel that emotion that many of us struggle to feel? Weiner believes it to be their tolerance. “What exactly does Dutch tolerance look like, in an everyday way? Three things come to mind: drugs, prostitution, and cycling. In the Netherlands, all three activities are legal. All three can easily lead to happiness, provided that certain precautions are taken. Wearing a helmet while cycling, for instance.” Weiner extrapolates. What Weiner is trying to convey is that just by allowing these three activities or, “tolerating” them, increases happiness for the Dutch people exponentially. A Dutch psychologist and journalist, Ellen de Bruin, verbalized that Dutch women do not get depressed. Conferring to Bruin, “Personal choice is key: in the Netherlands people are free to use soft drugs here, we can pretty much say anything we like. The Netherlands is a very free country.” How is this different from the United States? What about our First Amendment? We give our people “the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” but how come we are not as happy as the Netherlands? The key is tolerance. In the Netherlands they claim that permitting the use of soft drugs mentally assuages user from turning to harder drugs and therefore, keeping a balance and their citizens happy. A writer from The Guardian, Shirley Haasnoot, writes, “Education and government information have traditionally kept drug-related health problems in the Netherlands low, compared with the rest of Europe. One in five Dutch young people say they have tried cannabis, which is the European average – but the figures are much lower than average when it comes to hard drugs.” These country wide statistics prove that the ploy of “tolerating” the use of soft drugs to discourage the use of harder drugs seem to work. Right now we advertise equality to all Americans but still see prejudice towards those of African descent and to those that lay with the same sex. This does not seem to be a problem in the Netherlands where things such as prostitution seem more taboo than not allowing Same Sex marriage. American can learn from the Netherlands, she can learn to tolerate while enforcing and instilling the values our forefathers have laid for us. According to Weiner, tolerance is one key to happiness, but happiness proves to be a multi-locked door and requires more than just one key. Another can be found in the white shivering peaks of Bhutan.

A typical day in Bhutan consists of a wide range of choices from hiking to school, or even lounging to work. From the outside perspective, Bhutan places like the Phobjika valley, where they reject the option of electrification ( the process of enabling the use of electricity to a certain area ), may seem like such a primitive and a huge step back from the advances we have made as human beings. These residents believe that this would lead to materialistic and unnecessary distractions in their daily lives and stop the process which leads them to Gross National Happiness. “Today, GNH isn’t just an idea; it’s a method and practical theory of sustainable development that helps drive Bhutan towards holistic growth by constantly asking the question, “Will this make us happier?” For a country that prides itself on cultural integrity rather than consumerism and commodification, it means that Bhutan is striving to balance economic development with cultural preservation.” says Catherine Perkins. Catherine wrote an article on Bhutan and has had the extraordinary chance to explore its wonders first hand. What I believe Perkins is trying to convey is the fact that unlike in the United States, the Bhutanese focus on keeping their culture alive rather than coming up with the next iphone or how to sell the next big thing. This is something we, as Americans, can learn from the Bhutanese lifestyle. “The average American earns a hundred times than the average Bhutanese” (Weiner 90). The old saying, “Money can’t buy happiness” seems to prove truer and truer. This quote shows that even with a substantial difference of wealth the American man has over the Bhutanese man does not significantly increase his happiness. We are so opaque in values where we cannot even see the goals we set out for ourselves and it is dragging down our chance to become happy. We do not need large over heads or raises to be happy, we simply need to know what we want in life and to make the necessary environments to nurture this dream. The Bhutanese understand that and go to extensive lengths to preserve that rhetoric. Is tolerance and culture enough to achieve happiness? The people of Thailand would disagree.

Imagine yourself walking on a busy street’s sidewalk and you miscalculate a step and begin to topple head over heels onto the asphalt. In a normal American environment, your travesty would be welcomed with confused stares and twisted faces and the lack thereof assistance. In Thailand, there would be an uproar of laughter all the while helping you up. “…there is some situations we can’t control. You can’t change things outside yourself, so you change your attitude.” (Weiner 236). This is a lesson I learned at a very young age, why worry about something you have no control over? The Thai lack stress and that is not necessarily a bad thing. It enables them to enjoy the little things in life instead of taking things such as tripping in public, too seriously. How can we be happy when we are angry or feeling moods of stress? We can’t. That is how one Thai citizen explains the key to happiness. ‘I think America is one of the most stressed countries in the world. You think you need money to buy happiness. You hire people to do everything, even to mow your lawn. Here, even wealthy people do that themselves…’ (Sureerat 236). What this local is trying to portray is the fact that Americans find stress everywhere in their lives and allow themselves to be hindered by it. You cannot allow yourself to be happy when you have so many factors in your daily life that inhibit happiness. Americans can learn how to reduce stress by not taking things and people so seriously and that is the lesson that the Thai people are trying to teach it’s tourists.

In all of these countries that Eric Weiner visits, he makes it a habit to consolidate that country’s reason that they have claimed to redeemed happiness. In the Netherlands it was tolerance and the way the Dutch people allowed what some would call “monstrous and atrocious behavior” in order to preserve the greater good and happiness of the country. In Bhutan, elimination of all accept the bare necessity was proven to allow greater clarity of the mind and easier access to bliss. In Thailand, the simple act of not taking your neighbor or your job or your relationships too seriously, exponentially permits them less stress than the average American. In all these ways, Americans can become happier individuals than they were before and we can strive to take these experiences from these countries to further better ourselves.

At the beginning of this essay, I claimed to remain undecided when the question of what happiness was to me. Now I choose to change that statement. Now I realize that happiness is not one solidary place where everyone should aspire to go on one predetermined path. Happiness is not stressing over turning in reports before Tuesday. Happiness is not working at McDonald’s my whole life. Happiness is wherever I am and whenever I choose to let myself be enlightened by what the world has given me. I no longer long to do the things that were expected of me solely that I could be happy forty years from now. Sure I should be worried about my future and all that it holds, but I can only control what is possible and hope that it leads me the places that I have set for myself. Happiness is not letting people tell you what happiness is. There is so much we can learn and share with other countries and if we care and we show enough determination, we will be in a much better standing state that we are today. I know exactly who and what I am going to be in order to become happy. Can you say the same about you?

Works Cited
Brothers, Caroline. "Why Dutch Women Don't Get Depressed." The New York Times. N.p., 6 June 2007. Web. 19 Mar. 2015.
Haasnoot, Shirley. "Dutch Drug Policy, Pragmatic as Ever." The Guardian. N.p., 3 Jan. 2013. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.
Perkins, Catherine Joy. "Living as a Student or Expat in Bhutan." Living as a Student or Expat in Bhutan. Transitions Abroad, n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.
Stoneman, Justin. "America: A Big, Fat, Stupid Nation." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2015.
"Thailand Cultural Norms and Traditions." International Student Volunteers RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.
Weiner, Eric. The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World. New York: Twelve, 2008. Print.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

What Is Happiness?

...Undoubtedly, happiness is the most important part in our lives. But if you ask different individuals what is happiness, there are absolutely a wide variety of answers you would hear. It is difficult to define happiness because it means different things to different people. Like such, obtaining happiness can vary people to people and it can shape what their lifelong goals and dream are. Usually, happiness can be described as a feeling of pleasure or enjoyment or sometimes a feeling of self-fulfilment. If you ask someone the meaning of happiness, he or she will pause for a time because the description of happiness is very complicated. Whether It would be having wealth, fame or fortune, the definition of happiness will vary people to people as people themselves are unique and dissimilar. Moreover, the thing that makes people happy are dependent to age because for a child, a toy makes them happy and for a teenager a car could makes them happy. To achieve happiness is not very hard but to defining happiness is very difficult. If people could find the meaning of being happy they will achieve happiness in a short time because they will know the route of happiness. None of the wind can help a ship if it does not know the destination. That’s why over the years in my life, my meaning of happiness have changed and evolved substantially. At first I believed, like most people of my age at the time, that materialistic wealth would mean happiness. However, as I got more mature and grew......

Words: 716 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

What Is Happiness?

...Mike Glenn Professor Lehe: Philosophy 100 Major Paper #1 4-22-11 What is Happiness? Many people wonder how famous, wealthy, and icons of pop culture, who have everything anyone could ever want, are not truly happy people. These people possess power, fame, and money. If those things do not provide happiness, then what does? Also, there are the people like Ghandi and Jesus who had very little or nothing and still were happy. They had inner peace and happiness that led them to become moral figures for the people of our generation. These people who had almost nothing somehow possessed happiness. This brings about questions like, “What is happiness?” and, “What do people need to do in order to be happy?” I believe in order to possess happiness one needs to live a life in accordance with virtue; a life that Aristotle said would lead to happiness. In this essay I will state and talk about some different views of happiness and moral goodness. I will also summarize my true opinion of what happiness is and what way of life I believe one should live. First, Hedonism or the Principle of Utility, a philosophy that Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill live according to, says that pleasure is good and will lead to happiness. They believe that if you avoid pain and maximize pleasure that you will gain happiness. The Greatest Happiness principle states that one should approve or disapprove of an action based on the amount of pain and pleasure brought about for all people......

Words: 1213 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

What Is Happiness Interview

...Happiness The first person I decided to interview was my sister’s friend, Jared. He is 27 years old and has had what most would consider a hard life. The interview went as follows…. Me: What is your definition of happiness? Jared: I guess the definition would be to be being at peace with yourself and being at peace with who you are and where you are emotionally and mentally. Me: What makes you happy in life? Jared: A loud 375 hp Trans am with the top down (chuckling), being with a good woman. Me: Would you consider yourself to be a happy person, why or why not? Jared: No, some things make me happy, but still struggle with inner demons and I think too much most of the time. Me: Do you think you will ever get past your inner demons and be happy again? Jared: Yea, just personal things I have to deal with, my personal demons cannot be fixed, they are in the past and you can’t always change the past. Me: What experiences have influenced your definition of happiness? Jared: No real experiences, it is just what I think happiness is. Me: Has your definition of happiness changed over time? Jared: Yes, ten years ago I was just happy to have another party to go to, but now I see it is more about being at peace with yourself. Me: Do you expect the definition to change again? Jared: I am sure it probably will. The second person I decided to interview was someone I know very well, my Mom. She is 48 years old and she was a single mom of three girls and has since married......

Words: 353 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

What Is Happiness Interview

...Happiness | Nicole Baker | Kaplan University HU300:23 | | 2/22/2011 | | Happiness The first person I decided to interview was my sister’s friend, Jared. He is 27 years old and has had what most would consider a hard life. The interview went as follows…. Me: What is your definition of happiness? Jared: I guess the definition would be to be being at peace with yourself and being at peace with who you are and where you are emotionally and mentally. Me: What makes you happy in life? Jared: A loud 375 hp Trans am with the top down (chuckling), being with a good woman. Me: Would you consider yourself to be a happy person, why or why not? Jared: No, some things make me happy, but still struggle with inner demons and I think too much most of the time. Me: Do you think you will ever get past your inner demons and be happy again? Jared: Yea, just personal things I have to deal with, my personal demons cannot be fixed, they are in the past and you can’t always change the past. Me: What experiences have influenced your definition of happiness? Jared: No real experiences, it is just what I think happiness is. Me: Has your definition of happiness changed over time? Jared: Yes, ten years ago I was just happy to have another party to go to, but now I see it is more about being at peace with yourself. Me: Do you expect the definition to change again? Jared: I am sure it probably will. The second person I decided to interview was someone I know very......

Words: 781 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

What Is Happiness and Do We Cause Our Own Happiness

...What is happiness and do we cause our own happiness? What is happiness, how do we know when we have achieved happiness if it is not measured. If it is not profitable then why is it so important to so many people? And if it is not tradable then how do we achieve it, do we cause our own happiness. So what is happiness “The quality or state of being happy. Is the dictionary definition but then what does being happy mean? Happiness is arguably the strongest and most powerful feeling we can experience but, how do people understand happiness? Philosophers have an understanding of happiness and have boiled it down to two reasons hedonia and eudaimonia. Hedonia means happiness is the polar opposite of suffering; the presence of happiness indicates the absence of pain. Because of this, hedonists believe that the purpose of life is to maximize happiness, which minimizes misery. Eudemonia defines happiness as the pursuit of becoming a better person. Eudaimonists do this by challenging themselves intellectually or by engaging in activities that make them spiritually richer people. The main distinction between these two is that hedonia uses the idea that happiness is achieved by external things whereas eudaimonia believes that happiness comes from within us. Let’s take a closer look at the first idea. Hedonia which states that happiness is achieved by external things, such as things we want or already own. A flash car, a three story house or having lots of money, after all what......

Words: 1176 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

What Brings People More Happiness: Pursuit of Desires or Their Attainment?

...Course: Date: What Brings People More Happiness: Pursuit of Desires or Their Attainment? People define happiness differently. An economist relates happiness to the wealth of individuals while a psychologist defines happiness with regard to feelings and deep emotions of gratification. To some, happiness is attributed to the attainment of desires, and to others satisfaction of human beings lies in the fact that life is glum, and expectations serve to betray men. Where real satisfaction and happiness lies, remains a question that many try to answer. While attainment is the ultimate objective of all pursuits and accomplishment is a factor for more progress, desires and destinations still do not completely satisfy humans. The pursuit of your dreams and desires injects purpose into your life making it meaningful. By responding to your utmost desire, it is guaranteed that you would be happily leading your life, as there is always a push in driving everyday through. Pursuit prevents you from experiencing stagnant stages in life, as you are always motivated to achieve what you want to achieve. While the outcome if this pursuit may not be guaranteed, you can still gain happiness throughout the journey. The blunders made, the challenges surmounted, the adversities faced will all transmute you into a better person, with good virtues cultivated all the way. Of great importance, you would not die regretting; as you have toiled and tried your best in attaining what you want.......

Words: 566 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

What Is Happiness

...cost of divorce is very high. 中国传统通常把已婚女性放在家庭中最后的位置,她们被认为是丈夫和孩子的附属,有时候甚至比男方父母的地位还要低。然而,这种传统对于女性来说也有好的方面。一个好处就是,根据这种传统,女性在婚姻生活中的唯一责任就是负责好整个家庭,其他例如赚钱等家外之事则有丈夫来顶着;另一个好处是,那时候的妇女不必太担心丈夫出轨,因为在20世纪50~80年代时,离婚的成本是非常高的 However this tradition is severely spoiled nowadays. Women still have to take care of family, but now they also have to worry about things outside the family, they have to work as hard as men do plus to do every chore in the family because it is "what they have to do ". after a day's hard work, they come back home and run to the kitchen to prepare dinner for the whole family while their husbands sitting in the sofa watching TV. 但是,现在这种传统被严重破坏了。现在,妇女们不但要负责家里的事情,还要负责家外之事。她们必须像男人一样努力工作,除此之外,还仍然要做所有的家庭琐事,因为,根据传统,这是女性“应该做的”。一个例子就是,当女人们结束了一天的忙碌工作以后,她们要冲进厨房给全家人准备晚饭,悲剧的是那时候她们的丈夫正躺在沙发上翘着二郎腿看电视呢。 What make situation worse is that there is absolutely NO law to protect married women. By NO law I mean not even a single sentence about it! If their husbands want them out, they get kicked out without any compensation of what they had devoted to their family. The cost of divorce is so low that it's considered normal and common for Chinese men to have affair or to call hookers. There are numerous examples of poor Chinese married women get kicked out of their family at the age of around 45 because their husbands find a young chick! Unfortunately my mother is one of......

Words: 374 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Phenomenology of Happiness

...Phenomenology of Happiness What can make one person happy might not have the same effect on another. With this, it is difficult to find the perfect recipe for happiness. However what is true is that happiness is the one thing that people do not tire of. We continue searching for happiness even if we know that we will eventually tire of what provides it, and we will have to search all over again. For thousands of years, human behaviour has largely been about and driven by the pursuit of happiness. Even if we have not yet understood its complete nature up to now, we still continuously look for it. This unending pursuit is an evidence of how important happiness is to us. Happiness is a positive feeling and it is quite contagious. On the surface, it can be defined by a heartfelt laugh, a smiling face, or even a touching tear. Often times when we hear laughter, we associate it with happiness Whether you know the person who is laughing or not, you know that person’s laughter is a very strong indication of his or her happiness. This is also true when we see a smile, or when we witness tears of joy. It is often hard not to be at least quite affected by the happiness of another person. A person who is dear to you may express his happiness through stories that he will tell you and you in turn will be glad for him, and possibly for few moments, you may even forget your own worries and just join him in this feeling of elation. An old couple sitting in the park bench may radiate......

Words: 1310 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Happiness

...responding “The pursuit of happiness” Eng101-AC17 September 25, 2015 Matthew F. Adams The Pursuit of Happiness Mark Kingwell is an author of the book In pursuit of happiness: Better living from Plato to Prozac (1998). The reading is about the happiness, and this is the philosophical question "what is happiness?” In general, he wants to show the reader how to identify, to pursuit happiness? But he shows happiness is an essentially contestable concept. By many ways, he tries to define the meaning of happiness by taking another author’s idea about happiness. Firstly, he chooses to explain by a New English Dictionary, for example, the famously unhelpful state of pleasurable content of mind, which results from success of the attainment of what is considered good. And the he called a universal definition of happiness “a mug’s game”- that is the game no one can win. He states that the search for the happiness is one of the chief source of unhappiness”. Base on the Psychological Science money, education, and family background are less important in determining one’s level of happiness than basic genetic. What is happiness? Happiness is really easy to answer someone if there happiness is simple. Or it might be a confusing answer. Henri de Montherlant said “happiness write white when it comes to literature or it’s just a banality of contentment”. The author knows that is an impossible answer but he wants to show that every people want to search for their happiness concept. Therefore,......

Words: 811 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Happiness

... What Does Happiness Mean? The first person I choose to interview is Ms. J.Roker. She is between the ages of 30- 40 years-old and is a volunteer at the Exuma Land and Sea Park here in the Bahamas. She loves working for non-profit organizations especially those which gives back to the community and protects the environment. She has been a foreign volunteer for two years. Being enlisted in the military I am required to be deploy to various sub bases within and without the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Thus, my interview took place on Walderick Wells, a Cay located in the Exuma Land and Sea Park. I had known Ms. Roker, little under two weeks and was intrigue as to why she choose the Bahamas to work instead of America. Every morning she would open the park office and we would start a casual conservation. Her views on life were astounding and to see how her dog Grace interacts with her is just amazing. She always seemed very happy whenever I saw her and always was giving. When I think of what happiness looks like I always think of her. My second choice is Mr. D Bonaby. He is between the ages of 40-50 years and is an active member in the military. He has been deployed to the same sub base as me and he has been my superior for the past 10 years. He is a welder in the military and hopes to open his welding business when he retires from the military. This is the first time we are working hand in hand and he seems content with what he has accomplish in......

Words: 2118 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

.Docx

...What is true happiness? Tori Erskine Journalism You know the old saying “money cannot buy you happiness,” but what is happiness? Happiness has a different definition for everyone. Happiness can be found in a multitude of places. Happiness is an emotion that can be caused by objects or memories or just being with the people we love. Some people think happiness is not caused by overcoming obstacles in their lives or experiencing moments of great joy. Moments like graduating high school or college, getting a job they are good at or getting a promotion, or being married to the ones they love. Other think happiness is found in objects of money that they have or want. Everyone experiences happiness in one way or another in their lives. Some people find happiness in the simplest things. You could also find happiness in the people around you. Others find happiness in overcoming difficult times of their lives. Many people try to achieve happiness, happiness is and emotion of enjoyment, but what is enjoyment? According to Mrs. Decker, a high school counselor at AACS, “Happiness is being comfortable with yourself and content with your live.” Being comfortable with one self means that one loves the way they are and they care about themselves. Being content with one’s live means that one cares about their life and they learn from their mistakes. It also means they make decisions that fit who they are. Many people feel this way. Mr. McAneney, a high school counselor said,...

Words: 638 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

A Brief Look at Happiness

...A Brief Look at Happiness If nothing else, one thing can be said about happiness: If individuals are happy and they know they are happy, they should clap their hands. While the intent of this simple statement is merely to amuse children, developing true happiness is thought by many to be very difficult. Also, happiness is often falsely recognized and misinterpreted. Therefore, being truly happy and knowing you are truly happy are very loaded concepts. The object of this paper is to analyze and compare the thoughts of three philosophers’ whose remarks on happiness have been most influential for centuries after their time. They are Aristotle, St. Augustine, and St. Thomas Aquinas. Although I do not have the perfect understanding of happiness and believe no one does, I believe that each of their approaches to happiness hold a common theme that must be inconsistent with true happiness. They base happiness ultimately on self fulfillment. One of the earliest to ask the question ‘what is happiness?’ was Aristotle, who, in a manner typical of philosophers, before providing an answer insisted on making a distinction between two different questions. His first question was what was meant by the word ‘happiness’—or rather, its ancient Greek equivalent eudaimonia. His second question was where happiness was to be found, that is to say, what is it that makes us truly happy? Reasonably enough he thought that it was futile to try to answer the second question without having given thought......

Words: 3294 - Pages: 14

Premium Essay

Happiness

...Happiness is it not what all men seek for? What we aim for in life, in pursuit of it? Just like a pirate needing his battleship to hunt for his lost treasure. Only that happiness is far greater than any old pirate treasure and to most it means everything. But what exactly does it mean? What does it mean to you? What does it make us feel? What exactly does it do to us? Based on the Merriam Webster’s collegiate dictionary the tenth edition, happiness is a mental state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy, pleasurable or satisfying experience, a state of well-being and contentment. But is that all there is to happiness? In our society, happiness is taken lightly and they label it as a temporary enjoyment or pleasure. Some people think that a mere giggle is a sign of true happiness when it really is not but rather a sign of amusement or immediate satisfaction. To some, happiness just means not having a bad day. For others, it is being popular with a large social circle rather than having just someone to love and a few good friends. Some say they are absolutely happy because they are filthy rich, beautiful and have every material thing they ever wanted. I know that as young people that we are, who have yet to fully experience life, we probably believe that money will bring us happiness. While it is true that money can help you in your search, but money itself will not bring you happiness. It only fuels our daily......

Words: 772 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Aristotle and Epicurus

...the old man whose life has been fortunate.” This quotation is from Epicurus. Epicurus tried to find the key of happiness as did Aristotle. Although they have different theories of happiness, they both agreed on the idea that all human actions aim to reach complete happiness. Happiness is something that can be defined differently by each individual.  Every person would have a different idea on how we reach happiness. For Aristotle, complete happiness comes through fulfilling human function well and this can be provided by practicing virtuous acts. On the other hand, Epicurus supports the idea that presence of pleasure and lack of pain can conduct us to complete happiness. I shall argue that Epicurus and Aristotle have different ideas but they both aim towards a final good, which is happiness. As two different ethical theories, they both have weakness’ and strengths that this paper aims to show. Aristotle defines happiness as “something you seek for its own sake, whereas you seek all other goods ultimately for the sake of happiness” (Aristotle’s Ethics: The Theory of Happiness). This shows us that happiness is a final good that every individual aims to reach. Aristotle supports the idea that everybody must fulfill their function well enough to reach complete happiness and a fulfilled life is found in those who practice virtuous acts (Boyce). To understand exactly what Aristotle’s philosophy aims to show, we must first understand how he defines virtue. According to Aristotle,......

Words: 1501 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Happiness

...Happiness, what is happiness? According to the English dictionary it is a state of well being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. To be realistic no one would really use a dictionary to define happiness. Happiness could be anything, listening to children playing in the background, financial stability, falling in love, travelling the world. Everyone defines happiness in his or her own way. In most if not all religions around the world, emphasizes that the soul purpose of living is to gain happiness; everyone around the world wants to gain happiness in some way or another. True happiness is one of the hardest things to achieve in life; some may never even achieve it. But, back to the question, what is happiness? Is happiness making other happy or should happiness start with you? Some believe that the only way they can be happy and have a reason to wake up every morning is to make others happy, they are willing to risk their own comfort and happiness for others, I personally believe is wrong. Others believe happiness should start with ones self; they should first secure their own happiness, being comfortable in there own skin then think about the happiness of others. That to some people could be selfish, but is it? Is carrying about your own happiness, putting your happiness before others selfish? I do not think so. I think there should be a balance between both. Another point, how can one become happy? Some would spend their entire......

Words: 437 - Pages: 2