Happiness Isn’t Everything (Part Two)

The other day I wrote a piece on happiness, on how transient and subjective it is, and how it therefore makes a poor measure for determining the worth of a thing.

(In that case, I was mostly referring to the ‘thing’ of reproductive technologies – efforts that aim to make people happy by making them parents, or by producing for them children who are healthier or otherwise more desirable than they might have been.)

Of course, there are countless such ‘things’ in life, and it can be dangerous to allow their potential for making us happy to overshadow their worth on other counts. When we do that, we run the risk of hurting others to help ourselves, or even harming our own long-term interests in favor of the short-term.

But I think there’s a more important tendency to think about here. As bad as it can be to use happiness to measure the worth of a thing, it’s much worse (and it can be more consequential) to use happiness to measure the worth of a life.

(Read the rest at the Catholic Review.)

The Space Between - Happiness Isnt Everything Part Two

One thought on “Happiness Isn’t Everything (Part Two)

  1. Happiness isn’t a measurable thing so it’s impossible to value life based on it. You can’t really say “I have 6 more happiness than you” and you can’t really say “I’m 6 times happier than you” because you don’t really know. You can’t measure it. It’s like I can eat a while lobster and be really happy or you could eat a while lobster and have a tummy ache. It’s completely subjective and based on the individual. But if I’m living an overall happy life I would say I have a pretty great life. Even if I don’t make as much money as I would wish and if my love life isn’t as great as I would want, if I’m overall happy I could say I have a pretty great life.

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