Keith Burgess-Jackson on happiness

I have never understood why people study happiness or set their sights on it. Have these people never heard of the paradox of happiness? If you aim for happiness, you're less likely to attain it than if you aim for something other than happiness. I think progressives are far more likely than conservatives to obsess about happiness. Conservatives find happiness in intermediate institutions, such as family, community, friendships, and church. They don't seek happiness; they never even think about it. Happiness finds them.

Progressives, many of whom are atheists, seek to destroy these intermediate institutions so as to bring everyone under the control of the managerial state. Since the state can't make people happy, progressives end up making everyone miserable and bitter. It's hard to believe that progressives think of themselves as the smart ones.

Addendum: Justice consists in proportioning happiness to merit. Vicious people deserve to be unhappy. It's not a good thing that a vicious person is happy; it's a bad thing. Nor is it a bad thing that a vicious person is unhappy; it's a good thing. The only happiness that matters, in other words, is the happiness of virtuous people.


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