Definition of terms: Do we live to be happy?
To live for this expression implies a finality. Towards what is our life led? What is the objective of our life? For what reason do we live, and what motivates us to live?
Happy: this notion is the very heart of the question, and has been debated throughout the centuries. Throughout the assignment, it will be a matter of seeing what happiness is, what it is to be happy.
Plan and Development: Do we live to be happy?
→ It is inevitable that we will never be happy – Pascal
The first Greek morals, Epicureanism, Stoicism set happiness as their goal. How could happiness be achieved? It was through ataraxia, the absence of disorder, or by accepting the course of events.
For Immanuel Kant,” The concept of happiness is such an indeterminate concept, that, in spite of the desire of every man to be happy, no one can ever say in precise and coherent terms what he really wants and desires. The reason for this is that all the elements which form part of the concept of happiness are in their entirety empirical, that is to say, they must be borrowed from experience; and that, however, for the idea of happiness an absolute whole, a maximum of well-being in my present state and in my whole future condition, is necessary. “In Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals.
Man cannot truly and precisely explain happiness, and say that it is the purpose of his life.
In the Christian religion, one does not only live for happiness, but rather one dies for happiness. Earthly happiness is not worth an ounce of the happiness promised after death: “Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is great in heaven; for so persecuted were the prophets before you” in the Beatitudes.
→ Horace: does money make you happy? A current question
→ Seneca on the happiness of meditation and freedom