Is happiness really all that important?
A lot of people think so, but that being happy just for happiness' sake is a waste.
If there was a "happiness pill" that could make me happy for the rest of my life, I wouldn't take it. Because if I did, I'd get lazy and wouldn't accomplish anything. It seems like the pill would be cheating.
But on the other hand, I'm not so sure I'd want to be the most successful person in the world if it meant I could never be happy.
So I have to wonder: is it happiness or the things that make us happy that we should value?
On this topic, I have always been intrigued by Simone de Beauvoir's comments in the introduction to The Second Sex. She says: But we do not confuse the idea of private interest with that ofhappiness, although that is another common point of view. Are not womenof the harem more happy than women voters? Is not the housekeeperhappier than the working-woman? It is not too clear just what the word happy really means and still less what true values it may mask. There is nopossibility of measuring the happiness of others, and it is always easyto describe as happy the situation in which one wishes to place them. In particular those who are condemned to stagnation are oftenpronounced happy on the pretext that happiness consists in being atrest. This notion we reject, for our perspective is that ofexistentialist ethics. Every subject plays his part as suchspecifically through exploits or projects that serve as a mode oftranscendence; he achieves liberty only through a continual reachingout...