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The Pursuit Of Happiness Theory Philosophy Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 1094 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Hedonism is defined as the desire to get oneself in pleasure and happiness. The feeling is controlled from within and can only be stopped, minimized or redirected by one self. It’s portrayed as something good and does not involve pain. The theory argues that people are continually looking for something that will give them joy whether evil or good. However, the search for happiness and pleasure has so far been endless. Those who strive to be happy never get the complete satisfaction (Hedonism 27 ). Happiness is like a butterfly the more you pursue it, the more it eludes you. Be still and let it come to you (Mill 1).

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However, at times the pursuit for happiness is not a smooth road. While one is focused on getting to the things of pleasure they seem to get road blocks that prevent them from enjoying what they want. What if I get an alternative to which I can enjoy a certain pleasure but is evil? According to hedonism, good things in life are the ones that bring pleasure but when we bring the evil that some people enjoy doing, then hedonism is not true. Therefore what one enjoys in life is what gives them pleasure. Nozick’s experiment explains that we can be put into machines where we are programmed to feel or have experiences that we choose, instead of us to go through unpleasant situations (Nozick 31).

I do not agree with this theory because it will certainly not allow human beings to live normal lives. We will not be able to know the different pleasures life has to offer as we will only be programming everything as we please.

Utilitarianism explains that the choice of actions and things done is determined by its value and benefit to an individual in regards to making the person happy (Hedonism 2 20). Unlike in hedonism one chooses the kind of pleasure by analysis its benefit and usefulness. It depends on preference and taste of an individual. The perspective of a person towards a certain act also determines the choice of what one wants to do. There are two categories of utilitarianism: act and rule utilitarianism. Act utilitarianism is the kind that one has to think carefully of what they want to enjoy. They need to consider the effect of the act chosen.

Rule utilitarianism is when one has a choice of an action that involves rules and regulations that are to be followed. The person should highly consider all the rules involved. I think the act utilitarianism is plausible as one only has to be careful of what they want to enjoy that it will not inflict pain to them. However, the rule utilitarianism is again divided into two: the restricted rule and the open rule. The open rule is much flexible while the strict rule must be followed to the latter. On the other hand rule is not plausible because one could be forced to break rules to have pleasure, yet some of the rules once broken could mean painful experiences when under temptation, will see a utility in the breach of a rule (Mill 19).

It think that the act utilitarianism is good as one only has to weigh the pro and cons of what they intend to do. While the rule utilitarianism may push an individual to the wall and cause them to break rules that may have consequences that could be painful.

Categorical imperative is the classification of acts according to reason and morals. Kant discusses that people need to distinguish what is right or wrong. The decision to do something must be checked if it’s morally right or wrong. When one is thinking of enjoying a certain act then they need to weigh it. The individual needs to ask themselves or question the conduct to which they do this act. The end result in this category is not priority but the protocol followed should be acceptable whether the act is pleasurable or not (Categorical imperative 76 ).

This may not be satisfactory before everyone. When one wants to have fun in doing something of their choice then the pleasure in it is what priority is. However, if one is forced to follow a certain code of rules to enjoy then at a certain point the pleasure in it is measured. This may lead many into breaking rules and regulations. In order to have complete satisfaction and pleasure then freedom is mandatory.

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The question on gender equality has been very involving. Many people have tried to compare and contrast the behaviors of men and women. If women are to be given the same education and opportunities in life then women are able to practice and bring up the same virtues as men despite the fact that they have been termed weak. If education is what makes one to have good moral habits then all the graduates should be morally upright. However, that is not the case as the degrees one has earned has not improved their sense of mannerisms. Hence if women are treated right as men then they are able to do as much as men can. Nevertheless, men and women are both human then they would behave and think the same if subjected to the same circumstances and conditions.

The attitude that many have that women are weak and men are strong can be very demoralizing. We should not have such like comparisons in our society today. There should be equal chances on both genders if we are to have a society that is balanced. That way we are able to raise better leaders and stronger communities than having the dividing attitude. We should not note these differences and if they are there then they are as well balanced on both sides (Feminist Ethics 132).

However, parents concentrate on teaching boys morals and to the girl’s manners. This makes most women grow up with negative traits and bad virtues as morals are a product of thinking unlike manners that can be mastered. In order to have a society that has virtuous women, strong and courageous we should give girls the same grounds to learn and grow. They are allowed to know how to choose and to weigh what is right or wrong.

Tong and Williams, May 2009. Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy: Feminist Ethics: Historical Background< http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-ethics/ >accessed on 27 march, 2011

Garth Kemerling, 2001. The moral order: Imperatives for Actionhttp://www.philosophypages.com/hy/5i.htm

John Stuart Mill 1806-1873: What Utilitarianism Is.


Eduardo Rivera-Lopez Philosophy of value: What Does Nozick’s Experience Machine Argument Really Prove? <http://www.bu.edu/wcp/Papers/Valu/ValuRive.htm>


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