June 13, 2004

Pursuit of happiness

I think that I have found Steven Den Beste’s rebuttal, it’s in his post about marriage:

My axiom is "Happiness is inherently valuable." Happiness doesn't need to serve some other goal; it's worthwhile in and of itself. It doesn't matter whether it is ephemeral; whether it has any long term effect; whether it leads me to some sort of eternal reward (which I don't think will happen). Happiness is good in its own right.

So, the general ethical goal I try to accomplish is to increase the amount of happiness and decrease the amount of unhappiness in the universe. To me, that's a worthy goal irrespective of whether it has any other result. Everything I believe in ethics derives from this.

I think this is a worthy axiom to which to dedicate your life. Steven derives from it a fundamental belief in liberty, in self-defense, and many other things. Let me point out though, the sense of purpose that it gives to his life – to the extent that he would be willing to sacrifice his own happiness, maybe even his own life, toward achieving it. Steven identifies with the pursuit of happiness. The pursuit of happiness is (part of) his identity. Since it is immortal, therefore, he, too, is immortal.

Does he really believe that in the end none of it matters? I think that it’s likely that at times he does. (Don’t we all?) I just wonder why he prefers it that way.

Posted by David Boxenhorn at June 13, 2004 02:01 AM
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David! This is my rebuttal to Steven Den Beste--

Hi, Steven Den Beste!
LOL, you are no atheist! The god is in the genes!

He has not answered me yet-- do you think he will?

Posted by: twisterella at June 13, 2004 03:09 AM Permalink


What do you mean by that? I have some guesses, but I'd really like to know.

Posted by: David Boxenhorn at June 13, 2004 09:05 AM Permalink

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