Critique on Article "The Ends of Happiness"

Topics: Eastern Nazarene College, Logic, Karl W. Giberson Pages: 2 (516 words) Published: February 16, 2013
Dr Karl Giberson is a professor at Eastern Nazarene College with a PHD in Physics from Rice University. A man approaching his fifties at the writing of this article, Giberson’s solution to his mid-life crisis was to write an article “The Ends of Happiness”. His article was well written and he tries to impart his experiences with happiness to young adults. In the article, Giberson claims that happiness should be the end result of our efforts and he provides a compelling argument why we should not get caught up in our pursuit of happiness through materialistic gains. However, his arguments to back his thesis are inadequate due to an inherent contradiction in his supporting point and one unproven assumption in his article.

Giberson (2006) uses the Candy Experiment with children to prove his point that our ability to withhold satisfaction leads to a “life time of happiness” (para. 5). He further explains that “unpleasant means can yield satisfying ends” (2006). This implies that our happiness will increase if we are able to set aside the things that make us happy, and work towards our goal. However, in his later argument, the author seems to imply that the happiest moments in his life, were times when he did not work towards materialistic gains. For instance, he claims he “lived well”, when he “left work early” and spent his time with his family (Giberson, 2006, para.12, 13 & 14). This illustrates his point that the most memorable moments in life comes from relationships as opposed to material gains (Giberson, 2006). While the latter argument supports his thesis, the former contradicts it by implying that happiness is something to be achieved through materialistic gains. This is shown in Giberson’s example about a student graduating with “greater earning power” (2006) and how this ability “is the formula for a lifetime of happiness” (Giberson, 2006, para. 5).

Furthermore, Giberson’s argument seems to be contingent on one major assumption. That happiness...
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