Critique: The Ends of Happiness by Karl Giberson

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AW Assignment 1: Critique
“The Ends of Happiness” was written in 2006 by Karl Giberson, Editor-in-chief of Science and Spirit. Giberson (2006) argued that the way to being happy is to “do, rather than possess, things that make you happy.” (Para 8). Giberson (2006) noted that adults are able to delay gratification to maximize happiness even if the means are unpleasant (Para 6). Giberson (2006) claims that Americans “have lost a clear sense of what actually makes them happy.” (Para 11) because they are so caught up with accumulating wealth that they mistakenly view the possession of wealth is what makes them happy. Giberson makes a valid argument that the way to being happy is to do things that make one happy. However, despite quoting renowned philosopher Aristotle, Giberson’s substantiations are still unconvincing because of his poor choice and organization of evidences. The evidences he proposed are mostly personal experiences, they contradicted each other and even contained flawed assumptions. Giberson (2006) asserts that as Americans aggressively pursue materialistic desires, they “have lost a clear sense of”(Para11) what makes them happy. However, he has failed to provide reliable evidences such as surveys to substantiate his point. Giberson (2006) then argues that the happiness derived from spending time with friends and family is greater and longer lasting than achieving materialistic goals. He justified his claim with his own personal experience; “I have but the foggiest recollection of getting my first car, cashing my first paycheck.”(Giberson, 2006, Para 14). The absence of reliable evidence and extensive use of personal experience renders his arguments nothing more than just personal opinions. Giberson used contradictory evidences in his argument. He mentioned that adults are able to “delay gratification … for the promise of an enlarged future happiness.” (Giberson, 2006, Para 5). If this was the case, then would it not justify American’s efforts to...
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