Gross National Happiness

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The word happiness can be defined as a mental or emotional state of well-being. Happiness is a feeling of satisfaction and pleasure. The topic of happiness is one that has been discussed over centuries by philosophers, clergymen and scientists inter alia. Their arguments have been based trying to properly define happiness taking into account what its causes are amongst other things. According to philosopher’s St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas man’s last end is happiness. All men agree in desiring the last end is happiness. Happiness is undoubtedly the number one goal for everyone living on this Earth. Everything we do in life is so that that we reach a happy ending. There are a variety of things that can cause us to feel happy, things like money, inner peace (a relaxed mind), and friends and so on and so forth. In this essay, I will discuss in detail the topic of happiness, the several approaches on what happiness is and its causes; can it last forever? and what is the happiest country in the World amongst other things. As stated in the paragraph above, there are various fields of study and approaches that have all partaken in trying to define happiness and how they see things. The approaches to happiness that I will cover now are: Philosophical approaches such as Hedonism, Religious approaches from a Christian and Buddhist point of view, the Economic view and the Scientific view, respectively. Let us now delve into the philosophy of happiness/pleasure under hedonism. According to Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, “Hedonism is a school of thought that argues that pleasure is the only intrinsic good”. Simply put a hedonist aims to maximise net pleasure – which is pleasure minus pain. Hedonism is believed to have been founded by Greek philosopher Aristippus of Cyrene, who was a student of Socrates (considered one of the fathers of modern philosophy). Hedonists are said to believe that pleasure (happiness) is the most important pursuit of mankind. Ethical...