As promised, a prompt for our continued discussion principally on this idea that perhaps the pursuit of the good life (or a happy one) could in some way preclude us from attaining it. In other words, in general terms, can happiness be meaningfully pursued, or is it or should it instead be a byproduct or fruit of something else, of some other pursuit?
In thinking towards our first reading, might not the search for happiness entail its own undoing? Might the modern commandment to, “Be happy!” produce its own form of discontent?
And I’m deeply interested in your ideas about happiness as a sort of “right” or entitlement. Do you believe that we have a “right” to happiness? Why or why not?
Finally, in response to the Truman Show, what role does free will play in the pursuit of a good life? In other words, how authentically lived must a life be in order to be deemed “good” or, to use some good terms brought up today, “noble” or “honorable”? (Ooh, this is a good one.)
Please post a comment in response to these questions and to your classmates’ ponderings here no later than midnight Martin Luther King Day (Monday, Jan. 21), so I have a chance to read them before class the next day).