Defining and Measuring Happiness

Write 5 pages with APA style on Take a position by answering-is it possible to define and measure happiness. The desire to understand and seek happiness has been profound among individuals and scholars like Plato, Aristotle and Mills. To prove the complexity of happiness, all the scholars had different views which make happiness a mystery. In his article Critchley (449) asserts that there is no clear definition that fits the imaginable aspect of happiness. He asserts that happiness can only be measured when certain conditions are met. The conditions, described by Rousseau state that a happy person should not be bound by anything including time, no consideration of the present nor the future, and no pain or pleasure. This implies that with absence of any of the imperatives, then a person cannot be described as happy. Consequently, happiness cannot be explained by science theories that may attempt to lay measurement criteria (Critchley 450). In the real world, the requirements of happiness as described by Rousseau cannot be achieved, this is because the world is fast changing and the people are often time conscious. A person minds more of the present and the future by carefully managing his or her time. Death is unforeseen and thus there cannot be a guarantee of continuity of existence. As such, measuring happiness proves to be a difficult task. In the subsequent arguments, Critchley asserts that human beings can be considered happy if they attained the status of a super being like God, where all the factors that define happiness are present. However, this status cannot be achieved in a contemporary world. Trying to understand happiness reigns in day to day activities of people. People try to lay their own definitions of what happiness might be and try to work towards the objective. These arguments can be in form of gaining property and wealth, positions in the social and political quarters and also fame. However, all this pursues do not guarantee happiness. One would argue that a wealthy person is happy! The answer would definitely be no. This is because happiness cannot be created out of wealth rather it can be created from the satisfaction that one gets from wealth. In addition, Mill explained that the more a person tries to gauge how happy he or she is, the more he or she becomes confused. This leads to enlightenment that happiness cannot be measured by material well-being of a person. As such, probing the definition of happiness will always make people unhappy due to extreme requirements of happiness. In the current world, happiness cannot be measured due to the ever changing economic and social conditions, that is, what seems to be a happiness parameter is quickly eroded by the dynamic world. This is because the current justification of happiness has been inclined on material welfare of people that than satisfaction of the soul. Doctors have claimed that the genetic composition of a person can show the level of happiness (Kingwell 414). This has been brought about by scientists who believe that genes can bring a smile on a person. Maybe this is true. however, smiling may not be regarded as happiness. In one way, smiling can be used as an indicator of happiness, in the other way. smiling does not always imply that a person is happy. This is because it can be faked to fit an occasion. According to Aristotle, happiness can result from living an honorable life. Mill also asserts that a dissatisfied human is better than a satisfied pig.

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