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[edit] We should say: "If happiness is your goal,.." rather than implying: "Happiness is your goal."

Things can also be done for:

  • duty
  • survival
  • a particular end

While there's a way of thinking where you can reason everything down into happiness, there's also a way of thinking that can reason everything down into selfishness, or reasoning everything down into economic terms, or reasoning everything down into spiritual terms, or however you care to orient the entire world.

There are many successful people who don't give a damn about happiness, and work very hard on tasks ignoring happiness.

We could argue about the merit or lack of merit in other ideas, and engage in some defeasible reasoning. My only point here is to say: We can temper this.


[edit] Reply from --gochess 11:56, 14 December 2005 (EST)

Given two different courses of action, we will pick one with the highest Utility. Yes, the debate over what characterizes this Utility is centuries old, and your point is well taken. So rather than get boggled down in such debates, the intent of the Happiness page is to redirect the focus on action itself, to openly consider alternative courses of action.

Someone might conceivably contribute the following, "Work in an office cubicle at least 8 hours a day." Okay, that would respectfully be that individual's Utility maximizing tip. But if that person sees another tip which marginally enhances his Utility function each day, then I think the Happiness page has served its purpose. Holiday cheers to you!

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