Jan 4, 2010

Imagine a Better World. May Happy World Become a Reality Soon

First, may we all have a happy new year! I thought I should start this new year with a positive post, so I'm going to talk about pleasure--one of the two masters (the other being pain) according to the utilitarians like Jeremy Bentham and J. S. Mill. Most would prefer pleasure to pain and maximizing the former is a moral stance. Should societies try to advance the conditions that make people happy? This is a serious question.

Now, what do you think of freeloaders? Those who want to get something that results not from their own efforts but by the efforts of others? Why should anyone be coerced to give up the fruits of their labor? As long as those fruits/benefits came from legal activity and an open/free marketplace. Right? Besides, who can really determine who needs what and what does a person deserve?

Yet, voluntary contributions may be necessary to preserve and enhance a society. Because, everyone benefits from a good, stable, progressive, healthy, educated, happier society! No one operates in the vacuum of space, nor do they make their wealth over there. Now, what's voluntary? Is it a social contract we're part of?

Personally, I think the definition of pleasure should be left to the individual who should be in charge of themselves. However, there's a great value, a higher moral standard, to support conditions that allow individual growth but also a positive social growth. The trick is to find the proper balance. Individualism and a progressive society aren't mutually opposites. On the contrary, this is the essence of liberal democracy.

As for pleasure in the new year, I'd like to see more people pursuing fulfilling activities--as long as they don't impose on the rights of others. For example, they can devote all the energy, money, and time to worshiping god(s) or the sun or whatever else they feel it makes them happy. I'd like to see healthier people--and we know how to do this if we have the political will.

I'd like to see more people thinking rationally because they appreciate the quest for knowledge and understanding, without surperstition and prejudice. I'd like to see more humans cooperating instead of fighting on illusions and pettiness. During the next trip around the sun, on spaceship Earth, let's remind ourselves that, for a long while, we have no where to go except to exist within a narrow band of a small planet in a hostile universe.

Finally, I'd like to image this...

In essence, I support the conditions that make me happy... and, I believe such conditions give opportunity to others to pursue their own bliss. Have a great year ahead!

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