philosophy long paper take 2

philosophy long paper take 2 - p. 1 Connor Blair Dr....

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p. Connor Blair word count: 2764 Dr. Richard Cameron 11 May, 2007 Philosophy 101 Lead a Good Life When asked how they want to live with their life people will generally say they want to lead a life that brings them happiness. This includes enjoying their work, enjoying where they live, and living by their morals. However, given the context of today’s society this lifestyle is becoming hard to attain. If someone is to lead a good life many factors must be considered including consumerism, happiness, and global warming. Many people inevitably get caught in societal traps and lose sight of what they really want and therefore lead unhappy, environmentally destructive lives. Contemporary society’s economics and environmental crisis make leading a good life a difficult task. But, it can be done. I will present ways humans can lead good lives in spite of living in a consumerist economy and an environmental crisis. Personal happiness is something most everyone desires and in order to achieve personal happiness work and leisure must be equally balanced. Meaningful leisure and family time, personal freedoms, and other relationships contribute enormously to a person’s happiness. i Humans are social animals by nature and we are genetically wired to live in communities. ii This may be why people often describe college as the happiest years of their lives; constantly surrounded by their friends, they were part of a close community and had tons of personal freedom. Happiness requires a balance of work and play, if you work too much, happiness is elusive. 1 1
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p. However, the main reason American’s aren’t happier is because American lifestyle is centered on consumerism. Today, only 33% of Americans are “happy”. iii Why is this? Why, with all of Americans’ wealth, aren’t more people happier? Today’s society requires a high income to meet living needs, but people don’t stop working excruciatingly hard even after their needs are met. This could be blamed on American employee tradition: most of our grandparents worked 80 hours a week for a fraction of today’s salaries. iv But more likely people simply haven’t begun to realize their decreasing marginal utility; people have continued working even harder and longer thinking it will bring them even more happiness. v Unfortunately, they are wrong; making more money does not equate to more happiness. In fact, Americans’ happiness level since 1972 has remained roughly the same even though we have accumulated bigger houses, more cars, more technological conveniences, and made thousands of time saving “improvements” and innovations for our convenience. vi In today’s society people lose necessary leisure time for a variety of consumerism related reasons. When people have to choose between work and leisure time, work wins. Therefore, leisure time decreases, throwing the balance off and resulting in less
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This note was uploaded on 03/24/2008 for the course PHIL 101 taught by Professor Richardcameron during the Spring '07 term at DePauw.

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philosophy long paper take 2 - p. 1 Connor Blair Dr....

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