Abandoning the Quest for Wisdom to Maximize Happiness


It is no mystery that, after survival, the most important thing for human beings is happiness. I’ve written about it numerous times here and this seems to be supported in popular psychology. Unfortunately, many people throughout society forget that happiness is in fact the single most important thing in life. As someone deeply concerned with the uncovering of truth, I’ve become aware that in many instances the truth may not be conducive to happiness. So why do we endure these circumstances?

As transient beings who exist on earth for only a short period of time, our primary focus should always be to maximize happiness. If we lived for ten thousand years, perhaps a mixture of wisdom and happiness would be more appropriate. This notion of duration impacting on our preference is amplified when taken to the extreme. If you only lived for a week, there would be an urgency to enjoy the fruits of happiness as wholeheartedly as possible!

Philosophy itself is not concerned with uncovering happiness but rather uncovering truthfulness or rightfulness, even if it be ugly. So why is it we have philosophy at all if it is not immediately concerned with the furtherance of happiness? Indeed we should understand that the happiest man may well be unintelligible, deluded, and even borderline psychotic, exhibiting perfect cognitive dissonance. But if his rapture is authentic, he is far better off. We may then conclude that a greater net happiness is undoubtedly a higher virtue than that of a sweeping wisdom.

As human beings, every one of us should value happiness above all else. This is always the first priority. Then, if we choose to implement a priori philosophical systems that, in any way, curb happiness, we should abandon truth for it diverges too far from happiness, the ultimate priority.

Truth is by no means the antithesis of happiness either. We should implement both simultaneously where possible but if our certitude ever encroaches upon the sanctity of happiness, we should stop.

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