The Good Life Analysis

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Many say that wealth creates happiness, yet even the richest people are discontent. Others say that philanthropy creates joy, yet even the most charitable people give, give, give and eventually have nothing for themselves. Neither are living “the good life” because they either care too much about the community while neglecting their own desires or care too much about themselves while neglecting society’s needs. Therefore, in order to fully experience “the good life”--a life of happiness with oneself and their community--one must balance charitable investments into society with fulfilling their own desires. An important factor to living “the good life” is appreciation of content with and appreciation of one’s fortunes. In “The Happy Life,” …show more content…
By claiming, “undoubtedly we should desire the happiness of those whom we love, but not as an alternative to our own” (Russell 364), he demonstrates that if people only give in a relationship, but are not happy themselves, the love is not worth maintaining. Thus, in order to live “the good life” well, one must focus on self-interest rather than setting others’ needs ahead of oneself. Additionally, Garrett Hardin’s “Lifeboat Ethics,” further emphasizes that one must be self-content and not feel guilty about their fortunes. Using a metaphor of a lifeboat, Hardin describes a catastrophe in which a boat sinks and only fifty passengers fit on the lifeboat while the other one hundred drown. He ultimately claims that the more fortunate lifeboat riders should not “‘Get out and yield your place to others’” (Hardin 366) because they would then experience the misfortune of drowning. Those lucky survivors …show more content…
Therefore, by contributing to the community, these psychological and moral desires will be satisfied, allowing one to live “the good life” well. In Peter Singer 's selection, “The Singer Solution to World Poverty,” he mentions the ethical satisfaction one gains by contributing to their community. When discussing how “those who are well-off” should support others who are less fortunate, Singer demonstrates that philanthropy leads to a “morally decent life” (Singer 374). Subsequently, one must give to society in order to satisfy their own ethos. Once they feel as if “moral obligation” is met in society, they affirm that they have good morals, leading to a higher level of happiness or a better “good life.” Yet, philanthropy also provides emotional satisfaction. For example, the “Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and the Billionaire Challenge” discusses the emotional gratification one feels when giving to the less fortunate. One well-known billionaire, Bill Gates, views charitable donations as an “investment in society” which pays for “the price of civilization” (Christian 375). Because donations often help those in need, they contribute to the one’s emotional happiness by creating a personal connection with the community by handpicking the cause that receives the donation. This direct connection and generous contribution, then

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