Rousseau On Happiness

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One of the most renowned philosophers, Jean-Jacques Rousseau once asked, “what is the source of our happiness...?”. He believed that the answer was “the simple feeling of existence… [and] as long as this state lasts we are self-sufficient like God” (Critchley 449). The quest for happiness has been the greatest interest of humans since ancient history. However, what is happiness? “The New English Dictionary… offers the famously unhelpful [definition:] ‘state of pleasurable content of mind, which results from success of the attainment of what is considered good’” (Kingwell 413). Happiness is so vaguely defined that while many people want happiness, there is little agreement on what it is. Some people seek answer in religion. In Christianity, …show more content…
It is believed that happiness is self-contained in people, and is not something that can be found elsewhere; therefore one can experience happiness despite unfortunate circumstances. Luke 17:20 states, “the coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘here it is,’ or ‘there it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst”. “Kingdom of God” in this bible verse indicates holiness in the heart when one keeps a close relationship with God. One can achieve happiness by changing internally to be holy, not externally. One can be holy by being dedicated to God and developing a close relationship with Him. There are several ways that lead to happiness based on the Scripture, introduced in the sermon by Pastor John …show more content…
One may wonder if God is happy himself. Rousseau believes that happiness is the feeling of existence that fills one’s soul completely and that one can find “sufficient, complete and perfect happiness which leaves no emptiness to be filled in the soul” (Critchley 449). He then concludes that as long as this state continues, one can be self-sufficient like God. Rousseau assumes that God is self-sufficient and happy. His thought coincides with the Christian belief because Christians also believe that God is boundlessly happy Himself. According to theologian Jonathan Edwards, the trinity is a happy society of persons that shares a perfect and endless fellowship that delights in each other’s presence. Moreover, in the article, Happy Like God, British philosopher Simon Critchley suggests that “if anyone is happy, then one imagines that God is pretty happy, and to be happy is to be like God” (Critchley 449). His belief also coincides with the Christian view, because Romans 8:29 says one must conform to the image of Christ as an act of glorifying God. In the Christian view, conforming to Christ means pursuing a sinless life with complete obedience and submission to God. According to Pastor Choo, perfect conformity is impossible as humans, but they are to become more holy and more intimate with God as they challenge themselves in everyday life to follow the law of God and practice love to neighbors, just as Jesus Christ did in His

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