Communitarian Happiness

  • Peter Hulsroj
Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)


One function of a human being is to be an organizing principle for all constituent parts. The constituent parts do not care whether the totality is happy as long as it itself is. Our constituent parts constantly leave us, our hair when we have a haircut, our nails when we cut them. Do we have an obligation to make sure that our constituent parts are as happy as possible even after they leave our dominion? And, of course, the great majority of our constituent parts leave us, before we ourselves leave existence. So few are the molecules that follow us from cradle to grave. Hume suggested that personality itself is no constant and that every moment makes us new. So perhaps the score-keeping of happiness we make as an organizing principle is entirely irrelevant. Perhaps ultimate happiness is to be found in breaking free of the finiteness of our identities, perhaps Buddhism and Hinduism is right when suggesting that the ultimate aim must be release from individuality, as will happen when Nirvana has been reached. In Christianity we go home to live in God when we die. There is an element of Selbstaufgabe also here. Yet, if God is an Über-ego, of which we will be part, will our individuality be of interest ultimately, even to us ourselves when we become part of the God-perspective?


Constituent Part Individual Happiness Happiness Score Finger Nail Christian Perspective 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Hulsroj
    • 1
  1. 1.ViennaAustria

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