Happiness Is the Wrong Metric
Society 53(3), March 2016
12 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2016 Last revised: 17 May 2016
Date Written: March 22, 2016
People are motivated not only by a quest for satisfaction but also by trying to live up to their sense of what is moral. This sense cannot be reduced to a form of satisfaction, among other reasons because it often engenders pain and sacrifice rather than pleasure. Analysis is enriched when we realize people are moral wrestlers who are pulled by both kinds of motivations. Such a recognition is also useful for public policy. The concept of well-being is a step forward but one must take into account that people can find meaning and purpose in bad behavior from gang-like activities to serving in ISIS.
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