This week’s reading of the Declaration of Independence focused on the idea that the government is an entity that should serve all its people and in the people should maintain their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If the government is not fulfilling this requirement, then the people have the right to create a new government that will fulfill these terms.
The picture I chose embodies the costs of securing these promised freedoms. The government we have gives its people a considerable amount of freedom, but we have to consider the non-monetary costs of what it means to be considered one of “its people.” In order to have the rights that are promised in the Declaration of Independence, the citizens may have had to give up a part of their personal identity or culture and conform to what it means to be a United States citizen and the immigrants that want to become a citizen have to consider the same things; this can be considered white-washing its citizens. So the question I have to ask is, do the things one must give up take away from the happiness that they are supposed to be able to pursue?
Kant specifically says that people shouldn’t be treated as objects because they are human beings with feelings. We have to respect each other in every way possible in order to ensure that everybody is happy. I liked this about Kant because in today’s day everybody knows about respect. In order for someone to respect you, you need to show them respect in order to get along with each other. In today’s day some people don’t care about others while some people do and would do anything to get anything their way. An example is a show called “Dexter” where he cares for his sister and respects her even when the sister admitted into falling in love with him. Dexter never disrespected her in anyway and still loved her as a sister but he did think it was weird that his sister was in love with him. The moral of the story is that at the end he loved her as a sister but he doesn’t disrespect her in anyway.
Kant believes that happiness is the satisfaction of all desires. And, virtue is the capacity to act morally. Also, reason (and duty) has priority over desires. Finally, highest good subordinates happiness to virtue.
I believe it is true that happiness is the satisfaction of all desires. I believe once a person has their desires fulfilled, they are still not happy. Because most people desire for more. I love this song by J. Cole because he talks about happiness and desires. He talks in the song how there is always going to be a better car, a bigger house, and better things. But, a person can’t be happy until they appreciate the things they have and the relationships they have formed.
I don’t think people are born with good moral standards. I think they formed by the environment people grow up in. I think good moral standards are just as important as happiness. Good moral standards enable you to maintain relationships with others. Good moral standards means a person wouldn’t wrong another person, which would help others have more trust in that person. More trust would result in a better relationship which would result in more happiness.
Side note: I think if someone feels that they are not enlightened. I think this is not because they are lazy, instead I think this is the case because they are not distracted. They haven’t taken the time to step away from all the distractions and think.