Review “We Have No Right to Happiness”

In class we read three different essays including ‘The Dying family’ by J. H. Plumb,’ Does Fatherhood Make You Happy? ’ By Daniel Gilbert, and ‘We Have No Right to Happiness’ by C. S. Lewis. Though the purpose of these essays can be very controversial to some, after reviewing all three essays I have picked my favorite, or the one I agree with and disagree with most. ‘We have no Right to Happiness’ makes a very good argument on the point the author is trying to make.

Some people believe that happiness is a right and is supposed to be given out, or is required to be provided by the government, like a right. In all reality that is true, but to an extent, we do have a right to happiness; we also have a right to earn happiness. We are all provided with the resources to do so. As in all rights we are provided with there still is some kind of boundary. We have freedom of speech, but yet we could not just walk up to president Obama, cuss him out, and get away with it. We have the right to bear arms; under certain circumstances.

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Therefore every right can be justified. One of the points the author makes is “it has been laid down that one of the rights of man is a right to the ‘pursuit of happiness’. ” As I said before, this statement can be translated in several different ways, I took it as we have the opportunity to make ourselves and others happy but it is up to us to grasp it and follow through with it. Happiness that is earned is a lot more fulfilling then happiness that is provided, in my opinion. Saying that happiness is a right just doesn’t settle in my mind.

Now I’m not saying that you should ruin other people’s happiness to create your own as Mr. A did causing his wife to commit suicide after leaving her, but within reason, do what you got to do. Mrs. A was just as entitled to happiness as Mr. A, she just didn’t act on it. Another valid point the author makes is “A right to happiness doesn’t, for me, make much more sense than a right to be six feet tall, or to have a millionaire for a father, or to get good weather whenever you want to have a picnic. Sometimes our happiness can be predetermined by the help of our genetics or our parents’ connections in society and whatnot. But there still is their pursuit of happiness. Guaranteed your parents social status was not just given to them, nor will yours, your parents’ open that door for you to ‘pursue’ your happiness. I guess whether you agree on this point or not would have something to do with where you come from or what you have been provided with up until this point, in which ever case government is not required to make you happy as an individual.

I believe government already helps out people too much already, even if there not as deserving or willing to work for it. “Though the ‘right to happiness’ is chiefly claimed for the sexual impulse, it seems to me impossible that the matter should stay there” Lewis said. Sexual happiness is on a whole different aspect. It’s probably not in your best interest to act on every sexual related impulse you have to make you happy. Although you are entitled too, sexually fulfilling your happiness is not true happiness, it seems to be very superficial.

In this case, leaving your wife to marry another isn’t ideal, on the other hand to some it would be. Overall, although these situations arise, it is probably not in your best well being to depend on them. Life is short. I wouldn’t blame you for trying to make it a good one but depending on it will only set you up for disappointment. Sexual happiness, financial happiness, social happiness, or relationship happiness all sound a lot easier than they are to achieve but you might have to sacrifice some of one to get another. Asking for all of them seems a bit greedy to me.

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Review “We Have No Right to Happiness”. (2017, Mar 23). Retrieved from