Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Happiness? No Market for it Son

The classical philosophers always concerned themselves with the big question: how can we be happy?

I attended a public lecture once at the philosophy department of Dalhousie University in Halifax, and realized that modern philosophers were not interested in these questions anymore. It was gibberish, and it seemed to concern nothing real.

Pope John Paul the Not So Great wrote in an encyclical once that philosophy as a discipline had gone off the rails and was concerning itself with things that mattered to absolutely no one.

True enough.

But I question his premise, that people want to know from their philosophers how to be happy.

I don't think anyone is interested in happiness or the Good Life or the big questions now. I think this not because people are any happier or any less desperate, but because we all know pretty much how to be happy already and we don't bother. We're just interested in other things and so accustomed to our nihilistic misery that we couldn't be induced to climb out of it if someone handed us the end of a rope.

The churches are all still open,

every Sunday.

And no one goes.

No comments: