Happiness And Happiness : The Dalai Lama's Theory Of Happiness

920 Words4 Pages
Happiness is one of the highest regarded human sentiments in moral philosophy. Most ethical theories take happiness into consideration in some way. The Dalai Lama’s proposal of ethics is no exception, as his ideas are based off the principle of achieving happiness. The Dalai Lama asserts that everyone is the same, in that everyone is a human being who wishes to be happy and avoid suffering. As much as happiness is considered in moral philosophy, there are many different interpretations of what happiness is and how it can be achieved. “Happiness is pleasure,” according to John Mill (111, The Elements of Moral Philosophy). And pleasure, Mill stated, is a broad term that includes “all mental states that feel good” (111). Mill’s view on pleasure and happiness is akin to the ancient ethical theory of Hedonism, in which pleasure is the ultimate good and pain is the ultimate evil. The Dalai Lama has a contrasting opinion of the description of happiness; he states that “the principle characteristic of genuine happiness is peace: inner peace” (55, Ethics for the New Millennium). He goes on to explain that inner peace is “rooted in concern for others” (55). While the Dalai Lama acknowledges that finding inner peace is dependent on each individual and their basic attitude and desires, he states “it is through achieving our aim by means of effort and self-sacrifice, through considering both the short-term benefit to us and the long-term effects on others’ happiness, and sacrificing
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