18 Sep What role should governments play in creating happiness?
I don’t agree with everything in this article but it’s certainly an interesting and thought-provoking take on the idea of goverments taking an interest in happiness and positive psychology…
Richard Layard commends the “overall quality of people’s lives” as the best measure of social progress, and argues that consensual happiness _ã_ the “one overarching good” _ã_ is achievable (This is the greatest good, 14 September).
Tony Blair similarly claimed this week that secular materialism endangers us, and called for a return to religious values (Granny told me not to marry a Catholic, Blair tells paper, 15 September).
Few would spurn greater happiness, but Layard fails to acknowledge serious objections and nuances. He says: “It is time to reassert the noble philosophy of the Enlightenment. In this view, every human being wants to be happy, and everybody counts equally.” But, first, we don’t all agree that happiness is what we really want _ã_ some people prioritise health, wealth, jihad or justice.
To read more about “legislating” happiness – click here