today in political philosophy my teacher asked the class the question, "why are you in school?" and the dialogue that ensued pretty much went like this:
why do you want a good job?
so i can make money.
why do you want to make money?
so i can provide for my family, live comfortably, see the world, support worthy causes, etc.
why do you want to do those things?
because those things are good.
why are they good?
because they make me happy.
why do you want to be happy?
because happiness is good.
why is happiness good?
i imagine this is a typical response to the question "why do you do [whatever it is that you do]?" what i'm wondering is this: will every person, regardless of what they do and their various reasons, inevitably come to the same ultimate conclusion? will we all reach the same answer before there's nothing left to say in response to the question why?
happiness can mean many different things depending on who you ask. pleasure, joy, exhilaration, bliss, contentedness, delight, enjoyment, satisfaction. is our idea of happiness the motivation for everything we ever do? of course, we all do things that we know won't make us happy--some people spend the better part of their lives doing these things--but such activities are always seen as a means to an end. what is that end? is it happiness?
what would you say it is? i'm curious.